This is for all of the ardent Travelers, Adventurers, Vagabonds, and Wanderers like ourselves who have been wondering when can we get back on the road or in the skies like we were able to before.  From being the freest and most accessible time of travel in the world’s history to perhaps its most closed, we are finally starting to see the closed-door policies of most nations beginning to crack back open again.  What do you need to know and what should you expect the new normal of travel to look like?  What countries are opening and for whom, and when?  We have been on the hunt for these answers ourselves and felt it would be good to show you what we found.

Travel Comfort and Safety

Let’s start by saying if you were expecting things to go back to normal in regards to flying you will be sorely disappointed.  Of course, things will vary between countries, airports, and airlines, but for the most part, there is a consensus on the new changes and regulations being put in place across the board around the world.   Nearly all major airlines are making it so that any contact between persons is minimum upon entering the airport and checking in.  Every person will be required to wear masks, hand sanitizer will be everywhere, and check-in counters and electronic kiosks will be re-arranged to leave enough space between people to abide by social distancing measures.  If you were not a fan of online check-in before, it is now being heavily pushed as the best means to do so.  All surfaces will be cleaned with much greater frequency than previously and you are likely to get your temperature checked at least a couple of times.  If you are expecting to be received by the smiling faces of your airline provider’s employees, you will, unfortunately, have to make an educated guess as to whether they are or not.  Expect things to take longer than usual and to arrive earlier than the normal two hours before.

All airlines have stepped up the sanitation of their planes astronomically, requiring a deep cleaning of every inch of the cabin before and after each flight. Unfortunately, in most cases there will be no more onboard shopping, and instead, it will have to be done online before the flight and given to you on the flight, or sent to an address of your choosing.  If you love some of the tasty snacks and drinks on flights like we do, it looks like there will be a lot of airlines not serving things that you did not already order online when booking your flight in order to minimize person to person contact, so don’t forget!  Also, remember to be respectful of people’s personal space because even if you don’t really care about social distancing, there are those who care a lot, and some will let you know in a less than polite way.  Things like headrests, headphones, and blankets will be changed after each flight.  The air conditioning in planes that did not already have anti-bacterial filters and refresh the air has mostly been upgraded to be sure that is the norm.  In other words, it is not like the infamous cruise ship air conditioning systems that recycle unfiltered air.  For the time being, most flights will leave the middle seat empty in order to try and maintain space between people.  All in all, your experience onboard the flight will not be as fun as it was before, but let’s also remember every situation is what we make it, so be sure to smile even if people won’t know you are.

Are there countries that offer COVID-19 tests upon arrival? Yes. In most cases, the people to be tested are selected based on obvious symptoms as well as if people are arriving from certain countries they deem to be a higher risk area.  Tests are also being administered for those who do not wish to undergo a 14-day quarantine if the test is negative. For now, the list of countries doing this is short, but the world is closely watching the results to decide whether or not to implement such measures for their country, especially those heavily reliant on tourism.  The list is as follows:

  • Vienna, Austria
  • Japan
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Keflavik, Iceland (Starting June 15)
  • Greece

This does not mean these countries are letting everyone into the country, but are in fact still very restrictive of those who are allowed in.  Be sure to check the travel restrictions daily as rules are changing fluidly.  At the very least, upon arrival to any country you should expect to have your temperature taken, and if you show symptoms of COVID-19 to be either quarantined or tested or both.

Restrictions by Region

As we are all about traveling ASAP we will give you the names of countries that are currently open to all Foreign Nationals.  There are many nations that are only partially closed with very different and varied guidelines on who is allowed in, if you will be required to quarantine upon arrival, as well as a list of those who may transit through but not stay.  However, for those of you who want to travel now, and not in the country they are currently residing in, this list is just for you.  Hope it helps!

Americas (North, Central, and South)

OPEN

  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Puerto Rico (14 Day Self-Quarantine)
  • Jamaica: Non-residents must have a travel authorization obtained before departure at https://www.visitjamaica.com/
  • Ecuador: Travelers must present a completed Health Form and a completed Immigration form as well as a negative PCR test for COVID-19 issued within 72 hours of arrival.

Europe (East and West)

OPEN

  • Ireland (14 Day Self-Quarantine)
  • United Kingdom (14 Day Self-Quarantine)
  • Belarus (14 Day Self Quarantine). The quarantine may be waived for travelers carrying a medical certificate, issued within 48 hours of arrival, indicating a negative COVID-19 test result
  • Ukraine (14 Day Self Quarantine for countries deemed high risk). Foreign nationals will be allowed to enter Ukraine if they can demonstrate that they have medical insurance covering all expenses related to COVID-19 treatment while on the territory of Ukraine.
  • Serbia
  • Turkey

Middle East

OPEN

  • None

Africa

OPEN

  • Sierra Leone. All travelers arriving from countries with more than 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 14 days must enter a quarantine facility for up to 14 days.
  • Eritrea. Travelers arriving from China must report their travel history and maybe quarantined at designated hospitals.
  • Tanzania

Central Asia

OPEN

  • None

East Asia (Northeast, Indo China, Southeast)

OPEN

  • None

Pacific Islands

OPEN

  • none

Stay Tuned for more updates on countries that are open for all foreigners to enter so that you can satisfy the travel bug within and start your next adventure.  Travel safe, and remember to always have fun, it is your choice after all.