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While the pandemic is unlikely to end anytime soon, countries around the world are beginning to welcome tourists back. Unfortunately, American tourists have been blocked from many due to the rise in cases, however, there are some open to visitors from the U.S. Although you may need a negative COVID-19 test, several require little more than filling out a health questionnaire. Keep in mind that things can and often do change frequently so be sure to check local government restrictions before booking, and when traveling, heed all safety measures related to COVID-19.
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Croatia began welcoming American tourists on July 19th, ignoring the EU rules banning U.S. travelers from visiting Europe. If you decide to go you’ll need to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test, “not older than 48 hours from the time of taking the swab until arrival at the border crossing,” notes the website of the US Embassy in Zagreb. Once there, you will find restaurants and bars with outdoor seating allowed. The beaches, national parks, and nature reserves are also open with social-distancing protocols in place, and attractions like the famous Dubrovnik city walls also welcome visitors with social-distancing measures implemented.
If a tropical destination is what you’re craving, you can take advantage of the French Polynesian islands’ tropical isolation, lush vegetation, coral sandbars, and dreamy overwater bungalows, although you will need a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure which is required to be presented before boarding your flight. Bora Bora boasts a legendary lagoon encircled by tiny islets with a backdrop of soaring rainforest-covered basaltic peaks. Inside, friendly manta rays and sharks await. Visitors can also relax on pristine white sands and hit the scenic trails that lead to the summit of Mount Otemanu.
The Maldives has reopened to all international tourists with no testing required prior to departure, but visitors will need to complete a health declaration upon arrival and accommodation must be booked in advance. Located in the Indian Ocean, this breathtaking archipelago offers year-round sunshine, overwater bungalows and a crystal-clear turquoise sea. Snorkeling and diving are outstanding, and you’ll be able to enjoy powdery white sand beaches too.
While the land border between the United States and Mexico is officially closed, American travelers can enter by plane, including popular resort areas like Los Cabos and Cancun, without any testing requirements. Travelers can expect temperature checks and other additional screenings such as a health questionnaire upon arrival. The phased reopening of Los Cabos began in June with beaches, hotels, restaurants, sportfishing, transportation, tours and activities all open. Most hotels are open with new health and hygiene protocols in place, and more businesses are reopening every day.
One of the top destinations in Africa for wildlife watching, Tanzania has officially opened to tourists without any quarantine or testing requirements, although travelers must fill out a health surveillance form, be subject to more extensive screenings and may be required to take a Covid-19 test. The country is home to the Ngorongoro Crater, a destination where you’re practically guaranteed to see the “Big Five,” lion, buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros and leopard. If you book a trip in January, you’ll also be able to experience the thunder of hooves as more than a million wildebeest and several hundred thousand zebra make their annual migration.
There are currently no restrictions for Americans traveling to Turkey, although passengers must complete an information form and prepare to be checked for coronavirus symptoms upon arrival. All U.S. citizens must be able to show proof of tickets for onward travel to the United States. This country offers a long list of destinations that go well beyond the famous city of Istanbul, including the town of Göreme in the Cappadocia region, which sits among spectacular rock formations, some of which have been transformed into magnificently decorated churches and homes. A must-do here is to embark on a hot-air balloon ride for a bird’s-eye view of the landscape.
Americans can visit Ukraine by downloading the “Dii Vdoma” app and choosing one of three options: take a Covid-19 PCR test within 24 hours of crossing the border, enter an isolation unit or quarantine at their destination. Travel health insurance is also required. More details can be found on the Visit Ukraine Today website. Once there, don’t miss Tatariv. Nestled in the Carpathian Mountains it’s filled with natural wonders, with beech and conifer forests, rushing rivers and lakes that are teeming with trout. Wild berries, including raspberries, strawberries, cowberries and blackberries are readily available for picking, while a variety of herbs and mushrooms can also be found. The town is one of the living relics of old-Ukraine, where horse carts used for transport in summer are replaced by sleighs during the chilly winters.
It’s fairly easy to enjoy the tropics, including stunning white sand beaches in the Dominican Republic. Travelers are required to fill out a Health Affidavit confirming they haven’t had any coronavirus symptoms within 72 hours of travel. Anyone who does present symptoms will have to be tested. Once there you can enjoy the usual island water sports like diving, snorkeling, surfing, sailing and kayaking along with dolphin watching, zip lining and sightseeing.
Albania is open to foreign visitors without testing or quarantine requirements. This friendly Balkan State may not be as well known as its neighbors but it boasts everything from spectacular nature, including amazing beaches, to historic sites and modern urban attractions, including flourishing nightlife. Explore everything from 7th-century ruins to ancient hilltop castles along the seaside and 13th-century towns where you might be the only visitor there.
If you’re a fan of “Star Wars” you’ll be happy to know that Tunisia is open to U.S. travelers with no restrictions. Matmata was the fictional landscape and home of Luke Skywalker, Tatooine. Many of the first movie’s scenes were filmed right here, including those shot at the Hotel Sidi Driss, a traditional Berber house constructed centuries ago offering traditional troglodyte accommodation today. These incredible underground homes, some of which are dug 23 feet into the ground, remained hidden for centuries, and no one had any knowledge of their existence until the 1960s.
Barbados welcomed all tourists on July 12, with some caveats. You’ll need to complete an online immigration card, up to 72 hours before departure, submitted 24 hours before traveling. While you can opt to take a Covid-19 PCR test upon arrival, American citizens who want a more seamless travel experience should pre-submit negative test results via the immigration portal and arrive with proof of the results as well. Once there, enjoy a Caribbean paradise complete with mouthwatering cuisine, stunning beaches and idyllic clear blue waters.
Belize will be reopening its airport on August 15th. Inbound US passengers will have to have downloaded the new Belize Health App and supply the required details before boarding their flight, which can be used for contact tracing. Visitors also need to book hotels that have received Belize Tourism’s “gold standard certificate of recognition,” and guests will be screened before checking in. The country also encourages visitors to take a Covid-19 PCR test at least 72 hours before travel and present negative results to fast-track entry. Once there, enjoy exotic wildlife, tropical beaches, vibrant coral reefs for snorkeling and diving, lush rainforests and fascinating ancient ruins.
United Arab Emirates
Dubai is one of the most popular cities to visit in the UAE, which resumed tourism on July 7th. Visitors are required to have medical travel insurance, complete a health declaration form and present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result within 96 hours of arrival. Temperature checks and mandatory testing will be required if any symptoms are displayed. Once there, visit the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa; Dubai Mall, the second-largest mall in the world home to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo; enjoy desert safaris, sandboarding, and much more.
Jamaica is open to most travelers, with requirements that include the completion of an online travel authorization and the possibility of being tested upon arrival. If you’re from New York, Florida, Arizona or Texas, you will need to upload negative Covid-19 test results within 10 days of arrival to receive travel authorization. Additionally, all travelers “from areas where there is high community transmission of the virus” will be tested at the airport upon arrival and required to quarantine in their chosen accommodations until the results are ready, typically within 48 hours. Currently, only guesthouses, villas and hotels in the “the resilient corridor” are open to guests, which includes the coastline from Negril to Port Antonio.
Americans can travel to St. Lucia, a relatively undeveloped Caribbean island ideal for getting away from it all, but will need to provide a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR test, taken within seven days of travel. Visitors must also complete a Pre-Arrival Registration form and have confirmed reservations at a COVID-certified property, of which there are currently seven, staying only where they are registered unless an approved excursion has been coordinated.