The United States isn’t the only country currently seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, but ours is one of the largest. And unfortunately, whether that surge is due to politics, bad actors, or bad luck, it means that American travelers aren’t welcome in much of the world.
Let’s be clear: no one should be flying for leisure right now, from anywhere to anywhere. But if cabin fever just has its claws in you, there are a few places nearby still taking an American passport.
Much of the Caribbean is allowing tourism, though islands and countries have been closing and reopening with various infection surges. Visitors are welcome in the Bahamas, but under a few new restrictions: a negative COVID-19 test, a new health visa, and 14 day quarantine, at your own expense, in a government facility. Not sure it will be worth it, however; the islands are all under a partial lockdown and curfew, so the nightlife will be nonexistent and you may have to get your cocktail at a grocery store.
Jamaica allows tourists from the U.S. without restriction unless they’re from Arizona, Florida, New York, or Texas. Those citizens have to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test before arrival or they will be turned back. Check before you fly to see if your state has been added to the list.
Antigua and Barbuda are treating American tourists like anyone else (after a lawsuit threat by U.S. tourists who imagined they had special rights in another country). They’re requiring a sworn affidavit of health, certification of a negative test, and submission to additional testing on arrival. Those unwilling to comply may be quarantined for up to six months. In a prison cell.
All of these, and most other countries which are open to American tourists, are either very small or developing nations. Their healthcare capacity is limited, and they are perfectly reasonable in not wanting to strain them so Joe and Jane Patriot can get the perfect beach photos during a global pandemic. But travel is possible for those willing to do it prudently and with all due consideration for their destinations.
Photo: A souvenir street market in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Credit: Ovidiu Curic / Shutterstock.com