Caution October 19, 2023

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Travel Advisory Updates

Office of the Spokesperson

April 19, 2021

State Department Travel Advisory Updates

In order to provide U.S. travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions, the Department of State regularly assesses and updates our Travel Advisories, based primarily on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notices (THNs) and secondary factors such as commercial flight availability, restrictions on U.S. citizen entry, and impediments to obtaining COVID test results within three calendar days.

The following Travel Advisories have been updated to reflect the current CDC THNs for COVID-19.

We continue to monitor health and safety conditions around the world, working with the CDC and other agencies, as conditions evolve.

This week, the following Travel Advisories have been assessed and reissued with updates, raised to a Level 4 – Do Not Travel:

This week, the following Travel Advisory has been assessed and reissued with updates, lowered to a Level 3 – Reconsider Travel.

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  • WEATHER ALERT Coastal Flood Advisory Full Story
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Travel ban lifted in Buffalo ahead of Bills-Steelers playoff game on Monday

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NEW YORK -- Though the travel ban has been lifted for Erie County, residents in Buffalo and Western New York are still digging out of this past weekend's whiteout conditions.

Severe lake effect snow impacted the region, which prompted New York Governor Kathy Hochul to announce the Buffalo Bills-Pittsburgh Steelers NFL playoff game to be rescheduled from Sunday to Monday at 4:30 p.m.

The team was still calling for more help shoveling out the stadium Monday morning.

Hochul took to X , formerly Twitter, on Saturday and noted that the decision was made after speaking with emergency response teams, Bills leadership and the NFL.

Residents were told to stay off the roads starting Saturday evening, with the forecast calling for 1 to 2 feet or more of snow and winds gusting as high as 65 mph.

The Buffalo region, which includes the Bills' home in Orchard Park, was mostly at a standstill. Hochul said Orchard Park was the storm's "bullseye."

The storm was projected to dump up between 1 and 3 feet of snow, with the heaviest accumulation around Orchard Park.

Logan Eschrich came to Buffalo to witness the snowstorm, and he stayed for the shoveling on Sunday.

Sniffling and shivering from the cold, Eschrich detailed the seemingly impossible task he and the estimated 85-person shovel crew faced while being compensated $20 an hour. Winds whipped at 30 mph (48 kph), and snow was falling at a rate of 2 inches (5 centimeters) per hour at what was supposed to be the game's 1 p.m. EST kickoff, which has been pushed back to Monday at 4:30 p.m.

"It would have been absolutely impossible (to play). We could barely see the next row down from us. And unfortunately, it's still that way," Eschrich told The Associated Press by phone in the mid-afternoon on Sunday. "We made progress shoveling, but not much at all."

He said bleacher seats were entirely buried by snow, adding that it was treacherous to travel the mere two blocks to the stadium from where he camped overnight.

"I'm very happy they put the travel ban into effect," said Eschrich, who works for Live Storms Media, and made the 16-hour trip north from Alabama, where he had planned to get video of tornadoes. "Nobody should be out here."

With the storm's brunt expected to wane by Sunday night, the National Weather Service's forecast for Monday called for a chance of snow showers in the morning and a high of 19 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-7 Celsius), but with strong wind making it feel like minus-5 (minus-21).

Bills players and staff spent Sunday at home. The Steelers arrived Sunday afternoon with travel restrictions having been lifted at Buffalo Niagara International Airport and northern parts of Erie County.

Former Bills center Eric Wood recalled his first time experiencing a lake-effect storm in Buffalo in November 2014, which has since been dubbed "Snowvember." The storm dumped nearly 7 feet (2.1 meters) of snow on Orchard Park over a four-day stretch and led to Buffalo's home game against the New York Jets being moved to Detroit.

Wood was among seven Bills players in his neighborhood who had to be picked up by snowmobile and transported to the team's facility before being bused to the airport.

"The whiteout conditions are like nothing I had ever experienced," said Wood, who's from Cincinnati. "Until you experience this snow and understand its effect, it's hard to appreciate what can truly happen in such a short amount of time, and often without notice."

Wood's next experience with lake-effect snow happened in December 2017, when a storm hit an hour before kickoff and caused whiteout conditions inside the stadium during a game against Indianapolis. Stadium crews were unable to keep up with the falling snow, using blowers to uncover the yard lines.

Their field was so blanketed by snow that Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri lost his footing and missed a 43-yard field-goal attempt as time expired, and Buffalo won 13-7 in overtime on LeSean McCoy's 21-yard touchdown run. Bills players celebrated by making snow angels and throwing snowballs.

"Fans had a ton of fun watching us slip and slide over the field, but it wasn't always fun to play in, not being able to move, and you're freezing and all that," Wood recalled with a laugh.

Today, it's a cherished memory for Wood, in part because the win helped the Bills snap a 17-season playoff drought.

Former Bills special teams star Steve Tasker said the wintry conditions usually favor the home team.

"It's not the being able to practice in the bad stuff that makes you ready to play on days like that, it's living in it that makes you ready," Tasker said. "Those guys get off the plane from say, Miami or Houston, and it just slaps you in the face."

Tasker, however, noted the Steelers are accustomed to playing in the cold, which should even out any advantages on Monday.

One thing is certain for Tasker who, like Wood, is part of the Bills' radio broadcast team. Fun as it was playing in the elements, he's going to enjoy his spot in the warm comfort of the radio booth.

"I'm very happy where I'm at," Tasker said, laughing. "I'm not going to trade it for anything.

This past weekend's winter storm also dumped heavy snow across the Plains and Midwest, ushering in some of the coldest air of the season.

The cold was the biggest concern in the Dakotas. It was 11 degrees below zero F (minus 24 C) in Bismarck, North Dakota, on Friday morning, and forecasters warned the weekend would get even worse. It could reach 20 below F (minus 29 C) by early Sunday.

Near-record cold in Kansas City made for a frigid NFL playoff game Saturday night between the Chiefs and Miami. The game time temperature was 7 below zero with a wind chill of 27 below.

The University of Kansas Health System set up a clinic and several first aid stations at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Places the U.S. Government Warns Not to Travel Right Now

You may want to reconsider traveling to these countries right now.

Do Not Travel to These Countries

Man walking through an airport with his suitcase

(Getty Images)

Crime, civil unrest and terrorism are common risk factors for countries that end up on the State Department's "Do Not Travel" advisory list.

Global conflicts and climate crises , ranging from a series of coups across Africa to earthquakes and floods in catastrophe-prone countries, affected international travel patterns throughout 2023.

Still, international tourist arrivals reached 91% of pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter of 2023, according to estimates by the World Tourism Organization based on travel patterns through September. But some destinations warrant more caution than others. In December alone, about 6 million U.S. citizens left the country for international destinations, 16% higher than the same month in 2019, according to the International Trade Administration . But some destinations warrant more caution than others.

On Oct. 19, following the outbreak of war between Israel and Gaza and flaring tensions in the region, the U.S. State Department issued a worldwide caution advisory due to “increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.” Prior to this update, the most recent worldwide caution advisory was issued in 2022 after a U.S. strike killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as leader of Al Qaeda, causing “a higher potential for anti-American violence.” The worldwide caution advisory remains in effect.

The U.S. State Department also issues individual travel advisory levels for more than 200 countries globally, continually updating them based on a variety of risk indicators such as health, terrorism and civil unrest. Travel advisory levels range from Level 1, which means exercise normal precautions, to Level 4, which means do not travel there.

About 10% of countries – 20 total – have a Level 4: “Do Not Travel” advisory as of Jan. 23. In Level 4 countries, the U.S. government may have “very limited ability” to step in should travelers’ safety or security be at risk, according to the State Department. Crime, civil unrest, kidnapping and terrorism are common risk factors associated with Level 4 countries.

So far in 2024, the State Department made changes to the existing Level 4 advisories for Myanmar, Iran and Gaza, and moved Niger off of the Level 4 list.

Places With a Level 4 Travel Advisory

These are the primary areas the U.S. government says not to travel to right now, in alphabetical order:

Jump to Place: Afghanistan Belarus Burkina Faso Central African Republic Myanmar (formerly Burma) Gaza Haiti Iran Iraq Libya Mali Mexico North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) Russia Somalia South Sudan Sudan Syria Ukraine Venezuela Yemen

Afghanistan: The Central Asian country is wrestling with “terrorism, risk of wrongful detention, kidnapping and crime,” according to the State Department. U.S. citizens are specifically at risk for wrongful detention and kidnapping. In 2022, the government reinstituted public floggings and executions, and women’s rights are disappearing under Taliban control. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul halted operations in August 2021. Since the Taliban took control , many forms of international aid have been halted . Meanwhile, in October 2023, some of the year’s deadliest earthquakes killed more than 2,400 in Afghanistan while the country continues to face a years-long extreme drought.

Belarus: Belarus, which shares a western border with Russia and a southern border with Ukraine, has been flagged for “Belarusian authorities’ continued facilitation of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the buildup of Russian military forces in Belarus, the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, the potential of civil unrest, the risk of detention, and the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Belarus.” The U.S. Embassy in Minsk halted operations in February 2022.

Burkina Faso: Terrorism, crime and kidnapping are plaguing this West African nation. Terrorist attacks may target hotels, restaurants and schools with little to no warning, and the East and Sahel regions of the country are under a state of emergency. In late November hundreds died in clashes between state security forces and rebels near the country’s border with Mali. More than 2 million people in Burkina Faso are displaced due to “violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.”

Central African Republic: While there have not been specific incidents of U.S. citizens targeted with violence or crime, violent crime and sudden closure of roads and borders is common. The advisory states that “Embassy Bangui’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens, crime, civil unrest, and kidnapping” is a factor in its assessment. Recent data from UNICEF suggests the country has the worst drinking water accessibility of all countries in 2022.

Myanmar (Formerly Burma): Armed conflict and civil unrest are the primary reasons to not travel to this Southeast Asian country, which experienced a military coup in early 2021. Limited health care resources, wrongful detentions and “areas with land mines and unexploded ordnance” are also listed as risk factors. After Ukraine and Israel, Myanmar had the highest conflict-related death toll in 2023.

Gaza : Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization as designated by the State Department, controls much of the Gaza Strip, which shares borders with both Israel and Egypt. On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas fighters broke across the border into Israel, killing hundreds of civilians and soldiers in a brazen attack that stunned Israelis. On Oct. 10, Israel hit the Gaza Strip with “the fiercest air strikes in its 75-year conflict” according to Reuters . The conflict has since escalated into war between Israel and Hamas, with regular Israeli airstrikes leading to extensive civilian casualties in Gaza. As of mid-December, nearly 85% of Gaza’s population were displaced from their homes, according to UN estimates . The region continues to face shortages of food , water, electricity and medical supplies , with conditions deemed “far beyond a humanitarian crisis.” The State Department warns of terrorism and armed conflict within Gaza’s borders.

Haiti: In July 2023, the Department of State ordered all non-emergency U.S. government personnel and family members to leave the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince in response to the increased risk of kidnapping and violent crime in the country , as well as armed conflict between gangs and police. The travel advisory states that cases of kidnapping “often involve ransom negotiations and U.S. citizen victims have been physically harmed during kidnappings.” The travel advisory also states that “U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible” given “the current security situation and infrastructure challenges.” A series of gang attacks in late September 2023 caused thousands to flee their homes, and many aid groups have been forced to cut or suspend operations amid escalating violence in recent months.

Iran: Terrorism, kidnapping and civil unrest are risk factors for all travelers to Iran, while U.S. citizens are specifically at risk for “arbitrary arrest.” U.S.-Iranian nationals such as students, journalists and business travelers have been arrested on charges of espionage and threatening national security. Executions in Iran rose sharply between 2021 and 2022, bringing the country’s total to nearly 580 people over the year, according to a report by Amnesty International released in May 2023.

Iraq: The State Department cites “terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict [and] civil unrest” as cause for the country’s Level 4 distinction. Iraq’s northern borders, and its border with Syria, are especially dangerous. Since the escalation of conflict in neighboring Israel in October, there has been an increase in attacks against Iraqi military bases, which host U.S. troops and other international forces. On Oct. 20, non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members were ordered to leave the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Lebanon: Sitting on the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon shares its northern border with Syria and its southern border with Israel, placing it in a region currently wrought with conflict . Following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in early October, family members of U.S. government personnel and non-emergency personnel were authorized to leave the country, and the U.S. State Department raised Lebanon’s travel advisory level from a Level 3 to a Level 4 level due to “the unpredictable security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges” between Israel and Hezbollah or other militant groups. On Dec. 19, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut returned to normal staffing and presence, but the country remains at Level 4 due to “crime, terrorism, armed conflict, civil unrest, kidnapping, and Embassy Beirut’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens.” The country’s borders with Syria and with Israel, as well as refugee settlements within Lebanon, are specifically noted as Level 4 regions.

Libya: Following the end of its dictatorship over a decade ago, Libya has been wrought with internal conflict between armed groups in the East and West. Armed conflict, civil unrest, crime, kidnapping and terrorism are all risk factors. U.S. citizens have been targets of kidnapping for ransom, with terrorists targeting hotels and airports frequented by Westerners. The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli halted operations in 2014. In mid-September 2023, floods, which some say were intensified by climate change , killed thousands in eastern Libya. Clashes between armed factions escalated across the country in the latter half of 2023, including in the capital city of Tripoli and in Benghazi.

Mali: After experiencing military coups in 2020 and 2021, crime, terrorism and kidnapping are all prevalent threats in this West African landlocked nation. In July 2022, non-emergency U.S. government employees and their families were ordered to leave the country due to higher risk of terrorist activity. A U.N. report in August 2023 said that military groups in the country, including both Mali security forces and possibly Russian Wagner mercenaries, were spreading terror through the use of violence against women and human rights abuses. Democratic elections were supposed to occur in February 2024, but Mali’s military junta postponed the plans indefinitely. In December, the U.N. officially ended a decade-long peacekeeping presence in the country, which had been among the agency’s deadliest missions, with hundreds of the mission personnel killed since 2013.

Mexico: Each state in Mexico is assessed separately for travel advisory levels. Six of the 32 states in Mexico are designated as Level 4: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas. Crime and kidnapping are listed as the primary risk factors throughout the country. Nearly 112,000 people were missing across the country as of October, a number the U.N. has called “alarming.”

North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea): U.S. passports are not valid for travel “to, in, or through” this country, home to one of the world's longest-running dynastic dictatorships. The travel advisory states that the Level 4 distinction is due to “the continuing serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals.” In July 2023, a U.S. soldier fled across the border into North Korea, where he is believed to be in North Korean custody, the first American detained in the North in nearly five years. He was returned to U.S. custody in September 2023.

Russia: The travel advisory for Russia cites its invasion of Ukraine , harassment of U.S. citizens by Russian government officials and arbitrary law enforcement as a few of the reasons for the Level 4 designation. Chechnya and Mount Elbrus are specifically listed as Level 4 regions. Terrorism, civil unrest, health, kidnapping and wrongful detention are all noted as risks.

Russia Invades Ukraine: A Timeline

TOPSHOT - Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv  on February 24, 2022. - Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine today with explosions heard soon after across the country and its foreign minister warning a "full-scale invasion" was underway. (Photo by Aris Messinis / AFP) (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Somalia: A severe drought resulting from five failed rainy seasons in a row killed 43,000 people in 2022, and caused a famine amid conflict with Islamist insurgents . Violent crime is common throughout Somalia , pirates frequent its coast off the Horn of Africa, and medical facilities, where they exist, have limited capacity. Crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health and kidnapping are all risk factors. In January 2024, some passengers aboard a U.N.-contracted helicopter were taken hostage by al-Shabaab militants after the vehicle crashed in central Somalia.

South Sudan: Crime, kidnapping and armed conflict are the primary risk factors for South Sudan, which separated from Sudan in 2011, making it the world’s newest country . Weapons are readily available, and travelers have been victims of sexual assault and armed robbery.

Sudan: The U.S. evacuated its embassy in Khartoum in April 2023, and the country closed its airspace due to the ongoing conflict in the country, only permitting humanitarian aid and evacuation efforts. Fighting has escalated in the region between two warring generals seeking to gain control after a military coup in 2021 ousted the country’s prime minister. Civil unrest is the primary risk factor for Africa’s third largest country by area. Crime, terrorism, kidnapping and armed conflict are also noted. The International Criminal Court began investigating alleged war crimes and violence against African ethnic groups in the country in 2023. Millions have fled their homes due to conflict, and the U.N. has said its efforts to provide aid have been hindered by a lack of support, safety and resources. As recently as December 2023, the United Nations warned of catastrophic famine , with millions of children at-risk for malnutrition .

Syria: The advisory states that “No part of Syria is safe from violence,” with terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict and risk of unjust detention all potential risk factors. U.S. citizens are often a target for kidnappings and detention. The U.S. Embassy in Damascus halted operations in 2012. Fighting in neighboring Israel has escalated since October, and the conflict has spilled over into Syria, where the U.S. has carried out air strikes following drone and rocket attacks against American troops in Syria and Iraq, triggered by the Israel-Hamas war.

Ukraine: Russian setbacks in their invasion of Ukraine buoyed hopes in Ukraine in 2023. However, Ukraine is a Level 4 country due to Russia’s invasion, with crime and civil unrest also noted as risk factors. The country’s forces shot down two Russian fighter jets on Christmas Eve 2023, in a move Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said “sets the right mood for the entire year ahead.”

Venezuela: Human rights abuses and lack of health care plague this South American nation, which has been in a political crisis since 2014. In 2019, diplomatic personnel were withdrawn from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. Threats in the country include crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, wrongful detention and poor health infrastructure.

Yemen: Six of the nine risk factors defined by the State Department – terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, kidnapping, armed conflict and landmines – are all present in Yemen. Despite private companies offering tourist visits to the Yemeni island of Socotra, the U.S. government argues those arranging such visits “are putting tourists in danger.” Civil war and cholera are also both present throughout the country. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa halted operations in 2015. The country has experienced a relative lull in the civil war fighting, but as peace negotiations have gotten traction, flare ups in the fighting have jeopardized progress. Most recently, the U.S. and U.K. have carried out a series of airstrikes in the country, targeting Iran-backed Houthi sites.

Other Countries to Watch

Since Jan. 1, the State Department has updated travel advisories for 12 different countries as well as for the West Bank and Gaza, adding information about specific regions or risk factors, or simply renewing an existing advisory. Travel advisory levels can change based on several factors in a nation, such as increased civil unrest, policies that affect human rights or higher risks of unlawful detention.

The State Department has given about 25 countries an assessment of Level 3, meaning it recommends people “reconsider travel” to those destinations.

On Oct. 14, one week after the deadly Hamas attack on Israel, Israel and the West Bank were both moved from Level 2 to Level 3, while Gaza remains at Level 4. The region’s travel advisory was updated again in November to reflect travel restrictions for certain government employees who have not already left the area, and it was updated again on Jan. 3.

China became a Level 3 country in late 2020, with an update in December 2022 citing “the surge in COVID-19 cases, arbitrary enforcement of local laws, and COVID-19-related restrictions” as the reason for the advisory. In June 2023, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) was moved from the Level 3 to the Level 2 list, but travelers are still advised to be cautious in the area due to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws.” Meanwhile, Macau remains at Level 3.

Following an attempted coup in August 2023, Niger was elevated to Level 4 in August and the Department of State ordered all non-emergency U.S. government personnel and family members to leave the U.S. Embassy in Niamey. In early January 2024, the overall risk level for the country was lowered back to Level 3. Despite the new classification, the State Department still asks non-emergency government personnel and eligible family members to depart the country.

In mid-December 2023 there was an explosion at Guinea’s main fuel depot which has since affected access to health care and basic goods and services. The country was subsequently designated a Level 3 nation after having previously been Level 2. Concerns about civil unrest, health, crime and fuel shortages impacting local infrastructure were listed as the primary risk factors contributing to the change.

Several Level 3 countries are among the worst countries for human trafficking, as designated by the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report . Level 3 countries on this list include Papua New Guinea, Guinea Bissau, China and Chad. There are also nine Level 4 countries designated as among the worst for human trafficking: Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Syria, South Sudan and Venezuela.

Over 70 countries are currently at Level 2, meaning the State Department recommends travelers “exercise increased caution” when traveling to those destinations.

Sweden is designated a Level 2 country, with terrorism noted as the primary risk factor in the country. France, which saw nationwide protests throughout 2023, has civil unrest and terrorism noted as risk factors for its Level 2 status.

In September 2023, Gabon was added to the Level 2 list for civil unrest after having been Level 1. The month prior, a coup in Gabon ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who had been in power since 2009, just minutes after it was announced he had been elected for another term. Within the week, the military junta swore in Gen. Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema – the former leader’s cousin and head of the republican guard – as the country’s head of state. The African Union suspended the country’s membership shortly after the coup. The cities of Libreville and Port Gentil are specifically noted for risk of crime, and some areas have a nighttime curfew in effect.

Bangladesh 's Level 2 travel advisory was updated in October 2023 to add a note about the country’s upcoming general election Jan. 7, 2024. The advisory states “demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.”

In November, several Level 2 travel advisories were updated with new cautionary information. The advisory for Ghana was updated in November 2023 to reflect threats against LGBTQI+ travelers specifically, noting “anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric and violence have increased in recent years.” Meanwhile, the advisory for South Africa now notes that routes recommended by GPS may be unsafe with higher risk for crime.

Turkmenistan was moved off of the Level 2 list to become the newest addition to the Level 1 list on Jan. 22, meaning normal precautions are recommended but there are no risk factors causing travelers to practice increased caution.

The State Department asks travelers to pay attention to travel advisory levels and alerts , review country information pages for their destinations and read related country security reports before going abroad.

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Tags: Russia , Ukraine , Travel , Coronavirus , Travel Tips , Israel , Gaza , violence , Civil War , crime , kidnapping

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I’m a U.S. Citizen. Where in the World Can I Go?

For Americans eager to resume international travel, here are the countries that currently allow U.S. citizens to enter, though there may be restrictions, including vaccine requirements.

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By Paige McClanahan

This list is no longer being updated. Find the latest coronavirus updates here .

Most of the world’s countries are open to travelers from the United States, and many nations are easing their requirements for visitors to test or quarantine. Some countries that had fully closed to foreign tourists — including Israel, Morocco, Bhutan, Australia and New Zealand — have now reopened to U.S. visitors, although they may continue to impose testing, vaccination or quarantine requirements.

In Europe, a growing number of nations — including Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, among many others — have eliminated their Covid-related travel restrictions for the summer travel season. Meanwhile, several Southeast Asian nations that had closed their borders to tourists have now reopened. Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia are once again welcoming American visitors, although vaccine or testing requirements are in force in most cases.

For its part, the United States has lifted the requirement that inbound passengers, including returning Americans, provide a negative test result taken within one day of departure. The decision to lift the test requirement will be re-evaluated in September; the rule could be reinstated if authorities deem it necessary.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, continues advising Americans not to travel internationally until they are fully inoculated against Covid-19.

Those wanting to learn about the coronavirus risk in a specific country can visit the C.D.C. website where a four-tier ranking system provides guidance. The agency reserves the highest “Level 4” ranking for countries with “special circumstances” that include spiking case numbers, the emergence of worrying variants, or threats to the viability of health care infrastructure. (Levels 1 to 3 are still based primarily on Covid-19 case counts.) At the moment, no countries are classified at Level 4; those at Level 3, which have a “high” incidence of Covid-19, are indicated in the list below. For information on entry requirements like testing and quarantine, as well as curfews and movement restrictions, the State Department’s website offers detailed information by country.

What follows is a list of countries that are open to tourists from the United States. Many require visitors to complete a health form, provide proof of vaccination, and present a recent negative Covid-19 test result. To qualify as fully vaccinated in places such as France, Spain and the Netherlands, a visitor must have received either a booster shot or a second dose within a specified period.

As of May 1, visitors are no longer required to provide a negative test result or proof of vaccination. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Travel to Andorra is over land from Spain or France, so check the entry requirements for those countries first. There are no limits on movement between Spain and Andorra, nor for travelers entering Andorra from France. Travelers 12 and over departing Andorra for France must provide proof of full vaccination, a certificate of recent recovery, or a negative antigen test result from the previous 24 hours. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors must complete a registration form before travel. They must also present a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. test administered no more than 72 hours before departure and pay about $20 on arrival to undergo a rapid antigen test at the airport. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Angola.

All adult visitors must be vaccinated. Arriving passengers must also carry a negative result from a Covid-19 test. The result may be either from a rapid test taken within two days of arrival, or from an R.T.-P.C.R. test, N.A.A.T. test, or other molecular test administered within three days of arrival. Visitors who completed their primary course of vaccination more than six months previously and who have not received a booster are also required to test on arrival, at their own expense. Guests staying for more than eight days may undergo a free test on day 4 of their visit. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

ANTIGUA and BARBUDA

Vaccinated travelers are no longer required to test before travel, provided they are asymptomatic. Unvaccinated visitors must present either a negative result from a P.C.R. test conducted no more than three days before arrival, or a negative result from an antigen test from the previous 24 hours; they must also be without symptoms. On arrival, they must submit to an R.T.-P.C.R. test at their own expense and self-quarantine for 14 days. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Americans may now enter Argentina without testing. Visitors must complete an electronic sworn statement within 48 hours of traveling and provide proof of medical insurance that covers Covid-19 treatment and quarantine. The government recommends that all visitors age 6 and over undergo a Covid-19 test within 24 hours of arrival, regardless of their vaccination status. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

The country has lifted its pandemic-related travel restrictions.

The country is open to visitors from the United States who have finished a primary course of vaccination (two doses of an mRNA vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson). All passengers arriving by air must submit the Digital Passenger Declaration within 72 hours of their departure for Australia; they are no longer required to test before travel. Depending on their final destination within Australia, visitors may have to quarantine on arrival, even if they are vaccinated. Travelers should check the rules of the state or territory they are visiting to find the relevant quarantine requirements. Prospective visitors who are not fully vaccinated must qualify for an exemption . The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

The country lifted all pandemic-related travel restrictions on May 16. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors age 18 and over must present proof of vaccination or a certificate of recovery from Covid-19 infection.

THE BAHAMAS

All travelers age 18 and older must apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa; the cost of the visa includes insurance coverage and varies with the length of stay and vaccination status of the traveler. Health visa applications can take up to 24 hours to process; travelers must present their visa confirmation before departure to the Bahamas. Travelers with valid proof of vaccination may now enter without a negative test result. Unvaccinated travelers age 2 and over must present a negative result from a rapid antigen or R.T.-P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of travel. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

According to the U.S. Embassy, visitors must download the “ BeAware Bahrain ” app before travel. Arriving passengers are no longer required to test or show proof of vaccination. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors must complete a health declaration form within three days of arrival. Vaccinated travelers may enter without a pretest. (A booster is not required to qualify.) Unvaccinated travelers age 12 and older must provide a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of departure. Symptomatic passengers may be subject to testing on arrival.

Vaccinated travelers may now enter without testing. Before departure, visitors should download the BIMSafe app and complete an online immigration and customs form . Vaccinated visitors may enter without quarantine, although they may be randomly selected for testing on arrival. Unvaccinated travelers age 5 and above must obtain a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. test taken within three days of arrival, or from a rapid test taken within one day of entry; they must also undergo a rapid test on arrival. Children under 18 who aren’t vaccinated must follow the guidelines of their accompanying adult. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

U.S. visitors may now enter without testing or proof of vaccination. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Travelers with proof of vaccination may enter without a negative test result. Unvaccinated visitors age 5 and over must show a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or from a rapid test taken within 48 hours of arrival. Alternatively, testing is available on arrival at the airport for $50; only cash payments are accepted. All foreign tourists must show proof of having purchased Belize travel insurance ($18 for 21 days). The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

All visitors to Benin must apply online for an eVisa before departure. Predeparture testing is no longer required.

Arriving passengers must show proof of vaccination (booster shots are not required) as well as a negative result from a rapid antigen test taken no more than two days before arrival, or a negative result from a P.C.R., N.A.A.T, T.M.A., or L.A.M.P. test taken within four days of arrival. Children under 2 are exempt from the pretest requirement, while children under 12 are exempt from the vaccination requirement. Visitors must pay $40 to apply for a travel authorization , which they can do up to one month before departure. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Vaccinated travelers must quarantine for five days after arrival; unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for ten days. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Bhutan.

Arriving passengers must present either proof of vaccination or a valid negative result from a Covid-19 test. The test result may be from an R.T.-P.C.R. test taken no more than 72 hours before boarding, or from a rapid antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before boarding. Children under 5 are exempt from the requirements.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

The country lifted its pandemic-related travel restrictions on May 26; travelers may now enter without a negative test result or proof of vaccination.

Visitors must have completed at least a primary course of vaccination; they are not required to test. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

U.S. tourists age 12 and older must present proof of vaccination, even if they have recovered from Covid-19; they no longer need to test before travel. Unvaccinated children under 12 who are traveling with vaccinated adults may also enter without testing. Unvaccinated adults must qualify for an exemption to be allowed entry. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Regardless of their vaccination status, all visitors over age 5 must present a negative result from a Covid-19 test (either rapid antigen or R.T.-P.C.R.) taken within 48 hours of arrival. Travelers who have recovered from Covid-19 in the previous 90 days may present proof of recovery in lieu of a negative test result. Anyone arriving without a valid test result or proof of recovery must pay $50 to undergo testing on arrival. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

As of May 1, Bulgaria has removed all pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

BURKINA FASO

Arriving passengers must present proof of full vaccination or a negative result from a P.C.R. or rapid test taken in the previous five days. Travelers who arrive without proof of vaccination or a valid negative test result will be required to pay roughly $45 to undergo a rapid antigen test on arrival. To exit the country by air, travelers must present either proof of vaccination or a negative P.C.R. test dated within three days of their departing flight. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Burkina Faso.

Arriving passengers must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test administered no more than 72 hours before boarding their flight to Burundi. According to the U.S. Embassy, travelers must also pay $100 for an on-arrival test and self-isolate at an accommodation of their choice until they receive a negative result, usually within 24 hours. A negative P.C.R. result is also required to exit the country. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Burundi.

Arriving passengers must present either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result. The result may be from a P.C.R. test taken no more than 72 hours before departure, or from a rapid antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before departure. Visitors must also register , pay an airport fee, and complete a health questionnaire before travel. Arriving passengers are subject to a temperature check. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors may now enter without testing. Fully vaccinated travelers are not required to quarantine. Those who are unvaccinated must quarantine for seven days at a designated facility at their own expense; they must also undergo a rapid test on the final day before being released. The government encourages all travelers to purchase Covid-19 travel health insurance. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Cambodia.

Visitors from the United States who hold a valid tourist visa may enter Cameroon. Passengers age 5 and above must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test administered no more than 72 hours before arrival; the result must include a QR code.

Vaccinated U.S. citizens and residents may enter Canada for nonessential reasons, including tourism, without providing a negative test result. (A booster is not required to qualify.) All travelers must use the ArriveCAN system to enter their proof of vaccination and other traveler information within 72 hours of entry into Canada. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children under 12 are no longer required to test before travel if they are accompanied by a vaccinated adult. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated minors ages 12 to 17 are subject to testing requirements and a 14-day quarantine. Unvaccinated adults must qualify for an exemption; if approved for entry, they are also subject to testing and quarantine requirements. The current rules are expected to remain in force until at least September 30 . The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

CAYMAN ISLANDS

As of June 30, vaccinated travelers may enter without testing. Unvaccinated visitors age 12 and over will not be allowed entry unless they can prove that they have a close tie to the country. Visitors are encouraged to test themselves daily during their first week in the country. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

A negative P.C.R. test from the previous 72 hours is required for both entry and departure. According to the U.S. Embassy, tourists from the United States must quarantine for 14 days after arrival; employees of international and humanitarian organizations may end their quarantine early if they receive a negative result from a post-arrival P.C.R. test at the local Pasteur Institute. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Travelers with proof of vaccination may enter without a pretest. Unvaccinated travelers 12 and older must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 96 hours of arrival.

Arriving passengers must complete a traveler’s affidavit within 48 hours of boarding and provide proof of travel medical insurance that covers a minimum of $30,000 worth of Covid-19 medical expenses in Chile; they may now enter without testing. Visitors are no longer required to obtain a mobility pass (which requires proof of vaccination) to enter the country, but they may be required to present the pass to enter restaurants, participate in group tours, and attend concerts and sports events. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Arriving passengers age 18 and older must present either proof of vaccination or a valid negative result from a Covid-19 test. The result may be from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of travel or from an antigen test taken in the 48 hours before travel. Incoming passengers must also complete an online form within 72 hours of boarding their flight.

Visitors may enter with a negative result from a P.C.R. test conducted in the 72 hours before travel. A negative P.C.R. result that is no more than 72 hours old is also required to leave the country. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Comoros.

The country has lifted its pandemic-related entry requirements. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

COTE D’IVOIRE

Fully vaccinated travelers may now enter without a negative test result. (A booster is required to qualify if the primary course of vaccination was completed more than nine months previously.) Unvaccinated travelers must carry a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Abidjan. All passengers will have their temperatures checked and must undergo rapid antigen testing on arrival. Departing passengers who are unvaccinated must present a negative P.C.R. test from no more than 72 hours before travel, regardless of the testing requirements of their destination. Land and maritime borders remain closed to U.S. citizens.

Croatia has removed its Covid-related border rules; U.S. visitors may now enter as before the pandemic. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

General tourism is not permitted, but Americans are allowed to visit to see family and under certain professional and humanitarian circumstances. All incoming passengers must complete an online sworn statement before they depart for Cuba. Visitors are no longer required to present proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result. Health authorities will randomly select passengers for Covid-19 screening on arrival.

As of June 1, visitors are no longer required to present proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

CZECH REPUBLIC

The country has removed all pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Before traveling, visitors should register at INRBCOVID.com . All travelers age 11 and older must present a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken within three days of departure. Unvaccinated travelers must undergo another test on arrival at their own expense and self-quarantine until they receive a negative result, generally within 24 hours. Visitors should also have proof of health and medical evacuation insurance and a certificate of yellow fever vaccination. To exit the country, travelers age 11 and over must present a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken at a government-approved lab within three days of departure. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to the D.R.C.

Denmark has lifted all pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Potential visitors must apply online for an eVisa before travel. All arriving passengers 11 and older must provide proof of vaccination as well as a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight, and not more than 120 hours before their arrival in the country. Upon landing, travelers are given another test at a cost of $30. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Djibouti.

As of April 4, arriving passengers are no longer required to complete a health questionnaire before entry. Vaccinated travelers may enter without a pretest, though they may be tested on arrival if they display symptoms. Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of arrival or from an antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival. Children aged 12 and under assume the status of their accompanying parent or guardian. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Visitors may now enter without testing or providing proof of vaccination. Passengers age 7 and over may be selected for random testing on arrival; those who can present a valid vaccination certificate will be exempt from the random test. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

DUTCH CARIBBEAN

Aruba allows visitors to enter without a negative test result or proof of vaccination. Arriving passengers are required to purchase Aruba Visitors Insurance and to complete an Embarkation/Disembarkation card before arrival. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Bonaire has lifted its pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Curaçao has lifted its pandemic-related travel restrictions. However, visitors must complete a digital immigration card before travel. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Saba has removed its pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Sint Eustatius has removed its pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Sint Maarten , which is Dutch, and French St. Martin are primarily entered through Princess Juliana Airport on the Dutch side. Visitors must register online at least 12 hours before travel. Vaccinated travelers, those who have proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the previous nine months, and children under 5 are not required to test before entry. Unvaccinated travelers 5 and over must present a negative P.C.R. result from the previous 48 hours or a negative antigen result from the previous 24 hours. Before travel, all visitors must submit a health authorization form , the completion of which includes the purchase of mandatory Covid-19 insurance. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

The country no longer requires a negative test result for entry; however, the U.S. Embassy notes that airlines may impose their own requirements. Passengers who display symptoms on arrival may be subject to testing. The Embassy advises potential visitors to confirm the latest entry rules with the Timorese Embassy in Washington before travel.

All arriving passengers age 3 and over must provide either proof of vaccination or a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. test taken no more than 72 hours before boarding their flight to Ecuador. They must also complete a declaration of traveler health . Visitors may be subject to random antigen testing on arrival. Those traveling to the Galápagos must provide proof of vaccination or a negative R.T.-P.C.R. test result from the previous 72 hours; they must also obtain a transit control card from the government of Ecuador. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

EL SALVADOR

Visitors may now enter without testing or proof of vaccination.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

All arriving passengers must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 48 hours of travel; travelers age 18 and over must also present proof of vaccination. Visitors must quarantine for three days after arrival at an accommodation of their choosing and obtain a negative test result before being released. A negative P.C.R. test result is also required to exit the country.

Visitors must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of entry and submit to an antigen test on arrival. Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for five days, then obtain a negative test result before exiting quarantine. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Eritrea.

Arriving passengers must complete an online form in the 72 hours before entering the country. Visitors from the United States who are vaccinated or who have recovered from Covid-19 in the previous 180 days may enter without testing. (Travelers who have received two doses of vaccine are considered fully vaccinated for nine months after completing their primary course of vaccination; a booster dose extends the period of validity for one year.) Unvaccinated and unrecovered visitors may enter with a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. or antigen test taken in the 48 hours before arrival. Children under 12 are exempt from the requirements. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Vaccinated visitors and those who have a certificate of Covid-19 recovery from the previous 90 days are no longer required to test before travel. (A booster is not required to qualify.) Unvaccinated visitors over age 12 must carry a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of departure, or a negative result from an antigen test taken within 24 hours of arrival.

All visitors must provide proof of vaccination, proof of travel insurance, and confirmation that they have pre-booked a rapid test to be taken after arrival. (Children under 12 are exempt from the in-country test requirement; children under 16 are exempt from the vaccination requirement.)

The country lifted its pandemic-related travel restrictions on June 30. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Fully vaccinated visitors no longer need to test before arrival. (To qualify as fully vaccinated, arriving passengers must have received their second dose of vaccine within the past nine months; those who have also received a booster dose are not subject to a time limit.) Unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of departure or a negative result from an antigen test from the previous 48 hours. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

FRENCH POLYNESIA

The country is open to fully vaccinated tourists from the United States. Those who have received only two doses of vaccine qualify as “fully vaccinated” for nine months following the date of their second dose; those who have also received a booster face no time limit. Arriving passengers aged 12 or older who are flying to French Polynesia directly from the United States are required to present a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. taken within 72 hours of boarding or a negative result from an antigen test administered within 48 hours of boarding. Those who are unvaccinated must provide a compelling reason for their visit to French Polynesia. If permitted entry, unvaccinated travelers must test before travel and quarantine for seven days after arrival. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to French Polynesia.

FRENCH WEST INDIES

(Most islands consider two weeks after the second injection as full vaccination, and four weeks for Johnson & Johnson.)

St. Barts is open to fully vaccinated travelers without a test requirement. Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative result either from a P.C.R. test conducted no more than 72 hours before departure, or from an antigen test from the previous 48 hours. All visitors must present a sworn statement that they have no symptoms and that they are not aware of Covid-19 exposure in the previous 14 days. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

St. Martin : See Sint Maarten under Dutch Caribbean.

Guadeloupe and Martinique are open to vaccinated travelers, but those 12 and older who are coming from the United States need a negative result from a P.C.R. or antigen test taken in the 24 hours before departure. They may also be subject to testing on arrival. Unvaccinated visitors must show proof of a compelling reason to travel. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

The country has lifted its pandemic-related restrictions. Visitors may now enter without a negative test result.

Fully vaccinated travelers do not need a pretest, but they may be subject to rapid testing on arrival if they display symptoms. Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test administered no more than 72 hours before departure.

The country has lifted its pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

The country has suspended its pandemic-related travel restrictions until the end of August. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Non-citizen and non-resident visitors who are 18 or older must show proof of vaccination in order to qualify for an entry visa (a booster is not required). Arriving passengers no longer need to provide a negative test result. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Ghana.

As of May 1, visitors may enter without providing proof of vaccination or recovery or a negative Covid-19 test result. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

The country has removed its pandemic-related travel requirements. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Greenland.

Travelers must present either proof of vaccination (a booster is not required) or a negative result from a P.C.R. or antigen test conducted no more than three days before check-in at the airport or arrival at a land border. Children under 10 are exempt.

The government of Guinea no longer requires pre-departure testing, but the U.S. Embassy recommends that travelers confirm the latest rules with their airline before departure. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; if you are unvaccinated, the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Guinea.

GUINEA-BISSAU

Visitors may enter with a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken in the previous 48 hours. Travelers must also obtain a negative P.C.R. result within 72 hours of their departure from the country; tests can be obtained in the capital city of Bissau for about $45.

Arriving passengers must show proof of full vaccination and carry a negative result from a Covid-19 test administered within 72 hours of arrival. Anyone arriving with an expired test result must pay about $85 to undergo testing at the airport and quarantine until they receive a negative result. Unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12 will not be allowed entry. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors to Haiti must present a negative result from either a P.C.R. or antigen test administered no more than 72 hours before travel. Passengers who have had Covid-19 may present their positive test as well as documentation from their doctor confirming recovery.

Fully vaccinated tourists are not required to pretest, but others must have a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken in the previous 72 hours. Visitors must also complete an online pre-check form before travel.

Hungary has lifted all pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

The country lifted all Covid-related border restrictions on Feb. 25. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Passengers arriving from the United States must submit either proof of vaccination (with or without a booster) or a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of departure. Travelers should upload the relevant documentation to the Air Suvidha portal before departure. Two percent of arriving passengers are randomly selected to undergo testing on arrival. Children under 5 are exempt from testing unless they develop Covid-19 symptoms. All travelers are asked to monitor their health for 14 days after arrival and self-isolate if they develop Covid-19 symptoms.

U.S. travelers are eligible for a visa on arrival if they can show proof of vaccination (with or without a booster; children under 12 are exempt). They must also download the PeduliLindungi app before departure; submit to a temperature screening on arrival; provide proof of health insurance that covers at least $25,000 worth of medical treatment in Indonesia; pay a visa fee of approximately $35; carry a passport with a validity of at least six months; and be able to present either a return ticket or a ticket for onward travel to another country. Covid-19 testing is no longer required. The U.S. Embassy recommends that travelers consult the Indonesian Embassy in the United States for the latest entry rules.

Visitors must apply for a tourist visa , which can be done online. Arriving passengers must present proof of vaccination as well as a negative result from a P.C.R. test conducted within 72 hours of arrival.

Arriving passengers must present either proof of vaccination or a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken in the previous 72 hours. The U.S. Embassy advises that all arriving passengers should be prepared to pay in cash for on-arrival testing at the airport, although this requirement is unevenly enforced. Visitors to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region require a negative P.C.R. result from the previous 48 hours; anyone without a negative test result must test on arrival. Visitors must also pledge to self-isolate for 14 days.

Ireland has removed all pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors must provide a completed incoming passenger form and show proof of insurance covering Covid-19 treatment. Testing is no longer required. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Italy lifted its pandemic-related travel restrictions on June 1. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Jamaica has removed all pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Japan has reopened to U.S. visitors who are pre-booked on package tours. After applying for their visa, visitors must obtain a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure; install the MySOS app and complete the app’s questionnaire; register their information on Visit Japan Web , which will generate a required QR code; and purchase health insurance to cover Covid-19 treatment in Japan. Visitors are required to wear masks in the country. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors age 5 and over must complete an online declaration and present the resulting QR code when boarding. Testing is no longer required. According to the U.S. Embassy, non-Jordanians must present proof of health insurance.

According to Air Astana, the country’s biggest airline, passengers arriving in Kazakhstan are no longer required to present a negative test result or proof of vaccination. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Kazakhstan.

Fully vaccinated visitors may enter without a pretest. Unvaccinated travelers age 5 and above must present a negative P.C.R. result from up to 72 hours before departure; they must also pay $30 to undergo rapid testing on arrival. Visitors should upload their proof of vaccination or negative test result to the Global Haven platform before departure. They must also complete a health surveillance form and present the resulting QR code when traveling.

The country has removed its pandemic-related entry requirements.

The country has lifted its pandemic-related travel requirements. U.S. visitors must apply online for an eVisa before departure. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC

The country has lifted its pandemic-related travel requirements. However, the U.S. Embassy notes that the rules may change with little or no advance notice and that airline requirements may differ from those of the government.

Visitors with proof of vaccination may enter without restriction; C.D.C. cards are accepted. Unvaccinated travelers age 12 and over must obtain a negative result from a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of their departure for Laos; rapid tests are accepted. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

As of April 1, visitors may enter without proof of vaccination or a negative test result, provided that their point of departure is not on Latvia’s list of “high-risk countries” (at the moment, no countries are on this list). The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Fully vaccinated travelers may enter without a negative test result. (Visitors who completed their primary course of vaccination more than six months previously must have also received a booster dose to qualify as vaccinated.) Unvaccinated travelers age 12 and over must present a negative result from a P.C.R. or antigen test taken with 48 hours of departure. They must also undergo a P.C.R. test on arrival and avoid public places until they receive a negative result, usually within 24 hours.

Travelers must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken in the 72 hours before departure. All passengers are screened on arrival; those presenting Covid-19 symptoms may be denied entry. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Travelers age 18 and over must show proof of vaccination and complete a health screening form via the Lib Travel app . In addition, all travelers age 5 and over must present a negative result from a P.C.R. or rapid antigen test taken in the 72 hours before departure.

U.S. citizens may enter with a negative result from a P.C.R. test administered no more than 48 hours before travel. According to the U.S. Embassy, visitors from the United States may be required to quarantine; it recommends that travelers confirm the latest rules with the Libyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Libya.

LIECHTENSTEIN

See Switzerland.

As of May 1, U.S. visitors are no longer required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result on entry; the requirement to complete an arrival form has also been removed. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

U.S. tourists may enter with proof of vaccination or recovery. Travelers are considered vaccinated for nine months following the completion of their primary course of vaccination; a booster extends the validity of their vaccination certificate indefinitely. Recovery certificates are valid for 180 days. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Arriving passengers must present a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. test administered no more than 72 hours before boarding. A second test is required on arrival, at a cost of $20. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Madagascar.

Arriving passengers must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of departure; children under the age of 1 are exempt. A negative result from the previous 72 hours is also required to exit Malawi, regardless of the requirements of the destination country.

Fully vaccinated travelers and children age 12 and under may enter without testing. Visitors who were vaccinated outside of Malaysia must upload their proof of vaccination via the MySejahtera app before departure. Unvaccinated adult visitors must obtain a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within two days of departure; they must also submit to a test within 24 hours of arrival and quarantine for five days. Additional travel restrictions apply for travel to the states of Sabah and Sarawak . The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Arriving passengers no longer need to present a negative test result, but they must complete a Traveler Health Declaration form within 72 hours of departure. They must also carry proof of a booking at a registered tourist accommodation. No quarantine is required for travelers who do not exhibit symptoms. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to the Maldives.

Arriving passengers must present either proof of vaccination or a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken in the previous 72 hours. The same rule applies to those departing the country.

Arriving passengers must present one of the following: proof of vaccination, a certificate of recovery, or a valid negative test result. U.S. travelers should verify their C.D.C. vaccination cards through the VeriFLY app . To qualify as fully vaccinated , travelers aged 18 and over who have undergone only a primary course of vaccination must have received the final dose in the previous 270 days; those who have also received a booster dose are considered vaccinated indefinitely. (Minors are considered vaccinated indefinitely following a primary course of vaccination.) Recovery certificates are valid for 180 days. Negative test results are valid for 24 hours (if from an antigen test) or 72 hours (if from a P.C.R. test). Children under 12 are exempt from the requirements. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors must present proof of vaccination or a negative result from a P.C.R. test conducted within three days of entry. Passengers are subject to a temperature check on arrival. The U.S. Embassy notes that some visitors have reported that their airlines have demanded a negative test result in addition to their proof of vaccination.

Visitors must complete a travel form . Vaccinated travelers do not need to test before departure but must undergo testing on arrival. In addition to the travel form and on-arrival test, unvaccinated travelers age 18 and over must also self-isolate for seven days after arrival in an accommodation of their choice. They must test on day 7 and, if the result is negative, are free to move around the island on day 8. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

U.S. travelers may enter Mexico without testing or quarantine, though they may be subject to health screenings on arrival. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Moldova has lifted all Covid-related entry requirements.

The United States is on the list of “green zone” countries, which means that travelers 16 and over may enter Monaco by presenting one of the following: proof of full vaccination against Covid-19; proof of recovery in the past six months; or a negative result from a P.C.R. or antigen test conducted within the previous 24 hours. To qualify as fully vaccinated, everyone 18 or over must have received a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine no later than nine months following the completion of their first course of vaccination. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

The country has removed its Covid-related entry requirements. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Arriving passengers are no longer required to present proof of vaccination or a negative test result. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Arriving passengers must present a completed health form . They must also provide either proof of vaccination or a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken in the 72 hours before travel. Children under 12 are exempt from the requirements.

Vaccinated visitors as well as children age 11 and younger may now enter without testing. Unvaccinated travelers over the age of 11 must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test administered within 72 hours of their departure for Mozambique; alternatively, they may choose to pay to undergo a rapid test on arrival. The U.S. Embassy encourages U.S. travelers to obtain their visa before departure via the Mozambican Embassy in Washington, D.C. or the Mozambican consulate in New York.

Visitors must carry a valid tourist visa. They must also present either proof of vaccination or a negative result from a P.C.R. test within 72 hours of departure. (Children under 6 are exempt.) In addition, they must carry Covid-19 insurance, complete a health declaration, and pay to undergo rapid testing on arrival.

Passengers who present proof of vaccination may enter without testing. Unvaccinated visitors age 5 and over must provide a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of travel. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors age 5 and over arriving by air must present either proof of vaccination or a negative result from a Covid-19 test (R.T.-P.C.R., N.A.A.T., or Gene Xpert) taken within 72 hours of departure. Travelers who display symptoms may be subject to testing on arrival.

NETHERLANDS

Vaccinated visitors from the United States may now enter without a negative test result. (A booster dose is required if more than 270 days have passed since the traveler completed his or her primary course of vaccination.) Unvaccinated travelers 18 and over are not allowed entry unless they qualify for an exemption . The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

NEW CALEDONIA

U.S. tourists age 12 and over must present one of the following: proof of vaccination, a certificate of recovery from the previous six months; a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of boarding; or a negative result from a rapid antigen test taken in the previous 48 hours. At the time of boarding, they must also present a sworn statement in which they commit to undergo testing within two days of arrival. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to New Caledonia. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand is now open to vaccinated visitors from the United States and other “visa waiver” countries. Arriving passengers must complete an online declaration ; provide a negative test result before departure; and self-test on arrival and on day 5 or 6 in the country. Children under 2 are exempt from the pre-departure test requirement; babies under 6 months are exempt from the post-arrival test requirement. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Travelers who can provide proof of vaccination may now enter without testing. Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of entry. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Nicaragua.

Travelers must obtain a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken no more than 72 hours before departure and register the result online. A negative test result from the previous 72 hours is also required to exit the country.

Arriving passengers must register online before travel. Fully vaccinated travelers may now enter without testing (a booster is not required to qualify). Unvaccinated travelers must upload a negative result from a P.C.R. test administered within 48 hours of departure; they must also pre-pay for tests on days 2 and 7 and isolate after arrival until they receive a negative result from the second test. Children under 18 are exempt from the requirements. Travelers leaving Nigeria must present either proof of vaccination or a negative result from a P.C.R. test conducted within 48 hours of departure.

NORTH MACEDONIA

Visitors are no longer required to provide a negative test result or proof of vaccination. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Norway has lifted all pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Vaccinated travelers may enter without a pretest. Unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12 must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of boarding. All passengers should download the Pass Track App before travel and should be aware that they may be subject to rapid testing on arrival.

Palau is open to fully vaccinated visitors. Arriving passengers must provide a negative result from a P.C.R., N.A.A.T., R.T.-P.C.R. or other approved molecular test taken within three days of their departure. Alternatively, they may present a negative result from an antigen test taken no more than one day before departure, or documentation of recovery from Covid, including proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from a health care provider or a public health official clearing the person to travel. All travelers will also undergo testing after arrival in Palau.

Travelers are required to submit a completed health affidavit to their airline before boarding. Vaccinated travelers can enter Panama without a pretest (a booster is not required to qualify). Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative result from a P.C.R. or antigen test. If the test result is more than 72 hours old at the time of the traveler’s arrival in Panama, a rapid Covid-19 test will be performed at the airport, at a cost of $50. Accompanied children under 17 are exempt from the requirements. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

U.S. visitors must apply for a tourist visa before travel. Visitors age 18 and over must show proof of vaccination; testing is no longer required. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Foreign visitors with proof of vaccination are no longer required to test before travel. Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R., L.A.M.P., or N.A.A.T. test taken no more than 72 hours before departure; children under 12 are exempt.

Visitors must present either proof of full vaccination or a negative result from a molecular test taken within 48 hours of departure; they must also complete an affidavit of health . Children under 12 are exempt from the testing and vaccination requirements but must be without Covid-19 symptoms at the time of boarding.

PHILIPPINES

Visitors from the United States are allowed entry provided they carry the following documents: proof of vaccination; passports that are valid for at least six months beyond their date of arrival; and a ticket for outbound travel within 30 days of arrival. Visitors must also complete a health declaration card ; they are no longer required to test before entry. Unvaccinated visitors over age 12 will not be allowed entry.

Visitors may now enter without testing, quarantine or proof of vaccination.

Arriving passengers age 12 and over must present a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. or N.A.A.T. test conducted no more than 72 hours before boarding, or from a rapid test from the previous 24 hours. Travelers who carry an E.U. Digital Covid Certificate or proof of vaccination issued in one of several approved countries may enter without a negative pretest. The United States is not among the approved countries; however, some travelers have reported that their airlines have told them that their C.D.C. vaccination cards will be accepted in lieu of a negative test result. There is no official guidance on this point, so the U.S. Embassy “ strongly recommends ” that travelers carrying C.D.C. vaccination cards arrive with a valid negative test result. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors must register online before travel. Fully vaccinated and recovered travelers from the United States and other countries that do not appear on Qatar’s red list may enter with a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 48 hours of departure. In addition to the pretest, unvaccinated travelers from the United States must also quarantine for five days after arrival and undergo a P.C.R. test on arrival and a rapid test on day 5. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Those planning to travel to the Republic of Congo must complete an online form , pre-pay roughly $68 for a Covid-19 test to be administered on arrival, and print the receipt for that payment to carry with them while traveling. Anyone who tests positive on arrival must isolate until they receive a negative result. Departing travelers must present a negative result from a virus test conducted no more than 72 hours before their scheduled departure.

Romania has lifted all pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Before traveling to Rwanda, visitors must complete a passenger locator form and obtain a negative result from an antigen test conducted no more than 72 hours before their flight departure. Visitors must also pay $5 to undergo an additional rapid test on arrival. Travelers leaving Rwanda must obtain a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours of their departing flight. Children under 5 are exempt from testing. Tourists to the national parks may face additional requirements.

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS

All visitors 18 and over must be fully vaccinated, while unvaccinated minors may enter with their accompanying vaccinated adults and follow the same regulations. In addition to their proof of vaccination, arriving passengers must present either a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. or N.A.A.T. test taken within three days of arrival, or a negative result from a rapid antigen test taken within one day of arrival. Each visitor must also complete an embarkation form no later than 24 hours before departure. Travelers who have recovered from Covid-19 are not exempt from the pretest requirement. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors must complete a health screening form before departure. As of April 2, fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to test before travel. Unvaccinated travelers 5 and over must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test conducted in the five days before arrival. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

Fully vaccinated visitors from the United States no longer need to test before travel; they must complete a health form on landing and may be subject to testing. Unvaccinated travelers must arrive with one of the following: a negative result from a P.C.R. test conducted in the previous 72 hours, or a negative antigen result from the previous 24 hours. They may be subject to testing on arrival; they must quarantine for 5 days and undergo an additional test on day 3 or 4 of quarantine. Minors follow the protocol of their parents or guardians. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

See Italy. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE

The government has lifted all pandemic-related travel restrictions.

SAUDI ARABIA

Visitors must apply for a tourist visa before travel. According to the U.S. Embassy, they must also show proof of insurance that covers illness related to Covid-19.

Arriving passengers must present either proof of vaccination or a negative result from a P.C.R. or R.T.-P.C.R. test taken in the 72 hours before arrival. Children under 2 are exempt.

The country has removed its pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors must apply for travel authorization up to 72 hours before departure. Most applications are processed within 12 hours of submission; expedited processing is available for an additional fee. In applying for authorization, unvaccinated visitors must upload a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. test administered no more than 72 hours before departure or a negative result from a rapid antigen test from within 24 hours of departure. Vaccinated travelers do not need to provide a negative test result. (Travelers age 18 and over who completed their primary course of vaccination more than six months previously must also have received a booster dose to qualify as vaccinated.) Visitors must also submit their accommodation bookings as well as proof of travel insurance with full medical coverage valid for the duration of their stay. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

SIERRA LEONE

Visitors must register online before departure. Vaccinated travelers may enter without testing. Unvaccinated travelers do not need a pre-departure test, but they must pay in advance to undergo both a rapid test and a P.C.R. test on arrival. All passengers are subject to a health screening at the airport. To exit the country, all travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, must obtain a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken between 48 and hours before departure. Children under 5 are exempt from the test requirements.

All visitors must complete an arrival card within three days of entry and install the TraceTogether app. Vaccinated travelers as well as unvaccinated children born in or after 2010 may now enter without testing or quarantine. Unvaccinated travelers born in or before 2009 must apply for permission to enter. If approved, they must obtain a negative result from either a P.C.R. test or an antigen test administered within two days of departure. (Unvaccinated travelers who have a positive test result dated between 14 and 90 days before their departure for Singapore may be exempt from the pre-departure test.) Unvaccinated travelers must also quarantine for seven days after arrival. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Slovakia has eliminated all pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors arriving from the United States are no longer required to test or show proof of vaccination. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors must present a negative result from a Covid-19 test conducted within 72 hours of arrival and submit to a health screening on entry. Travelers to Somaliland may avoid a 14-day quarantine by presenting a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken in the previous 96 hours. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

SOUTH AFRICA

South korea.

Visitors should register their information on the Q-Code website before departure. Arriving passengers must present proof of full vaccination (including a booster shot if more than 180 days have passed since the completion of the traveler’s first vaccine series). Travelers must also complete a health questionnaire and travel record declaration. In addition, visitors must provide a negative result from a supervised rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure, or a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken in the previous 48 hours. In addition, all travelers must undergo a P.C.R. test within three days of entry. Travelers who display symptoms on arrival may be subject to testing at the airport. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

SOUTH SUDAN

Both inbound and outbound passengers must present proof of vaccination and a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken in the previous 72 hours. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

U.S. visitors may enter Spain with one of the following: proof of vaccination; a certificate of recovery from the previous 180 days; a negative result from an N.A.A.T. test performed within 72 hours of departure; or a negative result from a rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours of departure. To qualify as vaccinated, visitors who have completed only a primary course of vaccination must have received their final dose within the past nine months; those who have also received a booster dose face no time restriction. Children under 12 are exempt from the requirements. Before departure, all visitors must complete a health control form , which will generate a QR code that must be presented at the time of boarding and upon entry in Spain. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Fully vaccinated visitors as well as children under 12 may enter Sri Lanka without testing. Unvaccinated travelers age 12 and over must present a negative result from P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of departure, or a negative result from a rapid antigen test conducted within 48 hours of departure. All visitors must purchase Covid-19 insurance at a cost of $12 per month.

Visitors age 8 and over arriving from the United States must present either a certificate of vaccination or a negative result from a P.C.R. test administered no more than 96 hours before arrival. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Sudan.

Travelers who are vaccinated or who can document their recovery from Covid-19 in the previous six months are no longer required to test before entry. Unvaccinated visitors age 12 and over must carry a negative result from a P.C.R. test conducted within 48 hours of travel or from an antigen test from the previous 24 hours. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Sweden has lifted all pandemic-related entry restrictions.

SWITZERLAND

As of May 2, U.S. visitors may enter without testing or providing proof of vaccination. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

All travelers age 3 and over must show either proof of vaccination or a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of their arrival in the country. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Tajikistan.

Visitors to Tanzania must complete a health surveillance form within 24 hours of arrival. (Those traveling directly to Zanzibar should complete this form instead.) Travelers who present a vaccination card that includes a QR code may enter without testing. (The U.S. Embassy advises travelers to look here for information on how to obtain a QR code for a C.D.C. vaccination card.) Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. or N.A.A.T. test administered within 72 hours of travel; the test result must include a QR code. Children 5 and under are exempt from the test requirement.

Fully vaccinated and recovered international visitors may now enter Thailand without quarantine or testing. Travelers must apply for a Thailand Pass before departure and provide proof of health insurance to cover at least $10,000 in medical expenses. Unvaccinated travelers must provide a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. test conducted within 72 hours of departure. They must also apply for a Thailand Pass and provide proof of insurance. Unvaccinated travelers who arrive without a valid negative test result must follow the instructions of the public health officer they meet on arrival. All passengers undergo health screening on arrival, including a temperature check. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

All visitors must complete a travel form and upload a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken no more than three days before their departure for Togo. Visitors must also pay in advance for a second P.C.R. test, to be administered upon their arrival at Lomé Airport; proof of payment for the test must be shown before boarding. Arriving passengers must self-isolate until they receive a negative result from their on-arrival test, usually within 24 hours. Visitors are required to download the Togo Safe app; those who refuse may have to quarantine in a state facility for at least two weeks. Exit testing at the traveler’s expense is required no more than 72 hours before their departing flight.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

As of July 1, visitors will no longer be required to test before entry. They also no longer need to show proof of vaccination or apply for a travel pass. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Arriving passengers must complete an online questionnaire . Travelers who are fully vaccinated do not need to test before travel. Unvaccinated travelers 6 and over must present either a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken no more than 48 hours before departure or a negative result from an antigen test that is no more than 24 hours old. Travelers may be subject to random testing on arrival.

TURKS AND CAICOS

Fully vaccinated visitors may now enter without testing (a booster is not required to qualify). Unvaccinated travelers age 18 and over are not allowed entry. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Fully vaccinated travelers and children age 5 and under may enter without testing. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test conducted no more than 72 hours before boarding.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Vaccinated visitors to Abu Dhabi are no longer required to test before travel. Unvaccinated travelers age 16 and over must present either a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken in the previous 48 hours, or a Covid-19 recovery certificate dated within 30 days of departure; the certificate must have a QR code. Visitors must be fully vaccinated to enter most public places in Abu Dhabi.

Fully vaccinated visitors to Dubai no longer need to test before travel; their proof of vaccination must include a QR code. Unvaccinated travelers age 12 and over must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test from the previous 48 hours; alternatively, they may present proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the previous month. The U.S. Embassy advises travelers to check with their airlines for the latest information on testing requirements. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

UNITED KINGDOM

The United Kingdom has lifted all pandemic-related travel restrictions. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Visitors must complete a health declaration form before departure and carry proof of travel insurance. Vaccinated travelers and those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the previous 90 days may now enter without testing. Unvaccinated and unrecovered travelers age 6 and over must present a negative result from a P.C.R. or antigen test conducted in the 72 hours before departure; in addition, they must either quarantine for 14 days or undergo a P.C.R. test on day 7. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Travelers may now enter without testing or proof of vaccination; they must complete a health screening form on arrival and may be subject to testing if they display symptoms. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Uzbekistan.

Arriving passengers must present either proof of vaccination or a negative result from an R.T.-P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of entry. (A booster dose is required to qualify as vaccinated if more than 270 days have passed since the completion of the first vaccine series.) The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is “Level Unknown”; the agency recommends that those who are unvaccinated avoid travel to Venezuela.

Foreign visitors must present proof of travel insurance worth at least $10,000 and download and use the PC-COVID app while in the country. Travelers are not required to test or provide proof of vaccination, but they are asked to monitor their health for 10 days and inform authorities if they develop any Covid-19 symptoms. The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.

Vaccinated travelers may now enter without testing (a booster is not required to qualify). Unvaccinated travelers must carry a negative result from a P.C.R. test taken in the 72 hours before departure; children under 12 are exempt. All passengers undergo health screening on arrival; symptomatic travelers must isolate for 14 days and may be required to undergo testing.

Vaccinated visitors may now enter without testing. Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative result from a P.C.R. test administered no more than 48 hours before travel.

Heather Murphy, Ceylan Yeginsu, Concepción de León and Karen Schwartz contributed reporting.

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State Department issues 'worldwide caution' for Americans overseas

travel ban news 4

The U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel advisory on Thursday, urging Americans overseas to exercise increased caution.

The travel advisory cited “increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.”

The State Department recommended U.S. citizens stay vigilant in locations popular with tourists and sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program , which can provide information and make it easier to locate them in an emergency.

"The U.S. Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas," a State Department spokesperson told USA TODAY in an emailed statement. "We take seriously our commitment to provide U.S. citizens with clear, timely, and reliable information about every country in the world so they can make informed travel decisions."

The warning comes as thousands have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war . At least 3,785 people had been killed in Gaza as of Thursday, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, including more than 1,500 children. Over 1,400 people have been killed in Israel, most of whom were civilians.

Learn more: Best travel insurance

Live updates: Hamas commander killed in air strike as Israel bombs 'safe zones' in Gaza:

The State Department raised a travel advisory for Lebanon to Level 4 on Tuesday, warning Americans not to travel to the country “due to the unpredictable security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges between Israel and Hizballah or other armed militant factions.” There is also an advisory in place warning against going to Gaza and urging travelers to reconsider visiting Israel and the West Bank.

Many Americans have been evacuating the region , including on a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship that carried U.S. nationals from Haifa to Limassol, Cyprus, earlier this week.

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at [email protected].

In Level 4 Travel Ban, State Department Asks Americans Abroad to Return Home or Shelter In Place

By Megan Spurrell

Plane landing

This is a developing story. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website for the latest updates.

Just last week, the U.S. Department of State issued a level 3 global travel advisory warning Americans to reconsider international travel. This afternoon, that advisory was upgraded to level 4 travel ban ("do not travel"), in what appears to be an unprecedented move. The State Department's announcement tells Americans they should stay home—and those abroad who do not return should be prepared to stay out of the country for an unknown amount of time.

"The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of #COVID19," the State Department tweeted . "In countries where commercial departure options remain available , U.S. citizens who live in the US should arrange for immediate return. U.S. citizens traveling abroad that do not wish to return should be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period."

This news follows the closure of many international borders over the past week, and the start of domestic lockdowns and shelter in place orders, which were announced earlier this week in San Francisco. On Thursday, the State Department also announced via Twitter that U.S. passport agencies will only be accepting applications from customer with life-or-death emergencies with a need to travel within 72 hours. Countless American travelers are currently stuck abroad, in countries like Peru and Morocco, where borders closed and flights were canceled with little notice. Judging from the latest news, the same may happen for any other travelers who do not return immediately. Though the U.S. government had not announced a full closure of borders, it appears a decision may be on the horizon.

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Biden says he doesn't expect more travel restrictions or lockdowns as Covid omicron variant spreads

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  • The U.S. on Friday said it would ban visitors from South Africa and seven other southern African nations after the detection of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
  • Japan, the U.K. and Israel are among the countries that have also put travel restrictions in place to stem the spread of the strain.
  • The variant has already been detected in Canada, the U.K., Hong Kong, Israel and other countries.

President Biden on the omicron variant

President Joe Biden on Monday said he doesn't expect the U.S. to impose additional travel restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus omicron variant, sending some airline stocks higher.

Airline and aerospace stocks fell sharply on Friday after several countries reported cases of the omicron variant and established new travel restrictions. The U.S. on Monday began to temporarily bar visitors from South Africa, where scientists first reported the strain, and from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.

The degree of the variant's spread will determine whether more travel restrictions are necessary, Biden said at a news conference Monday.

"I don't anticipate that at this point," he said. The president also said he doesn't think lockdowns are necessary.

The new rules come three weeks after the U.S. lifted strict pandemic travel rules that prohibited entry to foreign visitors from the U.K., Brazil, India, South Africa and nearly 30 other nations. Airline executives said bookings surged after the administration set a date to lift the rules, which were first put in place early in the pandemic.

Biden: I don't think other countries will be reluctant to report variants due to travel restrictions

Reports of omicron cases span from Israel to Hong Kong and Canada. Israel and Japan implemented some of the strictest travel bans, temporarily prohibiting foreign visitors.

Domestic travel has rebounded sharply this year after vaccines were widely disrupted and cities eased pandemic restrictions. U.S. airlines had some of their busiest days since February 2020 over Thanksgiving week.

Large network airlines are heavily reliant on long-haul international travel. Executives have been particularly upbeat about the return of trans-Atlantic trips in 2022, but additional travel restrictions could slow that segment's recovery.

United Airlines added 0.7%, paring earlier gains logged after Biden's remarks. Delta Air Lines and American Airlines ended down 0.4% and less than 0.1%, respectively.

Discount carriers that don't have trans-Atlantic or other long-haul international service rose with Spirit gaining 3.3% and Sun Country ending the day up 2.9%.

comscore

State Department issues ‘worldwide caution’ alert to Americans overseas

The State Department on Thursday issued a rare “worldwide caution” advisory to all Americans overseas, urging them to “exercise increased caution due to the potential for violence and increased tensions” globally.

It said that there is a potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests. “Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists,” it advised.

The State Department most recently issued a worldwide caution alert in August 2022 following the death of al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahiri out of caution for potential “anti-American violence,” according to an archived release.

Similar advisories have been issued over the years when the State Department has warned Americans against increased risks for terrorist attacks, political upheaval and violence. An alert was issued in 2016 when the agency cautioned travel into Burkina Faso and the surrounding Sahel region in Africa following an attack at a hotel in Ouagadougou that killed 30 people, including one U.S. citizen.

The State Department has urged U.S. travelers to “reconsider travel” to Israel and the West Bank and placed a “do not travel” advisory — its most severe warning — on the Gaza Strip due to “terrorism, civil unrest, and armed conflict.”

Americans have been fleeing the country on charter flights and cruise ships since the Hamas attacks earlier this month. Over 7,000 U.S. citizens have departed Israel and the West Bank, a State Department spokeswoman told The Washington Post on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the State Department raised its travel warning for Lebanon to “do not travel” because of rocket, missile and artillery exchanges between Israel and the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah .

Karen Schwartz contributed to this report.

Israel-Gaza war

The International Court of Justice ruled Friday that Israel must take measures to prevent the killing of more Palestinian civilians in Gaza and to prevent acts of genocide, although the court stopped short of calling for a cease-fire. The ruling is not a verdict on whether Israel has committed genocide , which could take years.

Biden plans to dispatch CIA Director William J. Burns in the coming days to help broker an ambitious hostage deal .

Frustration is turning to fury for Israel’s hostage families as calls for a two-state solution also intensify.

Oct. 7 attack: Hamas spent more than a year planning its assault on Israel. A Washington Post video analysis shows how Hamas exploited vulnerabilities created by Israel’s reliance on technology at the “Iron Wall,” the security barrier bordering the Gaza Strip, to carry out the deadliest attack in Israel’s history.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip has a complicated history. Understand what’s behind the Israel-Gaza war and read about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict .

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An American walked her pet cow in Moscow's Red Square. Spoiler alert: Trouble ensued

Charles Maynes

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Alicia Day, 34, of New York City, was detained by Russian police while walking her pet baby cow, Dr. Calf, on Red Square last month. Courtesy Alicia Day hide caption

Alicia Day, 34, of New York City, was detained by Russian police while walking her pet baby cow, Dr. Calf, on Red Square last month.

MOSCOW — Amid news dominated by war and tragedy, it's the kind of story that could make you laugh, rub your eyes twice, or yell at your news feed: "Well of course she was arrested!"

Alicia Day, 34, of New York City, was detained by Russian police while walking her pet baby cow — Dr. Calf — on Moscow's Red Square last month.

Coming at a time when Russian authorities have sentenced several Americans to lengthy prison terms over seemingly minor infractions, the obvious question: What was she thinking?

"Red Square is so beautiful. And I would love to spend some time there with a beloved animal. So that's what I did," she says with a knowing smile when asked by NPR before boarding a flight for Turkey.

"In general I do like to walk my farm animals around," she adds. "Because people have told me, 'Hey, after I met your animal I started eating less meat.' "

She insists she was surprised to be detained some five minutes into what she calls their "jaunt on Red Square."

"I didn't think it would be a bigger problem than walking a dog," she says — not entirely convincingly. "I would only imagine someone would say 'you should leave.' "

A Russian court sentenced her to 13 days in prison and a fine of 20,000 rubles ($285 at the time), alleging she resisted arrest — the one charge Day vehemently denies.

"OK, I understand they do what they feel to protect their country but I absolutely did not resist arrest," she says. "I'm a very peaceful person."

She admits feeling nervous before the Russian judge — acknowledging it would "suck" if the court added additional charges.

Prison was monotonous but she was treated well.

"The girls there were nice but it was very boring without a clock," she says. Russian animal rights activists — having read about Day's case — delivered vegan food packages to the jail.

Upon her release, Russian immigration authorities were less kind. They ordered Day to leave the country and banned her from reentry for 40 years.

Day will have to live without Russia — and Russia without Day — until 2063.

After embracing a vegan diet, her attention turned to activism

Day says her interest in animal welfare began when she was a teenager when she chose to become a vegan.

But it was only when she moved to Europe in her late 20s that she embraced animal activism — with a knack for publicity.

"I realized I'm an adult. I don't need anyone's permission," she says. "The next day I bought a pig." Again, the wry smile.

That decision made headlines in the United Kingdom in 2019 after her landlord discovered Day was living with "Jixy Pixy" in her London flat. Eviction for both pig and owner followed.

Day then started teaching English around Eastern Europe — a decision that found her in Dnpiro, Ukraine, as Russian troops invaded last year. In the early days of the conflict, she volunteered to treat animals affected by war.

"They only bombed our city twice within a few months, and we had a lot of refugees coming in. But it felt like we really came together as a community," she recounts.

Still, with the fighting heating up, she left for Poland last May.

Yet seeing Russia had always been a goal. Day taught herself the Russian language in high school. She made some Russian friends on social media. Despite the U.S. State Department strongly urging Americans not to travel to Russia, she applied for a tourist visa.

Day embarked on a path that led to Red Square — with a cow

Soon Day was scrolling online auction sites and discovered a cow in need of saving.

Dr. Calf's story begins on a farm in the Kirov region — nearly 600 miles east of Moscow. He's an average calf but with distinct brown markings around his eyes.

Next thing he knows, he's in a car. His new owner has hired a driver to take him — all expenses paid — to Moscow. The capital. Red Square.

In photographs, Dr. Calf seems admittedly impressed by the Kremlin clock tower. The grand St. Basil's Cathedral and the Lenin Mausoleum get a more casual glance. The luxury GUM shopping center? A definite no. Too many leather goods.

Then the men in uniform approach.

Dr. Calf has since been relocated to a "government rehabilitation farm" outside of Moscow, says Day. "He's safe," she assures NPR.

She's transferred power of attorney to Russian animal activist friends and made arrangements to pay for Dr. Calf's continued care.

And there's another twist to this story that has so, so many:

Day met someone in prison — a police officer. "Nothing inappropriate happened," Day says. The two struck up a conversation on her daily walk in the prison yard.

She's now appealing her travel ban — to see her cow and, if things work out, maybe her new boyfriend. "I want to fight this thing."

"I'm eccentric," she acknowledges. "I follow my heart and I only answer to my animals."

At last, a confession.

"If it was necessary to sit in jail for two weeks in order to get the chance to share my message of love for animals — that we don't have to eat them and we can love them in a different way — then it was worth it," she says.

"Why," she asks, "was this even known about in the U.S.?"

Again, the smile.

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Will the Omicron Travel Restrictions Work?

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By Benjamin Wallace-Wells

International passengers walk through the arrivals area at the airport.

No one yet knows whether the Omicron variant of COVID -19 will be devastating or no big deal. On the “no big deal” side, there’s not currently evidence that it makes people sicker than previous strains, so it’s possible that it will simply wash over a global population rich in COVID antibodies. On the “potentially devastating” side, the Omicron variant seems to feature an especially large number of mutations, including some that scientists worry make it more likely than earlier strains to evade the COVID -19 vaccine. The Biden Administration’s line so far has been that Omicron is a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” Its first policy intervention, developed last weekend, while the President was on Nantucket for Thanksgiving, was to ban travel from eight countries in southern Africa, where the strain was first identified. On Tuesday evening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new testing requirements for inbound international travellers. “Here’s what it does: it gives us time,” Biden said, in a speech explaining the policy. Among its overseas allies, the United States was on common ground. The United Kingdom adopted a similar policy. Japan, which has been more restrictive since the start of the pandemic, simply banned all international arrivals, sealing itself off.

These responses were immediately controversial, in part because South Africa— which maintains a robust genomic-surveillance program, and speedily reported the new variant—seemed to be getting punished for good global citizenship. Days before Biden’s travel ban went into effect, the strain was detected in the U.K., Germany, and the Czech Republic, but none of the European countries were singled out. “What you worry about is whether a country will be as forthcoming next time, if the result is they get a travel ban imposed on them,” Nicole Errett, a resilience researcher at the University of Washington, said. But the measures were also immediately controversial because public-health travel bans nearly always are: they engage central political tensions between contagion control and individual freedom, and between the health of one country and the well-being of the world.

The history of such bans runs deep, back to the quarantine controls developed by Italian cities during the plagues of the fourteenth century, when ships suspected of carrying the contagion were required to raise a quarantine flag upon entering harbor, and port cities were closed to ships arriving from plague-infested areas. (The quarantine flag lasted as a tradition; eventually, it was standardized to be yellow.) The bans took on a more modern shape at the end of the nineteenth century, when rudimentary tests began to allow public-health authorities to screen new arrivals. “By the eighteen-nineties, when there was a cholera epidemic in New York harbor, they could do stool samples and do a bacterial culture right away, and figure out if they’re infected or not,” Howard Markel, a physician and medical historian at the University of Michigan, said. Travel bans went into a senescence after the First World War, first because of a lack of international coöperation between the wars and then because of the seeming triumph of antibiotics. They reappeared once globalization helped revive pandemics, beginning in the eighties. Some of the travel bans, such as one on H.I.V.-positive travellers, in place from 1987 to 2010, were a bad match for the ways in which the disease was spread, though others, such as a temporary restriction on travel from Asia during the SARS crisis, seemed to help. Markel drew a comparison between the U.S., which had only eight laboratory-confirmed cases of SARS and no deaths, and Canada, which had no travel restrictions, and where an outbreak centered in Toronto’s hospitals killed forty-four people and put the city into quarantine.

In general, Markel said, when testing was available it allowed public-health authorities to follow the medical imperative “Don’t use a bazooka when a BB gun will do.” But, in the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic, many countries opted for the bazooka. Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand all imposed severe travel restrictions, in many cases pairing them with aggressive contact tracing and testing regimes. The economic, social, and political costs of these policies could be extreme: Australia closed its borders to all non-residents, and some Australians living abroad faced fines or prison time if they tried to return home. New Zealand shut out even those foreign nationals married to New Zealand citizens. As a public-health measure, though, these restrictions appear to have been effective. In Taiwan, fewer than nine hundred people have died of COVID -19. Japan’s population is thirty-seven per cent that of the United States, yet it has had 2.3 per cent of the deaths. Australia, a vast country of twenty-six million people, has had just over two thousand deaths from COVID . In New Zealand, just forty-four people have died.

This week, as many countries began to impose new travel rules in response to Omicron, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, asked them to refrain from the most restrictive versions. “Blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread of Omicron, and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods,” he said on Wednesday. But that is at least somewhat contradicted by the experience of the Pacific Rim countries during the pandemic. Peter Baldwin, a historian at U.C.L.A. who last year published a book on the first wave of global response to the pandemic, said, of the W.H.O.’s position, “I just do not get this logic because the travel bans, it seems to me, have proven that they’re quite effective.” Of course, no travel ban, Baldwin added, was airtight. “It doesn’t hermetically seal a country off—some virus will sneak in for sure—but they still managed to get a grip on the problem in a way that the countries that don’t do it, don’t.” The choice about whether to institute travel bans would be easy if they did not ever work—the humanitarian position of maintaining open borders would also be the prudent one. But in this pandemic, that hasn’t seemed exactly the case. Baldwin said, “It’s a political decision on W.H.O.’s part to not advocate travel restrictions, and you can see that because most countries totally ignore it.”

One reason that countries imposed severe restrictions at the outset of the pandemic was the difficulty of identifying who might be contagious. Unlike with Ebola, which is not thought to be transmissible unless a person is experiencing a fever, and for which a temperature check is therefore an effective screening tool, many travellers carried COVID -19 out of China without being detectably sick at all. As much as the Trump Administration bragged about its ban on travel from China, it was both too late and too porous to be truly effective. The U.S. imposed the ban only after forty-five other countries had already done so, after COVID -19 cases had been documented within the U.S. It also did so selectively, so that Americans and their dependents could travel unimpeded. Céline Gounder , an infectious-disease specialist and epidemiologist at N.Y.U. and Bellevue Hospital and a member of the Biden COVID -transition advisory board, told me, “In that situation you really need to close travel to everyone, regardless of the country that they’re travelling from, or their citizenship, or residential status. And you need to really do it fast. And that might have had an impact, especially for a place like New York City. That kind of time matters.”

Studies of the first phases of the pandemic have shown exactly how much it matters. Fifteen years ago, Alessandro Vespignani, a physicist at Northeastern, developed a model that simulates all human movement around the globe in order to predict, as minutely as possible, how diseases might spread. “Essentially, we built a synthetic world,” Vespignani told me. In a paper published in Science in April of 2020, Vespignani and his collaborators showed that worldwide bans on travel from Wuhan were initially quite effective—in early February, they estimated, the restrictions reduced the number of coronavirus cases around the world by seventy-seven per cent. Ultimately, Vespignani’s team found that the travel bans only had only a “modest effect” on the spread of the disease, postponing it by two to three weeks. But they did buy health authorities around the world some of the time that the Biden Administration now says it needs.

I called Vespignani because I wanted to know what he and his model made of the Omicron variant. “It’s like ‘Groundhog Day,’ ” Vespignani said to me—the news took him back to the spring of 2020. About an hour before we spoke, the C.D.C. had announced the first confirmed American case of the Omicron variant, in California. His model suggested that, given the known prevalence of the disease in other countries, there were likely “tens to hundreds” of Omicron carriers in the United States. “It’s not just one,” he said. Vespignani noted that, of the six hundred passengers on two recent flights from South Africa to Amsterdam, five per cent had tested positive for Omicron. If the many other flights leaving South Africa during the second half of November had similar numbers, that meant the virus would be well established all over the world.

I asked Vespignani whether he thought that the travel bans would at least suppress the number of cases in the United States. He started shaking his head midway through the question. “It’s like you are trying to prevent sparks from entering the forest, but the wildfires are already starting,” he said. Vespignani mentioned a study he had done on the first COVID wave, in which he found that transmission rapidly became mostly domestic, so that there was only a limited window during which international travel restrictions made much difference. Vespignani thought that, with Omicron, that window had probably already closed. He said, “It’s out of the bag.”

I tuned in to Tuesday’s regular White House COVID briefing—the Administration’s COVID -response coördinator, Jeff Zients, with his metronomic recitation of vaccine statistics, Anthony Fauci’s crisp “Next slide, please”—with special attention. The focus was on Omicron, and the message was still that the variant was a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” Moving through his slide deck, Fauci explained that many of Omicron’s essential features had not yet been established—transmissibility, virulence, potential for vaccine evasion. As has often been the case throughout the pandemic, the message seemed slightly at odds with itself. If Americans should prepare for Omicron by getting booster shots, as the C.D.C.’s director, Rochelle Walensky, was saying, then why had her own agency been so slow to fully recommend them, doing so only this week, long after many states had instituted booster programs of their own? And if the Omicron variant represented enough of a threat to institute an emergency travel ban, then why was that ban so partial?

The White House’s public-health officials seemed to be doing not one thing but two. Though both their liberal defenders and their conservative detractors describe them as taking a maximalist public-health position, their recommendations are constrained at every step by political factors beyond their control. One is the incomplete acceptance of the vaccine, which means they must depend on secondary measures (masking and vaccination mandates, school closures and indoor-gathering restrictions) that they know are at best imperfect and that place them in the position of petty tyrants. But a second is the resistance, even within the purportedly America-first Trump Administration, to a stricter general quarantine, like those put in place around the Pacific Rim in 2020 and in Japan again now. The partial nature of the travel bans is a reminder that the instruction to public-health leaders has never really been just to save the most lives but to do so without forgetting who we are. That is a good, liberalism-preserving mission. It’s also an almost impossible one.

If the Omicron variant does prove virulent, and able to evade the vaccine, that mission will get even more difficult. In the weeks between the 2020 Presidential election and Biden’s Inauguration, Gounder was a member of Biden’s COVID -19 transition team. “One of the analogies we often used at the time was the idea of a dimmer switch, that could dial up or dial down these public-health interventions depending upon where we were, and where the science guided us,” Gounder said. “What I find very frustrating is that people—in this country, anyway—have a very hard time tightening up again. It’s like a one-way street, where people are only loosening, and that makes it very challenging. Because then the temptation is to say, Well, if we loosen, then they’re just not going to go back when we want to tighten again. So let’s just keep it tight.” Of course, the restrictions did loosen, and now there is new reason for concern. “I mean, I think the Administration is in a really hard place,” Gounder said. “We have to do something because of politics. But we can’t do what really works because of politics.”

More on the Coronavirus

  • The uncertainties of the Omicron variant .
  • How South African researchers identified the variant.
  • How will the COVID pills change the pandemic?
  • Vaccines work, and so do mandates —but Republican politicians are muddying the message.
  • New York City kids on what they look forward to doing after getting vaccinated .
  • The struggle to define long COVID .
  • Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive the best stories from The New Yorker .

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IMAGES

  1. Ruling Expected Any Day Now on Limits to Trump Travel Ban

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  2. US travel ban explained: how this order is different and the new legal challenges

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  3. Trump administration rolls out new travel ban restrictions

    travel ban news 4

  4. The Travel Ban Has Been Upheld. Here Are Some of Its Effects So Far

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  5. Trump’s Latest Travel Ban Gets First Court Hearing

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  6. Has the Travel Ban Affected You and Your Family? Tell Us How

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COMMENTS

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  6. Travel ban to remain in place for much of Erie County ...

    News / Jan 14, 2024 / 10:48 PM EST. Travel ban to remain in place for much of Erie County until Monday morning.

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  10. Latest US travel rules for Omicron: What you need to know

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  11. U.S. to Lift Pandemic Travel Restrictions, Easing Tension With Europe

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  15. US lifts international travel ban: Changes affect most travelers

    It's a long-awaited moment for travelers from more than 30 countries. The U.S. initiated its first COVID-19-related travel ban on China in February 2020. By the end of March, it had added travel ...

  16. Places the U.S. Government Warns Not to Travel Right Now

    Places With a Level 4 Travel Advisory These are the primary areas the U.S. government says not to travel to right now, in alphabetical order: Jump to Place: Afghanistan: The Central Asian...

  17. I'm a U.S. Citizen. Where in the World Can I Go?

    Those wanting to learn about the coronavirus risk in a specific country can visit the C.D.C. website where a four-tier ranking system provides guidance. The agency reserves the highest "Level 4 ...

  18. New Jersey uses 3 times amount of plastic after plastic ban: Report

    1:09. Plastic consumption in New Jersey tripled despite the state's 2022 plastic ban meant to and address the "problem of plastic pollution," according to a study from a business-research firm ...

  19. State Department calls for Americans overseas to exercise caution

    The State Department raised a travel advisory for Lebanon to Level 4 on Tuesday, warning Americans not to travel to the country "due to the unpredictable security situation related to rocket,...

  20. In Level 4 Travel Ban, State Department Asks Americans Abroad to Return

    This afternoon, that advisory was upgraded to level 4 travel ban ("do not travel"), in what appears to be an unprecedented move. ... Judging from the latest news, the same may happen for any other ...

  21. Texas gender-affirming care ban SB 14: Why these transgender kids ...

    The move also anguished professionals devoted to serving transgender youth, who make up a small sliver of all US kids - just 300,000 nationwide, ages 13-17, UCLA research finds - but among ...

  22. Amazon and Tim Hortons staff can't avoid winter driving bans

    Employers can visit erie.gov/dhses and complete the Emergency Travel Form. The county will review the form and help determine whether employees are "essential" and exempt from travel restrictions.

  23. Visitor finds huge 7.46-carat diamond in Crater of Diamonds State Park

    The 7.46 carat diamond discovered by Julien Navas, of Paris, France, upon his visit to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas on January 11, 2024. Courtesy Arkansas State Parks. Navas said ...

  24. Biden says he doesn't expect more travel restrictions or ...

    The U.S. on Friday said it would ban visitors from South Africa and seven other southern African nations after the detection of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Japan, the U.K. and Israel...

  25. State Department issues 'worldwide caution' alert for Americans

    The State Department on Thursday issued a rare "worldwide caution" advisory to all Americans overseas, urging them to "exercise increased caution due to the potential for violence and ...

  26. Travel ban still in effect for Buffalo, Southtowns

    News / Jan 14, 2024 / 06:06 PM EST. Travel ban still in effect for Buffalo, Southtowns.

  27. An American walked her pet cow in Moscow's Red Square. Spoiler ...

    Alicia Day, 34, of New York City, was detained by Russian police while walking her pet baby cow, Dr. Calf, on Red Square last month. Courtesy Alicia Day. MOSCOW — Amid news dominated by war and ...

  28. Apple to Remove Blood-Oxygen Sensor From Watch to Avoid U.S. Ban

    Aaron Tilley. Updated Jan. 15, 2024 3:33 pm ET. Listen. (2 min) Apple was granted a reprieve after a U.S. court paused a federal agency's import ban on most of the tech company's watch models ...

  29. Will the Omicron Travel Restrictions Work?

    December 4, 2021. A solitary traveller navigates London's Heathrow Airport after the U.K. adopted a similar policy to that of the U.S., banning travel from eight countries in southern Africa ...