Welcome to Travel Well with Allan Wright!
In this week’s episode, Allan discusses the different levels of inbound travel restrictions currently in place around the world. With the rollout of the vaccine, certain countries have begun to open their borders to varying degrees.
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Can’t watch the video right now? Here’s the video transcript of Inbound Traveler Restrictions:
This is Allan Wright. Welcome to the Travel Well with Allan video update. We’re now doing these every other week because we have webinars we’re putting on about the travel locations where we run tours on the alternating weeks. We hope you can join us on those as well.
This week the Travel Well subject is inbound traveler restrictions and there’s some big news with this. First off, I’d like to categorize these into five different categories.
Wide open, open, semi-closed, closed, and entry with vaccination, Wide open are those countries and there are a few that have no restriction whatsoever on people entering. Mexico is the perfect example. If you’re arriving by air, the United States used to be in this category too until January 26 when we started requiring COVID tests.
Open – the U.S. news has a list of 50 countries that are essentially open to U.S.citizens. Almost all of them do require a negative COVID test result but this includes some major countries for travel like: Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, South Africa, and many Caribbean countries as well.
The next category are the Semi-closed countries these are countries that require negative COVID tests but also require some period of quarantine which makes some sense because you can’t guarantee if you’ve been tested at home and then you have 48-hours before your flight and then you fly over to your destination, you haven’t caught COVID. Ireland’s a good example of this.
The next category are the Closed countries essentially closed to travel. It’s certainly closed to U.S. citizen travel. If you consider that there are 195 approximately countries in the world then you are talking about 145 or so that are entirely closed. This includes all of Europe, the United Kingdom, which went into a lockdown recently, most of Asia and many other places in the world.
I’d like to give you two quick examples of this. Singapore and Australia because I know people there. In Singapore, they’ve only had 29 deaths total and only two cases in the last 24 hours. My brother and sister-in-law live there and they’re going out all the time because it’s essentially under control there. They go eat in restaurants, they go to friends houses, everybody follows the rules. There’s a tight entry restriction and it’s working.
Another one is Australia where they’re doing the same thing. You can really only fly to Australia if you’re coming from new zealand or if you’re returning home as a citizen or a permanent resident. They only have 30 active cases right now. Most of which are not locally transmitted, they’re mostly caught at the border. And I just want to give you a quick quote on on what life is like there for my friend, Linda:
“Nowadays if we get more than five cases in the country, yes only five, everybody’s asked to go into hard lockdown for five days so the tracking and tracing can be done. State borders get closed and people in the main do what they’re asked. In fact, in some ways, I feel like the Aussies are wearing their compliance and great COVID records for low numbers as a badge of honor.”
So it’s working there. They’re also going out going to events and enjoying life again. Obviously, this compares a little bit to the United States where we had not two but 72,000 cases in the last 24 hours.
The final category is Entry with Vaccine. This is brand new just happening as of January last month really and I found 12 countries that allow this. Cyprus, Estonia, Georgia, Iceland, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mauritius, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Thailand and the Seychelles Islands. Those are getting to be countries, half of those are in Europe granted Eastern Europe but still they’re in Europe and this is where we are headed.
If you are planning to get to your vaccine and you should be, then you can start planning your travel for later in 2021. I think countries like Italy and France are going to open up with a proof of vaccination.
Fascinatingly, it’s now actually happening within the United States. Vermont recently announced this week that they will waive the quarantine period which is mandatory for those people who have been vaccinated. Hawaii’s going to do the same thing. So fascinating changes.
It’s good news for travelers. When you get vaccinated, you will be able to travel. Once countries start opening up like this on a big scale. Hope that gives you a little hope!