With the pandemic turning a corner, international travel is slowly bouncing back.
As treatment options for COVID-19 continue to grow, the world is slowly emerging from almost two years of being closed off. More and more countries are lifting the total travel ban and implementing vaccination and testing requirements for travelers before entry.
Some countries are only open to vaccinated travelers, while those that are not are choosing to require unvaccinated travelers to quarantine or get tested. The majority of countries are open to U.S. travelers, with vaccination and restrictions applied, but there are still a handful that have lockdown restrictions in place due to their high positivity rates.
If you are looking to travel south soon, you will have to wait a little while. Australia and New Zealand are just now slowly opening back up to their citizens after going back into strict lockdown. Following Australia’s surge and New Zealand’s suspected single case of the Delta variant in the summer the countries are hesitant to reopen to international travel at all.
Australia’s complex vaccine rollout slowed their process with reopening to tourists, but the steady rise of vaccinations have allowed open borders amongst other Oceanic countries, alluding that complete open borders could be on the horizon.
Japan also remains closed off from tourists, as well as from business travel. The country did lift their state of emergency at the beginning of October, but that remains only for Japanese citizens. This follows an intense surge of cases during the summer, which was highly publicized due to the 2020 Olympic Games which was held in Tokyo. Following the games, the number of positive cases has dropped, but still not enough for the country to safely open their borders to tourists.
While the U.S. was removed from the European Union’s approved list for entry at the end of August, each country took the recommendation as merely that — a recommendation. Travel requirements depend on the country, but most are open to only U.S. travelers who are vaccinated. Sweden, Bulgaria and Luxembourg have followed the EU’s recommendation to ban U.S. travelers based on their own travel policies.
Many African nations are opening up to tourists, ranging from accepting only vaccinated tourists to not even requiring a test depending on the country. Tanzania, Senegal and South Africa are among some of the countries that are allowing tourists, but it comes with a caveat: some countries won’t let them in if a traveler has visited South Africa, due to the high infection rate there.
On Oct. 14, the Biden administration announced that starting in November it will lift travel restrictions at the land borders of Canada and Mexico for vaccinated travelers. This move will end the nearly nineteen month closure of the borders for nonessential travel.
Mexico and Canada have been open to vaccinated travelers who have come in via airport for a few months, but opening the land borders is a large step in reconnecting families who were stuck in two different countries because of the pandemic.
Caribbean nations are also amongst those that are open to vaccinated travelers. Many are open to unvaccinated travelers as well if they follow quarantine and testing requirements. However some, such as Trinidad and Tobago, are only accepting vaccinated tourists at this time.
Some countries are waiting to reach a milestone in order to open their borders. Taiwan is working on getting 70% of their population to receive one dose of a vaccine before opening their borders to tourists. Australia and New Zealand also had similar goals before opening up to U.S. tourists.
Learn what the requirements and restrictions are for each country and CDC guidance about traveling to a specific country before you plan your next trip.