When Will The World Open? Tracking COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Across the World

Passengers wearing masks arrive at Dulles International Airport March 13, 2020 in Dulles, Virginia. Win McNamee/Getty Images

As new COVID-19 cases drop and vaccination campaigns speed up, travel is quietly picking up across the U.S. and across the globe. Last Friday, the TSA screened over 1.3 million passengers at domestic airports, the highest number on a single day since March 15, 2020.

Airlines are hoping for a full-blown travel revival this summer. However, vacationers may not be allowed to go far, as most countries still have border entry restrictions and quarantine requirements in place. Many of them are also falling behind on vaccination progress, making it hard to predict reopening dates.

The U.S. has the best vaccination rate so far among major countries. As of Friday, 35 million U.S. adults, or 13.5 percent of the population, had been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Nearly 66 million people have received at least one dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech’s or Moderna’s two-shot vaccine.

For those who are planning a summer vacation, we are actively monitoring the latest travel requirements and vaccination progress in the most popular international destinations among American travelers.

Canada: Test Results and 14-Day Quarantine

Non-essential travel is not recommended. Travelers, unless exempted, are required to provide negative COVID-19 test results before and after arrival. A minimum of 14-day quarantine is required, with the first three nights at a government-authorized hotel at the traveler’s cost.

COVID-19 situation: About 2 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. Canada currently reports about 4,000 new COVID-19 cases daily.

Mexico: No Entry Restrictions

The U.S.-Mexico land border is closed for non-essential travel through at least March 21. But Mexico is open to air travelers with no requirement for a negative PCR test or quarantine upon arrival. American travelers will still need to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to the U.S.
COVID-19 situation: Only 0.5 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. Mexico currently reports over 60,000 new COVID-19 cases daily.

U.K.: Test Results and 14-Day Quarantine

Non-essential travel is not recommended. Travelers must provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three days before flying to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. (A £500 fine will be imposed if you arrive without test documents.) A 10-day quarantine is required at a managed facility, with two COVID-19 tests taken on day two and day eight of the quarantine.

COVID-19 situation: About 1.6 million people, or 2.4 percent of the population, have been fully vaccinated. More than 24 million people have received at least one dose of vaccine. About 5,000 new cases were reported daily during the week of March 8.

European Union Countries: Non-Essential Travel Prohibited

European countries are tightening safety measures as new COVID-19 cases spiked again across the continent. Americans’ top vacation spots, including Italy, Germany, France and Spain, have all prohibited non-essential visitors from the U.S. Essential travelers are required to provide negative test results taken within 48 hours and follow quarantine rules.

COVID-19 situation: Germany, France, Italy and Spain have been gradually rolling back COVID-19 restrictions in recent weeks. But a “third wave” of infections has prompted some countries to reinstate restrictions. On Monday, Italy imposed lockdown measures once again as new cases spiked throughout the country. Spain and France are mulling similar measures.

Dominican Republic: No Entry Restrictions

The CDC advises Americans to reconsider non-essential travels to the Dominican Republic. The country has lifted stay-at-home orders. Yet, visitors are recommended to follow safety rules during traveling. Americans need to provide negative test results before returning to the U.S.

COVID-19 situation: The Dominican Republic reports around 400 new cases daily. More than 6 percent of the country’s population have been vaccinated.

China: Two Test Results and 14-Day Quarantine

International visitors must provide both negative PCR test results and negative antibody tests taken within 72 hours of travel. A 14-day quarantine is required at a government-designated hotel. Some cities, such as Beijing, don’t allow entry until after day 21 upon arrival in China.

COVID-19 situation: China has been reporting fewer than 20 new cases daily this year so far. Most new cases came from international arrivals. As of March 15, 65 million people, or 4.6 percent of the population, have been vaccinated.

Japan: Non-Essential Travel Prohibited

Tokyo is finally set to host the delayed 2020 Olympics this summer. However, foreigners won’t be allowed to visit the city. Non-essential travel to Japan is prohibited. Visa-free travel for Americans is also suspended.

COVID-19 situation: Japan currently reports around 1,000 new COVID-19 cases daily. Vaccination efforts are severely lagging behind other developed nations. As of the end of February, only about 18,000 doses have been administered, according to the Japanese government.

When Will The World Open? Tracking COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Across the World