Dear readers, we hope you and your families are well. Even though we are seeing a rise in covid-19 cases numbers once again and it looks as if Europe is on the verge of a second wave, yet things are continuing to open in the world of travel and tourism. As ever before, some requirements and approaches vary, but the trend is broadly toward allowing incoming visitors. A significant number of countries appear to be realizing that they need to work out ways to open boarder sooner rather than later. Before traveling anywhere, one must remember new pre-departure testing trials formalities and if you do wish to travel abroad please check the requirement not only for the visiting country but also for coming back.
With that in mind here’s the latest list of countries that have opened up to tourists or will do so at some point this month.
Panama – open from October 12
Entry requirements: negative test within 48 hours or upon arrival. From October 12 onward visitors can enter Panama as normal provided they have a negative PCR test from within 48 hours of arrival. Testing at the airport on arrival is also an option, which is good news because many travelers may find it difficult to get a negative test result on such a short turnaround. Arriving passengers will also need to fill out an “Electronic Affidavit” confirming they are healthy and will abide by all health protocols.
Uganda – open
Entry requirements: negative test within 72 hours of arrival AND a negative test before departure as well. Uganda is unusual in requiring a COVID test before leaving the country. That test needs to happen no more than 120 hours before departure.
Current COVID-19 trend: relatively okay. Uganda’s case count was on the rise through September but in absolute terms their outbreak has been reasonably small with just under 9,000 cases so far and 81 deaths.
El Salvador – open
Entry requirements: negative test taken within 72 hours. El Salvador is open to everyone who wants to visit provided they arrive with a negative PCR test. Of the countries on this list, it has been open the longest and the protocol seems to be working fine.
Current COVID-19 trend: improved. Though there are some reports of unreliable data, officially at least case numbers are below the peak and relatively stable.
Bahamas – open without quarantine from November 1
Entry requirements: negative test within 7 days of departure, approved health visa, test on arrival and test on day 5 (cost included in visa). From November 1 it will reportedly become much easier to travel there. Currently the country is planning to reopen from October 15 but with a “vacation in place” rule for visitors. That means they will have to stay within a vacation rental or hotel. However, from November 1 visitors who test negative in advance and upon arrival, and obtain a “health visa”, will be able to skip quarantine.
Current COVID-19 trend: rising but low overall. The Bahamas have had less than 5,000 cases in total, and though numbers have gone up the situation seems to be mostly under control.
Ukraine – open
Entry requirements: negative test 48 hours prior or upon arrival to avoid quarantine for ‘red zone’ countries including the US. Most countries are on the green zone list and for people arriving from those countries, provided they haven’t been in a red zone for 14 days prior, no restrictions are in effect. For those from a “red zone”, a contact tracing app must also be downloaded.
Current COVID-19 trend: higher than ever. Case numbers are high and continuing to rise, and daily deaths are also high.
Bahrain – open
Entry requirements: up to two tests on arrival at a cost of $80 each. As of September 4, Bahrain has resumed issuing visa on arrival to many nationalities including the US. Note also that if you stay longer than 10 days in Bahrain, you’ll be required to take another PCR test.
Current COVID-19 trend: somewhat worrying. Cases have been on the rise again lately, although daily deaths remain flat. Bahrain has only seen 202 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Bermuda – open
Entry requirements: A travel authorization in advance (cost: $75), a negative PCR test before departure and a test on arrival plus 24-hour quarantine. The quarantine on arrival is completed at the visitor’s accommodations. Children under 10 years old are exempt from the testing requirement, but are subject to the quarantine of the adults they’re traveling with.
Current COVID-19 trend: very good. Daily cases remain in the single digits and the island’s total case count since March is just 175, with 9 deaths. For now, it appears there is very little virus in Bermuda.
Morocco – open
Entry requirements: confirmed hotel reservations plus a negative test PCR test from within 48 hours and a negative serological test. These rules apply to citizens of visa-exempt countries since September 6, including Americans. Children under 12 are exempted from testing requirements. Note that as of now Morocco remains under a “Health State of Emergency” until October 10.
Current COVID-19 trend: trending in the wrong direction. Cases are at their highest levels of the pandemic, as are daily deaths.
French Polynesia – open
Entry requirements: proof of negative test. This “overseas collectivity” of France requires proof of a negative PCR test taken at most three days prior to your arrival. Visitors then must administer a self-test four days after arrival. No quarantine is required.
Current COVID-19 trend: overall very low numbers but rising recently.
Maldives – open
Entry requirements: proof of negative test. From September 10 the Maldives requires travelers to arrive with proof of a negative PCR test. Otherwise, no special rules apply – though only certain islands and resorts are open.
Current COVID-19 trend: elevated infections. The Maldives hasn’t had a big outbreak at any point but its daily infections in recent days are among the highest it has seen during the pandemic. The country has recorded just 29 deaths.