COVID-19 and tourism: Where can U.S. citizens travel?


NEW YORK – AUGUST 24 : A Boeing 757-2Q8 operated by Delta Airlines takes off from JFK Airport on August 24, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY (KTVX) – After a year of sheltering from COVID-19, many are anxious to get back out and explore the world. But with the global pandemic still limiting travel, which vacation destinations should U.S. travelers be considering?

Since the pandemic began spreading across the globe in 2019, over 146 million people have been infected and over 3 million have died worldwide. Countries responded with strict travel advisories and regulations, making it seemingly impossible to visit and plan excursions.

The CDC loosened travel guidelines earlier this month for some Americans as U.S. vaccinations increase and COVID-19 cases fall from highs earlier this year. In new guidance issued on April 2, the CDC stated:

  • Fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S. without getting tested for the coronavirus or quarantining. People should still wear a mask, socially distance, and avoid crowds.
  • For international travel, vaccinated people do not need to get a COVID-19 test before leaving, unless the destination country requires it.
  • For travelers coming into the U.S., vaccinated people should still get a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight and be tested three to five days after arrival. They do not need to quarantine.

The agency also notes the potential for virus variants around the world and urges caution when traveling internationally.

The U.S Department of State has created a color-coded map with its travel recommendations ranging from “do not travel” in red to “exercise normal precautions” in white. While Greenland is one of the only major tourist destinations in the safest category, here are some travel options in the second tier, “exercise increased caution”

  • Thailand
  • Belize
  • Rwanda
  • Sri Lanka
  • Vietnam
  • Montserrat

The “do not travel” classification includes, among others:

  • India
  • Finland
  • Egypt
  • Croatia
  • Chile
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Portugal
  • Seychelles
  • Germany
  • Greece

There are also some countries and territories that are allowing tourists to enter, but only under specific guidelines. Here is a list of a few destinations with stricter requirements travelers can visit according to Kayak:

  • Anguilla
  • Belize
  • Ecuador
  • Pakistan
  • Georgia
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Nigeria
  • Liberia
  • Jordan
  • Iceland

For more information on places you can travel, check your desired country’s local embassy website, the U.S Department of State website, or visit Kayak.

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