Destinations currently accepting international visitors
Editors’ Note: We respect that travel is a personal choice and that some depend on travel for their livelihood. Before embarking on travel it is imperative that you monitor your health and research local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19.
While the COVID pandemic has hindered ordinary life, it has also hugely impacted the travel industry. Several countries were forced to shut their borders to international visitors in a struggle to manage the spread of the virus. Although this was unfortunate for people looking forward to spending relaxing time abroad, it was also absolutely necessary to contain this deadly illness. However, now that the situation has improved, with the curves flattening in most countries, travel restrictions have been somewhat eased. In an attempt to return to normalcy, several countries have reopened their borders for international visitors. If you are wondering which countries those might be, here’s a list of the top few that are definitely worth your while.
As of March 2021, Turkey is officially open for international visitors, including U.S. citizens. However, direct flights from Brazil, Denmark, South Africa, and the U.K. remain canceled. People coming off flights that have stopped in these countries are required to be quarantined before they enter Turkey. Other than this, visitors are required to submit a negative PCR test result at the airport that is not older than 72 hours before the flight. Turkey is also currently operating on curfew hours, meaning that most locations are inaccessible at night. However, this will not hamper your daytime excursions, when you’ll have the ideal chance to explore the country’s famous attractions. Traveling between cities is possible too, so you can catch buses to popular towns like Antalya and Ankara.
The United Arab Emirates
The UAE is completely open to most countries globally, barring a few African states. All you need is health insurance and a negative PCR test at the Dubai airport to be allowed to venture into the city. You must follow the standard operating procedures within the city, like social distancing and wearing masks in public. Other than this, pretty much everything that makes Dubai attractive is still in place, including glossy modern architecture, lavish malls, gorgeous beaches, and high-end restaurants! You can enjoy yourself and shop till you drop during your stay here.
Possibilities are endless when it comes to tourism in Egypt. Boasting one of the largest (and perhaps most intriguing!) ancient civilizations of the world, Egypt has much to offer to its visitors. From the pyramids to artifacts that have never been displayed before, there is plenty to interest visitors. And the best thing right now is that Egypt is open to international visitors. All that is required from travelers is a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours before the flight, unless you are a citizen of Japan, China, North America, South America, Canada, London, Paris, or Frankfurt. For these citizens, a PCR test as old as 96 hours before the flight also works.
Cambodia is also accepting international visitors, which means a treat for everyone. Home to the ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a very interesting destination for people who appreciate ancient architecture and art. If you are looking to visit Cambodia in 2021, you should know that the country requires you to submit a $2000 deposit and a negative PCR test report not older than 72 hours before your flight. You will be required to take two more COVID tests during your trip, one on the day of your arrival and one after the mandatory 14-day quarantine period. In addition to this, you will also have to buy a $90 local health insurance package. This might sound like a lot, but these precautions are necessary to ensure a safe stay for you and the locals.
Excellent news for U.S. citizens hoping to travel abroad during the pandemic – Chile is now open for visitors, even Americans! Regardless of their nationality, international visitors to Chile are required to submit the standard documentation upon arrival, in addition to a Traveler’s Sworn Statement. This electronic form must be submitted 48 hours before you board your flight. Besides this, you must have an active health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of USD 30,000 that can cover any COVID issues that may come up during your stay. Since Chile is monitoring regions by dividing them into districts, you should know that only parts of the country falling into steps 2, 3, and 4 are open for you. However, there is still plenty to see in these areas, and you will surely have a great time.
Traveling to Ecuador during this pandemic season is also possible. The restrictions and conditions there are relatively lenient, which may sound great, but this also means that you must be more careful about yourself and the locals. International visitors are required to submit a negative PCR test not older than 3 days before your flight. If you are unable to do that, testing facilities are available at the airport where you can get tested and wait in an approved quarantine facility until your results come back. Quarantining, in general, is not required if one has presented a negative test result and does not show any explicit symptoms of infection.
So that was the list! These details are valid as of March 2021, but as the pandemic situation is dynamic, so are the details mentioned on this list. If you travel, make sure that you take the necessary precautions to enjoy an excellent vacation and not become a threat to those around you. Happy traveling!
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Madi Kh is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Pakistan & Australia). Madi was born in Pakistan, raised in the Middle East and is now getting settled in Australia. She loves nature, books, animals, and photography. She has been writing travel blogs for many years, sharing her experiences and traveling tips with the world. Of all the places Madi has been to, her most memorable and favorite destinations include Istanbul and Queenstown (New Zealand).