Despite the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant, it seems the worst of the pandemic is firmly in the rearview mirror. Vaccinations are rolling out worldwide — slowed by vaccine hesitancy in the United States — and we’re finally seeing a slow return to “normal.” Nowhere has this been more evident or more anticipated than in the world of travel. Whether it seems like a good decision or not, many states in the U.S. are wide open or have at least relaxed restrictions for out-of-state travelers. Likewise, many countries are opening their doors to vaccinated international travelers. Here are a few of the best destinations vaccinated Americans can safely travel to right now.
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Level 1 COVID-19 Risk (Low)
If you’ve been itching for a tropical getaway for the last 18 months, Bermuda is ready to receive you. The country’s U.S. consulate confirms that Americans are now allowed to enter. Thankfully, the COVID-19 numbers in Bermuda are extremely low. Vaccinated travelers will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test, while anyone unvaccinated can enter provided they quarantine at an approved local hotel for at least 14 days.
Turks & Caicos
Compared to many other Caribbean destinations, Turks & Caicos remained relatively unscathed throughout the pandemic. The island continues to welcome foreign visitors, including Americans. There is no quarantine on arrival. However, visitors must obtain travel authorization, provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours (the timeframe was previously five days), and proof of travel insurance.
Despite the endless negative press that China received in the wake of the pandemic, the CDC confirms the country is now just a Level 1 COVID-19 risk. CNN reports that “life is largely back to normal, but things can change fast — regional lockdowns have been imposed every time there are new outbreaks of the virus.” Visitors must apply for a visa in advance, then show proof of vaccination and two negative tests (PCR and antibody) on arrival.
Level 2 COVID-19 Risk (Moderate)
Egypt remains open to vaccinated American travelers. Antigen and/or PCR tests are required for visitors, and numerous private testing sights provide the service for a nominal fee. The country continues to take the pandemic seriously by limiting large gatherings, allowing restaurants to operate at reduced capacity, requiring face masks, and encouraging social distancing.
As of June 21, 2021, the Czech Republic began welcoming vaccinated American travelers once again. According to the U.S. Embassy there, only a negative COVID test and a Personal Locator Form (PLF) are required. Businesses around the country — including many hotels, museums, and public events — may also require proof. It’s important to note that, because there are currently no direct flights between the United States and the Czech Republic, travelers need to be aware of any COVID-19 restrictions with connecting countries while they’re in transit.
Compared to many of the most popular Caribbean destinations, Jamaica remains a relatively low Level 2 COVID-19 risk. American travelers can enter as long as they obtain a travel authorization within 72 hours of their travel date, provide proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test, and submit to a health screening upon arrival. It’s worth noting that, while the risk of infection is only moderate, the island’s health infrastructure is limited. Before visiting the island, American travelers may want to consider comprehensive travel health insurance (including evacuation coverage).
In late June 2021, Germany reopened its borders to American travelers. The risk of COVID-19 remains low there relative to other European countries. Like other destinations on this list, visitors must provide either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the last six months, or a negative COVID-19 test. The U.S. Embassy in Germany also confirms that health screenings are in place at airports, cruise ports, and border crossings throughout the country.
Of course, just because you can travel to these places doesn’t mean you should. Some of the world’s most popular destinations have happily reopened their doors to American travelers despite recent surges in COVID-19 cases. This includes many European countries like Spain, Greece, and the U.K., along with much of South America — all now listed as Level 4 COVID-19 risks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To further complicate things, there are many popular destinations with low COVID-19 risk that are closed to U.S. travelers (e.g., Australia and New Zealand). Travelers should always check the latest CDC recommendations, as well as the government restrictions and safety measures for any international destination.
The CDC has also made it clear that “[a]ll air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States.”
Lastly, wear a face mask whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. Many businesses, towns, and cities are once again suggesting or even mandating that everyone do so. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do.
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