Where can you travel right now?


Scott Keyes is used to fielding questions about the best cheap flights around the world, but the queries he’s getting from globetrotters as the coronavirus pandemic continues are more basic.

At the top of the list: Where can Americans travel internationally today?

“People are very curious to know the answer to that,” the founder of travel deals website Scott’s Cheap Fights said. “The answer to that is: not very many places. And the number seems to be going in the wrong direction.”

Cancun, Quintana Roo (Archive)

The good news: several spots in the Caribbean and Mexico are welcoming guests again and drawing U.S. tourists as airlines resume flights and add new ones. United Airlines on Friday said it is adding additional flights to St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Of the few Americans traveling internationally, travel app Hopper says bookings to Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic topped the list in the past two months.

But the welcome mat was quickly rolled back up in one popular destination, and other destinations have tightened their entry requirements.

The Bahamas touted its reopening on July 1 but changed its mind a few weeks later due to an uptick in coronavirus cases in the United States, banning commercial flights from the U.S. as of July 22.

The popular islands off the coast of Florida adjusted their stance again a week later, to allow U.S. travelers as long as they present a negative COVID-19 test and quarantine for 14 days, the latter which still effectively rules out vacations. Southwest Airlines has suspended its service to Nassau through October, American Airlines through August.

European countries have reopened their borders, but most are off-limits to U.S. vacationers due to the surge in coronavirus cases. A couple that are welcoming U.S. visitors: Croatia and Turkey. Canada is off limits as the border remains closed and only essential travel is permitted, even by air.

Mazatlan, Sinaloa (Photo: Reacción Informativa)

Keep in mind that even though international travel is reopening and the U.S. State Department on Thursday lifted a global travel advisory in place since March, there are still advisories galore for individual countries due to COVID-19. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends against nonessential travel to much of the globe.

Travelers need to be aware, too, that countries have rapidly changing COVID-19 regulations. And attractions and other tourist businesses may or may not be open, so if you’re itching for a getaway, make sure to thoroughly research the trip before booking and carefully check cancellation and change policies of airlines, hotels and vacation rentals.

Here’s a list of popular spots that are welcoming U.S. tourists but notably not requiring a 14-day quarantine on arrival because few travelers want to book a pricey international trip if they can’t leave their hotel room or vacation rental. That rules out London, Ireland, The Bahamas and others.


The land border between the U.S. and Mexico is closed to nonessential travel through at least late August, but tourists are free to fly to several destinations that have reopened. They include:


COVID-19 test: No

Other entry requirements: Masks are required at the airport, and travelers must fill out a traveler risk factor questionnaire upon arrival and departure.

Details: Quintana Roo Tourism Board

Cozumel, Quintana Roo (Archive)


COVID-19 test: No

Other entry requirements: Masks are required at airports, and travelers must fill out a traveler risk factor questionnaire upon arrival and departure. 

Details: Quintana Roo Tourism Board

Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos)

COVID-19 test: No

Other entry requirements: Masks are required at airports, and passenger temperatures are checked via thermal screening.

Details: Los Cabos Tourism Board

Puerto Vallarta 

COVID-19 test: No

Other entry requirements: Temperature screening at Puerto Vallarta airport and face masks are required at the airport. 

Details: visitpuertovallarta.com

Riviera Maya (includes Playa del Carmen and Tulum)

COVID-19 test: No

Other entry requirements: Masks are required at airports, and travelers must fill out a traveler risk factor questionnaire upon arrival and departure. 

Details: Quintana Roo Tourism Board 

Riviera Nayarit (SECTUR)

Riviera Nayarit (includes Punta Mita and Nuevo Vallarta)

COVID-19 test: No

Other entry requirements: Temperature screening at Puerto Vallarta airport. 

Details: Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau 

Caribbean and nearby islands


COVID-19 test: Yes, though the timing of the test depends on which U.S. state you’re arriving from. Travelers arriving from a long list of states with rising COVID-19 infections must get a PCR test 72 hours before their flight. An initial option for airport testing is no longer available for those travelers.For travelers from all other states, airport testing is an option, for $75, or they can do a test 72 hours before their departing flight. For those taking tests in advance, results must be uploaded at least 12 hours prior to flight departure when filling out Aruba’s online embarkation/disembarkation forms.

Other entry requirements: Visitors must fill out an embarkation/disembarkation card online and purchase mandatory Aruba Visitors Insurance, a measure the country says is designed to help cover medical expenses of up to $75,000 for visitors who test positive during their stay. Premiums vary by length of stay and age, with a $15 per person charge for visitors ages 15-75 who stay for seven days. The insurance can only be bought online and must be done within 72 hours of departure.  

Details: Aruba Tourism Authority


COVID-19 test: All travelers are strongly encouraged to take a PCR test within 72 hours of travel and submit the results electronically and bring a copy with them. Those who don’t and arrive from high-risk countries, including the United States, will be tested at the airport, for free, and must remain at the airport or a government-approved facility until the results are available.

Other entry requirements: Travelers must complete an online customs and immigration form that includes personal health information related to COVID-19 at least 24 hours prior to arrival. At the airport, health assessments are conducted and may include temperature checks and interviews. Face masks are required at the airport.

Details: Barbados Ministry of Tourism 


COVID-19 test: Visitors must present a negative COVID-19 test taken pre-departure that’s no more than seven days old. They will also be tested at the airport and are required to quarantine wherever they’re staying overnight until results are ready, which usually take 24 hours.

Other entry requirements: Travelers are required to fill out a Bermuda Travel Authorization form and pay $75 that will cover all the required COVID-19 tests while on the island. While in Bermuda, visitors are required to be tested every four, eight and 14 days, and the appointments will be scheduled automatically. Face masks are required in public. 

Details: Government of Bermuda

Dominican Republic

COVID-19 test: Travelers ages 5 and older must show proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than five days before arrival. Those who don’t provide proof will undergo rapid diagnostic tests at the airport for free. Travelers who test positive or show symptoms will be isolated at authorized’ locations. 

Other entry requirements: Health evaluations conducted upon arrival, and face masks are required at the airport.

Details: Dominican Republic tourism website


COVID-19 test: Residents from designated high-risk states must upload a negative PCR test from a College of American Pathologists accredited lab. The test, required for travelers ages 12 and older, must be taken within 10 days of arrival. Vacationers from other areas aren’t required to take a test but are subject to health screening on arrival, and those showing symptoms will be tested and must quarantine in their hotel room until test results are available.

Other entry requirements: Visitors must fill out a travel authorization in advance. Visitors can only leave their hotels and resorts to visit select “COVID-19 compliant” tourist attractions and travel there on approved transportation providers. Masks are required at the airport.

Details: Jamaica Tourist Board

Puerto Rico 

COVID-19 test: Travelers to the U.S. territory are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Those who’ve taken a test within 72 hours but are still waiting on results will be forced to quarantine for 14 days or until they’re able to present negative results to the Puerto Rico Health Department. Those who arrive on the island without a test will be tested locally and must quarantine until they can present a negative result. Travelers not willing to undergo a test must quarantine for 14 days.

If travelers are displaying COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival, the Puerto Rican National Guard will give them a rapid COVID-19 test (finger prick blood test) must quarantine even if the results are negative until they are able to present a negative PCR test, as well.

Other entry requirements: Visitors must complete an online travel declaration form and will be presented with an airport exit confirmation number upon receipt of negative COVID-19 test results. Face masks are mandatory in all public areas.

Details: Discover Puerto Rico

St. Lucia

COVID-19 test: Visitors must receive a negative test no more than seven days before arrival. 

Other entry requirements: Travelers must fill out a pre-arrival registration form that includes a reservation at a certified hotel. Visitors may only stay in one approved hotel per visit. At the airport, there is a health screening, including temperature checks. Symptomatic passengers will be immediately isolated and tested. If positive for COVID-19, they will be transferred to a hospital for treatment and care at their expense. All other passengers must take a certified taxi to their certified hotel or government quarantine facility and must stay there for the duration of their stay except to participate in water excursions arranged by the hotel.

Details: St. Lucia tourism website

St. Maarten

COVID-19 test: Travelers are required to submit negative results from a PCR test taking within 72 hours prior to departure. Children ages 10 and younger are exempt.

Other entry requirements: Travelers must complete an online health declaration form. Temperature checks are conducted at the airport, and face masks are required there.

Details: St. Maarten Ministry of Tourism 

U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix)

COVID-19 test: Travelers from states with an infection rate of more than 10% are required to present a negative test taken no more than five days before arrival in the  U.S. territory.

Other entry requirements: Travelers must complete an online prescreening. There are also health screenings at the airport, and visitors with symptoms will be referred to the Department of Health. Face masks are required at the airport.

Details: U.S. Virgin Islands tourism website


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