The peak season for fall travel has arrived. Many travelers are looking to see the colors of fall across the United States, take a short trip with the kids for a fall break, or maybe even take an international trip during shoulder season. Here are the latest travel restrictions you should know about for October 2021.
Travel restrictions in the United States
The United States continues to have minimum travel restrictions. However, states and some local cities are implementing mask warrants and proof of vaccination for certain activities.
Hawaii continues to have the strictest entry requirements. You will need a negative test before arrival or full proof of vaccination to bypass the 10-day quarantine requirement.
There are currently no travel restrictions between the islands.
You can also expect restrictions from local restaurants in Honolulu, Oahu, and Maui. Clients must be fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test.
A growing number of major US cities are adopting a vaccination public mandate or negative Covid-19 test result to attend indoor events or large outdoor gatherings.
As of November 4, 2021, Los Angeles will begin requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test result within 72 hours of the visit for these indoor locations:
- Restaurants and bars
- Entertainment venues
- Shopping centers
- Personal care centers
This city mandate is in addition to the Los Angeles County mandate which has an impact on several theme parks.
As of October 7, 2021, guests aged 12 or older will be required 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 proof of vaccination for certain indoor events. You must have at least one dose of vaccine to participate in these indoor events:
- To eat
Fully vaccinated Americans can fly or drive to Canada without quarantine. You must also have a negative result on the pre-entry test.
Unfortunately, the land border between the United States and Canada remains closed to Canadians hoping to travel to the United States by car. However, US citizens can cross the border to return to the United States.
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 travel to popular tourist destinations like Cancun and Quintana Roo.
Several countries in Central and South America are open to tourism and non-essential travel. Entry conditions differ depending on the destination.
Argentina is one of the few countries in Latin America to further restrict non-essential travel. Uruguay and Venezuela are the other notable holdouts.
Belize has relatively lenient entry conditions. You will need a negative test before arrival and must also be staying at a government approved Gold Standard hotel or resort.
Chile recently reopened its doors for non-essential travel. Non-Chilean residents must purchase a Mobility Pass for the intended travel dates. It may take 2-3 weeks to receive this pass for international travel.
Other requirements include:
- Proof of vaccination
- Negative test result before arrival
- 5-day self-quarantine
- Medical insurance with a minimum amount of coverage of $ 30,000
Colombia no longer requires a negative test before arrival, but a health check can take place at the airport. Proof of vaccination is also optional.
Entry requirements to Costa Rica vary slightly for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors. No type of traveler is required to have a negative test before arrival.
However, fully vaccinated travelers must show proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated visitors must present proof of adequate health insurance.
As with mainland Latin American countries, entry requirements for the Caribbean islands vary from strict to lenient. In general, you can expect to have a negative pre-arrival test and valid travel health insurance covering the cost of Covid-19 care.
Most of the islands are open for travel, but there are entry requirements for some of the more popular destinations.
Fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers must test negative prior to arrival. If you are visiting multiple islands, a follow-up test may be required if the pre-arrival test took place more than five days ago.
The Cayman Islands are one of the last Caribbean countries 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 test negative to be discharged on day 15.
Mixed travel groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers must all self-quarantine for 14 days. This rule can have an impact on families traveling with children who are currently too young to be vaccinated.
The Dominican Republic is one of the most accessible Caribbean islands to visit. Travelers will not need to get a negative test result before arrival or be fully vaccinated. However, authorities can conduct random entry testing when a positive result leads to mandatory quarantine.
Turks and Caicos Islands
The Turks and Caicos Islands require all travelers aged 16 or older to be fully immunized, and all visitors will need a negative test before arrival.
Europe has tightened its entry requirements for tourists in recent weeks due to the prevalence of several variants.
Here are some of the entry requirements for Western European countries. There are many similarities, but each country has its policy.
Americans will need to show proof of vaccination and a negative test before arrival to enter without quarantine. Proof of recent recovery may substitute for proof of vaccination.
Only fully vaccinated travelers can visit Spain without restriction. The ongoing eruption of La Palma volcano will impact travel plans to the Canary Islands in the immediate future.
Vaccinated and unvaccinated people can visit France. The United States is currently a medium risk “orange country” and has relatively strict entry requirements. Fully vaccinated travelers only need to show proof of vaccination and do not need a test result before arrival.
All other travelers must test negative before arrival and observe a 7-day self-quarantine. Another PCR test is needed to get out of quarantine.
It is possible to travel to the UK, but entry requirements may vary by region (i.e. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). It is best to travel once fully immunized. If so, you will need to book a diagnostic test on day 2 of your visit, but quarantine is not required and pre-arrival testing is not required.
Unvaccinated travelers must test negative before arrival, be quarantined for up to 10 days, and undergo diagnostic testing on days 2 and 8.
The rest of the world
Here are some of the countries that you can and cannot visit in the rest of the world 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 remains closed to non-essential travel. Thailand is one of the only exceptions at some resorts if you are fully vaccinated and test negative before arrival.
Australia and New Zealand remain closed until further notice. For some good news, New Zealand plans to reopen its borders in 2022 for fully vaccinated travelers. A mandatory quarantine may remain in effect.
Tourists can visit with a negative test result before arrival and stay at an approved resort. This country is difficult to reach, but one of the few places open in Asia for tourism.
It is still possible to travel to Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. More and more countries are starting to require proof of vaccination to lift 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.