As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, the world isn't quite ready to open back up for travel yet. Yet slowly but surely, that's starting.
Some countries are edging their way back to “normal,” deciding to open their borders to tourists. So while Europe will be off-limits to U.S. travelers for the near future, several countries are ready to welcome them – especially in the Caribbean.
Whether international travel is on your radar are not, here are the countries opening their doors to U.S. citizens starting today, July 1.
Don't see your favorite spot on this list? Check out our country-by-country guide to restarting travel to see when it's set to reopen.
With only 104 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Bahamas has clearly managed this pandemic. And the country is ready to reopen to tourists starting today.
But there will be changes. Upon arrival, passengers must present a negative COVID-19 test no more than 10 days old. Travelers must also complete an electronic health visa prior to arrival. Temperature checks will be administered to arriving passengers, and masks must be worn at all times in airports.
Many hotels and Airbnbs have already begun reopening, and safety protocols will be in place throughout the island. Many restaurants and other tourist attractions will also be enforcing social distancing measures.
And while many international flights have been cut, many of the major U.S. carriers are set to resume service to the Bahamas starting early in July. Options may be more limited, but there should be daily nonstop service to Nassau (NAS) from Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore (BWI), Charlotte (CLT), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Houston-Intercontinental (IAH), Miami (MIA), and New York City (JFK).
Thrifty Tip: Fly to the Bahamas for nearly free using Delta SkyMiles! You won't need many with this Caribbean SkyMiles flash sale we sent to Thrifty Traveler Premium members last week, with rates starting as low as 11,000 SkyMiles round-trip.
Like its neighboring islands to the south, Bermuda has seen less than 200 cases of COVID-19. And its government crafted a strategic plan to open up to travelers today.
And just as with the Bahamas, it will take some extra effort to visit this beautiful country.
To start, you'll need a negative COVID-19 test result from no more than five days prior to arrival. You'll also need to complete an online authorization process, including important health information. It costs $75, and that covers the cost of a second COVID-19 test on arrival at Bermuda (BDA) airport. And then you'll need to quarantine for up to eight hours or more at your home or accommodation until the results from that second test come in.
While on the island, safety measures will remain in place with limited capacity at restaurants and bars. Wearing a mask is mandatory in public places and public transport. And you’ll need to take your temperature twice daily and report it through your health app that was established prior to your arrival.
And the testing isn't over yet, either. Depending on how long you're staying in Bermuda, be prepared to take additional COVID-19 tests on day three, day seven, and day 14 after your arrival at pop-up testing stations scattered across the island. If you test positive, you'll need to self-quarantine for 14 days on your dime.
You'll also need to take your temperature twice a day and report the results through Bermuda's online portal.
This popular island nation for tourism is reopening for travelers starting July 1, too.
Airports, restaurants, hotels, and gyms will have been green-lighted for reopening. However, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, this Caribbean nation will be taking careful measures as they try to reignite their tourism industry.
All international airports are set to open July 1 with health precautions for all arriving visitors. Health screenings and temperature checks will be administered. And the Dominican government has also set up a smartphone app where visitors can report their condition and access other health information while traveling. Social distancing measuring including wearing a mask in all public places is strictly enforced.
Multiple airlines already have flights scheduled throughout the summer. Your cheapest nonstop option in July will be from Miami on American Airlines, with fares as low as $225 roundtrip!
Thrifty Tip: Stay at the brand new Hyatt Ziva & Zilara all-inclusive resort which can be booked for 25,000 Hyatt points a night. Grab the 60,000 point offer from the Chase Sapphire Preferred to score a few nights free! Its grand opening is currently set for July 22.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The gorgeous group of islands in the Caribbean is also opening its borders for tourists today. All arriving passengers at St. Vincent (SVD) will be tested upon arrival for COVID-19. They will then need to quarantine for 24 hours or until negative results have been returned. During their stay, travelers must report any new symptoms of coronavirus that they are experiencing to the government's hotline.
Getting to St. Vincent is another matter, as flights from the U.S. are very limited even in high season. You can only find direct flights on American Airlines out of Miami (MIA) and with Caribbean Airlines from New York City (JFK).
If you wait until the middle of August, you can score roundtrip flights from Miami for just $345!
It's not much, but it's a start.
Just a handful of countries are welcoming Americans at the moment. And the few countries in the Caribbean that are allowing U.S. travelers will have stringent health and safety requirements.
As we see countries continually postponing opening dates for international travel, it's clear that Americans may have a long wait before they can freely roam the globe again.