Have COVID vaccine, will travel: These are the countries open to fully vaccinated Americans

As vaccination levels continue to rise in the U.S. and around the world, countries that had been off limits to foreigners for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to reopen – and some are specifically opening to vaccinated travelers.

On Wednesday, the European Union announced it had agreed on measures to welcome fully vaccinated travelers and those from countries where COVID is under control. However, it did not say when its 27 member countries would be rolling out the welcome mat.

► Europe reopening to American vacationers after over a year: What we know

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last month that fully vaccinated Americans could resume travel at low risk to themselves, though the agency still recommended against travel due to rising COVID case counts.

However, in mid-April, the State Department also announced it would raise the alert level for a significant number of countries to factor the CDC’s COVID data more heavily into its rating system.

The agency said approximately 80% of countries now carry the “do not travel” label (level 4), its most severe warning.

The State Department said the pandemic continues to pose “unprecedented risks” to travelers. “In light of those risks, the Department of State strongly recommends U.S. citizens reconsider all travel abroad.”

►’Do not travel’ list: The US State Department is raising the alert level for most countries due to COVID

You’ll still need a negative COVID test to fly back to the US

If Americans do decide to travel abroad, no matter which country they decide to visit, they’ll still need to be tested for COVID within three days of an international flight back to the U.S. – even vaccinated travelers. You can find available testing sites in your destination country and turnaround times on the website for the U.S. embassy there.

Some resorts are also offering COVID testing on site to help satisfy the U.S. requirement.

Beware: These Americans were stranded in Mexico after testing positive for COVID

About the list of countries allowing vaccinated travelers

Rules are evolving, so we’ve chosen to focus on countries that did not admit Americans before COVID-19 vaccines began to roll out and now are open or opening to vaccinated Americans. Keep in mind that countries’ rules and plans are evolving quickly, so before planning, check with your destination to find out the latest requirements.

The information below pertaining to vaccination and testing requirements comes from official sources such as government agencies (such as embassies and immigration ministries and the U.S. State Department) or official tourism websites.

If you would like to find out how much of the local population is at least partially vaccinated in a country you plan to visit, you can find the latest data on USA TODAY. Johns Hopkins University, which has tracked COVID infection and death statistics since the earliest days of the pandemic, drills down even further, with percentages for both the partially and fully vaccinated.

Skip to a region:

  • Europe
  • Caribbean
  • North America
  • Central America
  • South America
  • Central Asia
  • South Asia
  • Middle East
  • Oceania/South Pacific

Europe

The European Union is still determining how it will provide travel documentation for its own vaccinated citizens so it may be awhile before they announce how they plan to handle Americans.

When will Americans be allowed back in Europe? That remains murky because while the European Union has agreed on steps to allow vaccinated tourists and updated criteria for what defines a COVID-safe country, from which all tourists can travel, it did not specify when those travelers would be allowed.

In late April, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told The New York Times that it hoped to welcome vaccinated travelers back by summer.

Until then, most EU countries are only accepting residents of other member countries or tourists from countries the EU deems low risk, which does not include the U.S. at this time.

However, some countries have already announced their own plans independent of the EU.

And finally, while the United Kingdom does admit Americans with a negative COVID test, they must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival and pay for tests on Days 2 and 8.

//For our notes: Links to each EU country’s embassy page so they can be added back as they announce reopening plans//

Countries that allow Americans in with a negative COVID test (and other conditions: Italy

Italy announced that Americans can enter and bypass quarantine with a negative COVID test taken no more than 48 hours prior to entry; vaccinated travelers are not exempt from the testing requirements. Italy also noted visitors would be allowed to enter the country even if they’ve recently been in other EU countries.

Austria

Vaccine requirements: Vaccinated travelers need a certificate or vaccine passport. Certificates for people who received their first of two shots or a single-dose vaccine at least 22 days prior to entry are valid for three months; documents for people who have had both shots are good for an additional six months.

Testing requirements: Visitors who are unvaccinated or who have not had COVID need a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours or an antigen test no older than 48 hours. If you do not arrive with a valid negative test, you will have to take one within 24 hours after arriving. People who have proof they have recovered from COVID may enter for three months from their last antibody test date.

Other restrictions: All travelers must complete an advance clearance form to get permission to enter.

Details: Austria official travel portal

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

Bulgaria

Vaccine requirements: Visitors need to show proof that their final dose was administered at least 14 days prior to entry may enter Bulgaria.

Testing requirements: Unvaccinated visitors over the age of 5 need a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours or an antigen test no older than 48 hours. People who have recovered from COVID need a positive PCR or antigen test taken between 15 days and 180 days prior.

Other restrictions: Look for businesses with a Safe Travels stamp from World Travel & Tourism Council

Details: U.S. Embassy, Sofia; Bulgarian government tourism site

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

Croatia travel

Vaccination requirements: Tourists must present a vaccine certificate showing they received their final dose or single dose at least 14 days prior to entering the country.

Testing requirements: Individuals who have not vaccinated yet must have a negative PCR or rapid antigen test taken within the last 48 hours or proof they have recovered from COVID-19.

Other restrictions: Tourists must pay lodging fully in advance and provide proof. They must also complete an arrival form with their contact-tracing information.

Details: U.S. Embassy, Zagreb

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

Cyprus travel

Vaccine requirements:Though COVID vaccinations are not required to enter Cyprus, Americans who can prove they are fully vaccinated will not be subject to testing or quarantine as long as their vaccine is approved by the European Medicines Agency.

Prior to travel, visitors must upload a copy of their vaccination certificate to the Cyprus Fight Pass platform. Verification is the responsibility of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Cyprus reserves the right to randomly test passengers on any arriving flight, including vaccinated travelers.

Testing requirements: Unvaccinated visitors from countries classified as red must have a PCR test from a certified lab taken within 72 hours prior of departure.

Other restrictions: Visitors must present their Cyprus Flight Pass to enter crowded venues. In addition, there is a curfew in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Details: Cyprus Flight Pass

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

Germany

Vaccination requirements: Residents of a “risk area” must provide proof of vaccination in digital or print format showing their final vaccine dose was received at least 14 days prior to entry.

Testing requirements: Unvaccinated visitors need to present proof of a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours or antigen test no older than 48 hours prior to entry. Alternately, people who have recovered from COVID can provide a positive PCR test carried out at least 28 days before entry but not more than six months prior.

Other restrictions: Regardless of vaccination or test status, all visitors must complete a digital entry registration prior to travel.

Details: German Foreign Office

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

Greece travel

Vaccine requirements: The country announced it is reopening to international tourists on May 15. Fully vaccinated individuals may bypass the testing requirement if they they present a vaccination certificate issued by a public authority showing their second shot occurred at least 14 days prior to arrival in Greece.

Testing requirements: Unvaccinated visitors must have a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours prior to entering the country.

Other restrictions: All visitors must complete Greece’s online Passenger Locator Form at least 48 hours before entering the country.

Details: U.S. Embassy, Athens

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

Non EU-member countries that allow Americans in with a negative COVID test (or other conditions):

  • Albania
  • Moldova
  • San Marino
  • Ukraine (also requires medical insurance)

Iceland travel

Vaccine requirements: Individuals who can provide proof they are fully vaccinated are exempt from testing and quarantine requirements. Iceland will also accept a yellow card issued by the World Health Organization.

Testing requirements: Unvaccinated Americans need a negative PCR test from within 72 hours of departure and must quarantine at an official facility for five days upon arrival. People who can provide proof they’ve recovered from COVID are exempt from quarantine requirements.

Other restrictions: Visitors must pre-register online; however, this does not count as a travel authorization.

Details: U.S. Embassy, Reykjavik; covid.is

CDC travel advisory threat level: 3 (high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 3 (reconsider travel)

Romania

Vaccine requirements: Travelers with proof of vaccination can bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Testing requirements: Unvaccinated travelers need a negative test taken no sooner than 72 hours prior to departure to bypass quarantine. People who enter without one must quarantine and won’t be allowed to test out until day 10.

Other restrictions: Visitors may be asked to complete a questionnaire upon entry.

Details: RomaniaTourism.com

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

Caribbean

Several Caribbean countries and territories already allow Americans with negative COVID tests to visit.

Countries that allow Americans to bypass quarantine if they present a negative COVID test and meet other conditions:

  • Anguilla
  • Aruba
  • Bonaire (Visitors also need antigen test if PCR test is older than 24 hours.)
  • Bermuda (Visitors who are 9 or younger are exempt from testing.)
  • Curaçao (Visitors also need an antigen test on Day 3.)
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica (Visitors must stay within Resilient Corridor in order to avoid quarantine.)
  • St. Barthelemy
  • St. Martin/St. Maarten (Purchase of COVID insurance is mandatory.)
  • Puerto Rico (No test is required if returning directly to U.S. mainland.)
  • U.S. Virgin Islands (No test is required if returning directly to U.S. mainland.)

Countries where Americans don’t need proof of vaccine, negative COVID test or quarantine: Dominican Republic

Bahamas travel

Vaccine requirements: Travelers who are two weeks past their last vaccination are exempt from the testing requirements for entry and inter-island travel.

Testing requirements: Unvaccinated travelers must have a negative PCR test result no older than five days prior to entry. (Children 10 and under are exempt.)

Other restrictions: Visitors must complete a Bahamas Travel Health Visa application.

Details: Bahamas.com

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level:4 (do not travel)

North America

America's land borders with Canada and Mexico have been closed for over a year. However, Americans can still fly to Mexico, making it a popular vacation destination during the pandemic.

Canada remains off limits to American leisure travelers, unless they meet certain exemptions. On May 11, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that his government prefers to keep its border closed until 75% of the population has had at least their first vaccine dose.

“My gut tells me it’s going to be (closed) at least well into the fall of 2021,” he predicted a week earlier.

Countries where Americans don’t need proof of vaccine, negative COVID test or quarantine: Mexico

In mid-May, the governor of Mexico’s Quintana Roo state, home to the Caribbean tourist meccas of Cancun, Cozumel and Tulum, warned that the area faced “imminent risk” of returning to lockdown conditions due to surging COVID cases there.

► Trouble in paradise: Mexico’s Caribbean coast including Cancún, Cozumel, Tulum at ‘imminent risk’ of lockdown

Central America

A few countries in Central America allow Americans to bypass quarantine if they have a negative COVID test.

Countries where Americans don’t need proof of vaccine, negative COVID test or quarantine:

  • Costa Rica (Tourists are required to show proof of medical insurance and complete a health pass; vaccinated people are not exempt)

Costa Rica during COVID: What’s it like to vacation there during the pandemic?

Countries where Americans can bypass quarantine with a negative COVID test result:

  • Nicaragua
  • Panama

Belize travel

Belize welcomes Americans who are fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID test.

Vaccine requirements: Individuals who are at least two weeks past their second shot and bring their official vaccination card must bring their official certificate. If two weeks have not passed, a negative PCR test no older than 96 hours or a rapid antigen test no older than 48 hours old are required.

Testing requirements: Anyone over the age of 4 who is not vaccinated needs a negative test result.

Other restrictions: It’s recommended that visitors stay within the Tourism Safe Corridor, and a curfew is in effect from 10 p.m. to 4:59 a.m. daily.

Details: U.S. Embassy, Belmopan; Belize Tourism Board

CDC travel advisory threat level: 2 (moderate)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 2 (exercise increased caution)

El Salvador travel

Vaccination requirements: Visitors who have completed their shots may present their vaccine certificate in lieu of a negative test. However, it is still recommended that you contact your airline to confirm whether you also need a negative test to board your flight.

Testing requirements: Unvaccinated visitors ages 2 and up need a negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours of their scheduled arrival time.

Other restrictions: The U.S. Embassy notes that El Salvador strictly enforces the policies and cannot assist anyone who arrives without testing or vaccine documentation.

Details: U.S. Embassy, San Salvador

CDC travel advisory threat level: 3 (high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 3 (reconsider travel)

Guatemala travel

Vaccine requirements: Vaccinated individuals ages 10 and up may enter Guatemala by air or land but need proof the last shot was administered at least two weeks before arrival.

Testing requirements: Guatemala will also accept proof of a negative test completed within 72 hours prior to check-in at the airport or documentation from a licensed health care provider attesting the visitor recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days prior to travel.

Other restrictions: All visitors must complete a Health Pass form prior to arrival.

Details: U.S. Embassy, Guatemala City

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

South America

Most South American countries have yet to reopen their borders to Americans.

Countries where Americans can bypass quarantine with a negative COVID test:

  • Brazil (Traveler health form required)
  • Guyana (passenger locator form required; 10:30 p.m.-4 a.m. curfew)
  • Paraguay
  • Venezuela (visa required; U.S. embassy operations suspended pre-COVID due to political conditions)

Ecuador travel

Vaccine requirements: Travelers must have a certificate showing they have received their full course of vaccinations.

Testing requirements: Unvaccinated visitors need a negative PCR or antigen test taken no more than three days before entering Ecuador. Children 2 years of age and younger, as well as airline crew, are exempt from this requirement. People who have had COVID-19 but are at least one month past the onset of symptoms may also present a medical certificate attesting to their recovery.

Other restrictions: International visitors transiting en route to the Galapagos Islands must arrive with a negative PCR test taken within the last three days.

Details: U.S. Embassy, Quito

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level:4 (do not travel)

Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East, Morocco, Egypt and Bahrain are all accepting Americans with negative COVID tests. Israel had announced it would reopen to vaccinated Americans but U.S. airlines have suspended flights there due to renewed violence there.

Countries where Americans can bypass quarantine with a negative COVID test:

  • Djibouti (Visa required)
  • Egypt
  • Iran (However, no visas are being issued currently)
  • Iraq (Visa required)
  • Morocco (Tourists must have reservation at approved hotel or resort.)

Bahrain travel

Vaccine requirements: Inbound airline passengers vaccinated in the U.S. with approved certificates will be provided with a card for use in Bahrain. However, vaccinated visitors are still required to undergo PCR tests on arrival as well as days 5 and 10 of their stays (at a cost of $95).

Testing requirements: Unvaccinated visitors must test on arrival as well as on days 5 and 10. (Children 6 and younger are exempt.)

Other restrictions: Visitors must download the BeAware Bahrain app prior to arrival.

Details: U.S. Embassy, Manama

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

Israel travel

Vaccine requirements: Visitors vaccinated outside of Israel must undergo testing at an approved Israeli lab at their own expense to prove their status. They then will be allowed to apply to be exempted from quarantine. They must provide their vaccination certificate and their negative test result along with their exemption application.

Testing requirements: All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, need a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to their scheduled departure to Israel.Unvaccinated people will be required to quarantine for at least 10 days. People who have recovered from COVID must provide medical documentation of their recovery.

Other restrictions: Major U.S airlines have suspended flights to Israel amid the current unrest there.

Details: Israeli Ministry of Health; U.S. Embassy, Jerusalem

CDC travel advisory threat level: 2 (moderate)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 3 (reconsider travel)

Lebanon travel

Vaccine requirements: Americans who can prove they are fully vaccinated, have an antibody test showing sufficient antibodies or proof of testing positive for COVID more than 15 days prior to arrival can bypass quarantine.

Testing requirements: All arriving travelers who do not qualify for one of the exemptions need a negative PCR test no older than 96 hours. In addition, travelerswill be tested at the airport at their own expense ($50). They will also have to quarantine for 72 hours and download the CovidLebTracker app.

Other restrictions: Tourists must request permission to enter certain establishments.

Details:U.S. Embassy, Beirut

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

Africa

South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and the Seychelles are among the African destinations accepting Americans with negative COVID tests.

Countries where Americans can bypass quarantine with a negative COVID test:

  • Benin (Both PCR and antigen tests required)
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)
  • Côte d’Ivoire (ivory Coast)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (Negative test required to exit DRC)
  • Djibouti (Visa required)
  • Eswatini
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Kenya (Americans only exempted from quarantine if coming directly from U.S.; visitors need to complete a Travelers Health Surveillance Form)
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique (Visa and proof of return ticket and hotel booking required)
  • Namibia (Nightly curfew)
  • Seychelles (Visitors must have health insurance and stay at approved facilities.)
  • Senegal
  • Somalia
  • South Africa (Nightly curfew; all travelers must download the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app.)
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo (Negative test required to exit country)
  • Uganda

Western and Central Asia

A few former Soviet republics, including Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, are accepting Americans who've been vaccinated or have negative COVID tests.

Countries that allow Americans to bypass quarantine if they present a negative COVID test and meet other conditions:

  • Armenia
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Uzbekistan (Visa required)

Georgia travel

Vaccine requirements: Vaccinated tourists can enter by air if they present a certificate proving they have received the full round of shots.

Testing requirements: Upon arrival, unvaccinated visitors can avoid quarantine by presenting a negative result from a PCR test conducted 72 hours or less before arrival in Georgia. They will also need to undergo a second test at their own expense on day 3 of their stay.

Other restrictions: Before crossing into Georgia, tourists must complete an authorization form detailing their contact information and their travel history for the previous 14 days.

Details: U.S. Embassy, Tbilisi; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

State Department travel advisory threat level: 4 (do not travel)

South and East Asia

Most countries in South Asia are either not admitting Americans or requiring them to quarantine. Two exceptions: the Maldives, located off the southern coast of India, and Singapore, located east of Malaysia.
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Laos (quarantine)

Much of Asia either still remains off limits to American tourists (including Olympic host nation Japan and Indonesia) or requires them to quarantine (as is the case in Cambodia, China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nepal, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam).

Destinations where Americans can bypass quarantine with a negative COVID test:

  • Maldives (Traveler Health Declaration required in advance)
  • Singapore (Visitors also need to obtain a Safe Travel Pass in advance)

Oceania/South Pacific

Most of Oceania is still off limits to Americans, including Australia and New Zealand.

Most South Pacific countries remain off limits to American tourists, most notably Australia, which has indicated it may not reopen its borders until 2022. In addition, New Zealand and Fiji have both been reluctant to speculate about a reopening timeline. Other island destinations either require a lengthy quarantine (Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu) or special permission to visit (Samoa), One notable exception: the U.S. territory of Guam.

Countries that admit Americans who can provide a negative COVID test and meet other conditions:

  • Northern Mariana Islands (Health declaration form required)

Guam travel

Vaccine requirements: Travelers to the U.S. territory who are two weeks past their last dose of an FDA-approved vaccine who can provide a vaccine record card and a secondary form of vaccine verification (such as a letter from the provider) may bypass quarantine.

Testing requirements: Tourists who have recovered from COVID-19 within three months of visiting Guam and are no longer symptomatic may be eligible to bypass quarantine if they can present a positive PCR test between 10 and 90 days old and a negative PCR test collected within 10 days prior to arrival and clearance from their medical provider attesting to their recovery. Visitors who arrive without a vaccine certificate or proof of recovery must spend five days at a quarantine facility but can test out on day 6 with a negative result.

Additional requirements: Vaccinated individuals must sign a declaration attesting to their COVID status (under penalty of perjury).

Details: VisitGuam.com; Guam Department of Health and Social Services

CDC travel advisory threat level: 4 (very high)

Contributing: Matthew Brown, Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY

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