Where Can I Travel Right Now?

 In Aruba, Asia, Barbados, Bermuda, Cambodia, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, National Parks, North America, Pandemic, Reflections, Travel Tips, USA
Note: This is the most up to date information available at the time this article was published. 

Summer is here and that is normally synonymous with vacation. But 2020 has been anything but normal. As borders begin to slowly reopen, it is tempting to want to jet-set again. So where can you go? Where is it safe to travel? And most importantly, where are you allowed to travel?

We are here to give you the latest on what destinations are possible, advisable, and which should be avoided. Additionally, we would like to share a list of resources that are updated regularly to help you find the most up to date information on any destination.

Please note that all SN Recommendations are based on relativity. In other words, if you must travel beyond your local area, then you will find our general recommendation for each destination listed below. However, our broader stance at the moment remains that travel should be limited to your local area/borders based on the severity of confirmed coronavirus cases.

But first, there are a few things you should be aware of up front:

  • U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 Travel Alert on March 29 and it is still in effect.
  • CDC guideline has the entire world in one of two categories:
    • Level 3 Travel Health Notice: Widespread ongoing transmission with restrictions on entry to the United States
    • Level 3 Travel Health Notice: Widespread ongoing transmission without restrictions on entry to the United States
    • You can check the most up to date information here.
  • Additionally, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel, and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions at your destination(s) before you consider traveling.
  • Travel Insurance, specifically Valid Health Insurance, is required in many countries and something we highly recommend obtaining before traveling internationally.

Destinations


Anguilla

Anguilla was recently categorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having “no cases” of COVID-19. Anguilla’s Ministry of Health was notified on June 16 that the island’s classification has been changed from “sporadic cases” to “no cases.”

However, under current regulations, effective until at least July 14, only the following categories of persons are allowed to enter Anguilla:

  • Anguillians
  • Persons with Anguilla Resident status
  • Holders of valid work permits

It is worth mentioning that the most common way for visitors to arrive in Anguilla is by ferry service from Saint Martin. The service has been suspended until further notice. Furthermore, only visitors from the following destinations are allowed to enter the French West Indies at this time:

  • Saba
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Bonaire
  • Curacao
  • Aruba
  • Anguilla
  • St. Barthelemy
  • Martinique
  • Guadeloupe
  • St. Lucia
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • Dominica
  • British Virgin Islands

For up-to-date information, visit the official website of the government of St. Maarten.

SN Recommendation: Do Not Travel


Aruba

Tourists from other Caribbean nations (except the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Europe, and Canada may resume visiting on July 1. Flights to and from the United States will begin on July 10.

Visitors will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test and the purchase of health insurance that covers the traveler overseas.

SN Recommendation: Safe Option


Barbados

Barbados will open its borders on July 12. Flights from New York (JFK) will resume with Jetblue on July 25 and from Miami with American Airlines on August 5.

These are the measures being taken by the Barbados government with respect to the coronavirus pandemic and international visitors:

  • Visitors from high-risk countries are encouraged to take the COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure.
  • Visitors from low-risk countries will have up to one week prior to departure to take their tests.
  • Visitors without a documented negative COVID-19 test will be tested upon arrival and quarantined for 48 hours at their own expense until they receive results.
    • If tested positive for the virus, they will be isolated and receive care from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Travelers will be required to fill out a COVID-19 related questionnaire as part of their new online embarkation/disembarkation (ED) card. Upon completion, a bar code will be emailed to each traveler. In order to clear immigration in Barbados, all travelers will need to present the bar code in addition to the evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result.

For more details, visit the official website of the Barbados Tourism Board.

SN Recommendation: Safe Option


Bermuda

Bermuda is reopening its airport to international travelers, including those from the U.S., on July 1. There will be new safety protocols in place to protect locals and visitors.

Here are list of things you must adhere to when visiting Bermuda:

  • Before departing, visitors must complete a Bermuda travel authorization form online and pay a USD 75 fee, which covers the cost of all COVID-19 testing in Bermuda.
  • Adults and children ages 10 and older will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours but no more than five days before departure. For more information, visit the official website of the government of Bermuda.
  • Visitors must have health insurance that covers them while traveling.
  • Face masks will be required to be worn throughout the entire journey, including traveling to and from airports as well as during flight.
  • Visitors will be required to have another COVID-19 test upon arrival in Bermuda (at the airport or their accommodation). They will be required to self-quarantine until the new test results are delivered (within 8 to 24 hours).
  • Visitors who are able to produce those two negative test results will be free to move around Bermuda as long as they adhere to local health guidelines, which include wearing face masks in all public places when social distancing isn’t possible. They will also be required to take their own temperatures twice a day and recording the results online through a government portal. As a result, the government requests all travelers pack a thermometer.
  • Visitors will need to take additional COVID-19 tests on day 3, day 7, and day 14 at pop-up testing centers throughout Bermuda depending on the length of the trip.
  • Visitors who are are unable to access pre-departure COVID-19 tests, will still be allowed to travel to Bermuda. However, they will be required to quarantine for three days at their accommodation in addition to undergoing testing upon arrival and again on the third day of their trip. If the test renders a positive result, quarantine at the visitor’s accommodation will be required for up to 14 days and an electronic bracelet must be worn to track their movement.

SN Recommendation: Avoid Travel


Cambodia

Cambodia has opened its border but there are quite a few things you need to be aware of before visiting.

Visitors will need to pay a USD 3,000 deposit to cover any coronavirus-related costs may be racked up during vacation. The deposit must be paid in cash or by credit card once you land. The country’s health ministry requires a mandatory test to be conducted on arrival at a cost of $165, which will be deducted from the deposit. Cost breakdown:

  • $100 for the test
  • $5 for transport to testing centre
  • $60 for three meals and a night in hotel while you wait 24 hours for results

For more information, see the official website of the embassy.

SN Recommendation: Avoid Travel


Canada

A trip to Canada may be very tempting especially for those living close to the U.S.-Canada border. But a travel restriction at the U.S.-Canada border was implemented on March 21 for all discretionary travel (see details below) and has since been extended until July 21. This applies to all foreign travelers with some exceptions for immediate family members (see the official website of the government of Canada for more details regarding exceptions).

Travelers who do not have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and must cross the border for work or other non-discretionary travel (see details below), may continue to do so.

Discretionary travel includes:

  • tourism
  • recreation
  • entertainment

Non-discretionary travel includes:

  • work and study
  • critical infrastructure support
  • economic services and supply chains
  • health, immediate medical care, safety and security

SN Recommendation: Do Not Travel


Europe

As of July 1, much of the European Union countries will be open to accept international travelers BUT the United States is not on that list according to the NY Times. This means anyone residing in the U.S. will not be allowed to enter any of the EU countries.

SN Recommendation: Do Not Travel


Mexico

Mexico is technically open for visitors from the United States, however, it depends on your port of entry. Mandatory health screening measures have been implemented at several ports of entry.

Upon entry, temperature screening for all visitors will take place, visual inspection of passengers by the local authority will occur, and visitors will be required to fill out a mandatory questionnaire electronically. Please see the questionnaire here before considering travel. COVID-19 negative certification is not required. 

Note: The number of confirmed cases are rising in many parts of Mexico, though not in the most touristy places, and there are no mandatory quarantine policies currently in effect for confirmed or suspected cases.

SN Recommendation: Avoid Travel


New Zealand

Although New Zealand is the first nation to be completely COVID-19 free, the country is not accepting international travelers. The Prime minister has lifted COVID-19 measures as of June 9, but border closure restrictions are still in effect.

SN Recommendation: Do Not Travel


St. Lucia & Antigua

These islands are opening in two phases. Phase 1 opened on June 4 and is allowing tourists from the U.S.. Phase 2 will begin on August 1.

Before opening, local hotels will have to apply for a COVID-19 certificate from the government that shows they have met more than a dozen criteria for sanitization protocols, social distancing, etc.

Visitors will be required to present a negative test result from within 48 hours of arrival. Authorities will also be conducting spot temperature checks on arrival. Visitors must also continue to wear face masks and practice social distancing while on the island.

Some of the new safety measures include:

  • taxis with dividers to separate drivers and passengers
  • readily available hand sanitizer on the islands

SN Recommendation: Safe Option


United States

Nearly 30 states are reporting an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the midst of the reopening of businesses and public facilities. The only part of the country declining in cases are the original epicenter and surrounding areas (northeast USA).

Here are the list of states currently rising exponentially and states we recommend avoiding. Highlighted in bold are the states with the most rapid number of increases:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

Here are the states that are declining as of June 29:

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington, DC

SN Recommendation: Proceed with caution, only visit states with declining COVID-19 cases.

For up-to-date information on where the U.S. stands, check the John Hopkins chart which is updated routinely: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/new-cases-50-states

U.S. National Parks

Visiting the U.S. National Parks may be one of the safer options for those residing here, especially if you prefer to take a road trip to avoid air travel.

The National Park Service is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health authorities. Parks are opening in a phased approach across the nation and many have park capacity in place to ensure social distancing can be practiced effectively. Some parks require obtaining permits in advance.

Since specific guidelines vary on a park-by-park basis, we recommend checking the park website to determine its operating status. Updates about the overall NPS response to COVID-19 can be found here.

If you’re considering a trip to one of the many National Parks, be sure to do some advance planning. Spontaneous trips may lead to disappointment if a park is at capacity when you arrive. Always have a backup plan for such instances.

SN Recommendation: Safe Option (depending on the specific park)


U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands which include St. Thomas, St Croix and St. John have opened to all visitors as of June 11. However, it is worth noting that officially the territory is still under ‘state of emergency’ until July 11.

SN Recommendation: Safe Option


Zanzibar

Travelers may visit Zanzibar without a quarantine period from anywhere in the world. However, all visitors will be screened on arrival and those that display symptoms will be transferred to an ‘isolation centre’. Visitors must have valid health insurance and practice the country’s social distancing guidelines.

Although Zanzibar may be OK to travel to, getting there requires stopping at other countries, which may have travel restrictions currently, making the trip full of uncertainty.

SN Recommendation: Avoid Travel


Resources

If you are considering international travel, there are two things you need to know: are flights operating between the U.S. and said destination(s) and what are the most up-to-date travel guidelines/restrictions. Below are some helpful resources to assist with both:

  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map
    • The map is a real time display of all air travel regulations in place for every country in the world.
  • IATA’s Personalized Passport, Visa & Health Travel Documentation Advice
    • Fill out a three-step form and it will tell you whether you can visit and what (if any) restrictions are in place.
  • Can I Travel
    • A website where you can enter your country of origin, passport/residency, and destination and it will spit out the current travel status (allowed, not allowed, restricted). This site is not real time per se but is updated regularly.

Before You Go

Before you choose to go anywhere, these are some of the questions the CDC recommends you ask yourself before leaving:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going?
  • Is COVID-19 spreading in your community?
  • Will you or those you’re traveling with be within six feet of others during your trip? Will you be practicing social distancing?
  • Are you or those you’re traveling with more likely to get very ill from COVID-19? (see CDC guidance for high risk individuals)
  • Do you live with someone who’s more likely to get very sick?
  • Does the state or local government where you live or at your destination require you to quarantine after traveling?
  • Are you sick? – DO NOT TRAVEL

Final Thoughts

The Coronavirus pandemic is still very much a real threat in the United States and many parts of the world. There are a lot of moving parts, and changes are being implemented everywhere based on the increase or decrease of new cases. Just because you can go somewhere, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Domestic travel is the simplest right now (no matter where you live), and road trips are the safer way to travel than traversing through airports. 

We urge all travelers to practice the CDC’s guidelines for safety and social distancing.

If you have any questions about a specific destination or travel in general, please leave us a comment below or contact us.

If you do choose to travel, whether near or far, we wish you happy and most importantly, safe travels!

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