Where can Americans travel internationally right now?
By dev_ln on Thu, 10/22/2020 - 06:34
Winter 2021 Travel: With much of Europe are closed to tourists, travelers seek alternatives
October 2020 – Let’s face it—2020 hasn’t been stellar. A lot of travel plans had to be put on hold, especially for Americans. Due to the virus-related travel restrictions, Americans are currently barred from entry into many parts of Europe and other locations across the globe.
But there is hope for those longing for a winter destination vacation outside of the United States.
Travel restrictions in place to much of the EU do not limit international travel entirely. Not all countries have closed their borders, and others allow Americans entry with certain caveats or restrictions. With a little planning and a healthy amount of caution, you can plan an international trip this fall or winter to satisfy your wanderlust after what has been a challenging year. Does Ireland with its verdant hills, plunging cliffs, and dramatic coast call to you?
October 2020 - Current US Travel Restrictions
Travel restrictions for Americans are changing daily, and countries are actively assessing the COVID-19 situation in the US and other parts of the world to limit and control viral spread.
While the list of where you cannot go is longer than the list of places you can go at the moment, the list of approved travel destinations is slowly increasing. For example, American tourists and non-essential workers cannot currently travel to the Schengen area of Europe, Canada, and Japan (among other places). New Zealand has barred all tourists worldwide.
The US State Department website maintains a list of risk assessments by country, many of which are currently categorized as Level 3 (“reconsider travel”). That being said, some “high risk” countries may still allow tourists entry. Let’s look at where a US passport holder can actually travel right now.
When can US citizens travel to Europe?
Starting in late 2022, Americans will require the new European Travel Information Authorization System, the ETIAS visa waiver, to travel to the Schengen area of Europe without a visa (although hopefully you’ll be able to go to Europe sooner than that). However, most of the Schengen zone has currently closed their borders to American tourists. In the meanwhile, there are places US citizens can travel to as of autumn 2020.
What countries can Americans visit right now?
Many of these countries where Americans can travel right now may have coronavirus-specific requirements for entry, including quarantines and negative COVID-19 tests prior to travel. We have put together a short list of some the highlights, but note that this is not a comprehensive list.
Can Americans visit Ireland now?
Ireland has no official ban on travel from the United States; however, the Irish embassy recommends avoiding travel for non-essentially purposes, including tourism. But if you just can’t resist the magic of the Emerald Isle, expect to stay a little longer to make the most out of your trip—you will have to restrict movement for the first 14 days and fill out a passenger locator form.
Are Americans allowed to travel to the United Kingdom in 2020?
Even though the Schengen area is off limits for US travelers at the moment, you can still travel to the United Kingdom, which includes Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. US citizens can enter the country without a COVID test or health screening.
Just like travel to Ireland though, all arrivals are required to self-isolate for 14 days. You will also need to fill out a public health locator form. It is possible that you will be contacted during your quarantine period to ensure compliance.
Can US citizens visit the Balkan Peninsula now?
Parts of Southeastern Europe have opened to American travelers recently. Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia (against European Union guidelines), Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia currently allow US travelers. However, each country will have their own entry requirements, which may include:
- Negative COVID-19 test
- Proof of accommodations
- Health screenings (that may result in mandatory quarantine)
- Self-imposed quarantine
Can Americans travel to Bermuda now?
Closer to the Carolinas than Europe, you may be drawn to Bermuda where winter is balmy and comfortable, and the vibe is a little British. Bermuda is close to home for Americans―especially those who live east of the Mississippi River. The island of Bermuda offers a premier vacation destination, lots of pink sand, turquoise crashing waves, and Insta-worthy photo ops of those pink sand beaches. Expect a couple of COVID tests, though.
American travelers will need proof of a negative COVID PCR test dated 72 hours (or sooner) prior to travel and will be required to take a second test upon arrival.
Is Costa Rica open to US citizens?
Costa Rica is about a non-European as it gets in terms of culture and environment, but its lush tropical vibe will delight Americans seeking a warm vacation destination. US citizens will be allowed entry starting November 1. Plans for your visit Cost Rica can include breakfasting with a symphony of monkeys as the soundtrack, swimming under waterfalls, and some epic tropical hiking.
A negative PCR test from 72 hours prior to travel or sooner is required for arrival, and asymptomatic travelers are not required to quarantine. Travel insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage is required. Small protocol steps, big tropical reward.
Traveling internationally isn’t out of the realm of possibilities in what feels like an impossible year. Plan ahead, understand entry requirements, and take necessary safety precautions so that you can have a fun (and responsible) trip abroad.
Traveling with the ETIAS will be a new experience for Americans when it launches in late 2022. When travel opens back up to the Schengen zone, be prepared for ETIAS and visa-free travel throughout the region’s borders. Stay tuned for Schengen area travel updates; and get ready for some grand adventures!
Be sure to bookmark our blog for updates and news related to the ETIAS, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.