Summer travel is now in full swing and many places no longer have travel restrictions. But there are still a few entry requirements that you will need to follow for some domestic and international destinations. Here are some things you should know before you travel.
Travel restrictions in the United States
With infection rates low, most states no longer require mandatory quarantine or pre-arrival testing to lift the quarantine. However, Hawaii continues to be one of the outliers.
Returning tourists and residents of Hawaii will need to complete the Safe Travels Pre-Trip Safety Program:
- Complete the traveler’s health form
- Get a pre-travel test no more than 72 hours before arrival
- Get a temperature check when you arrive in Hawaii
Fully vaccinated unvaccinated travelers in the state of Hawaii must pass a pre-travel diagnostic test to waive the mandatory 10-day quarantine. The state is implementing a system for fully vaccinated people to show proof of vaccination instead of a negative diagnostic test to lift the quarantine.
From June 15, 2021, travel between countries no longer requires tests or quarantine regardless of vaccination status. This makes it easier to visit several islands for an extended trip.
The New England states tend to have more stringent travel guidelines than the rest of the continental United States, led by Massachusetts.
A 10-day quarantine is no longer required for most inbound visitors. However, the state still recommends that unvaccinated travelers self-quarantine for the first ten days of their trip. Fully vaccinated people and those who undergo a pre-travel test no later than 72 hours before arrival can lift the quarantine.
Other states with similar travel guidelines include:
- Rhode Island
Fully vaccinated travelers will need to upload their vaccination cards to lift entry restrictions. Unvaccinated travelers must test negative no later than 72 hours before arriving in Puerto Rico or be tested upon arrival, but must self-quarantine until test results are negative. Not having a proper test means non-compliant travelers pay a fine of $ 300.
CDC Domestic Travel Guidelines
The CDC has different domestic travel guidelines for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
First, the CDC recommends delaying all non-essential travel until you are fully immunized. This means traveling at least 14 days after receiving your last dose of COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to undergo pre-travel testing, unless the destination requires it. Once they return home, they do not have to undergo post-travel tests or self-quarantine, but must self-monitor for potential symptoms.
Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people should be tested before travel and recommend two options after travel:
- Get post-travel test between days 3 and 5 and self-quarantine for seven days
- Do not test after travel but quarantine yourself for 10 days
Federal transport mask mandate
Travelers who are at least two years old should wear a mask when using public transport (i.e. planes, trains, buses, ships) indoors, at or at departure from the United States. You must also wear a mask in transit centers such as airports and train stations according to federal law.
Many hotels, car rental companies, and tourist businesses also require a mask to be worn.
International travel restrictions
It is more difficult to travel abroad. Entry requirements can vary considerably from country to country.
Countries with minimum travel restrictions
Three countries with minimum travel restrictions are:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
These destinations do not require pre-travel testing, proof of vaccination or mandatory self-quarantine. Random medical checks may take place at the airport upon entering the country.
Most countries open to U.S. tourists require proof of vaccination or a negative test before arrival to lift the mandatory quarantine.
You will need to travel to Mexico as the land border remains closed to non-essential travel. The country is open to tourism.
It is not possible to fly or drive in Canada for non-essential travel. The only travelers who can enter Canada are Canadian residents and visitors who will see their immediate families in Canada. Like Mexico, the land border with the United States has been closed since the start of the pandemic.
Some European countries are welcoming American tourists again. The European Union continues to negotiate a plan to reopen the Schengen zone so that Americans can visit various member countries such as Germany and Portugal.
The EU will most likely require tourists to download a vaccine passport application with a target deployment date of July 1, 2021. This service is currently being rolled out to EU residents to travel between countries.
For now, European countries are putting in place individual agreements with the United States.
Tourists can fly to these European countries from the United States:
- France: Fully vaccinated travelers only
- Greece: Must be fully vaccinated or have a negative pre-travel test
- Iceland: Must be fully vaccinated
- Italy: Will have to arrive on a “COVID-tested” flight to lift the 10-day quarantine
- Spain: Fully vaccinated travelers only
Currently, the UK is not open to tourists and non-essential travel.
Many Caribbean islands are open to tourism. However, entry requirements can vary widely. The Dominican Republic has the fewest restrictions.
Most countries require the following:
- Complete the health form before the trip
- Show proof of vaccination or get a diagnostic test before travel
- Obtain medical travel insurance to cover possible hospitalization related to COVID-19
The Cayman Islands are a nation not open to tourism.
Much of Latin America is still closed to non-essential travel. Costa Rica is open with minimum entry restrictions.
You can also go to Belize. However, you will need to be fully vaccinated or have a negative pre-arrival test. Tourists will also need to stay in a hotel or resort licensed under the Gold Star program.
Many African countries are open to non-essential travel, but travelers will most likely need a negative test before arrival to lift any quarantine.
More and more countries are starting to accept proof of vaccination to lift the mandatory quarantine.
Oceania and Asia
Virtually all of Asia and Oceania are still closed to non-essential travel from the United States. One of the few exceptions is the Maldives which only requires a negative test before arrival.
Requirements for readmission to the United States
All travelers returning to the United States from a foreign country must test negative prior to arrival.
In addition to the negative tests, the CDC also has travel guidelines. The CDC recommends that fully immunized people get a post-travel test 3 to 5 days after returning home. However, they don’t have to self-quarantine if they don’t have any symptoms.
Unvaccinated travelers should follow the same guidelines as returning from a domestic trip. An option to self-quarantine for seven days and take a post-travel test 3-5 days after returning home. The second option is to self-quarantine for ten days without taking a post-travel test.
Traveling to the United States remains the best option for most people with the fewest restrictions and testing requirements. International destinations are mainly limited to Latin America and the Caribbean. But, there, several Western European countries are opening up for a getaway.