Spring has officially arrived and April is one of the best months to travel as the weather north of the equator warms up from the depths of winter. Also, it’s not peak travel season yet, as the school is still open, so there are fewer people and cheaper fares. These travel restrictions are minimal but worth considering for international travel.
United States Travel Restrictions
There are no domestic travel restrictions that will prevent travel to the United States. However, a federal policy may impact entry into the country.
Vaccination Mandate for International Travel
The United States is one of the few countries that continues to require visitors to be fully vaccinated in order to enter by air. This mandate does not affect returning citizens or lawful permanent residents returning to the United States.
Pre-arrival testing requirement waived
Most Western countries have implemented a pre-arrival testing requirement for travelers returning from a visit to China, Hong Kong or Macau within the last 10 days. The test protocol is also applied when traveling at a designated airport.
This testing policy expired on March 10, 2023, with the immediate threat of a coronavirus outbreak lapsed, with China’s gradual reopening having been successful so far.
The United States government no longer requires a negative test prior to arrival from all international origins.
Travel restrictions in Canada
There are no restrictions for visiting Canada from the United States. A public mask mandate may still be active in some provinces and cities. However, Canadians wishing to visit the United States must continue to be fully immunized to enter for pleasure.
Caribbean Travel Restrictions
There is another popular Caribbean island that is open to unvaccinated adults. The Turks and Caicos Islands have officially ended their vaccination mandate for visitors 18 or older effective April 1, 2023. Additionally, there are no capacity restrictions at restaurants or bars. No additional entry requirements are in effect for Turks.
This island nation was the latest popular tropical Caribbean destination to require vaccination. Thus, the most visited islands from before the pandemic are fully open again and also include Aruba, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
Latin America Travel Restrictions
For the most part, travelers can visit Latin America without restriction. But, a pre-arrival test for unvaccinated visitors applies to these countries:
Travel restrictions in Europe
Europe is open to travel although the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to hamper leisure travel to this corner of the world. In the last days of March 2023, the US State Department again urged US citizens to leave Russia. This repeated warning indicates that the conflict is unlikely to end anytime soon.
Asia Travel Restrictions
Asia continues to be a mixed bag. It is best to be fully vaccinated to travel to this region. Indonesia still prohibits unvaccinated people from visiting. Unvaccinated people can enter Japan and the Philippines after testing negative before arrival.
Easing of travel restrictions in China
China’s international borders continue to thaw as the country fully reopened to tourism for more than 40 countries on March 15, 2023, issuing new travel visas. The country also recognizes active multi-year visas issued before March 28, 2020.
Unfortunately, tourists from the United States will have to wait a bit longer to get on the tourism “green list”. Currently, U.S. citizens and residents can only visit China after obtaining a business, work, or study visa after having a negative pre-arrival test result.
Australia and New Zealand travel restrictions
The two main countries in Oceania are fully open to tourism, regardless of their vaccination status.
Africa Travel Restrictions
Three of the most visited African nations have no entry requirements:
- South Africa
Beyond these countries, most destinations are wide open to fully vaccinated people, although a number require pre-arrival testing for unvaccinated people.
A potential disease that can threaten travelers is Marburg virus, which is a hemorrhagic fever. As of April 3, 2023, the CDC has only issued travel warnings for Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania.
As Tanzania is a popular tourist destination, the country currently has a Level 1 Warning – Precautions for Use of CDC Practices. This is the lowest risk level of a three-level alert system. So far, only eight confirmed cases and five deaths have been reported to the World Health Organization. Although not widespread, it is something to be aware of when traveling in Africa.
Overall, the international travel situation has improved in recent months as entry requirements eased in some countries that were popular tourist destinations before the pandemic. In conclusion, it’s a great time to take a spring break trip locally or abroad.