Many of us Americans have re-discovered our own country’s beautiful state and national parks and dynamic sightseeing attractions since March of 2020 when the pandemic struck, and international travel became severely limited.
Some Americans are getting the urge to return to international travel. Research has been showing that air travel is safer than we thought , even during a pandemic. Many countries have opened back up to Americans; however, quite a few of those either require a 2-week quarantine upon arrival and/or a covid-19 test upon arrival or proof that a negative test was taken, in most cases 48-72 hours before your arrival. Some even require monetary deposits or re-testing a few days after arrival. These requirements can be enough to make many people re-think international travel for now; however, there are a few countries that are not requiring a quarantine upon arrival or any type of COVID-19 testing/results.
Before you decide to travel to one of these countries, be sure to evaluate the risks involved and be sure to self-care and consider the health of others by taking necessary safety precautions, investing in good face masks for travel and getting a good travel/health insurance policy. Also be advised that travel guidelines are constantly changing due to the global pandemic, so make sure to monitor your destination’s official tourism website periodically before your trip.
Please also note that most countries do not have the anti-mask sentiment that has become a part of the USA’s political divide. Be ready to adhere to all mask requirements as well as random temperature checks in any country that you may decide to travel to.
Finally, check with the US State Department for information on returning from your visit as there are some restrictions in place, including specific airports you must transit through and quarantine rules in some cases/states.
I’ll try to update this list as we head into 2021 and as a safe and trusted vaccine begins to be available for us.
Here are the current countries (as of November 2020) that Americans can travel to without needing to quarantine or bring/take a COVID-19 test:
U.S. citizens can enter this southeastern European country without quarantine or a negative coronavirus test . You may be subject to a temperature check upon arrival however. Make note that on your return home, there are restrictions to what countries you can pass through, according to the embassy website.
Visit Albania: Known as Europe’s last unturned stone, Albania boasts some of the best examples of Ottoman architecture in the world, along with supremely clear Mediterranean air and stunningly fabulous beaches.
Visa requirements: U.S. citizens do not need visas to enter the Republic of Albania; U.S. citizens can stay up to one year in this country without a residence permit
U.S. citizens can travel to Belarus with limited restrictions. Travelers won’t need a negative coronavirus test prior to arrival but will be subject to health screenings, including temperature checks, at the port of entry. Visit the U.S. Embassy in Belarus website for additional information.
Visit Belarus: Long regarded by travelers as little more than a curiosity, Belarus has suddenly emerged as one of Europe’s ‘it’ destinations. With more than 11,000 lakes and 40% of its territory composed of misty forest, Belarus is a beautiful country to travel to, home to dreamy castles – some of them part of UNESCO – and its capital Minsk, will almost certainly surprise you.
Visa Requirements: U.S. passport holders traveling to Belarus via Minsk International Airport may enter visa-free for up to 30 days
Travelers from the U.S. will not need to quarantine or show any type of negative test, unless required by their airline or other travel entity. Visit the U.S. Embassy in Brazil website for more information.
Visit Brazil: Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are two of the most visited destinations in the country. Natural attractions in Brazil are The Amazon Jungle, The Amazon River, the many other rainforests of this tropical and subtropical region and the extensive beaches and bays that line the coast.
Visa Requirements: U.S. citizens do not need a visa if they are traveling to Brazil for tourism, business, transit, artistic or sport activities, with no intention of establishing residence
Travelers from the U.S do not need to quarantine or bring or take a COVID-19 test. However, they will need to provide proof of a medical insurance policy to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or quarantine lodging while in Costa Rica.
Visit Costa Rica: The beautiful country, filled with rainforests, beaches, river valleys, and biodiverse wildlife as well as restaurants, bars, and luxe hotels, has always been a prime place to take a vacation or adventure tour.
Visa Requirements: US nationals do not require an entry visa for Costa Rica.
Americans do not need to quarantine or bring/take a Covid-19 test. But travelers do need to have a confirmed booking before arrival and submit an online health declaration form within 24 hours before departure
Visit Maldives: This muslim country with over 1,000 islands is one of the most famous and one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world.
Visa Requirements: A no-cost visitor visa valid for 30 days is issued upon arrival.
Americans can travel to Mexico without taking a COVID-19 test prior to traveling. No need to quarantine either. While travel across the land border between the U.S. and Mexico remains limited to essential trips, nonessential travel has resumed via air. Travelers will be subject to health screenings upon arrival and should note there are some cities around the country that have curfews and other health restrictions in place. Learn more about traveling while in Mexico at the embassy website.
Visit Mexico: Palm-fringed beaches, chili-spiced cuisine, steamy jungles, teeming cities, fiesta fireworks, Frida’s angst: Mexico conjures up diverse, vivid dreams. And the reality lives up to them.
Visa Requirements: Mexico stamps the passports of all US tourists at arrival, allowing stays of up to six consecutive months without a visa.
This southeastern European country makes it easy for American travelers to visit. No one coming from the U.S. is required to take a coronavirus test before arriving, though they may be subject to medical screening at the airport, according to the embassy website.
Visit North Macedonia: Dense with old-world culture, rustic gourmet cuisine, mountain chains, remote villages, and some of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe, the country is a synapse connecting traditions on the crossroads between empires — Greek, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman —where the Occident and Orient have long found middle ground.
Visa Requirements: Visas are not required for tourist or business trips of less than 90 days within a six-month period
Turkey does not place any restriction on American travelers after they provide health information on a short health form upon arrival .Only passengers exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms will require further examination and testing. Learn more about travel to Turkey on the embassy website.
Visit Turkey: Turkey offers an abundance of ancient sites and world heritage landmarks, wonderful natural sceneries, and a rich culture. Turkey is renowned for its excellent hospitality.(I just returned from a wonderful Tour of Turkey, being hosted by the folks at Demavend Travel. My experience will be overviewed in my next up-coming blog article).
Visa Requirements: U.S. citizens need an e-visa to enter Turkey. It’s very easy to get one online and print it out before your trip and it costs only about $50 USD.
Jack Witt, MS, CPT
Fitness and Health Coach