What Travel Restrictions Have Been Lifted?
It may be hard to believe that the United States launched the “15 Days to Slow Down” campaign and an almost closed country and world closure for unnecessary travel a year ago. A year later, there are fewer travel restrictions as health improves in many areas.
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The vaccine replaces the mandatory quarantines
Travel restrictions are gradually easing across the United States and the world from late spring or early summer 2020. At the same time, governments have adapted their travel guidelines to the latest medical technology. For example, people may be able to waive compulsory quarantine for up to 14 days with a negative Qur’anic test result. Taking a test before arrival may be the best option to avoid possible quarantine.
As more and more people become eligible for the Korana vaccine, states and countries allow fully vaccinated people to waive the testing and quarantine requirements.
Shorter quarantine periods
States also reduce the mandatory quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days. It may also be possible to quit all or part of the quarantine with an appropriate test before arrival or a follow-up test.
Some of the states that have flexible self-quarantines include:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhodes island
States may continue to require visitors to complete a health form for travelers or face a possible legal penalty.
Some countries ease travel restrictions
Here are some of the destinations that relax their travel restrictions.
About 10% of the population in the United States is currently fully vaccinated. Most states waive travel restrictions for people traveling at least 14 days after their final dose. Massachusetts is one of the first states to waive its mandatory quarantine or receive a negative pre-trip test result for being fully vaccinated.
People who have also tested positive in the last 90 days and quarantined successfully can quit the quarantine or diagnostic test. Travelers will need to prove a positive test result to show that they still have active antibodies.
Bay State also has one of the most restrictive travel orders in New England for overseas guests. For example, visitors from border states can not enter without restrictions, contrary to what most states allow.
Only visitors from “lower risk situations” can enter without quarantine or if they do not need to undergo a diagnostic test if they have not been vaccinated and are traveling for unnecessary trips. For a long time, Hawaii was the only state on the list. These states are now classified as the lowest risk (as of March 3, 2021):
- Puerto Rico
Hawaii also plans to allow the fully vaccinated to enter without undergoing a diagnostic test or quarantine. This exemption may take effect on May 1, 2021.
New Mexico abandoned its mandatory self-quarantine on February 11, 2021. Prior to February 11, this advice did not even allow for an exception for diagnostic tests. While quarantine is no longer required, the state still strongly recommends 14-day self-quarantine.
California continues to offer a 10-day quarantine for overseas visitors and returning residents. California residents are more motivated to travel within the state, but it is still recommended that they stay within 120 miles of their home. Disneyland plans to reopen on April 30, 2021, but only California residents can initially book tickets.
Disneyland occupancy limit depends on Orange County’s current health status:
- Red: capacity 15%
- Orange: 25% capacity
- Yellow: capacity 35%
The stadiums can also be reopened as of April 1, 2021, with reduced capacity.
Chicago (Illinois has no nationwide travel restrictions) now has only two levels of travel counseling. States and territories receive an orange or yellow risk rating:
- Orange: 10 day quarantine or negative PCR test before arrival
- Yellow: No quarantine test required prior to arrival
As of March 9, 2021, 24 states and one region (Puerto Rico) have a yellow rating. Social distance is expected, but travel entry requirements are minimal for guests.
Belize waives the mandatory pre-trip test or self-quarantine for travelers with a vaccination certificate.
Mexico was one of the first countries to reopen international travel in the summer of 2020. Americans can reach Mexico by air, but land borders remain closed for unnecessary travel. You will not need to quarantine or take a pre-trip test to fly to Mexico. However, the United States currently requires readmission diagnostics.
In a stunning move, the Dominican Republic no longer requires a pre-arrival diagnostic test to enter this Caribbean nation for most international tourists. Instead, arriving guests can take a breath test. Authorities say between 3% and 15% of people will be tested with those who may have symptoms of COVID-19.
Most Caribbean destinations continue to require a pre-arrival diagnostic test to enter the country without quarantine.
Iceland is a European nation that welcomes Americans again from March 18, 2021. The only reservation is that tourists must be fully vaccinated. Europe (specifically Western Europe) is still the “holy grail” of international tourism. The Americans have not been able to travel to the continent since the pandemic began.
Europe is currently pursuing a regional openness approach. However, the peripheral variants cause another round of locking at the same time.
The availability of vaccines may increase the likelihood of Americans traveling to Europe, but the Schengen area remains a dream come true for unnecessary travel.
Two small tropical paradises of the Indian Ocean open to tourists. The Seychelles is the first of two countries starting on March 25, 2021. Most international visitors can fly to the Seychelles. A notable exception is the people of South Africa.
Travelers can participate if they have a negative diagnostic test within 72 hours of arrival. Vaccination is not necessary and there is no mandatory quarantine with the test result that meets the requirements.
The Maldives is the second tropical paradise open to tourists. This island nation opened its doors in mid-2020 and has been open ever since. Guests must have a PCR test no more than 72 hours before arrival, but must not be quarantined when staying at the same approved resort for the entire stay.
However, there may be additional restrictions when you go overnight to different islands or visit the capital of Male.
Regional non-essentials are still relatively unrestricted for most states in the United States. Mexico and the Caribbean are still the friendliest places for Americans to travel internationally. If the state of health improves, states may further reduce travel advice, but they are still awaiting social distance measures for the foreseeable future.