Forrest Brown and Brekke Fletcher, CNN
For much of 2021, US passport holders have seen an ever-changing list of international travel options as the pandemic has continued to ebb and flow.
Early in the year, vaccines gave cause for optimism. Then the mid-summer surge of the Delta variant of the coronavirus showed it wouldn’t be a smooth, easy comeback for international travel.
Delta remains a concern, but more destinations are deciding to open their borders to travelers, especially if fully vaccinated, from the United States and other nations.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether travel to international destinations is a good idea. The health risks are obvious if you’re not fully vaccinated. Nations can change their rules at any time. You may have to adhere to strict curfews and mask mandates. Violations could involve big fines and even jail time.
If you want expert input into your decision, the US State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide Covid-19 risk assessments by country. Both agencies rate many of the countries open to US travelers at Level 4, the highest risk for Covid-19. Also, remember that all air passengers 2 and older must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test that’s no more than three days old to enter the United States.
List of nations
What follows is a curated, alphabetical list of countries and territories where it’s still possible for US passport holders to go for a vacation. Click the links at the end of each destination for important information on:
— Presenting negative results from Covid-19 tests to enter (including time limits to take the test, types of tests allowed and additional tests upon arrival).
— Possible quarantines and durations as well as health screenings upon arrival.
— Possible exemptions from the rules for the fully vaccinated, people recovered from a recent case of Covid-19 or children.
— Health insurance requirements, curfews and lockdowns.
— Different rules if you’re arriving from a third country vs. the United States.
These are all things you need to research before you book your trip. If you test positive for Covid-19 upon arrival or while visiting, expect to go into quarantine. Rules for land and sea entry might differ from air arrivals.
This southeastern European country has a gorgeous Adriatic coastline. Testing required; exceptions for the fully vaccinated or with proof of Covid-19 recovery. No quarantine. US Embassy.
Antigua and Barbuda
This independent nation in the eastern Caribbean, known for sheltered bays and historical sites, is open. Testing required. Quarantine requirements differ based on vaccination status. US Embassy | Antigua and Barbuda government website.
From the historic capital of Yerevan to wild national parks, Armenia is open. Testing or proof of vaccination required; quarantines in some circumstances. US Embassy | Armenia’s official Covid-19 travel website.
Scroll down to the Dutch Caribbean entry below for information on Aruba and other islands in this group.
US citizens can now visit this Alpine nation renowned for its culture and food. Testing required to enter unless fully vaccinated or proof of past infection. Quarantine unless fully vaccinated. US Embassy | Austria Entry Requirements.
Off the coast of Florida, this large chain of islands is loved for its many beaches. Testing required, even for the fully vaccinated. No quarantine in place. Only fully vaccinated may disembark a cruise ship with limited exceptions through at least November 1. US Embassy | Bahamas travel website | Bahamas Travel Health Visa.
On offer: beaches, interesting architecture and rich cultural experiences. Testing and quarantine required. US Embassy.
Home to historic Bruges and busy Brussels, Belgium is open only if you’re fully vaccinated. No pre-travel test needed. Testing and quarantine required upon arrival. US Embassy | Belgium Embassy | Belgium color codes for nations | Passenger Locator Form
English is spoken in this Central American nation filled with wildlife spotting opportunities and stunning barrier reefs. Testing required, even for the fully vaccinated. No quarantine. US Embassy | Belize Tourism Board.
This island in the mid-Atlantic is renowned for its pink beaches and British flair. Testing and quarantine required, with a much longer isolation if you’re not fully vaccinated. US Embassy | Bermuda Tourism Authority
This landlocked South American country offers surreal landscapes from Andean to jungle. Testing and quarantine requirements in place. US Embassy.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
This southern African nation is famed for its wildlife in the Okavango Delta. Testing required; quarantine is not. US Embassy.
British Virgin Islands
This pretty island group lies just to the east of the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. Testing required. Quarantine unless fully vaccinated. US Embassy | BVI government website | BVI Gateway website.
Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Croatia, the jewel of the Adriatic, is open. Testing required to enter; exemptions for the fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 infection. No standard quarantine in place. US Embassy | Croatia official entry form.
Both parts of this politically divided Mediterranean island are open to US tourists. The Republic of Cyprus and the northern third of the island administered by Turkish Cypriots (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) each have their own rules of entry and testing. US Embassy in Nicosia | Visit Cyprus.
Often at the top of “happiest countries” lists, Denmark accepts fully vaccinated US leisure travelers. No testing or quarantine required. Stricter rules for Greenland and Faroe Islands. US Embassy | Denmark tourist information.
This rugged Eastern Caribbean island with deep valleys and 365 rivers has testing requirements. Quarantine for unvaccinated visitors arriving from US. US Embassy | Discover Dominica | Online registration portal.
Scroll down to the United Arab Emirates entry below.
Dutch Caribbean islands
Find out the important details on these various Dutch islands in the Caribbean — renowned for their hospitality and ocean life — by clicking on the links:
Sint Maarten: An autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it shares an island with the French collectivity of Saint-Martin. Testing required. No quarantine. Sint Maarten | Health authorization application | Covid-19 health insurance.
Click for more US consulate information on all of these islands.
This Andean country at the equator also owns the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific. Testing required; fully vaccinated exempted. Quarantine required in some circumstances. US Embassy.
The Nile River nation has been attracting people to see its wonders since antiquity. Testing required; quarantine is not. US Embassy.
French Polynesia, which includes Tahiti, is the idealized South Pacific destination. Leisure travel allowed for the fully vaccinated. Testing required; quarantine is not. Islands of Tahiti | FAQ document | Online ETIS form.
French West Indies
Find out the important details on these various ritzy French islands in the Caribbean by clicking on the links:
Guadeloupe: Open to fully vaccinated vacationers. Testing required; quarantine is not. Guadeloupe Islands
Martinique: Testing required; exemption to quarantine if fully vaccinated. Martinique requirements.
St. Martin: (See Sint Maarten in Dutch Caribbean entry above)
Get more US consulate information on all of these islands here.
Georgia is a geographical and cultural crossroads at the Caucasus Mountains. Testing required unless you’re fully vaccinated. No self-isolation for the unvaccinated under certain conditions. US Embassy | Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs | Entry registration.
Germany has labeled the US a high-risk nation and is open to only the fully vaccinated or those recovered from Covid-19. Testing required. Quarantine required in some circumstances. US Embassy | German Missions in the US | Germany digital registration.
This West African cultural jewel offers historical sites, delicious food and surfing. Testing required. No quarantine. US Embassy.
Greece, with its many ancient ruins and islands, is open to US travelers. Testing required; exception for the fully vaccinated or those recovered from Covid. No quarantine. US Embassy | Ministry of Tourism.
This Caribbean island with lush rainforests is welcoming US visitors if fully vaccinated. Testing and quarantine required. US Embassy | Grenada’s Ministry of Health | Travel authorization application.
This Central American country offers historical sites and stunning volcano landscapes. Testing required; exceptions for the fully vaccinated or those fully recovered from Covid-19. No quarantine. US Embassy | Online health pass.
Honduras has epic diving off Roatan Island and other locations. Testing required; fully vaccinated travelers are exempt. Conditional quarantine in some circumstances. US Embassy | Online precheck form.
Geysers, glaciers, hot springs and waterfalls await in Iceland. You must be fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid to enter. Testing required. US Embassy | Iceland travel rules | Iceland travel registration.
Israel is open to groups of five or more if fully vaccinated. Testing required. US Embassy | Israel Ministry of Health | Entry form
Through October 25, US travelers can visit Italy if either fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19. Testing required. US Embassy | Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation | Italy’s rules for Americans | Entry form | Digital passenger locator form.
Home to the amazing ruins of Petra, Dead Sea coastline and the dazzling landscape of the Wadi Rum, Jordan is open to US vacationers. Testing required; quarantine is not. US Embassy | Declaration form | Health form (PDF).
Leisure travel to this Baltic nation is open to only the fully vaccinated. No testing or quarantine required. US Embassy.
This tiny nation is open. Scroll to Switzerland below for details.
These sun-soaked Mediterranean islands are open to only US citizens who are fully vaccinated. No testing or quarantine required. US Embassy | Visit Malta | Public Health Travel Declaration and the Passenger Locator forms.
UPDATE: The land border between the US and Mexico remains closed but is set to open in November. US travelers can still fly there. No testing or quarantine requirements are in place. The US State Department lists numerous states to avoid because of crime. US Embassy.
US citizens can visit this southern African desert nation that appeals to adventure travelers. Testing required; quarantine is not. US Embassy.
UPDATE: US travelers can visit this landlocked Himalayan nation. Testing required. Quarantine required if not fully vaccinated. US Embassy.
UPDATE: Peru offers up Incan history, mind-blowing scenery and delicious food. Testing required unless fully vaccinated; quarantine is not. US Embassy | Lima airport protocols | PROMPERÚ | Affidavit of health.
UPDATE: Portugal is currently open to US citizens. Testing or a valid EU digital Covid certificate or certificate of Covid recovery is required; no quarantine. Azores and Madeira may have different requirements. US Embassy | Visit Portugal | Passenger locator card.
UPDATE: Serbia is steeped in historical sites and dramatic Eastern European scenery. Testing is required unless you are fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery from Covid-19. No quarantine. US Embassy | Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Superb national parks, wineries and the allure of Cape Town await in South Africa. Testing is required; quarantine is not. Be aware some nations aren’t allowing entry to tourists who have recently been to South Africa. US Embassy | South African government.
Spain is open to US leisure travelers only if they’re fully vaccinated. You must fill out a form and then generate a QR code to enter. US Embassy | Ministry of Health | Spain Travel Health portal | Spain travel FAQs
St. Kitts and Nevis
This Caribbean escape allows only fully vaccinated tourists to visit. Age exemptions for children 17 and younger traveling with vaccinated parents. Testing and short quarantine required. US Embassy | St. Kitts Tourism | Travel authorization form.
Home of the steep and towering Pitons, waterfalls and volcanic beaches, the independent Caribbean nation of St. Lucia is open. Testing required. Quarantine for nonvaccinated travelers outside Caribbean travel bubble. US Embassy | St. Lucia travel website.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
US passport holders can visit this Southeast Asian destination famed for its temples, beautiful beaches and spicy cuisine. Testing and quarantine requirements are in place. US Embassy | Royal Thai Embassy | Certificate of entry.
Trinidad and Tobago
UPDATE: Tunisia offers ancient ruins, desert scenery and sunny Mediterranean beaches. Testing required unless fully vaccinated. Stricter quarantine rules for the unvaccinated. US Embassy | Online questionnaire.
Turks and Caicos
This British overseas territory southeast of the Bahamas is known for its coral reefs, ripsaw music and a low-key vibe. All visitors 16 and older must be fully vaccinated to enter. Testing required; quarantine is not. US Embassy | Visit Turks and Caicos | Travel authorization form.
This lush nation in Central Africa offers gorilla trekking, Nile River rafting and beautiful lakes. Testing required; quarantine is not. US Embassy.
United Arab Emirates
The UAE, with its glittering towers and luxury resorts, has emerged as a major world destination in the 21st century. Testing required. Quarantine protocols depend on the emirate. US Embassy | UAE government travel site | Quarantine guidelines.
UPDATE: Leisure travel to the UK is open. Testing required for visitors. Quarantine required unless fully vaccinated. Checking for specific rules for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. US Embassy | UK government | Passenger locator form | Declaration form.
Known for Victoria Falls and wildlife, Zambia is allowing visitors. Testing and quarantine requirements are in place. US Embassy.
Recently removed from the open list
The following countries had been allowing US citizens to enter but have closed again or were removed by CNN Travel for other reasons:
— Bulgaria. Latest rules make direct visits difficult. US Embassy.
— Cambodia: The US Embassy reports the Southeast Asian nation has stopped issuing tourist visas; you can still apply for business-linked visas. US Embassy.
— Ethiopia: CNN Travel has removed because of ongoing warfare in parts of the country. US Embassy.
— Luxembourg: US citizens can no longer visit. US Embassy.
This is a curated list and not a full listing. CNN Travel has omitted certain open countries if they had very limited numbers of US travelers before the pandemic; have ongoing or recent armed conflicts, terrorism or rampant crime and unrest; or have entry requirements so extensive and complicated that they put the country out of reach of almost all US citizens. However, you can click here to check for the status and entry requirements of any country or territory in the world you wish to visit.
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