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Here’s where Americans can go this summer


Data: Sherpa; Graphic: Will Chase / Axios

You have your COVID vaccine and the CDC says you can travel this summer, even overseas. But you’ll likely find that your options abroad are limited by border restrictions in many countries.

Why is this important: If you don’t do your homework before you travel, you could find yourself stranded at a foreign airport or quarantined in your hotel room for two weeks.

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Reopening of international travel is not a unilateral decision. While the United States is ahead of most countries in the world on vaccinations, other countries like France are imposing new lockdowns amid new outbreaks of COVID while waiting for more vaccines to become available.

Catch up quickly: First of all, it’s important to understand the updated CDC travel guidelines, released on April 2.

  • Fully vaccinated travelers no longer have to take a test before going abroad and can avoid quarantine on their return. But they still have to get tested three days before boarding a plane to the United States, and they should also monitor themselves for any symptoms and get tested three to five days after returning home. .

  • When traveling to the United States, fully vaccinated people do not need to be tested before or after their trip, nor do they need to be quarantined.

  • In all cases, travelers should wear a mask, stay six feet from others, and wash their hands often.

What is happening: Many airlines and travel agencies go out of their way to help people sift through the rules and deal with any new requirements.

  • Sherpa, who specializes in international visa requirements, has created an interactive map that shows the level of restrictions Americans will face in each country.

  • PC Agency, a travel consultancy firm in the UK, has created a system of traffic lights that mark countries in red, yellow or green, depending on their level of restrictions.

  • Lonely Planet has also produced a guide that lists countries that vaccinated Americans can visit without major restrictions.

What they say: If you want to travel to Albania, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico or Tanzania, you are good to go. There are no restrictions, even for those who are not vaccinated.

  • Other destinations, including many in the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Africa, require visitors to test negative for COVID before arrival.

  • Some require mandatory quarantine even with a negative test, although a few, like Iceland, have created new exemptions for vaccinated travelers.

  • Many popular travel destinations, including France, Germany, Spain and Greece, remain off-limits to visitors.

The catch: The trickiest part of international travel might be getting home. All travelers, including vaccinated Americans, must test negative before boarding their return flight.

  • “This is one of the big obstacles to resuming travel, which is why some consumers are holding back. It’s the fear of being tested positive, ”Paul Charles, founder of the PC Agency, told Axios.

What to watch: Charles expects a safe travel corridor to open soon between the United States and the United Kingdom, and the rest of Europe will open to Americans by early July.

In the meantime, airlines and cruise lines are going out of their way to try to help passengers with everything.

  • American Airlines is helping passengers check the travel conditions for their destination, arrange for a pre-flight COVID test if needed, and securely upload documents to a mobile health passport app called VeriFLY.

  • United Airlines offers similar assistance through its Travel-Ready Center.

  • Viking is the first cruise line to add full-scale PCR testing labs on all of its ocean-going vessels. This is part of a plan to resume cruises in June for vaccinated passengers, starting with Bermuda, Iceland and the United Kingdom.

The bottom line: As the journey slowly resumes, passenger peace of mind is the number one goal, says travel consultant Shashank Nigram, CEO of Simpliflying. “It will be part of the psyche of travel in the future.”

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