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CDC Travel Restrictions by Country: where can US citizens travel this summer?

The latest guidance advises that fully vaccinated Americans can travel abroad for a summer holiday this year, but only to a select group of destinations.

The latest guidance advises that fully vaccinated Americans can travel abroad for a summer holiday this year, but only to a select group of destinations.

After more than a year of pandemic restrictions and local lockdowns, falling case numbers and a widening vaccination effort are beginning to turn the tide of the coronavirus and bring a bit of normality back to peoples’ lives.

Summer holidays were off the agenda for 2020 but as countries around the world begin to open up some are starting to accept overseas travellers for the summer season. However there are still many rules in place and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidelines on how to travel abroad safely this summer.

Read more:

CDC: You must be fully vaccinated to travel overseas

In the most recent CDC advice, published 19 May, the most important factor in overseas travel is to ensure that you are fully vaccinated. Unless you have received the full course of vaccinations (two doses for Pfizer or Moderna, one dose for Johnson & Johnson) and waited for the required two weeks, the CDC say you must not travel overseas.

Even if you are fully vaccinated there are a number of crucial precautions to take. Before jetting off, make sure to read up on the transport protocol and destination requirements, which will likely include prior testing and mask-wearing.

While you are travelling to your destination, be sure to wear a mask over your nose and mouth when on planes, buses, trains and any other form of public transport, and in hubs like stations and airports. You will probably also be required to maintain social distancing while in transit.

When returning to the US, even fully vaccinated citizens must show proof of a negative covid-19 test from no more than 72 hours before travel. Alternatively, you can also show evidence of recovery from covid-19 in the past three months. Upon your return you must get another covid-19 test between three and five days after travel, and self-monitor for any covid-19 symptoms.

Where can you travel to from the US this summer?

Although the CDC advise that fully vaccinated Americans can now travel abroad, they are fairly restrictive on the destinations that are currently deemed safe enough to visit. To simplify the various pros and cons of locations around the world, they have published a four-tier ‘Risk Assessment Level for Covid-19’.

Currently they say that countries in Level Four (Covid-19 Very High) should be avoided by all travellers. Destinations deemed Level Three (Covid-19 High) should not be visited by any non-essential travellers. Places at Level Two (Covid-19 Moderate) can be visited, but anyone at an increased risk to covid-19 due to an underlying condition should avoid travelling there for any non-essential purposes.

Countries who are at Level One (Covid-19 Low) are safe enough to be visited by fully vaccinated travellers, but there are a number of rules in place for those who choose to do so. Visitors must wear a mask and wash their hands regularly, while avoiding crowds and maintaining six feet of social distancing from anyone not in their travel group.

The full list of countries in each of the four tiers can be found on the CDC website, but here’s those which have made it into Level One (Covid-19 Low):

  • American Samoa
  • Australia
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cayman Islands
  • China
  • Faroe Islands
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guernsey
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • Liberia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia, Federated States of
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Saba
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Sierra Leone
  • Samoa
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Taiwan
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam