These countries will likely be closed to U.S. tourists for the foreseeable future.
As vaccination efforts continue around the globe, hopeful globetrotters have started to dust off their travel rewards cards and plan their summer and fall vacations. And those plans are finally looking fairly solid for those who are fully vaccinated and at least 14 days past their second shot for most vaccines.
Dozens of countries have opened their doors to vaccinated tourists over the last few months. Even the European Union is starting to remove visitor restrictions, with several countries, including Denmark, France, and Spain, recently joining the list of places to welcome vaccinated U.S. tourists.
But while travel options are certainly growing, there are still plenty of roadblocks to international travel. Some countries, like the U.K., are technically accepting Americans, but with extensive quarantine and testing restrictions. Other countries are closed to U.S. visitors entirely. What’s more, those closed signs are likely to be up for several months yet — if not for the rest of the year.
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Canada has been closed to nonessential U.S. traffic for well over a year, and each time the current lockdown seems about to expire, it gets renewed once again. The current moratorium on American tourists extends through June 21, but all signs point to another extension being likely.
But it’s not necessarily a two-way feeling. The U.S. seems primed to let their restrictions lapse, with Canadian tourists being free to come into the country after June 21. However, the Canadian Prime Minister has said that they’re in no hurry to open Canada’s side of the border to Americans and that the decision will be based on Canadian vaccination rates, not outside pressure from U.S. leadership.
Although some very limited travel to Japan from the U.S. is allowed — the country is currently hosting the much-delayed 2020 Olympics — this extends only to essential travelers and those with pre-approval, such as Olympics participants. U.S. tourists are not welcome, regardless of vaccination status, and it doesn’t appear that this will change anytime soon.
Although Australia has managed to keep its COVID outbreaks fairly well controlled, part of that success is due to its prompt and continuing border closures. As such, the country maintains strict travel bans for non-Australian citizens and permanent residents. This includes U.S. citizens, even those who have been vaccinated. There are no current plans to reopen the country to U.S. tourists.
4. New Zealand
As with Australia, much of New Zealand’s ability to keep COVID numbers down is its quick and thorough travel bans. These bans are still in place, and the country is closed to most nonessential travel, including vaccinated Americans. While there has been some talk of opening to a few select Pacfic nations, there are currently no plans to open to U.S. tourists.
Although a few pre-approved U.S. travelers can head to Vietnam, the country is still closed to most nonessential travel. Those who are approved — mostly diplomats and essential business travelers — are subject to strict quarantine and testing requirements. There does not seem to be any current plans to reopen to tourists, regardless of vaccination status.
The situation in India is undoubtedly dire, and COVID cases are rampant. The country is under strict lockdown, and no tourists are allowed to enter the country whether they’re vaccinated or not. Similarly, travel from India to the U.S. is severely restricted, though the restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens or to lawful permanent residents or immigrants.
Currently, China’s borders are closed to most nonessential travel, including U.S. tourists, even those who have been vaccinated. All approved visitors are currently subject to extensive quarantine and testing requirements. Travel from China to the U.S. is also restricted. The current hope is that China will be open to nonessential travel by next year, as the country is set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Don’t forget, you need a test to return
If you’ve gotten your vaccination and are looking forward to traveling abroad this year, many countries are happy to have you — besides those on this list, of course. All those credit card rewards you collected over the past 18 months can finally be put to good use.
However, it’s important to remember that while many countries are now welcoming vaccinated travelers, the U.S. also has its own entry requirements. In particular, return travelers are required to show proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of their return to the U.S. On the plus side, several at-home tests are approved for this purpose, so you can take one with you to ensure you’re prepared for your return trip.