As vaccination levels continue to rise in the U.S. and around the world, countries that had been off limits to foreigners for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to reopen – and some are specifically opening to vaccinated travelers.
On Wednesday, the European Union announced it had agreed on measures to welcome fully vaccinated travelers and those from countries where COVID is under control. However, it did not say when its 27 member countries would be rolling out the welcome mat.
► Europe reopening to American vacationers: What we know
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last month that fully vaccinated Americans could resume travel at low risk to themselves, though the agency still recommended against travel due to rising COVID case counts.
However, in mid-April, the State Department also announced it would raise the alert level for a significant number of countries to factor the CDC’s COVID data more heavily into its rating system.
The agency said approximately 80% of countries now carry the “do not travel” label (level 4), its most severe warning.
The State Department said the pandemic continues to pose “unprecedented risks” to travelers. “In light of those risks, the Department of State strongly recommends U.S. citizens reconsider all travel abroad.”
►’Do not travel’ list: The US State Department is raising the alert level for most countries due to COVID
You’ll still need a negative COVID test to fly back to the US
If Americans do decide to travel abroad, no matter which country they decide to visit, they’ll still need to be tested for COVID within three days of an international flight back to the U.S. – even vaccinated travelers. You can find available testing sites in your destination country and turnaround times on the website for the U.S. embassy there.
Some resorts are also offering COVID testing on site to help satisfy the U.S. requirement.
► Beware: These Americans were stranded in Mexico after testing positive for COVID
About the list of countries allowing vaccinated travelers
Rules are evolving, so we’ve chosen to focus on countries that did not admit Americans before COVID-19 vaccines began to roll out and now are open or opening to vaccinated Americans. Keep in mind that countries’ rules and plans are evolving quickly, so before planning, check with your destination to find out the latest requirements.
The information below pertaining to vaccination and testing requirements comes from official sources such as government agencies (such as embassies and immigration ministries and the U.S. State Department) or official tourism websites.
If you would like to find out how much of the local population is at least partially vaccinated in a country you plan to visit, you can find the latest data on USA TODAY. Johns Hopkins University, which has tracked COVID infection and death statistics since the earliest days of the pandemic, drills down even further, with percentages for both the partially and fully vaccinated.
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