You’ve got your COVID vaccine, and the CDC says it’s OK to travel this summer, even internationally. But you’re likely to find that your overseas options are limited by border restrictions in many countries.
Why it matters: If you don’t do your homework before traveling, you could wind up stranded in a foreign airport or quarantined in your hotel room for two weeks.
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Reopening international travel is not a one-sided decision. While the United States is ahead of most of the world on vaccinations, other countries like France are imposing new lockdowns amid fresh COVID surges as they wait for more vaccines to become available.
- Knowing when and where it is safe to travel is confusing, especially because the rules change frequently.
Catch up fast: First, it’s important to understand the CDC’s updated travel guidance, issued April 2.
- Fully vaccinated travelers no longer have to take a test before going abroad, and can avoid quarantine on their return. But they still need to get tested three days before they board a plane back to the U.S., and they should also monitor themselves for any symptoms and get tested three to five days after returning home.
- When traveling within the U.S., fully vaccinated people do not need to be tested before or after their trip, and they don’t need to quarantine either.
- In all cases, travelers should wear a mask, stay six feet away from others and wash their hands often.
What’s happening: Many airlines and travel companies are bending over backwards to help people sift through the rules and manage all the new requirements.
- Sherpa, which specializes in international visa requirements, has created an interactive map that shows the level of restrictions Americans will encounter in each country.
- The PC Agency, a UK travel consultancy, created a traffic light system that designates countries as red, yellow or green, depending on their level of restrictions.
- Lonely Planet has also produced a guide that lists the countries vaccinated Americans can visit without major restrictions.
What they’re saying: If you want to go to Albania, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico or Tanzania, you’re good to go. There are no restrictions, even for those who are not vaccinated.
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