The United States operates a pretty simple advisory system for international travel risks to each country, with four steps. The lower the score, the safer a destination is. One, it’s as safe as can be, two, just be aware of a few things, three, reconsider travel and four – do not travel.
In response to the covid-19 global pandemic, the United States made things even easier in regards to international travel, creating a “Level 4” alert for all international travel, warning people specifically not to go, wherever they planned to go. Furthermore, returning arrivals needed to quarantine for 14 days opon entry into the United States.
That alert, and CDC quarantine, are now gone, and many countries around the world are once again back to travel advisory levels which do not discourage travel. But even then, international travel isn’t in the cards for many Americans right now, whether they’d like it to be or not.
There’s only just over a handful of countries that will take American visitors right now, due to ongoing covid-19 transmission, and that’s not expected to end any time soon.
State Department Removes Travel Warning
The US State Department has dropped its blanket travel warning, which stated “do not travel” for all destinations. Many countries, which were previously marked as safe, now feature updated higher risk risk rankings due to ongoing health issues, while others have retained or earned low risk status for US travellers.
While the USA still bans visitors from Europe, despite far lower transmission rates in Europe, the move could be a significant step towards slowly, and most importantly, safely reopening international travel.
Now that specific advice doesn’t exist against travel entirely, new travel policies could be enacted which create protocols, like mandatory covid-19 testing before flight, to allow borders to reopen safely once again.
Currently, the few countries which do still allow US visitors, like the United Kingdom, require a 14 day quarantine on arrival from US flights, which kills off leisure trips. New bilateral agreements with added safety requirements could change that.
Where Can Americans Go Right Now?
Kenya, Tanzania, The Maldives, Turkey, Albania, a few Caribbean destinations, Mexico and that’s just about it. The European Union has yet to add the United States to its list of approved countries for international travel to Europe again, but a few countries have made exceptions.
Asia, with the exception of the Maldives and some intensive policies in Cambodia, has largely closed itself off to the world, let alone US visitors. Africa, with the exception of Kenya and Tanzania is pretty much off limits too.
For now, travel planning will have to replace most passport stamps, but with any luck, it’ll never be taken for granted again when it returns