The coronavirus pandemic has transformed travel in ways that earlier in 2020 might have seemed unimaginable.
Even if you’re traveling within the United States, depending on where you’re coming from and where you’re going, you may be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in either direction.
Cruises have been on hold since March, and there’s currently a CDC-mandated No Sail Order for all ships until at least the end of September. It may be extended.
If you fly during COVID-19, you are required to wear a mask and airlines have blocked out a number of seats on every flight to allow for social distancing.
Many hotels have implemented new policies such as virtual check-in and digital room keys.
The list goes on.
There are also many countries around the world not currently allowing travelers from the U.S. If they do allow them, travelers may be required to take a COVID test beforehand.
The State Department did lift its level 4 do not travel advisory in August.
There’s no such thing as risk-free travel right now, but if you do have your eye on getting out of the country, the following are some places Americans can go. Keep in mind this list can change quickly, as has been the case throughout this situation.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda opened to tourists on June 4, and there aren’t any known active cases right now.
American Airlines has resumed some of the Caribbean flights since May, including to Antigua.
You do have to wear face masks in public spaces and at all points of entry. Currently, you don’t need a negative COVID-19 test before you arrive, but if you have one you may be able to bypass other screening protocols upon arrival.
You may be required to undergo a rapid antigen nasal swab test upon arrival.
If you’re traveling from 24 states in the U.S., which do include California and Florida, before you can go to Aruba, you have to upload a negative COVID-19 result. There’s a website to upload your test result and you’re required to have it submitted 72 hours before your arrival.
If you’re from a state that’s not one of the 24 mentioned above, you can have a test taken when you arrive, but you have to prepay for the test and quarantine while you wait for your results. All travelers to Aruba do have to be insured, and there are stringent health requirements to travel to the Caribbean island.
Croatia opted to skip the EU ban on American travelers to Europe, and since July the country has been welcoming U.S. tourists.
You will have to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test no older than 48 hours upon your arrival. That starts from the time you take the swab to your arrival at the border.
You do have to show proof of reservation at a hotel or other type of accommodation if you visit Croatia. As long as your negative COVID-19 test was taken within 48 hours of your arrival, you don’t have to quarantine.
If you want to visit Dubai right now as an American tourist, you may be able to, but you’ll need to have medical travel insurance that will cover any COVID-19 treatment you might need. You also have to present a negative PCR test result within 96 hours of your arrival.
There’s a health declaration form you have to complete to confirm you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, and you will have to register your personal details in the COVID-19 DXB app upon arrival.
Ecuador reopened to commercial flights on June 1, and since mid-August, if you travel there you’ve been able to skip a mandatory quarantine as long as you have proof of a negative COVID-10 test taken no more than ten days before you arrive and you have no symptoms.
If you don’t have a negative test when you get there, you can take a test when you arrive in Ecuador and quarantine while you wait for the results.
The Maldives is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, known for its bungalows sitting directly on the water. The Maldives reopened to international tourists on July 15.
You don’t have to show negative test results to visit or quarantine yourself, but you will have to have a confirmed booking before you arrive, and you’ll need to submit a health declaration online before you depart.
The land border between Mexico and the U.S. is currently closed, but states in Mexico have reopened to tourists. There’s a color-coded system being used in Mexico, which indicates whether or not hotels can reopen.
Jalisco, which is where Puerto Vallarta is, is orange, which lets hotels and restaurants open at half-capacity. The same is true of Quintana Roo, where Cancun is.
Flights between the U.S. and Sint Maarten resumed on August 1, and travelers do have to fill out an online immigration card before they travel. You also have to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of when you arrive.
Turks and Caicos
On July 22, Turks and Caicos reopened their borders to international travelers. You do have to present a negative COVID test from within five days of your travel day. You need to have insurance that would cover medical evacuations, and you have to complete a health screening questionnaire.
These aren’t the only places that are open to tourists from the U.S. right now, but they are some of the big ones.
If you’re planning a trip, you should always assess your personal COVID risk and speak to your health care provider before traveling.
You also need to check the restrictions in place at your destination and make sure you have everything in place for your departure. Don’t forget about returning home too. Check into any restrictions you might face when you return to the states, depending on where you’re coming from.