Is International Travel Still Banned?

Is International Travel Still Banned?

Many people are still hoping for an idyllic European getaway, climbing Machu Picchu and visiting other international travel destinations after the pandemic abruptly closed down the world. The likelihood of traveling overseas depends on where you’re trying to go.

Where Americans Can’t Travel

Several countries still restrict Americans from flying for leisure travel, and it can even be difficult for essential travel reasons.

Australia And New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand are much-desired travel destinations for many world travelers. However, visiting Oceania isn’t going to happen soon for most outsiders unless you’re a dual citizen or need to visit an immediate family member for urgent reasons.

Before the Delta variant and other strains came into the scene in mid-2021, there was a safe travel corridor for citizens of both nations.  

But the borders of both nations are closed for the rest of 2021 and potentially into 2022.

For example, Australia is currently undergoing a nationwide lockdown starting in June 2021 for some states. The lockdown for the capital region will now end no earlier than October 15, 2021. 

Australia states they won’t open before December 18, 2021. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden hopes the nation will open to international tourists in early 2022.


Most Asian nations are also unreachable despite being the first part of the world impacted by the pandemic.

Several of the major countries still not permitting tourism include:

  • Japan
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Cambodia
  • India

You might be able to enter if you have dual citizenship or are traveling for essential business reasons. In most cases, qualified travelers will need to apply for a travel permit before flying.


Most of Europe is open to non-EU travel again, but a few holdouts remain in northern Europe. 

Norway and Sweden both prohibit direct entry into their nations from the United States. However, you might be able to enter Sweden by visiting a third-party nation first, such as Iceland. This nation must not be subject to Sweden’s entry ban, and you must be in this country for a minimum number of days to ensure you are no longer entering from a high-risk country.

Ireland and Greece are also difficult to enter for non-EU residents after the latest European travel restrictions.

South America

Several South American countries are closed to leisure travel:

  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • French Guiana
  • Uruguay

Other nations are open, but the entry requirements and self-quarantine policies can be strict. As a result, it may not be worth traveling for short trips because of the various hurdles.

The Argentinian government is considering reopening its borders for tourism. However, the Delta variant is the most significant factor (at the moment) as to when this South American gem reopens.

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are one of the few Caribbean destinations that haven’t reopened yet. This nation was going to begin a phased opening in October for fully vaccinated travelers only. However, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said on September 14, 2021, that an increase in local case counts is delaying the reopening until 2022. 

Where Americans Can Travel

These countries are currently open to international travelers.


Americans can fly into Canada once again. The land border crossing is open to Americans for non-essential travel. However, the United States is still prohibiting Canadians from entering by land.


It’s possible to fly to Mexico from the United States for non-essential travel and tourism. The land border remains closed for both countries.


Most of the Caribbean islands are open, but the entry requirements differ widely. Some destinations are currently only welcoming fully vaccinated visitors. For example, the Dominican Republic doesn’t require a pre-arrival test or proof of vaccine to enter. However, authorities conduct random testing, and you will need to self-quarantine if you test positive.

Unvaccinated visitors to Bermuda must complete a 14-day quarantine.

Most islands are relatively easy to enter, and you either need proof of vaccination or a negative pre-arrival test to enter restriction-free. Many islands also require carrying travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage benefits. 

Some of the islands with more lenient entry requirements include:

  • Anguilla and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Dominican Republic
  • Jamaica

Latin America

The Latin American entry requirements for most countries are similar to the Caribbean islands. 

Costa Rica is relatively lenient as unvaccinated travelers do not need a pre-arrival test but must complete a Health Pass and obtain travel insurance. Fully vaccinated travelers can enter without health insurance.

Belize either requires a negative pre-arrival test or proof of vaccination to waive the self-quarantine. Tourists must also stay at a government-approved lodging facility.

Other countries to consider include:

  • Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Panama


Many European countries require visitors to be fully vaccinated to avoid a self-quarantine.

Some of these destinations include:

  • France
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Spain

The United Kingdom has different rules, depending on the country you are departing from and whether or not you are vaccinated.  

Maldives And Thailand 

While much of Asian international travel is still banned, the Maldives and Thailand are two Asian countries currently welcoming tourist travel.

The Maldives has more lenient entry requirements as you only need a negative pre-arrival test and will need to stay at an approved resort. No quarantine is necessary.

Thailand has a “Phuket sandbox” where it’s possible to waive most of the mandatory 14-day quarantine for incoming visitors. You will need to apply for a Certificate of Entry and have a pre-arrival and post-arrival negative test result. 

You self-quarantine in your Phuket hotel room until the post-arrival test comes back negative.


Most of Africa is open and the entry requirements vary by destination. Egypt and Morocco can be two of the better countries to visit as they have relatively lenient entry requirements and more tourist amenities than nearby nations.

Vaccinated travelers and unvaccinated travelers can anticipate taking a pre-arrival test to enter the country. 

The unvaccinated and partially vaccinated may need to self-quarantine for several days after entering. This requirement varies by nation and also which country you arrive from.


International travel is virtually impossible to Asia and Oceania. It’s possible to travel to most countries in Africa, Europe and the Americas, but entry requirements vary. Countries may require a self-quarantine that effectively discourages vacations of one week or less.

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