These 8 places have low covid rates and open borders
It seems as if the coronavirus is running rampant across much of the western world once again, and that’s leading to new travel restrictions, reduced flights and more. For those who had been looking to maybe get away in the fall or winter, this is depressing news. This recent list of places you can travel to with no restrictions may be appealing, but many potential travelers might be wondering whether it’s worth it considering the risk of getting sick while abroad. Furthermore, how long will they stay open at this rate?
Published by Forbes
Palm trees at sunset on Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. Many would-be travelers have been dreaming of ... [+] GETTY
The good news is there are places that continue to welcome visitors that also boast reassuringly low rates for infections and hospitalizations in recent weeks. That means not only can you visit, you won’t likely have to worry about a worsening situation on the ground while you’re there. So without further delay, here are 8 places that have low COVID-19 rates and open borders with few entry restrictions.
1. Dominican Republic
It’s been great to see that even as the Dominican Republic has led the way in terms of welcoming visitors compared to many neighbors, and has made it as easy as possible to go there, its COVID-19 numbers have remained low and stable. This is a very nice place to visit, even more so because it’s simple to do so these days.
Entry requirements: No test is required to enter though there may be a health screening (such as temperature checks) on arrival. There is a quarantine from 9pm to 5am on weekdays and from 7pm to 5am on weekends, but most visitors here will be spending the bulk of their time at resorts so for many this is likely not a major issue. Complete details here.
The Bahamas has seen case counts (which were low to begin with) drop even further in recent weeks. That and its proximity to the US make it an ideal option for an escape. The requirements to enter are a little more extensive than for some places, but they’re sensible, and easy enough to fulfill. If they help to keep cases down, all the better.
Entry requirements: Travelers must obtain a negative PCR test within five days of departure, and then complete a Travel Health Visa Application in which they submit proof of that negative test. The cost for the visa is $40 if staying under 5 days, and $60 if staying longer (children under 10 are exempt from both.) The great thing about the visa is that it includes health insurance during the stay and covers the cost of a required rapid antigen test on the 5th day of a visitor’s stay as well. And since the negative PCR test is a condition of the visa, there’s no uncertainty when heading to the airport as to whether you have the correct proof of the negative test or not. Finally, a daily online health questionnaire needs to be filled out. Complete details here.
Bermuda has among the most restrictive requirements on this list, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to complete them regardless. And it may well be worth it when you consider just how low case counts have been there. What’s more, Bermuda hasn’t had a COVID-19 death in months.
Entry requirements: Visitors need to get a negative PCR test result within 7 days of departure and apply for a Travel Authorization online (cost: $75) no less than 24 hours before travel. A number of tests are also required once in country, depending on length of stay, but the good news is the Travel Authorization fee covers the cost of all of these. Those tests will happen on arrival, on day four, day eight and day 14 if applicable. Important: after testing on arrival, travelers will need to quarantine at their accommodations for 24 to 48 hours until a negative result comes back. Most results are said to be ready within 24 hours. Complete details here.
Though there has been some doubt as to whether the virus figures out of Nicaragua are entirely reliable, if we take them at face value the numbers look very good. Nicaragua is more suited to adventurous and experienced travelers, but most reports from those visiting the country are overwhelmingly positive. And you are free to enter with a negative PCR test, with no restrictions once in country.
Entry requirements: Bring a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. Complete details here.
After being very hard hit initially, the COVID-19 trend in Peru has also been improving, with cases and deaths down. Peru is of course a fascinating country that’s deservedly well-known for its fantastic food. For a unique trip with plenty of variety, it’s hard to beat.
Entry requirements: A negative PCR test taken within 72 hours will get you into the country without a problem. There is currently no quarantine requirement. Note that there is a nationwide 11pm curfew. Complete details here.
Ghana reopened this fall and so far things seem to be going very well. Cases are low, as are deaths. For anyone that’s been itching to get to Africa, Ghana may hold the key.
Entry requirements: Ghana requires a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure and also does mandatory testing on arrival at a cost of $150 per passenger. Those test results take half an hour to come back and assuming the result is negative, travelers are free to enter. Complete details here.
The Maldives is another shining example of a nation open to tourism that has managed to keep case counts low. If you want to get really ambitious, note that a Maldives resort is offering unlimited use of an overwater bungalow for all of 2021 for $30,000. Which when evaluated in terms of monthly rent ($2,500) is a pretty great deal. (But keep in mind food and drinks are expensive and you can’t just stroll down to the local grocery store.)
Entry requirements: No restrictions or testing requirements. Complete details here.
Bahrain may not be everyone’s idea of an ideal vacation but for those suffering from cabin fever and wanderlust after months of being stuck at home, it could be an interesting change of scenery nonetheless. Bahrain reopened a while back and though numbers weren’t looking good for a while, they now look much better. What’s more, with testing on arrival in place, there’s no need to hunt down a PCR test within a certain number of hours before departure. This could be a good bet for a straightforward getaway to an unusual destination.
Entry requirements: All passengers will be tested on arrival at a cost of roughly $80. Those under six years old are exempt. A second test will be required if staying more than ten days, but it’s a good bet very few leisure travelers will be in this situation. Complete details here.
There are still relatively high numbers of daily infections in Brazil so they don’t quite make it onto this list officially, but it is worth mentioning because numbers are down from their peak and seem to be getting better, unlike many places in the Americas and Europe right now. They have also proven to be consistently open to allowing visitors with few requirements, so there are unlikely to be any surprises between booking a trip and actually arriving. If you’re willing to travel with a little bit of risk, this might be a good bet.