Where Can Vaccinated Americans Travel Right Now?
Iceland, Belize, and more are open—so long as you’re vaxxed.
Editor’s Note: We know COVID-19 is continuing to impact your travel plans. As of April 2021, official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention states that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk, though safety precautions are still required. Should you need to travel, be sure to familiarize yourself with the CDC’s latest guidance as well as local requirements/protocols/restrictions for both your destination and home city upon your return. Be safe out there.
After more than a year with little-to-no travel, we can practically hear our suitcases calling out our names, begging us to dust them off and take them on a ride. (Soon, sweet suitcases! Soon.) Luckily, with vaccinations going like hotcakes and COVID-19’s grip on the US beginning to wane, we’re starting to see more and more countries open their doors to tourists—so long as they’ve gotten their shots.
You can also head to places like Mexico and the Caribbean so long as you test negative for COVID right before the trip, or quarantine on arrival. But considering we’re all soooooo close to being fully vaxxed, the CDC recommends waiting until you’ve gotten all your necessary shots to book a flight.
For those of you who have received both doses and are looking to travel: Welcome back! Here’s every country open to vaccinated travelers—plus what’s actually open, and why they’re each worth a visit.
Keep in mind that the situation is changing all the time; we’ll keep this updated on the regular, but it’s a good idea to thoroughly research travel restrictions and closures before you hit the road.
As of April 22, 2021, all incoming travel to Anguilla is on hold due to a small coronavirus cluster, but here’s what will apply once travel is back.
Who can go? Anguilla’s protocols are hefty—but hey, better safe than sorry. Along with providing proof of vaccination, all travelers must: (a) apply for entry, (b) provide a negative test result before arrival, (c) test again after landing, and (d) quarantine upon arrival. More info here.
What’s open? The island has designated property “bubbles” that visitors can traverse freely. For example, the Meads Bay Bubble gives you access to nine properties, several restaurants, and the span of beach between Frangipani Beach Resort and Carimar Beach Club. Full list of openings here.
Why should I go? Just 35 square miles and 15,000 people strong, there’s a reason so many celebrities decide to spend their off days here. The quiet island is home to some of the world’s best beaches, bomb Caribbean food, and opportunities to explore caves filled with rock carvings, ancient places of worship, archeological dig sites, and more.
Who can go? Fully-vaxxed travelers must also test negative for COVID within three days of travel, test again upon arrival, and quarantine until you receive your test result. More info here.
What’s open? Restaurants are open for in-person dining, bars and boats can operate at 50% capacity, and beaches and parks are all open with a 7 pm curfew. Go forth and sunbathe.
Why should I go? Everyone should visit Barbados at least once to give thanks to the island for blessing us with Rihanna. Go spelunking in Harrison’s Cave to spot stalagmites and underground waterfalls; stroll by boats and vendors in Bridgetown; and devour mahi-mahi (specifically at Oistins), macaroni pie, conch, black cake, and rum to your heart’s content.
Who can go? All travelers are welcome to visit Belize so long as they test negative for COVID within 96 hours of travel. Vaccinated travelers must provide proof indicating a final dose received at least two weeks prior to travel. More info here.
What’s open? Although they can move freely around the island, visitors are encouraged to stick to the Tourism Safe Corridor, where you’ll find Gold Standard hotels, tour operators, and transportation companies. There’s also a 10 pm curfew islandwide.
Why should I go? If you’re looking to squeeze as much nature as possible into a trip, Belize can make that happen. The Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest on earth, is home to more than 500 marine life species. When you’re not staring out across the ocean—though it’s hard to tear your gaze away from spectacles like The Great Blue Hole—turn towards the country’s interior, where dense jungles conceal ancient Mayan ruins.
Who can go? Americans must complete an entry form and provide either proof of receiving a final dose at least two weeks prior to travel, or proof of recovery from COVID within the past 180 days. More info here.
What’s open? Hotels are open, as are restaurants, cafes, and bars with outdoor seating, all national parks, beaches, and tourist sites like Plitvice and Dubrovnik Old Town. You can’t buy booze past 11pm. Get full deets here.
Why should I go? If you—like about 13 million other people—spent most of the 2010s watching Game of Thrones, you’ll likely recognize Dubrovnik, Croatia’s capital, as King’s Landing. But beyond what is now arguably one of the most iconic old towns in the world, Croatia boasts a wealth of history, Balkan culture, and seaside bliss in towns like Split and Hvar Town. Plus, the country’s national park game goes wild. One look at Plitvice Lakes will have you booking a trip in seconds.
Who can go? Starting in May, Cyprus will reopen to vaccinated travelers. You’ll need to fill out a Cyprus Flight Pass and provide proof of full vaccination. More info here.
What’s open? Restaurants with outdoor seating, museums, galleries, and archaeological sites are open, while bars and clubs remain closed. Unfortunately, beaches—arguably one of Cyprus’s main draws—and natural trails are only open for exercise. There’s also an island-wide curfew in effect after 11pm. Find a full list of openings here.
Why should I go? Tucked between Greece and Turkey, Cyprus brings the best of the Mediterranean to one island. Once part of both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Cyprus’s history reaches back as far as 1100 BC, meaning there’s no shortage of ancient sites (like Kourion and Salamis) worth checking out. Even the gods love it here: Aphrodite’s Rock and Beach is said to be the goddess’s birthplace.
Who can go? As of March 2021, travelers can enter Ecuador with either proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from COVID-19. To visit the Galapagos, you must have a safe travel document (salvoconducto), as well as a negative test taken within 96 hours prior to travel (even if you are vaccinated). More info here.
What’s open? Restaurants, parks, and other public spaces are open in Quito—but the current coronavirus situation in the capital has left many hospitals overwhelmed. All national parks and reserves are open for business.
Why should I go? About a six-hour flight from New York, Ecuador is an underrated and inexpensive nature escape, and the jumping-off point for the Galapagos Islands. Hit Cotopaxi National Park for glimpses of the (highly active) Cotopaxi volcano, hike the Andes, or visit Papallacta Springs outside of Quito for a geothermal soak. Added bonus: the country uses the dollar.
Republic of Georgia
Who can go? To visit Georgia, vaccinated travelers will need to provide proof that they’ve received both doses and fill out a travel authorization form. More info here.
What’s open? A 5 pm curfew (yes, really) is still in effect, so you’ll have to wake up early to explore. As of April 2021, museums, gyms, theatres, markets, indoor restaurants (and live music in restaurants!) are back in action. Check for more openings here.
Why should I go? Georgia straddles the border between Europe and Asia. Between the Black Sea and the Caucasus mountains, you can go from a beach vacation to a ski break in a matter of hours. It’s one of the oldest wine making countries in the world. The food rocks (have you seen khachapuri!?). And best of all, it’s super inexpensive.
Who can go? As of April 19, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers can visit Greece without quarantining, so long as they provide proof that they’ve completed vaccination at least 14 days prior to travel and fill out a Passenger Location Form. More info here.
What’s open? Bars, restaurants, cafes, and many shops are still closed, but to-go options are available (hello, beach picnics!). Outdoor archaeological sites like the Acropolis and the Parthenon have reopened to visitors. A 7 pm weekday, 9 pm weekend curfew is in effect nationwide.
Why should I go? Once we’ve gotten our shots, we’re not going to walk, but run to Lindsay Lohan’s club in Mykonos. (Just kidding. Kind of.) The birthplace of democracy, a hotbed of ancient history, and—with crystal blue water, idyllic islands, and seaside towns—a trip that’s very easy on the eyes. Go live your best Mamma Mia life.
Who can go? You’ll need to provide proof of full vaccination completed at least two weeks prior to travel, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within three months of arrival. You’ll also need to fill out a health pass. More info here.
What’s open? Things are open but not necessarily business as usual. Attractions like Semuc Champey and Tikal are open to visitors. In places like Guatemala City and Antigua, most public spaces—including parks, lakes, beaches, markets, and more—are operating at limited capacity and close between 6-8 pm. All food must be taken to-go.
Why should I go? Not only are the cities beautiful—we’re sure you’ve seen Antigua’s Santa Catalina arch framing Volcán de Agua—but across the country, ancient manmade structures and nature blend seamlessly together. Visit the Mayan ruins at Tikal, bask in the waterfalls and limestone structures at Semuc Champey, get a glimpse of paradise at Lake Atitlán, and take a dip in the Caribbean—all in a country that’s about the size of Tennessee.
What should I know first? Travelers must provide proof of full vaccination or proof of recovery from COVID-19. More info here.
What’s open? The Blue Lagoon recently reopened at limited capacity, and business closures, including in Reykjavik, fluctuate. But considering most of Iceland’s most popular attractions are outdoors and HUGE, your trip can pretty much go off without a hitch.
Why should I go? Colossal waterfalls, jet black beaches, and glacier lagoons surrounded by frost-bitten mountains—the whole joint looks like it was made up by J.R.R. Tolkein. And again, given Iceland’s wide-open spaces, anyone feeling antsy about crowds post-pandemic will be nice and comfy here.
Who can go? You must provide proof of full vaccination more than 15 days prior to travel, take a $50 COVID test upon arrival, and download the “covidlebtrack” app. More info here.
What’s open? Restaurants, cafes, and more are operating at 50% capacity with a 9 pm curfew. Many of Beirut’s main attractions—the National Museum of Beirut, the Sursock Museum, and the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque—are open to visitors, as are archaeological sites around the country. Stay up to date here.
Why should I go? Between coronavirus and the warehouse explosion that rocked the Port of Beirut last August, Lebanon is still in damage control mode. But the country has a long history of resiliency and a multicultural, uber-hospitable population that loves fun. Along with its capital Beirut, explore Lebanon’s archaeological sites at the Roman ruins at Baalbek, the ruins of Tyre, and Byblos, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities on Earth.
Who can go? If you can provide proof that you’ve received your final dose at least seven days prior to travel, you can enter Montenegro. More info here.
What’s open? Stores, restaurants, and bars are open but operating with curfews and restrictions. (Hotels are exempt!) Public transport, ski resorts, museums, theaters, galleries, and national parks are all open and ready for your enjoyment, but nightclubs remain closed. Full info here.
Why should I go? Just as balmy and ancient as its more popular peers, Montenegro has the same seaside beauty of the Italian coast and the Game-of-Thrones-esque ancient towns you love about Croatia, plus an interior boasting wild forests, mountains, and national parks.
Who can go? You’ll need proof of full vaccination (or proof of having recovered within the last 90 days before travel); a negative test result upon arrival; plus a slew of other entry documents, like proof of accommodation and travel insurance. More info here.
What’s open? The Nepalese government reopened Mount Everest and seven other mountain trails to tourists earlier this year. Since, nearly 400 climbers have been granted licenses to scale the world’s tallest peak, face masks and hand sani in tow. In Kathmandu, the capital city, hotels, restaurants, and businesses have reopened.
Why should I go? Nepal is the place for adventurous travelers. When you’re not devouring dal bhat or momos, visiting Kathmandu’s thousand-year-old temples and six UNESCO World Heritage sites will keep you busy. But the real draw lies outside the city, where you’ll find miles (and miles, and miles) of treks through the Himalayas—including the world’s most famous mountain expedition. (Bonus: if you’re an astrology nerd, have we got news for you.)
Who can go? Vaccinated travelers must prove that at least two weeks have passed since their final shot, fill out a travel form, and test negative upon arrival. More info here.
What’s open? Restaurants, spas, swimming pools, and other public facilities remain closed. But if you plan to spend your time lounging on the shores—highly likely—you’re good to go: All beaches are open to the public and as freakishly perfect as ever.
Why should I go? If you can get past the price tag and the 24+ hours it takes to get there, the Seychelles are essentially the definition of paradise. Every island looks like a Windows desktop background. And the seafood! You will not regret it.
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