International travel is back on the agenda this summer for millions of fully vaccinated Americans, but with some countries already open to American travelers – and many still not – it’s hard to know when and where to go. .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s safe for vaccinated Americans to travel internationally, keeping in mind the COVID-19 travel destination advisories on this regularly updated list.
Americans can already visit Mexico and parts of the Caribbean, as well as Greece, Iceland, Croatia and Turkey. But most of Europe is still banned, or with restrictions.
On May 16, Italy began welcoming passengers arriving on government-approved “Covid-tested” flights from several countries, including the United States. Travel requirements for these flights include a negative Covid-19 test before departure, upon boarding and upon arrival in Italy.
Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines are already offering Covid-tested flights to Rome and Milan from several U.S. cities, with more flights and cities to be added to the schedule later this summer.
Various countries have announced various opening dates for travelers from the United States, including Spain, which will open its borders to vaccinated tourists on June 7.
“They are welcome – more than welcome – without restrictions or health checks,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told reporters at a tourism fair last month.
France is expected to reopen to tourists on June 9, but warns that “it is not yet known whether travelers from the United States will be included among foreign tourists allowed to enter.” French authorities recommend that travelers visit the website of the French Embassy in the United States for the latest information.
Ireland announced it would open its borders to American travelers, one of its two largest tourist markets, on July 19.
As more countries join the list, “it will be a mishmash this summer,” said Scott Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Flights. “For most countries you will need to bring proof of vaccination or a recent negative test.”
The encouragement is the fact that this week seven of the 27 countries of the European Union – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland – have started using the digital certificate. Covid from the EU, known as the Digital Green Certificate. , one month before the scheduled date. Other countries will adopt the program, which verifies the Covid-19 status of EU citizens, in the coming weeks. These countries will then decide whether they wish to extend the program to travelers from the United States.
Non-essential travel, which includes tourism, is still limited between the United States and Canada.
Ahead of the Summer Olympics, the US State Department issued a travel advisory against travel to Japan. “Most of Asia-Pacific is currently not open and it is unlikely to open until fall at the earliest,” Keyes said.
In mid-May, the UK implemented a ‘traffic light system’ for international travel, which places countries on red, amber and green lists. While the lists are expected to be revised in late June, the United States is currently categorized as ‘amber’, which means anyone arriving from America must complete a passenger locator form, notify a negative test result beforehand. travel, quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, and a Covid test on day 2 and day 8 after arrival.
While countries may constantly change their entry requirements in response to the number of cases and the conditions of Covid, “generally speaking, the one-way ratchet is towards greater reopening,” Keyes told NBC News. Travelers should check the US Department of State’s website for updates, as well as individual government and embassy websites, before making reservations.
However, flexibility and generous cancellation policies are always available – and recommended – when booking hotel stays, airline tickets and cruises, or when purchasing passes for travelers. theme parks, museums and attractions.
“Demand is high, limiting availability in some locations, while driving up prices,” said Misty Belles, general manager of the Virtuoso luxury travel network.
“As Europe is slowly opening up this summer, it is in the fall that people are likely to feel more confident in making their travel plans,” and when fares could settle in, Belles said.