Peak fall travel season is here. Many travelers are looking to see the fall colors across the United States, take a short trip with the children for a fall break, or maybe even squeeze an international trip during shoulder season. Here are the latest travel restrictions you should know about for October 2021.
United States Travel Restrictions
The United States continues to have minimal travel restrictions. However, states and some local cities are implementing mask mandates and vaccination proof for certain activities.
Hawaii continues to have the strictest entry requirements. You will need a negative pre-arrival test or proof of full vaccination to bypass the 10-day quarantine requirement.
There are currently no inter-island travel restrictions.
You can also expect local restaurant restrictions in Honolulu, Oahu, and Maui. Patrons must be fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test.
A growing number of large U.S. cities are adopting a public vaccine mandate or a negative Covid-19 test result to attend indoor events or large outdoor gatherings.
Effective November 4, 2021, Los Angeles will start requiring proof of vaccine or a negative test result from within 72 hours of visiting for these indoor locations:
- Restaurants and bars
- Entertainment venues
- Shopping malls
- Personal care centers
This city mandate is in addition to the Los Angeles County mandate that impacts several amusement parks.
Starting October 7, 2021, guests age 12 or older will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter Universal Studios Hollywood or Six Flags Magic Mountain.
New York City
New York City was one of the first cities to start requiring vaccine proof for select indoor events. You must have at least one vaccine dose to participate in these indoor events:
Fully vaccinated Americans can fly or drive to Canada quarantine-free. You must also have a negative pre-entry test result.
Unfortunately, the U.S.—Canada land border remains closed for Canadians hoping to drive into the United States. However, United States citizens can drive across the border back into the U.S.
Mexico continues to have some of the most lenient entry guidelines for Americans wishing to visit for leisure. However, you must fly as the land border remains closed until further notice.
You won’t need to show proof of vaccination or have a negative Covid-19 test to go to popular tourist destinations like Cancun and Quintana Roo.
Several Central American and South American countries are open for tourism and non-essential travel. The entry requirements differ by destination.
Argentina is one of the very few Latin American countries to still restrict non-essential travel. Uruguay and Venezuela are the other notable holdouts.
Belize has relatively lenient entry requirements. You will need a negative pre-arrival test and must also stay at a government-approved Gold Standard hotel or resort.
Chile recently reopened for non-essential travel again. Non-Chilean residents must obtain a Mobility Pass for the planned travel dates. It can take 2-3 weeks to receive this pass for international travel.
Other requirements include:
- Proof of vaccination
- Negative pre-arrival test result
- 5-day self-quarantine
- Medical insurance with a minimum coverage amount of $30,000
Colombia no longer requires a negative pre-arrival test, but a health screening may occur at the airport. Vaccination proof is optional too.
The entry requirements for Costa Rica vary slightly for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors. Neither traveler type is required to have a negative pre-arrival test.
However, fully vaccinated travelers must show proof of vaccine. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated visitors must show proof of adequate health insurance.
Like the mainland Latin American countries, the entry requirements for the Caribbean Islands vary from strict to lenient. In general, you can anticipate having a negative pre-arrival test and valid travel health insurance covering Covid-19 care expenses.
Most islands are open for travel, but there are entry requirements for some of the most popular destinations.
Fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers must have a negative pre-arrival test. If visiting multiple islands, a follow-up test may be required if the pre-arrival test occurred more than five days ago.
The Cayman Islands are one of the last Caribbean nations to reopen. The country accepts some travelers, but a mandatory quarantine is in effect for all vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors.
Vaccinated travelers must quarantine for seven days and have a negative PCR test to exit quarantine on day 8.
Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for 14 days and have a negative test result to exit on day 15.
Mixed travel parties of vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers must all self-quarantine for 14 days. This rule can impact traveling families with children currently too young to get the vaccine.
The Dominican Republic is one of the most accessible Caribbean islands to visit. Travelers won’t need to obtain a negative pre-arrival test result or be fully vaccinated. However, authorities may conduct random entry testing where a positive result leads to a mandatory quarantine.
Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos require all travelers at least 16 years old to be fully vaccinated, and all visitors will need a negative pre-arrival test.
Europe has been strengthening its entry requirements for tourists in recent weeks due to the prevalence of several variants.
Here are some of the entry requirements for the western European nations. There are many similarities, but each country has its policy.
Americans will need to show proof of vaccination and a negative pre-arrival test to enter quarantine-free. Proof of a recent recovery can substitute for vaccination proof.
Only fully vaccinated travelers can visit Spain restriction-free. The ongoing La Palma volcano eruption will impact travel plans to the Canary Islands for the immediate future.
The vaccinated and unvaccinated can visit France. The U.S. is currently a medium-risk “orange country” and has relatively strict entry requirements. Fully vaccinated travelers only need to show proof of vaccination and don’t need a pre-arrival test result.
All other travelers must have a negative pre-arrival test result and observe a 7-day self-quarantine. Another PCR test is necessary to exit quarantine.
It’s possible to fly to the United Kingdom, but entry requirements may vary by region (i.e., England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). It’s best to travel once fully vaccinated. If so, you will need to book a diagnostic test on day 2 of your visit but quarantining isn’t necessary, and a pre-arrival test isn’t required.
Unvaccinated travelers must have a negative pre-arrival test, quarantine for up to 10 days, and have diagnostic tests on days 2 and 8.
The Rest Of The World
Here are some of the countries you can and cannot visit across the rest of the globe for non-essential travel.
Most African countries are open, including Egypt and South Africa. This continent is the most welcoming of the remaining places outside of Europe and the Americas.
Much of Asia remain closed to non-essential travel. Thailand is one of the lone exceptions at select resorts if you’re fully vaccinated and have a negative pre-arrival test.
Australia and New Zealand remain closed until further notice. For some good news, New Zealand plans on reopening its borders in 2022 for fully vaccinated travelers. A mandatory quarantine may remain in effect.
Tourists can visit with a negative pre-arrival test result and stay at an approved resort. This country is challenging to reach, but one of the few places open in Asia for tourism.
It’s still possible to travel to Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. More countries are starting to require proof of vaccination to waive the mandatory quarantine. Mexico, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic continue to have some of the most accessible entry requirements to make international travel possible for many.