How Short-Haul Flight Bans Are Transforming European Travel

By Elissa Garay

landscape view of Saint Emilion village in Bordeaux region in France. greenery. vineyards. blue sky. clouds

Short-haul flights between European cities have become increasingly common over the last few decades, popularized by the cheap, quick, and convenient offerings from low-cost regional carriers like EasyJet and Ryanair. But that will start to change this year. In an effort to shrink the region’s carbon output, governments across the European Union are imposing bans on short-haul flights, with new legislation taking effect as early as this spring.

One country leading such measures is France, which last spring became the world’s first major economy to enact a nationwide ban on short-haul domestic flights on routes where train journeys of two and a half hours or less exist as an alternative. When the law goes into effect in March, it will eliminate 12 percent of French domestic flights, according to The Guardian . Flights set to be eliminated include routes from Paris to popular tourist cities such as Bordeaux, Lyon , and Nantes.

The French government had previously locked national flag carrier Air France into adhering to similar short-haul domestic route cutbacks in 2020 as a condition to the airline’s €7 billion ($7.9 billion) pandemic-related government bailout. The newer 2021 legislation expands that measure to apply to all airlines operating within the country.

For now, not all French regional flights will be eliminated. “Exceptions [to the ban] will be made for cities that provide connections to international flights,” says Anne-Laure Tuncer, spokesperson for France’s tourism agency. 

Beyond France, other European lawmakers have proposed similar bans, with countries like Spain, Germany , and nations throughout Scandinavia considering such legislation. Austria, for one, has already begun enacting similar policies, albeit as part of a piecemeal approach, as a condition for Austrian Airlines’ pandemic bailout in 2020. Officials stipulated that the airline had to eliminate domestic flights where alternative train journeys under three hours were available, affecting the carrier's route between Vienna and Salzburg .

Although initial bans are just taking shape, more stringent European flight restrictions could already be on the horizon. Organizations like France’s Citizens’ Convention on Climate and consumer group UFC-Que Choisir have advocated for broader bans in France that would eliminate domestic flights on routes that have a rail alternative of under four hours. Global environmental group Greenpeace took those calls further still, demanding in October that the E.U. ban all short-haul flights throughout Europe in instances where a train journey of under six hours is available—the group says that such a move would impact a third of the continent’s busiest short flights and eliminate 3.5 million tons of carbon emissions per year.

However, some experts caution that while banning select short-haul flights can provide some immediacy to carbon-cutting efforts, those measures alone will not resolve the aviation industry’s much bigger carbon emissions problem. According to European air traffic management organization Eurocontrol , flights shorter than 311 miles made up 31 percent of European flights in 2020 yet contributed just over four percent of the E.U.’s total aviation emissions. In contrast, long-haul E.U. flights over 2,485 miles, for which alternative train travel is less feasible, made up six percent of all flights, but produced 52 percent of emissions.

“France’s ban on domestic short-haul flights can only be seen as a very hesitant step in the right direction,” says Herwig Schuster, a Greenpeace E.U. transport expert. The French ban will translate to less than a one-percent reduction in carbon emissions for the country’s air transport sector, according to a Greenpeace report .

Broader flight bans appear to have public support, though: A 2020 survey from the European Investment Bank found that 62 percent of Europeans support an E.U.-wide ban on short-haul flights, while 49 percent of Americans support similar measures in the U.S.

To supplement these new policies, the E.U., is aiming to double high-speed rail traffic by 2030 , while even sleeker high-speed trains are due out in France in time for the Paris 2024 Olympics. And, in the meantime, travelers who do seek out domestic rail connections in the country aren’t likely to be disappointed.

French train travel is “not just a mode of transportation, but an experience in itself,” says Mark Smith, founder of train travel website The Man in Seat 61 , who says France’s high-speed trains offer conveniences that planes don’t, like city center-to-city center transport, free Wi-Fi, no advance boarding requirements, and great scenery. “Through the large picture windows you see far more of France than from a plane,” he says.

Serious talks about similar bans on short-haul flights have yet to materialize in the U.S., where train infrastructure is significantly less developed. Even in the absence of such legislation, travelers should consider choosing trains over planes when feasible, experts like sustainable travel consultant Rose O’Connor say. Such sustainable options are a “value-add, rather than a sacrifice,” she says. Not only is cutting emissions a necessity of the times, O'Connor explains, but “train travel offers a sort of romance and history that plane travel simply does not.”

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International Edition

Updated: A country-by-country guide to coronavirus reopenings

Clint Henderson

Almost three years after the COVID-19 pandemic first upended international travel, many countries have finally returned to pre-pandemic entry requirements by removing vaccination and testing mandates; others have made the process less of a hassle by easing restrictions. Even some of the most restrictive nations are finally open to tourists again. For instance, Japan, announced on Sept. 22 that it would allow visa-free travel there as of Oct. 11. Meanwhile, Taiwan restored visa exemption for U.S passport holders on Sept. 12, and entry for Americans are now able to visit.

Still, a number of countries have restrictions in place, so knowing the rules before you travel internationally remains important.

Related: A country-by-country guide to where you can travel without a COVID-19 test

Reentering the U.S. has also gotten easier since the government on June 12 ended its requirement that all air travelers to the U.S. take a COVID-19 antigen test the day before their flight. The U.S. continues to require that noncitizens and nonresidents be fully vaccinated to enter. For details, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website .

Warnings from the CDC and U.S. Department of State also continued to evolve, with the CDC in early October dropping its COVID-19 travel notices for individual countries.

To get all the up-to-date travel news at your fingertips, download the free TPG App .

TPG is here to guide you through the latest in these updated rules and regulations. To make sure you have the most current information, please follow the provided links to government, tourism, U.S. Embassy and U.S. State Department websites for the most recent updates.

North America

As of June 12, travelers arriving by air to the U.S. no longer need to present results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of their flight. However, all noncitizen and nonresident travelers need to show proof of full vaccination to enter the U.S.

Related: US dropping international COVID-19 testing requirement

The U.S., which reopened to fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8, 2021, still requires all arriving air passengers to provide contact tracing information to their airline. Current details on requirements for entering the U.S.can be found on the CDC's website .

All U.S. states are open and proof-of-vaccination requirements for many indoor activities in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and other cities have ended.

On March 26, Hawaii ended restrictions for domestic travelers, but international arrivals are still subject to the U.S. government's vaccination rules.

Related: Traveling to Hawaii just got a whole lot easier

Masks are no longer required in public spaces. On April 18, a federal judge vacated the executive order President Joe Biden signed soon after taking office in late January 2021 that mandated the wearing of masks on federal property and domestic public transportation , including planes, buses, subways, trains, airports and train stations. Mask-wearing is optional in airports, on airplanes and on certain other public transportation. New York in early September changed its own public transportation mask mandate on subways, buses and shared rides to recommended from required.

The CDC has updated its domestic travel guidance for fully vaccinated travelers, but still strongly advises unvaccinated individuals to test before and after travel within the U.S. Check the CDC website for the latest updates.

Long-standing U.S. restrictions on visitors , including a ban on tourists driving into the country from Canada and Mexico, were lifted on Nov. 8, 2021, but only for fully vaccinated travelers (at least 14 days past their final dose). The vaccination requirement does not include children under the age of 18.

will air travel be banned

As of Oct. 1, all COVID-19-related entry restrictions for all international visitors to Canada have been eased. Proof of vaccination is no longer required and the electronic ArriveCAN form has been discontinued.

Canada had previously ended its pre-travel testing requirements on April 1 and the rule, in effect since Nov. 30, 2021, that all passengers age 12 and older traveling domestically in Canada by air or by rail need to be fully vaccinated was suspended on June 20.

Find the latest updates here .

Quebec requires anyone seeking to buy alcohol or cannabis at a province-run store to be fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated Canadians are again able to enter the U.S. via a land crossing at the border as of Nov. 8, 2021.

For more information and updates, visit the U.S. Embassy in Canada website .

The U.S. Department of State's travel advisory for Canada is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions.

will air travel be banned

Mexico has never required testing for entry and has lifted most coronavirus restrictions.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico , travelers entering Mexico via land may be subject to health screenings, including temperature checks. Travelers may experience significant delays and face the possibility of being returned to the U.S. or quarantined in Mexico.

An increase in crime against tourists in Cancun and Riviera Maya made the U.S. Consulate General in Merida issue a security alert for Americans traveling in the region in January 2022. Crime in many regions of Mexico is high. The U.S. consulate classifies Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas as "Do Not Travel" states.

The U.S.-Mexico land border reopened on Nov. 8, 2021, and fully vaccinated travelers are once again allowed to enter the U.S. from Mexico by land. Proof of vaccination is not required for U.S. citizens, but international travelers are required to be vaccinated.

The State Department's advisory for Mexico is now broken down state by state due to threats of crime and kidnapping .

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico , an unincorporated territory of the U.S., is open to all international travelers, although non- U.S. citizens or permanent residents must present proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

As of March 10, all domestic travelers (U.S. citizens and residents), both vaccinated and unvaccinated, no longer need to provide proof of a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test result to enter Puerto Rico.

International visitors must be fully vaccinated. However, the U.S. rule that required all those arriving by air to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken one day before entry ended on June 12.

All capacity restrictions have also ended. Masks are no longer required in indoor public places, but are recommended on public transportation and when vaccination status cannot be guaranteed. Masks are now optional (as of Oct. 1) at events with more than 1,000 people and attendees are no longer required to provide updated proof of vaccination.

For the latest updates, check here .

Related: Your points and miles guide to Puerto Rico

U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands , which includes St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, has been open to tourism since Sept. 19, 2020. As of June 1 , all travelers, whether fully vaccinated or not, no longer need to provide proof of a pre-travel negative test to enter (the test requirement had been dropped for vaccinated domestic travelers as of March 7).

International travelers must still adhere to the U.S. entry requirement that they be fully vaccinated to visit the USVI. Details can be found here .

(Photo by Tetra Images/Getty Images)

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda reopened to tourists on June 4, 2020, and the government's travel advisory as of Aug. 29 lifted all remaining COVID-19 protocols for entry by air and sea. Check for updates here .

Mask-wearing in certain public settings is recommended.

Per the U.S. Embassy for the Eastern Caribbean , the U.S. State Department's advisory for Antigua is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Anguilla is once again welcoming all international visitors with no COVID-19 entry restrictions in place. The island, which began welcoming preapproved travelers on May 25, 2021, as of Oct. 1 has dropped approval and pre-travel testing requirements for unvaccinated travelers; vaccinated travelers had already been allowed to enter without pre-travel testing since Aug. 8.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Anguilla is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions . Visit the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean , which oversees Anguilla, for additional information.

will air travel be banned

As of March 19, Aruba has relaxed its COVID-19 testing requirements and no longer requires proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter. However, all visitors must still complete an online embarkation/disembarkation card process within 72 to four hours prior to travel. The questionnaire asks for identifying information, including passport details. The form also includes a section where visitors can input their travel plans and answer health questions. Travelers must also download the Aruba Health app as part of the ED card process. Find details here .

Aruba reopened to tourists in the summer of 2020 and American visitors were welcomed back on July 10, 2020. U.S. travelers to Aruba previously had to purchase visitors insurance to cover up to $75,000 in health insurance, but the requirement has been discontinued as of July 8.

Visitors must carry a mask with them and wear one in businesses that require them. As of Feb. 17, all other safety measures have been eased.

Visit the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao , which oversees Aruba, for additional information. The U.S. State Department's advisory for Aruba is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

For the latest updates related to travel, check Visit Aruba's entry requirements page.

will air travel be banned

The Bahamas is fully open and as of Sept. 20, all COVID-19 entry restrictions have been lifted, including the need to apply for a Bahamas Health Visa. Details can be found here .

Check the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas for additional info. The U.S. State Department's advisory for the Bahamas is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Barbados, which reopened to international travelers in July, 2020, as of Sept. 22 has ended all official COVID-19 entry protocols. Masks are also now optional. Find details here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Barbados is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions . Check the website of the U.S. Embassy in Barbados for additional information.

Colorful homes and hotels on this hillside in Hamilton, Bermuda. (Photo by andykazie / Getty Images)

Bermuda , which reopened to travelers on July 1, 2020, has ended its pre-travel authorization and pre-travel negative test requirements and as of Nov. 14 visitors only need to fill out an electronic Bermuda Arrival Card , which was in place before the pandemic.

Complete details are available here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Bermuda is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

More information on the coronavirus in Bermuda can be found here .

Americans are welcome to visit Bonaire. As of April 20, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result is no longer required for entry.

For the latest details, check here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Bonaire is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions . For more information, visit the website of the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao , which oversees Bonaire.

British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands officially reopened to tourism on Dec. 1, 2020, and as of July 15, 2022, visitors are no longer required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter, even if unvaccinated. Proof of health insurance valid in the British Virgin Islands is also no longer required.

Complete details on travel requirements and restrictions can be found here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the British Virgin Islands is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions . Check the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean , which oversees the British Virgin Islands, for additional information.

Cayman Islands

As of Aug. 24, there are no longer any COVID-19 protocols for all travelers, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, to enter the Cayman Islands and approval via the Cayman Travel Portal has been suspended. Details are here .

The Cayman Islands had been welcoming fully vaccinated tourists since it entered Phase 5 of its reopening on Jan. 20. Cruise tourism resumed on March 21.

Related: After a 2-year absence, cruise ships are returning to the Cayman Islands

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the Cayman Islands is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

Cuba began welcoming international tourists back Nov. 15, 2021 , and as of April 6, 2022, neither a negative COVID-19 test nor proof of full vaccination is required for entry. Tourists are not required to quarantine but should have medical insurance valid in Cuba and they need to complete a health declaration form prior to travel.

The U.S. State Department has a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution advisory in place for Cuba. Politics limits Americans' travel to Cuba more than COVID-19. Long-standing travel restrictions were tightened by the U.S. government in late 2019, eliminating many of the reasons Americans were allowed to visit Cuba in recent years. For information on exemptions that allow Americans to travel to Cuba, visit the U.S. Embassy in Cuba's COVID-19 page and "Traveling to Cuba" page .

There are a number of additional restrictions for U.S. travelers visiting Cuba that are not related to the pandemic, and which remain active.

Curacao reopened to U.S. tourists in November 2020. All travelers are required to complete a digital immigration card before departure, but as of June 2, there are no other pre-travel testing requirements for all international visitors. Details are here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Curacao is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions . Visit the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao' s website for additional information.

Dominica has been open to travelers since Aug. 3, 2020, and as of Aug. 22, all COVID-19-related entry protocols have been dropped. Visitors no longer need to fill out a pre-travel questionnaire or present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Dominica is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

For more information, see the U.S. Embassy for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean 's website and Dominica's travel advisory .

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic reopened July 1, 2020 and all travelers are currently welcome to visit, with no pre-travel COVID-19 entry requirements.

Related: How to book a trip to the Dominican Republic using points and miles

As of April 23, travelers no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to enter and random tests at the airport have ended. The use of masks and social distancing measures in public spaces is now up to the individual. Check for updates here .

All travelers must still fill out and submit an electronic entry ticket (for both arrival into and departure from the Dominican Republic) to declare they have not felt any COVID-19-related symptoms in the last 72 hours and provide contact details for the next 30 days.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the island is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Saint George-Harbour, Grenada. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

Grenada began reopening to foreign tourists on Aug. 1, 2020, with strict protocols, including quarantine, in place for all visitors. But as of April 4, 2022, Grenada has removed all COVID-19-related entry requirements and restrictions for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Complete details can be found here .

For more information, check the U.S. Embassy in the Eastern Caribbean's COVID-19 page for Grenada . The U.S. State Department's advisory for Grenada is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Haiti — which suffered political and social turmoil following the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moise, on July 7, 2021, as well as a 7.2 magnitude earthquake two weeks later — has reopened its borders to regular international passenger traffic. It has also opened its land borders with the Dominican Republic.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti , as of April 18, all travelers to Haiti age 12 and older will need to present either a vaccination card proving full vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of travel to their airline; proof of prior COVID-19 infection (a positive test and documentation from the attending physician) is also allowed. Passengers ages 5-11 must only present a negative test result.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Haiti is Level 4: Do Not Travel .

Jamaica officially reopened for tourism on June 15, 2020, and as of April 16, 2022, passengers no longer need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test to board their flight to Jamaica.

For faster processing upon arrival at the airport, travelers are encouraged to submit their Immigration/Customs C5 card online anytime before arrival. If the card has not been submitted online, passengers may complete the paper form issued in flight by the airline.

Visit the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica's website for additional information. The U.S. State Department's advisory for Jamaica is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

Americans can visit Martinique for tourism — and as of Aug. 1 there are no COVID-19-related entry requirements for any traveler, according to the U.S. Embassy for the Eastern Caribbean .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Martinique is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Americans can visit St. Barts for tourism — and as of Aug. 1 there are no COVID-19-related entry requirements for any traveler, according to the U.S. Embassy for the Eastern Caribbean .

Check here for additional information about traveling to the island.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for St. Barts is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

St. Kitts and Nevis

As of Aug. 15, all travelers are allowed to enter St. Kitts and Nevis without any COVID-19-related restrictions. The only pre-travel requirement is an immigration and customs form .

Details can be found here .

Americans can now stay anywhere on the island, where options include the Park Hyatt St. Kitts , the Four Seasons Nevis and the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for St. Kitts and Nevis is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

will air travel be banned

As of Sept. 5, St. Lucia has dropped all previous COVID-19-related entry protocols for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers; although, all visitors must complete and have a printed and signed copy of the St. Lucia Health Screening form .

Immediate access to all on-island activities is now available to both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Unvaccinated travelers had previously been required to vacation in place at certified properties for the first seven days of their visit.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for St. Lucia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

For further details, visit the international arrivals page on the St. Lucia Tourism website and the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean's website .

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

St. Vincent and the Grenadines began reopening on July 1, 2020 and as of Sept. 18, all COVID-19-related entry protocols have been lifted. Details are here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for St. Vincent and the Grenadines is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions. Check the website of the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and Discover St. Vincent and the Grenadines for updates.

St. Maarten

will air travel be banned

Dutch St. Maarten ended all COVID-19-related entry requirements as of Nov. 1 and is welcoming U.S. and other travelers arriving at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) without the need for proof of vaccination, testing or electronic authorization. Details are here.

Tourists can also cross the border from Dutch St. Maarten to French Saint-Martin .

The U.S. State Department advisory is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions for both Dutch St. Maarten and French Saint-Martin.

Trinidad and Tobago

will air travel be banned

Trinidad and Tobago issued a stay-at-home order in late March 2020 and banned tourists. The country's borders reopened on July 17, 2021, and as of July 1, 2022, pre-travel testing is no longer required for entry.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Trinidad and Tobago is Level 3: Reconsider Travel . Check the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad & Tobago website for updates.

Turks and Caicos

will air travel be banned

Turks and Caicos, a group of 40 low-lying coral islands popular with tourists in the Caribbean, began welcoming international visitors to Providenciales International Airport (PLS) on July 22, 2020. This British overseas territory includes the island of Providenciales, also known as Provo.

Turks and Caicos currently requires all visitors 18 years of age or older to be fully vaccinated, meaning 14 days must have passed after receiving a single-dose vaccine or a second dose of a two-dose vaccine. Vaccines currently approved are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and others.

To show proof of vaccination, you'll need to provide a digital or paper vaccination record, including the CDC-issued card, or a vaccination letter signed by a medical professional (physician or registered nurse with license number) or one printed from an electronic vaccination database.

Related: Turks and Caicos to require vaccination

As of May 1, travelers to Turks and Caicos are no longer required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 pre-travel test, show proof of medical insurance valid for the treatment of COVID-19 in Turks and Caicos or obtain travel pre-authorization. Masks are no longer required in public places.

For the latest information, visit the Turks and Caicos tourism website and check the website of the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas , which oversees Turks and Caicos.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Turks and Caicos is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Related: Why I love Turks and Caicos

Europe continues to experience COVID-19 waves, although almost all countries have relaxed COVID-19-related entry restrictions and dropped vaccination or testing requirements to access indoor spaces such as restaurants, hotels and museums. The European Council recommended in late February 2022 that its member countries open more broadly to travelers from outside the European Union; by late October, when Spain finally ended its entry requirements, most countries had dropped all COVID-19-related entry requirements for travelers.

The Albanian government reopened for tourism on July 1, 2020, and Americans can visit, according to the U.S. Embassy in Albania .

Effective May 1, 2022, Albania repealed all COVID-19-related entry and public health measures, per the U.S. Embassy.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Albania is now Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Armenia is open to Americans, according to the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan . As of early May, the country no longer requires proof of vaccination or a pre-travel negative test to enter the country.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Armenia is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

will air travel be banned

As of May 16, Austria no longer requires visitors from any country to be vaccinated, recovered or tested.

Information can be found here .

As of June 1, FFP2 or KN95 face masks are no longer required on public transportation and in essential shops and pharmacies — but in Vienna, they remain compulsory on public transportation and in pharmacies. For details on current restrictions, check here .

Check the U.S. Embassy in Austria for additional information. The U.S. State Department's advisory for Austria is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

According to the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan , as of June 21, 2021, U.S. citizens can fly to Azerbaijan. Entry by land is not permitted, however, and all travelers over the age of 18 must have proof of vaccination or proof of immunity from a previous infection (the testing requirement was eliminated as of April 14, 2022).

The country is under special restrictions through at least Jan. 1, 2023, to require proof of vaccination for those 18 and older to enter indoor venues, including restaurants, cafes and malls. Masks, however, are no longer required as of May 1.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Azerbaijan is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Belarus is on the front lines of the Russia-Ukraine war. The country has also been in the midst of a popular uprising against Alexander Lukashenko, called the "last dictator in Europe."

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the country is Level 4: Do Not Travel ("due to the arbitrary enforcement of laws, the risk of detention, the Russian military attack on neighboring Ukraine, and the buildup of Russian military in Belarus along the border with Ukraine").

It isn't wise to visit — the embassy has suspended operations in Minsk and has asked Americans to depart Belarus if they are there — but the country bordering Russia and Ukraine is open. According to the U.S. Embassy in Belarus , America is on a list of countries that were allowed to enter as of Aug. 15, 2020, but only through Minsk National Airport (MSQ). Land borders are closed to American travelers.

Americans require a visa. A COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours is also required and unvaccinated travelers must self-quarantine for seven days — and complete the full quarantine in Belarus. Travelers also need to fill out a health questionnaire and submit to temperature and health checks on arrival.

Note: On June 29, 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation prohibited the sale of direct passenger air transportation, including tickets booked through one airline that contain flights operated by multiple airlines, between the U.S. and Belarus. Once this order becomes final, only direct air transportation deemed to be in the national interest of the U.S., including on humanitarian or national security grounds, will be allowed, per the U.S. Embassy.

will air travel be banned

As of May 23, Belgium has lifted entry restrictions for all travelers, except those from "Very High-Risk" countries — but as of early December, no countries are categorized as such.

That means all Americans, whether they are vaccinated or not, can travel to Belgium without the need to test or quarantine, according to the Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in the U.S .

Further information can be found here and on the U.S. Embassy in Belgium's website .

Belgium had also instituted social distancing restrictions, which are being reduced. For more information, check the country's current measures .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Belgium is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Americans can travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina and, according to the U.S. Embassy , as of May 16 all COVID-19-related restrictions have been removed for all visitors.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Bosnia and Herzegovina is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

will air travel be banned

Americans can enter Bulgaria for tourism, per the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria .

According to the embassy, as of May 1, all COVID-19-related entry restrictions have been lifted and all travelers to Bulgaria no longer need to provide vaccination or testing documents.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Bulgaria is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

U.S. travelers can visit Croatia — and as of early May, there are no longer any vaccination or testing requirements for entry, per the U.S. Embassy in Croatia .

The U.S. Embassy does note that entry requirements are subject to change at any time without notice and that the Croatian Border Police have final authority regarding entry into Croatia.

Croatia no longer requires that masks be worn in indoor public spaces, with the exception of health care facilities.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Croatia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Cyprus, a small island nation off the coast of Turkey, is now open to all international visitors and all previous COVID-19-related entry protocols ended on June 1.

As of July 8 , masks are required in certain indoor areas, including public transportation, for those over 12 years old.

Check the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus for additional information.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Cyprus is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Czech Republic

As of April 9, the Czech Republic has suspended all entry restrictions related to COVID-19. This means Americans can visit for tourism, whether they are vaccinated or not. Details can be found here and here . You can also check the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic website .

Direct flights between the U.S. and the Czech Republic resumed this summer on Delta Air Lines.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the Czech Republic is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

will air travel be banned

As of March 29, there are no longer any COVID-19-related restrictions for entering Denmark . Americans, whether they are vaccinated or not, can travel there for tourism.

Denmark also dropped all COVID-19-related restrictions within the country as of Feb. 1, although private businesses and cultural institutions may continue to require certain things and there will be recommendations for the use of masks and "corona passports" in certain limited situations. Face masks are no longer required in Danish airports.

Updates to travel restrictions for Denmark can be found here . You can also visit the U.S. Embassy in Denmark for additional information.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Denmark is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

will air travel be banned

Estonia reopened to Americans as of June 21, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy in Estonia, including for tourism. As of early July 2022, Estonia has lifted all COVID-19-related entry restrictions. See details here .

Masks are recommended in indoor public spaces.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Estonia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

will air travel be banned

Americans can visit Finland for tourism and all COVID-19-related border restrictions ended as of June 30, per the Visit Finland tourism board .

Check the U.S. Embassy in Finland for additional information. The U.S. State Department's advisory for Finland is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Paris June 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

As of Aug. 1, all COVID-19-related entry requirements for France have been dropped. This includes proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a negative test result.

Updates to entry restrictions can be found here .

Check the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in France for additional updates. The U.S. State Department's advisory for France is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Americans are welcome in the country of Georgia, according to the U.S. Embassy in Georgia, and proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative pre-travel test is no longer required. Proof of health insurance valid in Georgia is recommended.

The U.S. State Department's current advisory for Georgia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions.

will air travel be banned

Germany has welcomed all Americans (except those who are residents of China due to reciprocity) since June 20, 2021. As of June 11, 2022, the German government has dropped all COVID-19-related vaccination and testing requirements for entry.

Related: Germany drops COVID-19 travel requirements

Check the U.S. Embassy in Germany or the German Federal Foreign Office for additional information.

Masks are still required on public transportation through at least Jan. 1, 2023.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Germany is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

will air travel be banned

Greece began welcoming U.S. travelers on April 19, 2021. As of May 1, 2022, all travelers to Greece are no longer required to present a vaccination certificate, proof of recovery from COVID-19 or proof of a negative PCR or antigen test. Details can be found here .

As of March 15, 2022, it is also no longer mandatory to complete an online passenger locator form, but filling out a simplified version of the form is recommended.

Face masks are only required on public transportation.

Check the U.S. Embassy in Greece website for additional information.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Greece is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

will air travel be banned

As of March 7, Hungary ended all COVID-19-related travel restrictions for travelers , including Americans, according to the U.S. Embassy in Hungary .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Hungary is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Iceland is welcoming U.S. travelers — and as of Feb. 25, there are no longer any testing or vaccination requirements to enter from any country.

Related: Iceland lifts all COVID-19 restrictions

Read the latest updates on Icelandair's website and check the U.S. Embassy in Iceland for additional information.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Iceland is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Related: 9 reasons you should visit Iceland

will air travel be banned

As of March 6, Ireland has dropped all COVID-19-related entry requirements for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers; completing a passenger locator form is also no longer required.

Updates on traveling to Ireland are here . Details on loosened restrictions within Ireland can be found here and here .

Masks are no longer required but are still recommended on public transportation and in health care settings.

For additional information, visit the U.S. Mission Ireland's website .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Ireland is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

will air travel be banned

Italy is open for tourism — and as of June 1, both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers can enter without any COVID-19 vaccination or testing restrictions.

All passengers traveling to Italy had been required to fill out the EU Digital Passenger Locator Form , but that requirement ended on May 1.

In addition, as of June 1 proof of vaccination (the "Green Pass") is no longer required to visit museums, dine in restaurants, use public transportation and access most other indoor venues. Masks are recommended but no longer required on public transport.

Check the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Italy website for additional information. The latest updates by Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be found here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Italy is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Kosovo has reopened its borders to Americans and Prishtina International Airport (PRN) is open. According to the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo , as of May 1, travelers can enter Kosovo without proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, but the embassy says that travelers should bring their vaccination certificate with them because it is still required to enter certain indoor spaces.

The embassy also notes: "Airlines, transit points, and destination countries impose a patchwork of different testing requirements and airlines may refuse boarding for some passengers (including U.S. citizens and Kosovo residents). Airlines have the sole authority to decide who they allow to board their aircraft. Generally, pre-travel testing is recommended."

To dine inside restaurants or enter museums, malls or public institutions, anyone over the age of 16 must show evidence of vaccination or a negative PCR or rapid antigen test.

The U.S. State Department's advisory is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Riga, Latvia August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Americans can visit Latvia and, according to the U.S. Embassy in Latvia , the country ended entry protocols for travelers from non-high-risk countries as of April 1. Currently, the U.S. is not on the high-risk list and Americans can visit whether they are vaccinated or not without the need to pretest or register.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Latvia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Liechtenstein

Switzerland handles immigration and customs matters for Liechtenstein, meaning that as long as you are qualified to enter Switzerland , you are able to enter Liechtenstein since there's an open border between the two countries.

All Americans had been allowed in for tourism as of June 28, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy, and as of May 2, 2022, all Americans, no matter their vaccination status, can enter Liechtenstein without any pandemic-related measures.

Travelers can check their eligibility to enter Switzerland and Liechtenstein at the countries' online Travelcheck . They can also check with the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C .

All COVID-19-related restrictions for businesses and public transportation have been lifted. Details are here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Liechtenstein is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Vilnius, Lithuania May 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Americans can visit Lithuania for any purpose, and as of May 1, according to the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania , all COVID-19-related entry requirements have been lifted.

Information on entry to Lithuania can be found here . Information about the current restrictions and recommendations can be found on the Ministry of Health's webpage .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Lithuania is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

will air travel be banned

According to the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg , as of Oct. 1, all travelers from the U.S., regardless of their vaccination status, can enter Luxembourg.

Details on travel to Luxembourg are available here .

Masks and CovidCheck are no longer required for entrance to bars, restaurants, stores or on public transportation (only for hospitals and nursing homes). Read more about Luxembourg's restrictions here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Luxembourg is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

There are no COVID-19-related travel requirements in place for entering Malta.

Details are available on the Ministry of Health website .

Masks are now required only in certain settings such as hospitals and care homes.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Malta is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions.

As of March 16, Moldova has lifted all COVID-19-related entry restrictions and Americans are permitted to enter Moldova.

Check the U.S. Embassy in Moldova's website and the Moldovan Border Police website for more information. Face masks are now recommended but not required in all indoor public spaces.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Moldova is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

According to the Monaco government's COVID-19 website , as of Aug. 12, access to the principality of Monaco is no longer subject to the presentation of a health pass/vaccination certificate.

France , which dropped all COVID-19-related entry protocols on Aug. 1, handles immigration and customs for Monaco.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for France and Monaco is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Montenegro is open to Americans and the U.S. Embassy in Montenegro notes that as of March 11, no proof of vaccination, COVID-19 passports/certificates or COVID-19 tests are required to enter Montenegro.

Face masks must be worn on all public transportation and in hospitals and collective accommodations.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Montenegro is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

The Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherland (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)

The Netherlands lifted all remaining COVID-19 entry restrictions as of Sept. 17, meaning all international travelers can visit without proof of vaccination required.

Visit the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands for additional information and the latest updates from the government of The Netherlands can be found here and here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the Netherlands is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

North Macedonia

(Screenshot courtesy TAV Airports)

North Macedonia is now open to all tourists, including Americans, with no testing or vaccination requirements, according to the U.S. Embassy in North Macedonia .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for North Macedonia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Norway

As of Feb. 12, Norway's travel restrictions have been lifted. The same rules as prior to the COVID-19 pandemic now apply. There are no requirements for testing, quarantine or registration upon arrival in Norway, according to the U.S. Embassy in Norway .

Detailed information about travel to Norway and national and local COVID-19 prevention measures are available on Health Norway's website .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Norway is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Krakow, Poland

As of March 28, Poland has lifted all vaccination and testing requirements for all arriving travelers, including those from outside the EU/Schengen Area. All U.S. citizens are now permitted to visit.

Details and updates can be found here .

Check with the U.S. Embassy ; additional information is available here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Poland is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

will air travel be banned

As of July 1, Portugal has dropped all COVID-19-related vaccination and testing restrictions and U.S. travelers can visit without any pre-travel requirements.

More information is available at Visit Portugal and through the U.S. Embassy in Portugal .

Masks are required on public transportation and in health care facilities and nursing homes.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Portugal is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

As of March 9, Romania has lifted all COVID-19-related entry restrictions, according to the U.S. Embassy in Romania , and foreign citizens entering Romania no longer need proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

Travelers planning to visit Romania can also check the Embassy of Romania in Washington, D.C. , for updates.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Romania is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Travel to Russia is not advised due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, which has limited international transportation options as airlines have canceled flights to and from the country. In addition, most cruise lines have canceled scheduled port calls on St. Petersburg .

The Russian government requires that all foreign travelers present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result upon arrival, dated within two days prior to arrival in Russia, along with completion of a digital form that must be printed out and presented to customs in Russia.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow advises U.S. citizens not to travel to Russia as the country's infrastructure has been unsettled by global sanctions imposed since the Ukraine invasion and because Russia is one of the countries "most affected" by COVID-19. Cases and deaths have surged, hitting record highs through mid-February.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Russia is Level 4: Do Not Travel .

As of May 3, all travelers entering Serbia no longer need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, according to the U.S. Embassy in Serbia . Most pandemic-related restrictions have gradually been lifted.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Serbia is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

According to the U.S. Embassy in Slovakia , as of April 6, all COVID-19-related requirements for entry to Slovakia are canceled, regardless of vaccination status, and Americans are allowed to visit for tourism.

As of April 23, most social restrictions were ended and masks are no longer required in public spaces other than health care settings.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Slovakia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Slovenia has ended its RVT (recovered, vaccinated or tested) rule for entry, according to the Slovenian Tourist Board . Additional information is available here .

Check the U.S. Embassy in Slovenia website for additional information.

All travelers entering Slovenia by air or sea still need to fill out a digital passenger locator form .

The State Department's advisory for Slovenia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Madrid June 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

On Oct. 21, Spain dropped all remaining COVID-19-related entry requirements , becoming one of the last countries in Europe to do so.

Further details can be found here or on the U.S. Embassy in Spain's website .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Spain is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Stockholm, Sweden August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson)

As of April 1, Sweden has lifted all COVID-19-related entry restrictions and bans. Those traveling to the country do not require proof of vaccination or a negative test, according to the Swedish Border Police .

The U.S. Embassy in Sweden also has information on traveling to Sweden.

As of Feb. 9, Sweden has dropped all domestic COVID-19-related restrictions, including the wearing of face masks on public transit and capacity limits and vaccine requirements for restaurants.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Sweden is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Switzerland

Lucerne, Switzerland April 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

According to the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland , as of May 2, 2022, all Americans, vaccinated or not, can visit Switzerland without any COVID-19-related protocols.

Travelers can check their eligibility to enter Switzerland at the country's online Travelcheck . They can also check with the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C .

All COVID-19-related restrictions for business and public transportation have also been lifted as of May 2. Details are here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Switzerland is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

will air travel be banned

Turkey's international borders are open for travelers from a number of countries, including the U.S., according to the U.S. Embassy in Turkey .

As of June 1, Turkey has dropped all COVID-19-related entry requirements, so proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is no longer required.

The Turkish Ministry of Health announced on March 2 that masks are no longer required outdoors and indoors if air circulation and social distancing are adequate. Restaurants are open without restrictions.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Turkey is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Due to the heavy and sustained armed war with Russia within Ukraine, as well as the government's state of emergency and COVID-19, any travel to Ukraine at this time is not advised. Those U.S. citizens currently in Ukraine should depart immediately, per the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine .

All U.S. citizens age 12 and older who choose to enter Ukraine from the U.S. or another "Red Zone" country must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test taken within 72 hours of arrival; or, they can present a document confirming the receipt of a full course of vaccination against COVID-19 with vaccines on the WHO's list of approved vaccines.

U.S. citizens traveling to Ukraine must also demonstrate that they have medical insurance covering all expenses related to COVID-19 treatment while in Ukraine.

Since Aug. 5, 2021, all foreign tourists over 18 years old who have not been vaccinated must self-isolate for 10 days and monitor such via the Vdoma mobile app, to be shortened by testing negative within three days. Quarantine is not required if you are in the country for less than 72 hours.

Mask-wearing is mandatory on public transportation and in indoor public spaces.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Ukraine is Level 4: Do Not Travel .

United Kingdom

will air travel be banned

As of March 18, the United Kingdom has lifted all COVID-19-related entry requirements, so U.S. travelers no longer need to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test to enter. The need to fill out an online passenger locator pass has also ended.

All four nations that comprise the U.K. have separate COVID-19 regulations: England's are here , Scotland's are here , Northern Ireland's are here and Wales' are here ..

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the U.K. is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Visit the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom for regular updates.

Central America

(Photo by Lomingen / Getty Images)

Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) reopened on Aug. 15, 2020, and the return of tourism began on Oct. 1, 2020, with travel requirements in place. But as of July 12, Americans and all international visitors are welcome to visit Belize without any vaccination or testing requirements required. As of April 1, the country also removed all remaining in-country COVID-19-related restrictions, including mask mandates. Details are available here .

All travelers to Belize are advised to purchase local travel health insurance ($18 per person for a visit lasting up to 21 days) from Belize Travel Insurance , but it is not required.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Belize is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Costa Rica — which reopened to Americans on Nov. 1, 2020 — repealed its COVID-19-related entry requirements as of April 1, 2022. Details can be found here .

Most businesses are open and face masks are recommended but no longer mandatory in all indoor public settings. Beaches are open and national parks are welcoming visitors at 100% capacity.

Travelers can also check the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica website for information.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Costa Rica is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

El Salvador

The country of El Salvador reopened for commercial flights to Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport (SAL) in San Salvador on Sept. 19, 2020.

Local businesses are open with no restrictions. According to the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador , as of Nov. 17, 2021, the government of El Salvador removed the COVID-19 test and/or vaccination requirements for entry. Travelers are advised to confirm with their airlines that the airline understands and has implemented this change to avoid complications at their departure airport.

The country has said arriving passengers will face temperature checks. A curfew is currently not in place and there are no quarantine requirements for visitors.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for El Salvador is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

Guatemala began slowly reopening to tourism on Sept. 18, 2020, and La Aurora International Airport (GUA) is accepting international arrivals. As of Aug. 12, the country removed all COVID-19-related entry protocols, according to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala .

Upon arrival, travelers must pass through health checkpoints and masks are required in some public settings.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Guatemala is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

Honduras reopened for tourists from all countries on Aug. 17, 2020, with its international airports in operation. Spirit Airlines has resumed service from Fort Lauderdale and Houston, and American Airlines is flying from Miami.

Entering visitors must complete a government registration form and print it, as well as present their original vaccination certificate indicating they are 14 days or more past completing their vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test taken within 72 hours of check-in at the airport. They will also be required to sign an affidavit and complete customs forms.

Updates on guidelines can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Honduras website .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Honduras is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

Nicaragua

Nicaragua never really shut down. There were never any stay-at-home or social distancing orders and there are continued questions about how many cases Nicaragua actually has had. In addition, only limited flights from the U.S. have resumed (on Avianca and Copa).

The U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua notes that U.S. travelers are allowed to enter Nicaragua, and proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of travel is required for entry. Travelers should also be prepared for additional health screenings and may be asked to produce their negative test results. Anyone entering Nicaragua from a country with a known yellow fever risk must also show proof of vaccination at least 10 days prior to arrival.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Nicaragua is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

will air travel be banned

Panama reopened its airport in late August 2020 and tourism resumed on Oct. 12, 2020. The country lifted all remaining COVID-19 entry restrictions for travelers on Sept. 16. Details are available here .

As of July 11, face masks are required only on public transportation and in hospital and health care settings.

The U.S. Embassy in Panama notes on its website that the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution advisory.

South America

will air travel be banned

Argentina had one of the world's strictest travel bans, restricting all international visitors until Nov. 1, 2021, when fully vaccinated foreigners (including Americans) were allowed to enter the country. As of early April 2022, all international visitors are welcome, without the need to be vaccinated or tested. See details here .

Visit the U.S. Embassy in Argentina for additional information.

The U.S. State Department advisory for Argentina is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Bolivia had been off-limits to tourists, but the country is now open to visitors, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia , with a notation that travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions affecting international travel to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.

U.S. citizens will need to obtain a tourist visa ($160 and valid for 30 days).

Entry rules now require travelers to Bolivia, regardless of their country of origin, to present either a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or submit proof of a certified negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours (children 5 years old and younger are exempt).

Face masks are required in some public spaces.

The U.S. Embassy reports that commercial flights have resumed — Boliviana de Aviacion has flights between La Paz and Miami — but travelers should expect that additional restrictions affecting international travel could be put in place with little advance notice.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Bolivia is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

will air travel be banned

Brazil, a large and populous country, has had the most coronavirus cases in South America. As of Sept. 12, all international travelers, both fully vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated with a negative pre-travel test, are welcome to visit Brazil. Details can be found here .

Fully vaccinated travelers to Brazil are required to present proof of full vaccination to their airline. It can be electronic or printed, but proof in the form of just a QR code will not be accepted.

Unvaccinated travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test or a negative laboratory antigen test taken within one day of boarding.

Brazil no longer requires proof of health insurance for entry, but the U.S. State Department continues to recommend that all travelers purchase insurance before departing the U.S. For updates, check the U.S. Embassy in Brazil's website.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Brazil is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Chile is welcoming international travelers — and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is once again required as of Sept. 1.

According to both the U.S. Embassy in Chile and the Chile Tourism website , any noncitizen or nonresident planning to enter Chile must do the following:

  • Travelers age 18 and older to Chile need to provide proof of vaccination when boarding their flight to Chile or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of boarding. Random testing may also occur upon or after arrival.
  • Travelers visiting the remote Chilean island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) must be fully vaccinated, have official reservations and fill out a Single Entry Form .

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Chile is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

American tourists can visit Colombia, where international flights resumed on Sept. 21, 2020, according to the U.S. Embassy in Colombia . As of May 1, 2022, all visitors age 18 and older need to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours or a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of their departure to Colombia.

Current requirements also call for all visitors to complete the online pre-travel registration form " Check-Mig " within 72 hours of their flight departure time. Further details are available here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Colombia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

will air travel be banned

Ecuador is open for tourism, and as of Oct. 20, all COVID-19-related entry requirements for both the mainland and the Galapagos Islands have ended, per the Ecuador Tourism website . However, all visitors must still fill out an online health declaration form and visitors to the Galapagos are still required to present a "transit control card" issued by the Government of Galapagos. See details here .

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Ecuador is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Visit the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador website for additional information.

According to the U.S. Embassy , vaccinated Americans can visit Guyana. As of June 18, all travelers over the age of 12 must present proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least two weeks past their final shot). Predeparture testing is no longer required to enter Guyana.

Restaurants are open and dining is allowed at 100% capacity. Mask-wearing in public is no longer mandatory but is strongly encouraged.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Guyana is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

According to the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay , the country no longer requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter.

The embassy also says that U.S. citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days for tourism or business. Face masks are no longer mandatory, but are recommended.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Paraguay is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

The U.S. Embassy in Peru reports that direct flights from the U.S. are available and as of Nov. 1, Americans are now welcome to enter Peru without proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result.

Check the Peru Tourism website for additional updates.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Peru is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

Uruguay reopened to fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 1, 2021, and commercial flights have resumed. According to the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay , unvaccinated travelers can enter with testing. Here's what's required:

  • Vaccinated travelers require proof of vaccination, but no longer require a pre-travel negative test.
  • Unvaccinated travelers require proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours before initiating travel (minors under age 6 are exempt)
  • Proof of health insurance effective in Uruguay for the duration of your stay is required for all foreign travelers entering Uruguay.

While travelers are no longer required to wear masks, the State Department recommends wearing face coverings inside crowded buildings and on public transportation.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Uruguay is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Current entry protocols require that U.S. travelers apply for and obtain a visa and all arriving air passengers must present proof of full vaccination, either with a physical card or a digital card (with a QR code). A booster dose is required if the second dose was more than 270 days prior. If unvaccinated, a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival is required. There are health screenings upon arrival, but no quarantine is currently required.

For additional information, check with the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela .

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory .

Bangladesh requires international visitors, including those from the U.S. States, to be fully vaccinated or present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh .

U.S. citizens need a valid visa or "no visa required" seal to enter. Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to present proof of a negative pre-travel test, but those age 12 and older who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of travel to Bangladesh.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Bangladesh is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Cambodia, which reopened for tourism early in 2022 now has no pre-travel testing or proof of vaccination required for visitors as of Oct. 6, according to the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia .

All travelers must obtain a visa to enter the country and are encouraged to purchase COVID-19 health insurance valid in Cambodia.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Cambodia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

China was where COVID-19 emerged, and the country suspended entry for nearly all foreigners — including all foreign spectators for the Beijing Winter Olympics, which took place Feb. 4-20, 2022 — and slashed the volume of international passenger flights to and from the country in March 2020. An outbreak in Xian in December 2021 and January 2022 resulted in a monthlong lockdown of the city's 13 million residents and another wave in March resulted in lockdowns in Shanghai and Guangzhou. Ongoing "zero-COVID" lockdowns have resulted in protests around the country in November that the government moved quickly to suppress , later announcing an easing to the length of the lockdowns it imposes.

The State Department's travel advisory for China remains at Level 3: Reconsider Travel , mainly due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

Strict anti-travel measures remain in place and tourism isn't allowed. The U.S. Embassy in China says that U.S. citizens with valid resident permits and visas can enter China "under certain conditions."

The latest health notice posted by the Embassy of the People's Republic in the U.S. on Nov. 12 requires that travelers to China obtain a COVID-19 PCR (nucleic acid) test from a certified lab, taken within 48 hours of departure, and then apply for a "health code" to receive a verified "green code" to present when boarding their flight. According to the U.S. Embassy, all arriving passengers are then screened and subject to a minimum 10-day quarantine. They may also be required to install location-tracking software on their phones to access public spaces and businesses.

For additional details on requirements for traveling to China, check with the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Embassy in China and with your airline.

will air travel be banned

As of May 1, nonresident foreigners who are fully vaccinated can again enter Hong Kong, but proof of vaccination and multiple tests, both before departure and after arrival, are required.

According to the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau , Americans can visit Hong Kong, but they must present either a record of full vaccination; a letter from a doctor certifying recovery from COVID-19 plus one dose of a recognized COVID-19 vaccine; or a letter from a doctor attesting to the traveler's inability to receive a COVID-19 vaccine due to a medical condition. Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 are permitted to enter Hong Kong when accompanying a vaccinated parent or caregiver.

As of Sept. 23, all travelers also must take a laboratory rapid antigen test within 24 hours of their flight and declare the negative result on an online Health & Quarantine Information Declaration . They must then present the generated QR code when checking in for their flight.

All mandatory hotel quarantine requirements have ended, but according to the U.S. Consulate General, upon arrival, all travelers will undergo a COVID-19 PCR test, with results available in 24 hours. They will be released immediately to begin a seven-day period of medical surveillance at their homes or accommodation. During the first three days, they will have an amber code and must avoid certain places under the Vaccine Pass scheme. During the remaining four days of medical surveillance, they will have a blue code and face no movement restrictions. On Day 2 (i.e. the day after arrival), they must undergo a PCR test at a community testing center (for free) or at a government-recognized medical facility (for a fee), and they must conduct RATs on days 1-7. A positive result on any of these tests, with accompanying COVID symptoms, will result in immediate hospitalization; a positive result with no symptoms will result in transfer to a Community Isolation Centre or COVID hotel. Please note that arriving travelers without Hong Kong cell phone numbers may have trouble receiving communications from Hong Kong health authorities concerning their COVID test results.

Complete details are available here and here .

Transit passengers are allowed as of April 1, according to Airport Authority Hong Kong. Transit passengers are international travelers who are only flying into Hong Kong in order to catch another flight. Transit passengers cannot leave the airport.

Related: Hong Kong airport to allow transit passengers as part of reopening

Additional details on entry requirements and testing for travelers are here and here . FAQ can be found here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Hong Kong is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

The U.S. Embassy in India notes that travel to India for tourism and other short-term purposes has resumed fully for individuals holding tourist or e-tourist visas. Valid visas, which were previously suspended due to COVID-19-related precautions, have been fully reinstated and are valid for travel until their printed expiration dates.

According to the U.S. Embassy, all international passengers age 5 and older must either present a vaccination certificate proving full vaccination (India recognizes the CDC vaccination card) or a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of travel. As of Nov. 22, it is no longer necessary to upload the certificate or test results to the Air Suvidha portal .

Passengers may be tested again upon arrival (2% will be selected at random) and must self-monitor for 14 days. U.S. citizens who must travel to India are strongly urged to get fully vaccinated before travel and continue to take personal health safety measures to protect themselves.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for India is currently Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Indonesia is open again for tourism. On Feb. 4, 2022, Bali reopened to all fully vaccinated international visitors . And now the entry protocols are the same throughout Indonesia.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia , travelers age 18 and older entering the country through airports, seaports and land borders must be fully vaccinated, but pre-travel testing is no longer required. They will undergo a symptom check upon arrival and travelers may be tested if their temperature is above 99.5 degrees. All travelers are also required to have international health insurance valid for COVID-19 treatment and medical evacuation from Indonesia and download the PeduliLindungi app.

Travelers who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and have a letter from a medical doctor are allowed to enter, but are required to undergo a five-day quarantine. There is no quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers.

Travelers must also have a short-visit visa or other entry permit; visas upon arrival are again available.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Indonesia is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

will air travel be banned

Japan reopened for visa-free tourism as of Oct. 11 .

The country had banned entry by all foreign nationals on Nov. 29, 2021, in response to the omicron variant and had been closed to tourism since 2020. It first began welcoming tourists on June 10 — but only on select tours with fixed schedules and guides.

Travelers age 18 and older who are fully vaccinated must present proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers are permitted to enter Japan, but they must present a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure for Japan.

Requirements for accompanying children vary by age, with unvaccinated children age 6 to 18 required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours while unvaccinated children under six years old not requiring a test. Details are here .

All arriving travelers must also present a completed health questionnaire. As of Nov. 1, travelers to Japan can pre-register here for airport immigration, Customs and vaccination review and use the Fast Track system at major airports throughout Japan.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Japan is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

The landlocked Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan has reopened to Americans arriving via its international airports (visa-free for 30 days), according to the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan . International flights from Azerbaijan, China, South Korea, the Czech Republic, Germany and the United Arab Emirates have resumed.

A negative pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test is no longer required. The U.S. Embassy notes that travelers who enter with an elevated temperature will be isolated in a facility for infectious diseases.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Kazakhstan is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution . As of July 27, 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan advises travelers to reconsider travel to the country due to COVID-19 risk.

The U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic says the entry ban for U.S. citizens was lifted in December 2020, but advises citizens that the country offers limited healthcare services. In the case of a COVID-19 infection, travelers might have a hard time getting the treatment they need.

Those who do visit Kyrgyzstan via airports in Bishkek, Osh and Issyk Kul no longer need to present either their original vaccine card showing full vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. But the U.S. Embassy still recommends carrying both since requirements are subject to change with little to no notice. U.S. citizens may now enter Kyrgyzstan from land crossings in Kazakhstan, but entering from land borders with China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan is currently prohibited.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Kyrgyzstan is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

As of May 9, fully vaccinated international travelers can enter Laos, but they must also apply for a visa, according to the U.S. Embassy in Laos . The CDC vaccination card is accepted as proof of vaccination. A negative PCR or antigen test is not required for entry.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Laos is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

will air travel be banned

As of Sept. 1, passport holders of the U.S. and 40 other countries (including most of Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore) can enter Macau without prior approval. They are, however, subject to the testing and quarantine requirements stipulated for all visitors. As of Nov. 13, travelers from beyond those previously stipulated may also enter if they fall into certain categories.

According to the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau , travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test (PCR) conducted within the past seven days, 48 hours or 24 hours, depending on their point of origin. Details can be found here .

See links on the U.S. Consulate General website for full details.

All outbound travelers from Macau must also test negative within seven days of departure.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Macau is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

will air travel be banned

As of Aug.1, Malaysia has lifted all entry restrictions on foreign nationals, according to the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia . U.S. citizens and other non-Malaysian foreign travelers can now enter the country without proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result.

The embassy reports that arriving travelers are no longer required to download the MySejahtera app and complete the digital predeparture form, but the app should still be downloaded anyway to indicate ta traveler's risk status while in Malaysia and some businesses may ask to check the app before allowing entry.

Entry restrictions may change with little advance notice. Requirements may also vary throughout different regions of the country. The U.S. Embassy recommends checking the social media accounts of the Malaysian Ministry of Health and the Malaysian Immigration Department for the most recent updates on COVID-19 procedures.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Malaysia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

The Maldives

Travelers to the Maldives are no longer required to present proof of a pre-travel negative test as of March 14, when the island nation's public health emergency was revoked . However, travelers (with the exception of arriving tourists and returning residents of the Maldives) are encouraged to take a PCR test between three and five days after arrival.

Related: Where you can travel with no COVID-19 test required

According to the Maldives Immigration website, travelers do not need to be vaccinated for entry. However, all international visitors, including Americans, must still complete a traveler declaration within 72 hours prior to travel. A free 30-day tourist visa will be issued upon arrival. Further details can be found here .

If a traveler tests positive or is exposed to someone with COVID-19 while visiting the Maldives, they must complete a government-mandated quarantine at their own expense.

The latest update on resort openings can be found here .

Emirates is offering connections through Dubai from major global cities including Chicago. Etihad resumed flights from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to the Maldives starting in July 2020. Turkish Airlines also started flights in July 2020.

Additional information can be found on the U.S. Mission to Maldives website . The U.S. State Department's advisory for the Maldives is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.

Mongolia lifted its restrictions on outbound and inbound travel in June 2021 and ended pre-travel testing requirements in March 2022, according to the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia .

U.S. citizens are allowed to visit, according to the U.S. Embassy, and do not need a visa for a stay of under 90 days (but for stays of more than 30 days, travelers are required to register and failure to do so will incur a fine of $100-$300). Passengers do not need to be vaccinated, but they must fill out a medical declaration form upon arrival.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Mongolia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Nepal has fully reopened to tourists and as of March 10, 2022, all travelers arriving by air may now receive on-arrival visas (subject to proof of vaccination or negative test results).

According to the U.S. Embassy in Nepal , changes to restrictions and requirements can be enacted with little notice. With the March 10 changes , travelers can enter with proof of full vaccination and those who are not fully vaccinated (and older than 5 years of age) can enter by presenting proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight for Nepal.

For more information, check the Embassy of Nepal in Washington, D.C. , or Nepal's Department of Immigration .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Nepal is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Pakistan has reopened for Americans. However, the U.S. State Department discourages travelers from visiting Pakistan at present due to terrorism and violence .

According to the U.S. Embassy , vaccinated individuals can enter Pakistan with proof of full vaccination, while unvaccinated individuals over the age of 12 must present the results of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight.

Americans wishing to travel to Pakistan will need a visa.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Pakistan is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

The Philippines

will air travel be banned

According to the U.S. Embassy in Manila , the Philippines is now granting entry to both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors from countries that are permitted visa-free travel for up to 30 days, including the U.S., but when entering they must have a valid departure ticket within that time frame.

All travelers must complete a Bureau of Quarantine e-Health Declaration Card within 72 hours of travel to the Philippines to receive a QR code. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers must present proof of a negative laboratory-based rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure. Travelers should also expect health screenings at ports of entry in the Philippines.

Children under the age of 15 are exempt from the vaccination or testing requirements. Details can be found here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the Philippines is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Sinapore September 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Point Guy)

As of April 1, all fully vaccinated travelers (and children under 12 regardless of vaccination status) are able to enter Singapore quarantine-free via any flight. Details can be found here .

With the April 1 changes, travelers must complete an electronic SG Arrival Card and upload a digitally verifiable vaccination certificate within 72 hours of travel. Fully vaccinated adults and their accompanying children age 12 and below no longer need to provide proof of a negative predeparture COVID-19 test, but anyone age 13 and above who is unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within two days of departure for Singapore.

Travel insurance covering at least $30,000 in COVID medical and quarantine costs is required. Installing and activating Singapore's TraceTogether app is also suggested.

See the Singapore Airlines website and U.S. Embassy in Singapore website for additional information.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Singapore is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

South Korea

As of Oct. 1, South Korea has eliminated pre-travel and post-arrival testing for all travelers, regardless of vaccination status.

However, visitors are encouraged to register their travel and health information in the Q-code system before departing for South Korea to speed the airport arrival process.

For Information on arrival protocols, check the Incheon Airport website . Additional details are available on the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Korea website and on the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the USA website.

The U.S. State Department's advisory is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

All travelers to Sri Lanka can visit without quarantine as of April 20, although they need to have a valid tourist visa and mandatory local health insurance ($12 for coverage for one month).

Those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to present proof of a pre-travel negative test while unvaccinated travelers must be tested in their own country and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours.

Visit the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka website for additional updates.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Sri Lanka is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

will air travel be banned

Taiwan on Sept.12 restored visa exemption for U.S passport holders and entry for Americans is now permitted.

As of Aug. 15, Taiwan has dropped the pre-travel testing requirement for entering the country. As of Oct. 13, quarantine requirements have ended but travelers must still undergo health screenings upon arrival and abide by seven days of self-initiated epidemic prevention (including staying one person per room) and use the rapid test kits given to them upon arrival as instructed.

Details can be found here . For additional information see the American Institute in Taiwan's website .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Taiwan is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Tajikistan never had a full lockdown, and most businesses, hotels and restaurants reopened on June 15, 2020.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan , all Americans need a Tajik visa for entry (as well as government permission in advance if seeking to enter via a land border) and those age 3 and older must show a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or the results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test issued within 72 hours of arrival when boarding flights to Dushanbe International Airport (DYU). These test results must then be verified by Dushanbe authorities.

The U.S. Embassy also notes that access to medical care in the country may be limited and that "the Government of Tajikistan frequently adjusts its entry and exit requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and changes to the policy are not immediately made available to the public." An unexpired visa is also required to leave Tajikistan.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Tajikistan is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

will air travel be banned

As of Oct. 1, travelers to Thailand no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country.

Since April 1, 2021, U.S. passport holders have also not been required to obtain a visa for a tourist visit of up to 45 days in Thailand.

For further information on visiting Thailand, check the U.S. Embassy in Thailand's website and the Royal Thai Embassy's website.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Thailand is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Turkmenistan

According to the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan, U.S. citizens are allowed to visit the country, but both the U.S. State Department and the CDC heavily discourage going there. Although Turkmenistan just lifted its suspension of all international flights , few commercial airlines offer flights into the country.

The government has not acknowledged any cases of COVID-19 within the borders of Turkmenistan , and the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan suggests that the government in Turkmenistan "may be disinclined to do so if cases were confirmed."

Any private U.S. citizen seeking to enter Turkmenistan will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test and a serology certificate confirming the presence of antibodies, both taken within 48 hours of departure from the U.S. or other point of origin. All travelers will also undergo a PCR test upon arrival ($44), followed by an at-home quarantine of three days. Another PCR test ($44) is required to exit quarantine.

The U.S. Embassy notes, "The government of Turkmenistan can and does change quarantine requirements and arrival procedures for private citizens with little advance notice."

U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory.

Uzbekistan is open to Americans. U.S. citizens need a visa for entry, but as of June 10, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is no longer required for entry, according to the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Uzbekistan is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

On March 15, Vietnam reopened to foreign tourists after two years of widespread travel restrictions. Pre-pandemic visa-issuing policies have now resumed and all COVID-19-related mandatory quarantine requirements for new arrivals have been lifted.

As of May 15, travelers no longer have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to be allowed into Vietnam. Still, the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam recommends that travelers check with their airline to confirm if tests are needed for the airline or for transit to other countries.

Check with the Vietnam Embassy in the U.S. for additional information.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Vietnam is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

will air travel be banned

Australia had remained closed to most foreign visitors for two years, although that changed on Feb. 21, 2021, when the country finally reopened to fully vaccinated international visitors. And as of July 6, requirements for proof of vaccination or pre-travel testing have been lifted. Health screenings at ports of entry still stand. Details are here .

All international arrivals in Australia do still need to apply for an electronic visa .

Australia also reopened to cruise ships in February 2021.

Related: It's official: Australia is scrapping its pre-travel testing

Check the U.S. Embassy in Australia website for updates.

Qantas has resumed international flights between Sydney and Los Angeles, London and other cities. American, Delta and United are also offering flights from the U.S. to Australia.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Australia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

French Polynesia

The Islands of Tahiti are now open to all U.S. visitors, regardless of vaccination status. And since French Polynesia is an overseas territory of France, as of Aug. 1, travelers flying to Papeete from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Noumea and Auckland no longer need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result or present a sworn statement.

Note: Any non-U.S. citizen flying through the U.S. to get to French Polynesia must be fully vaccinated to enter the U.S. by air.

Updates can be found here . Additional information is available on the Air Tahiti Nui website .

If you're itching to travel to French Polynesia, there are lots of options for getting there. Be sure to check out our guide on the best ways to get to Tahiti using points and miles . The destination is home to some famous hotels, such as the Conrad Bora Bora Nui and the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for French Polynesia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions.

Fiji began allowing fully vaccinated travelers from select countries, including the U.S., for tourism as of Dec. 1, 2021, after having been in strict lockdown since March 2020 with no tourism allowed for more than 18 months. Fiji reopened to fully vaccinated travelers from all countries on April 7, 2022.

To enter Fiji, fully vaccinated travelers age 16 and older need to present proof of full vaccination, but predeparture COVID-19 test requirements have been lifted. Children under age 16, when accompanied by a vaccinated adult, do not need to be vaccinated.

As of April 7, travelers do need to have travel health insurance valid for COVID-19 in Fiji.

Check for updates here and visit the U.S. Embassy in Fiji website for additional information. The U.S. State Department's advisory for Fiji is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

New Zealand

will air travel be banned

Americans who are fully vaccinated have been allowed to visit New Zealand since May 2, but as of Sept. 13 and Oct. 20, all COVID-related entry requirements, including being vaccinated, have been lifted.

However, any traveler from a visa-waiver country (including the U.S.) must obtain a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority . Details can be found here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for New Zealand is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions.

As of Aug. 1, foreign nationals are able to enter Samoa, according to the U.S. Embassy in Samoa. And since late September, there are no longer any vaccination or pre-travel testing requirements for Americans seeking to enter Samoa.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Samoa is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

U.S. citizens can enter Tonga for tourism purposes, as of Aug. 1, according to the U.S. Embassy in Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu .

Those who do travel to Tonga need to be fully vaccinated and present a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of arrival. Check with your airline for the most up-to-date testing requirements.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Tonga is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Middle East

According to the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain , U.S. travelers have been permitted to receive a visa upon arrival and enter Bahrain since Sept. 4, 2020.

As of Feb. 20, 2022, Bahrain no longer requires pre-travel testing or testing upon arrival, no matter a traveler's vaccination status. If travelers plan to go to Saudi Arabia (one Bahrain's neighboring countries) from Bahrain, however, the U.S. Embassy notes that COVID-19-related restrictions might be enforced or changed with little to no notice. The embassy discourages travelers from flying into Bahrain solely to go to Saudi Arabia.

Face masks are now optional in all indoor public spaces and indoor dining has returned to full capacity.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Bahrain is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Americans had been able to visit Israel if fully vaccinated, and as of March 1, even unvaccinated travelers can enter the country .

According to the U.S. Embassy in Israel , there are no longer any COVID-19 entry requirements or restrictions for travelers. Additional information is available here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Israel is now indicated with individual summaries for the country's regions, with a Do Not Travel warning for Gaza.

Jordan is open to Americans, according to the U.S. Embassy in Jordan. All arriving passengers must register online before the flight, but pre-travel and arrival COVID-19 test requirements were dropped as of March 1, 2022. Passengers are encouraged to check with their airlines for specific requirements, though.

All travelers must have travel health insurance valid in Jordan and must complete their online Gateway2Jordan registration to receive a QR code to be presented upon boarding their flight.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Jordan is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Americans can once again travel to Kuwait without the need to test or quarantine, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait . Travelers seeking to enter will only be permitted in with either a valid visa or a residency permit. Electronic visas (eVisas) are available for U.S. citizens on the Ministry of Interior website.

According to the U.S. Embassy, as of May 1, proof of vaccination is no longer required to enter.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Kuwait is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

As of March 28, registration on the Ministry of Public Health Pass platform has been canceled and travelers no longer need to show their enrollment before being permitted to board a flight bound for Lebanon.

As of March 1, fully vaccinated passengers who received their last dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (or a booster shot) within the past six months are exempt from performing a PCR test or rapid antigen test in their country of departure and from being tested upon arrival at Beirut's airport.

All unvaccinated travelers to Lebanon over the age of 12 must present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of boarding their flight to enter the country, per the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon . All unvaccinated passengers, except those under the age of 12, are also now required to take a PCR test upon arrival at Beirut Airport and refrain from going out in public for 24 hours until receiving a negative result.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Lebanon is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

International flights to Oman have resumed and as of May 23, all COVID-19-related entry restrictions have been lifted, according to the U.S. Embassy in Oman . However, the embassy notes that travelers to Oman "may be requested to present a vaccination certificate indicating they have received at least 2 doses of a Sultanate-approved COVID-19 vaccine. The last dose is required to be taken at least fourteen (14) days ahead of the estimated arrival time."

The Sultanate is currently accepting the following approved vaccines: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Novavax, CanSino, Covaxin and Sputnik Lite.

The Royal Oman Police resumed all visa operations and services on Sept. 1, 2021. All travelers are also required to have travel health insurance that is valid in Oman and covers the cost of COVID-19 treatment for at least a month.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Oman is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Qatar , which is hosting the 2022 World Cup from late November to mid-December, welcomes foreign tourists and as of Nov. 1, COVID-19-related entry measures have been dropped . Details can be found here .

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Qatar for visits of up to 30 days. Check here and see the website of the U.S. Embassy in Qatar for more information.

Full details on entry requirements are available on Qatar's Ministry of Public Health website .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Qatar is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Saudi Arabia

Fully vaccinated and boosted Americans can travel to Saudi Arabia, and as of March 5, 2022, the country has removed all COVID-19-related testing and quarantine restrictions. According to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia , fully vaccinated travelers to the kingdom are:

  • No longer required to provide proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test upon arrival.
  • No longer required to undergo any mandatory COVID-19 quarantine upon arrival.

According to the U.S. Embassy, all persons in Saudi Arabia still need to register to show proof of vaccination via the Tawakkalna app by a Ministry of Health-approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Covaxin, Sputnik and Covovax). It is used to enter all government and private establishments, as well as for public transportation and domestic air travel. All travelers must also obtain a visa and have health insurance valid in Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the country is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

U.S. travelers are not able to enter Syria at this time. The U.S. State Department's advisory for Syria is Level 4: Do Not Travel .

United Arab Emirates

will air travel be banned

The United Arab Emirates is open to tourism and Americans are welcome — without the need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test as of Nov. 7 .

For complete information on traveling to Dubai, check the Emirates website . Details for Abu Dhabi are available here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the UAE is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

The U.S. State Department has maintained a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for Yemen due to issues with terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, kidnapping, armed conflict and landmines. The embassy in Sanaa suspended operations in early 2015, and U.S. citizens in Yemen will not be able to rely on emergency services from the U.S. government.

All travelers entering on U.S. documents are required to have a visa from the Yemeni government before entering the country, and passports must have an additional six months of validity from the date of departure.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Botswana , as of Aug. 28, all Americans are permitted to enter Botswana without proof of COVID-19 vaccination or pre-travel testing.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Botswana is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo reopened its borders in August 2020. It is perhaps best known for Virunga National Park, which reopened on April 1, 2021 .

According to the U.S. Embassy , as of Oct. 1, fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to present proof of a negative pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of travel to enter or depart the DRC.

However, all unvaccinated international travelers age 11 and older must arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of their departure to the DRC. Upon arrival, unvaccinated travelers age 11 and older must also take a second COVID-19 test at the airport. Travelers should register their information and pay for the test ($45) at inrbcovid.com before they begin their travels and must self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result, usually within 24 hours.

Americans need a visa to visit as well as a WHO card with proof of yellow fever vaccination and proof of health and medical evacuation insurance valid in the DRC.

To exit the DRC, all unvaccinated travelers age 11 and older must pay for and present proof of a negative COVID-19 test from an approved lab taken within three days of travel ($30).

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the Democratic Republic of Congo is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

Luxor, Egypt. (Photo via Getty Images)

International tourism resumed in Egypt in July 2020 and the country is now open to Americans — with no restrictions to entry as of June 2022.

Americans do still need a tourist visa , available on arrival or before arrival via online enrollment . But there are no quarantine requirements and the need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test with a QR code was lifted June 17, according to the U.S. Embassy in Egypt . The latest travel advisories are also available here .

The U.S. State Department's warning is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

Related: Dreaming of visiting Egypt

Ghana's Kotoka International Airport (ACC) reopened for regular international service on Sept. 1, 2020, and the country's land and sea borders reopened on March 28, 2022. According to the U.S. Embassy in Ghana , Americans are allowed to enter the country and all passengers arriving by air must be fully vaccinated (if age 18 or older) and fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to present proof of a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test.

The embassy notes: "All persons 18 years old and above arriving in Ghana will be required to provide evidence of full vaccination for a COVID-19 vaccine. Citizens of Ghana and foreign residents who are not fully vaccinated, will, however, need to provide a negative PCR test result no more than 48-hours old, will undergo an antigen test upon arrival in Ghana, and will be offered vaccination upon arrival. Ghana's Foreign Missions have been instructed to make vaccination a requirement for visa acquisition."

Ghana's Ministry of Public Health has ended its mandate for the use of face masks in public, but social distancing and good hand hygiene are still recommended.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Ghana is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.

Kenya reopened to tourism on Aug. 1, 2020, and Americans are currently welcome to visit. According to the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, all visitors must fill out a mandatory online health form (to obtain a QR code for scanning upon arrival) and have a valid vaccination certificate. If unvaccinated and eligible to visit (and over age 5), travelers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure for Kenya and then take a rapid antigen test (at a cost of $30) upon arrival.

Before travel, both vaccination and test results documents (for eligible unvaccinated visitors) must be uploaded prior to travel into the Panabios system.

All visitors also need to obtain an e-visa.

Face masks are no longer mandatory in public but are recommended in some indoor situations.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory is now Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

According to the U.S. Embassy in Malawi , Americans are allowed to enter Malawi. As of June 1, travelers who can show a digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate no longer need a pre-travel PCR test to enter. With the white CDC card, however, electronic proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival is required.

Travelers who are unvaccinated need to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken with 72 hours of arrival in Malawi.

All travelers must use the Trusted Traveler framework for online authentication of their vaccination or PCR test documents. Details are available here .

More information is available on the Malawi Tourism website .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Malawi is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius , the island nation dropped its pre-travel testing requirement as of March 12 — and as of July 1, there are no longer different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Both groups do need to fill in Mauritius' All in One Travel Form to generate an arrival QR code.

Details of travel requirements and travel alerts for Mauritius can be found here .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Mauritius is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Related: Why Mauritius should be at the top of your travel to-do list

Morocco reopened to foreign visitors on Feb. 7, 2022 , reversing a ban on air travel that was instated in November of 2021.

All COVID-19-related entry requirements were lifted on Sept. 30, with the exception of the completion of a health form .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Morocco is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

According to the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique , U.S. citizens can enter Mozambique and a visa is required. Visas should be obtained in the U.S. (in New York City or Washington, D.C.) before travel to Mozambique, the embassy says, because visas upon arrival, while available for tourists, are not guaranteed.

Travelers must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test administered in their country of origin within 72 hours of departure. Children up to age 11 are exempt from this requirement. Travelers should expect health screenings upon arrival and there are many regulations and restrictions in effect for commercial businesses and gatherings. Masks are required in all closed spaces.

Although the government of Mozambique does not require exiting travelers to take COVID-19 tests, individual airport agents might. Travelers should check their airline's requirements ahead of time.

Currently, the U.S. State Department's advisory for Mozambique is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Namibia has been open for tourism since Sept. 1, 2020, and all COVID-19-related entry requirements have now been lifted. For further information, check the health section of the Visit Namibia website and the U.S. Embassy in Namibia .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Namibia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Nigeria reopened its airports for domestic travel on July 8, 2020, and international flights resumed in August 2020. All tourists are again welcome, including Americans.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria , arriving international passengers age 18 and older must have verifiable proof of being fully vaccinated or, if unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure on the first leg of their journey. A protocol issued in September 2021 requires all international visitors to register via the Nigeria International Travel Portal and upload test results or vaccine certificates prior to travel.

In addition, all travelers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated are required to take additional COVID-19 PCR tests on day two and day seven after arrival (and they must register and pay for them beforehand to obtain a QR code). The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria says that travelers might face penalties if they do not comply with COVID-19 regulations while in Nigeria.

Arrival testing details can be found here .

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory for Nigeria.

Republic of the Congo

The Republic of the Congo, located in Central Africa between Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is allowing U.S. travelers to visit. According to the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of the Congo , there are no longer any COVID-19-related entry restrictions for the country.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the Republic of the Congo is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Rwanda is open to American tourists. According to the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda , COVID-19 testing is not required for entry.

Rwanda offers visas on arrival for people of all nationalities.

Visitors to Rwanda's national parks are no longer required to provide negative COVID-19 test results to enter, but must fill out a guest registration and indemnity form and submit it electronically. Details are available here .

Face masks are no longer required nationwide in public spaces, but are recommended.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Rwanda is now Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions.

U.S. citizens can visit Senegal. While international flights to Senegal have resumed, most land borders, with the exception of The Gambia, remain closed to tourist traffic, according to the U.S. Embassy .

The embassy also reports that proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative pre-travel test are no longer required for entry to Senegal.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Senegal is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

The Seychelles began welcoming vaccinated Americans in February 2021. As of March 25, 2021, unvaccinated U.S. travelers can visit. Details can be found here .

All visitors require travel authorization via the online portal and must present valid travel and health insurance that covers, at a minimum, COVID-19-related isolation, quarantine and clinical care.

Fully vaccinated travelers (a booster dose is required for those age 18 and older if the second dose was more than six months prior) and those who have proof of having tested positive in the past two to 12 weeks no longer need to present proof of a negative pre-travel test to enter. Those who are unvaccinated must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of their flight and upload the test results to the online portal.

Visitors may only stay at licensed establishments or liveaboards that have been certified by the Public Health Authority. They must also have travel health insurance valid for treatment in the Seychelles.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Seychelles is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions . Check the U.S. Embassy website for updates.

Sierra Leone

All travelers to Sierra Leone are required to register online to receive a Sierra Leone Incoming number, according to the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone .

As of April 13, a pre-travel COVID-19 test or a test upon arrival is no longer required for travelers who are fully vaccinated.

Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers no longer have to present proof of a negative pretest, but will be tested upon arrival and must pay the fee online when registering for their Sierra Leone Incoming number.

Proof of yellow fever vaccination is also required.

When departing Sierra Leone, an Outbound number is required for all travelers and those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must present proof of a negative test taken within 48-72 hours of departure.

The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Sierra Leone is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

South Africa

South Africa reopened to tourism on Oct. 1, 2020, and as of Nov. 11, 2020, U.S. citizens can enter for tourism purposes, according to the U.S. Embassy in South Africa . As of June 22, 2022, all COVID-19-related entry requirements have been dropped; proof of vaccination or a negative test is no longer required to enter South Africa. However, all arriving travelers must fill out a health questionnaire .

Related: The 6 best ways to get to South Africa on points and miles

Details can be found here and on South African Airways' website .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for South Africa is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

U.S. citizens can enter Tanzania with a vaccination certificate containing a QR code (the CDC card does not have one, but one can be accessed via the VAMS system or via Global Haven ). Vaccinated travelers do not need to take a COVID-19 test upon entry.

Tanzania currently requires all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result containing a QR code and taken within 72 hours of their flight to Tanzania or Zanzibar. They may also be tested upon arrival at their own cost. ($10 in Tanzania and $25 in Zanzibar).

Related: Dreaming of Tanzania

All travelers must complete an online Health Surveillance Form within 24 hours prior to arrival to receive a unique health code. U.S. tourists need a visa to visit Tanzania. All travelers will undergo screening upon arrival.

For more information, see the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania's website .

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Tanzania is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Americans can currently travel to Uganda.

According to the U.S. Embassy , all arriving passengers must have a visa applied for online and approved by the Ugandan government and those age 6 and older must present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin taken no more than 72 hours before boarding their flight for Uganda. Carrying paper copies of both vaccine certificates and test results are required.

The U.S. Embassy also notes that the government of Uganda requires that all departing passengers age 6 and older present proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure. This requirement is mandatory for all departing passengers out of Uganda even if the destination country does not require it.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Uganda is Level 3: Reconsider Travel .

Zambia , home to Victoria Falls and known as a top safari destination, is open to international travelers, including Americans.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Zambia , the country requires proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel (travelers below age 12 are exempt). Tourists from the U.S. and certain other countries no longer need a visa, but they will be subject to health screenings (all travelers must submit a health declaration form) upon arrival and symptomatic individuals may be required to submit to testing and/or self-isolation.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Zambia is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions .

Zimbabwe reopened its borders to international flights on Oct. 1, 2020, and Americans can visit for tourism. All travelers arriving and departing are required to have proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test issued by a recognized facility and taken within 48 hours of their time of departure for Zimbabwe. Details are here .

A yellow fever vaccination is also required, according to the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe .

Travelers who have received at least three doses of a WHO-approved vaccine are exempt from mandatory wearing of face masks in public, with the exception of public transport and certain indoor spaces.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for the country is now Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution .

Additional reporting by Katherine Fan, Jordyn Fields, Jane Frye, Jacob Harrison, Donna Heiderstadt, Liz Hund, Brian Kim, Stella Shon, Caroline Tanner and Mimi Wright.

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The U.S. restricts travel from 8 countries as omicron variant spreads

will air travel be banned

Travelers exit the International Arrivals area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, on Monday. The Biden administration is banning travel for non-U.S. citizens from several African countries over concerns about the omicron variant. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Travelers exit the International Arrivals area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, on Monday. The Biden administration is banning travel for non-U.S. citizens from several African countries over concerns about the omicron variant.

The U.S. is enacting travel bans in an effort to limit the spread of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, which the World Health Organization warns poses a "very high" global risk .

As omicron spreads, studies suggest that travel bans alone don't do much good

Coronavirus Updates

As omicron spreads, studies suggest that travel bans alone don't do much good.

Starting Monday, President Biden has imposed travel restrictions for non-U.S. citizens from the following eight countries:

  • South Africa

The omicron variant is cause for concern — but not panic, Biden says

The Coronavirus Crisis

Biden says omicron variant is cause for concern but not panic.

The European Union , Canada, United Kingdom, and Israel have announced travel restrictions from southern African countries as well.

Some health officials and public health experts caution that travel restrictions alone may not be effective in controlling the spread of infectious disease , and could even have harmful effects, like exacerbating xenophobia and deterring countries from being transparent about the state of the virus in the future.

The variant was first reported last week in South Africa, where vaccination rates are about 24% .

Cases of the omicron variant have since been confirmed in Botswana, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands, Australia and Hong Kong.

Biden is encouraging children and adults to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"This pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations," he said last week in a statement .

In an address on Monday, he said the variant is "a cause for concern — not a cause for panic."

Tien Le is an intern on NPR's News Desk.

This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog .

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Illustration of plane attached to water pump

Do we need to stop flying to save the planet? We ask an expert

Professor Pericles Pilidis from Cranfield University discusses the future of air travel

A viation is the most climate-intensive form of transport, so for the sake of the planet, will we have to quit flying for ever? I asked Professor Pericles Pilidis from the Centre for Propulsion Engineering at Cranfield University whether the promise of hydrogen planes could keep our holiday hopes alive.

Thanks for joining me on Zoom, Pericles. Is that a plane you have as your background? Yes! It’s a hydrogen aeroplane.

Is that the one that had its successful maiden voyage in 2020, but then crashed in 2021? No, this one doesn’t exist yet but is based on detailed analysis.

It looks just like a regular passenger plane. How do hydrogen planes work? They look the same but inside they’ll be very different. Currently, planes use hydrocarbon fuel. When it burns, carbon dioxide is produced, which increases global warming. But with hydrogen, you are only producing water. About 3% of the carbon humans produce comes from aviation.

By humans, though, we’re really talking about people in the west. Yes, but there are global benefits to aviation. I’ve just come back from a holiday in Barbados where roughly half the economy is tourism. If people stop flying, it won’t affect Britons much, but it will have a horrific economic impact in Barbados.

Don’t get me wrong, I love travelling! I think there’s a reason people say someone is “worldly” as a compliment – it’s wonderful to experience other cultures. So how long until hydrogen can give us guilt-free wings? I’d say 10 years. The problem is that hydrogen costs three to four times the price of conventional fuels. Plus, airports will have to change, because transporting hydrogen is not easy, and aircraft designs will change, too. We don’t have the rules around safety qualifications for these planes – that needs to be developed. It’ll all cost billions, and we need to do it all without using fossil fuels. There’s no point using oil to produce hydrogen. Yet all these things can be done. We’ve been making aircraft safe for 120 years: we can make hydrogen aircraft safe in 10. We just need a lot of money.

Wow! I’m guessing these costs will be passed down to the consumer. I’d expect some to be, yes.

But wouldn’t that be temporary? A century ago only the wealthiest could have cars. Now everyone does. New technology usually becomes cheaper If the political will is there, yes. This is somewhere national investments should come in. The UK government is spending £100bn on HS2 . That’s the sort of money we need. It sounds like a lot but it’s not dissimilar to what the government’s already doing.

I won’t hold my breath for such political will. They can’t even nationalise the trains even though it makes financial sense and would be popular. I’m not advocating nationalisation, but supporting private industry, like with wind and solar energy . Grants brought the cost of solar panels down, so it’s now a few per cent of what it used to be. But it’s still private companies making this happen. The difference with aerospace is that instead of buying from Germany or China like we do with solar panels, we can actually produce the engines. That’s British jobs being created.

Sounds quite good, doesn’t it? It’s like having your cake and eating it, but before you can have your cake or eat it, you need to buy it first.

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Should babies, smelly passengers be on a no-fly list? Dealing with difficult air travelers

Is it time to finally ban screaming babies from the plane? How about argumentative passengers? Or people who smell bad?

Those are serious questions. With the busy summer travel season right around the corner, Congress is considering a nationwide no-fly list for disruptive passengers.

Banning the biggest troublemakers in the skies, as the Protection from Abusive Passengers Act proposes, is an idea worth considering. So maybe this is the right time to figure out who belongs on that list.

Check out  Elliott Confidential , the newsletter the travel industry doesn't want you to read. Each issue is filled with breaking news, deep insights, and exclusive strategies for becoming a better traveler. But don't tell anyone!

Here's the official answer: Under the law, passengers would land in the no-fly database for one of several offenses, including a conviction for assaulting, threatening, or intimidating a crew member of an aircraft.

Unofficially, passengers have far different opinions on who should get grounded. And they are not shy about creating their own no-fly list, sometimes on the fly. Consider the recent Frontier Airlines flight in which passengers voted to remove an unruly passenger . Talk about frontier justice.

But making a "no-fly" list of disruptive passengers may be impractical when you start thinking about it. There may be a more effective way to deal with difficult air travelers.

Chaos at the airport! Pro strategies for surviving the next air travel meltdown

AI, self-service are taking over travel. Will everything become a DIY experience?

Should we ban babies? 

Babies – especially the screaming ones – are high on the list of in-flight annoyances. And those of you without kids will probably add, "Is there any other kind?" Who can forget that viral video of an adult passenger on a recent Southwest Airlines flight losing it because of a screaming infant?

Under normal circumstances, air travelers are far less vocal about getting rid of babies on planes. Some travelers have told me that well-behaved children should be able to fly. But responsible parents ought to carefully consider their air travel plans if they know they have a cranky little flier. 

It becomes a much more interesting debate when you ask if babies should be allowed in first class. Passengers have quietly signaled their support for child-free premium cabins, or at least a kids' section in the back of the plane.

Bottom line: Banning all babies is impractical and probably also illegal. But it wouldn't surprise me to see a viral video incident or two this summer involving irresponsible parents getting kicked off a flight.

How about disruptive passengers?

Misbehaving passengers is another category of a bannable flier. And here, too, it's clear that air travelers have a broader definition than lawmakers.  

"Being disruptive in what could be a dangerous situation is unacceptable," said William Muller, a restaurant manager from Miami who travels to Europe frequently. "If someone has so little self-control that they can't wait until the plane lands to address whatever issue they have, then they should not be allowed to fly."

Mueller defines disruptive as a passenger who is so out of control that the plane has to be diverted or resulting in the passenger needing to be removed from the plane before takeoff. But he says other air travelers may have a more inclusive definition of disruptive.

Refunds: Why are travel refunds taking so long now? Here are some tips to get your money back.

What if? What if summer travel isn't as hectic as expected? Why last-minute plans could work out.

They do. If by "disruptive" you mean the person sitting next to me who can't stop talking, then we could be talking about half the plane. What about the guy who keeps hitting up the flight attendant for another drink – or hitting on the flight attendant ?

Here, too, we're entering dangerous airspace. Do we need to pass a psych evaluation to get permission to fly? 

Should air travelers pass the sniff test?

Of course, it's not just behavior that can get you banned. It's also how you smell. Or look. Every summer, there's at least one well-publicized incident involving a passenger wearing an inappropriate T-shirt. Flight attendants order the passenger to change shirts, the passenger makes a TikTok about it, and life goes on.

Smells are more complicated. How do you define a bad smell? Is it someone wearing too much perfume? The wrong perfume? Someone who skipped a shower that morning? Someone who doesn't believe in showering? Flight attendants have to make that call quickly when everyone is piling on board. And then, if you happen to be stuck next to someone who stinks, you have to deal with it. 

Story continues below.

How about sick passengers? They shouldn't fly, either, if they're contagious. Janet Ruth Heller recently sat in front of two passengers who were coughing and sneezing the entire flight. 

"They were not wearing masks, and they did not cover their mouths with their hands," Heller, a frequent traveler and retired college professor from Portage, Michigan, recalled. "I caught their disease and was very ill for a month."

So now we have to medically screen passengers? This is getting complicated.

On second thought, maybe no one should be banned

All this talk of banning may be taking us to the wrong place. Stopping a violent or unruly passenger from flying is only the beginning. Margaret King, director of The Center for Cultural Studies & Analysis, said other groups could quickly follow, including anger management failures, drug addicts, and "maybe even passengers who are anxious and depressed."

It could soon spiral out of control. People with comfort animals or carrying too much luggage could follow. 

"It could become a long and inclusive list," King added. "Any condition that promotes disruptive behavior would be eligible. And that, when you think about it, is a widely distributed trait."

Come to think of it, this idea of having a nationwide no-fly list might be a terrible idea too. We already have a way of preventing criminals from boarding a flight: lockup.

Airlines and their friends in Congress believe the best way to stop more unruly flier incidents is to stop the unruly fliers from boarding. But maybe the fliers are unruly because flying is such a dehumanizing experience. Fix that and maybe you won't need a no-fly list.

Elliott's strategies for handling a disruptive flier

Are you ready to share a plane with a disruptive passenger? Neither am I, but here are my strategies for surviving the flight.

  • Move to a different seat. The best advice for handling a problem passenger is not to handle one at all. Discreetly ask a flight attendant if you can move to a different part of the plane. Or, if there's an empty seat in the same class of service, just move.
  • Apply gentle peer pressure. For baby-on-board incidents, a polite and nonconfrontational appeal to the parents can help. You know, if a toddler is using the tray table as a drum set, it's OK to say something to Mom and Dad. The same strategy works with other groups, but don't be too confrontational. Wouldn't want to end up on TikTok now, would you?
  • Ask a flight attendant for help. Crewmembers are trained to handle confrontations with disruptive passengers. Again, you might want to ask the flight attendant for help – out of earshot of the disruptive passenger – unless the passenger is a screaming infant.

Christopher Elliott  is an author, consumer advocate, and journalist. He founded  Elliott Advocacy , a nonprofit organization that helps solve consumer problems. He publishes  Elliott Confidential , a travel newsletter, and the  Elliott Report , a news site about customer service. If you need help with a consumer problem, you can  reach him here  or email him at  [email protected] .

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Fact Sheet: Biden Administration Releases Additional Detail for Implementing a Safer, More Stringent International Air Travel   System

As we continue to work to protect people from COVID-19, today, the Biden Administration is releasing additional detail around implementation of the new international air travel policy requiring foreign national travelers to the United States to be fully vaccinated. This updated policy puts in place an international travel system that is stringent, consistent across the globe, and guided by public health. Starting on November 8, non-citizen, non-immigrant air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to fly to the U.S., with only limited exceptions. The updated travel guidelines also include new protocols around testing. To further strengthen protections, unvaccinated travelers – whether U.S. Citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), or the small number of excepted unvaccinated foreign nationals – will now need to test within one day of departure. Today, the Administration is releasing the following documents to implement these requirements: 1) a Presidential Proclamation to Advance the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic; 2) three Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC) Orders on vaccination, testing, and contact tracing; and 3) technical instructions to provide implementation details to the airlines and their passengers.  With science and public health as our guide, the United States has developed a new international air travel system that both enhances the safety of Americans here at home and enhances the safety of international air travel. The additional detail released today provides airlines and international air travelers with time to prepare for this new policy ahead of the November 8 implementation date. As previously announced, fully vaccinated foreign nationals will also be able to travel across the Northern and Southwest land borders for non-essential reasons, such as tourism, starting on November 8. Additional detail on amendments to restrictions with respect to land borders will be available in the coming days. Travelers can find full details about today’s air travel announcement on the CDC and Department of State websites.  A summary is below: Fully Vaccinated Status:

  • Starting on November 8, non-citizen, non-immigrant air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to fly to the U.S.

Proof of Vaccination:

  • For foreign nationals, proof of vaccination will be required – with very limited exceptions – to board the plane.
  • Match the name and date of birth to confirm the passenger is the same person reflected on the proof of vaccination;
  • Determine that the record was issued by an official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency) in the country where the vaccine was given;
  • Review the essential information for determining if the passenger meets CDC’s definition for fully vaccinated such as vaccine product, number of vaccine doses received, date(s) of administration, site (e.g., vaccination clinic, health care facility) of vaccination.
  • The Biden Administration will work closely with the airlines to ensure that these new requirements are implemented successfully.

Accepted Vaccines:

  • CDC has determined that for purposes of travel to the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listed (EUL) vaccines.
  • Individuals can be considered fully vaccinated ≥2 weeks after receipt of the last dose if they have received any single dose of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO EUL approved single-dose series (i.e., Janssen), or any combination of two doses of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO emergency use listed COVID-19 two-dose series (i.e. mixing and matching).
  • More details are available in the CDC Annex here .

Enhanced Testing:

  • Previously, all travelers were required to produce a negative viral test result within three days of travel to the United States.
  • Both nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), such as a PCR test, and antigen tests qualify.
  • As announced in September, the new system tightens those requirements, so that unvaccinated U.S. Citizens and LPRs will need to provide a negative test taken within one day of traveling.
  • That means that all fully vaccinated U.S. Citizens and LPRs traveling to the United States should be prepared to present documentation of their vaccination status alongside their negative test result.
  • For those Americans who can show they are fully vaccinated, the same requirement currently in place will apply – they have to produce a negative test result within three days of travel.
  • For anyone traveling to the United States who cannot demonstrate proof of full vaccination, they will have to produce documentation of a negative test within one day of departure.

Requirements for Children:

  • Children under 18 are excepted from the vaccination requirement for foreign national travelers, given both the ineligibility of some younger children for vaccination, as well as the global variability in access to vaccination for older children who are eligible to be vaccinated.
  • Children between the ages of 2 and 17 are required to take a pre-departure test.
  • If traveling with a fully vaccinated adult, an unvaccinated child can test three days prior to departure (consistent with the timeline for fully vaccinated adults). If an unvaccinated child is traveling alone or with unvaccinated adults, they will have to test within one day of departure.

Limited Exceptions from the Vaccination Requirement:

  • There are a very limited set of exceptions from the vaccination requirement for foreign nationals. These include exceptions for children under 18, certain COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants, those with medical contraindications to the vaccines, those who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons (with a US government-issued letter affirming the urgent need to travel), those who are traveling on non-tourist visas from countries with low-vaccine availability (as determined by the CDC), and other very narrow categories.
  • Those who receive an exception will generally be required to attest they will comply with applicable public health requirements, including, with very limited exceptions, a requirement that they be vaccinated in the U.S. if they intend to stay here for more than 60 days.

Contact Tracing:

  • The CDC is also issuing a Contact Tracing Order that requires all airlines flying into the United States to keep on hand – and promptly turn over to the CDC, when needed – contact information that will allow public health officials to follow up with inbound air travelers who are potentially infected or have been exposed to someone who is infected.
  • This is a critical public health measure both to prevent the introduction, transmission, and spread of new variants of COVID-19 as well as to add a critical prevention tool to address other public health threats.

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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Final Rule Requiring Automatic Refunds of Airline Tickets and Ancillary Service Fees

Rule makes it easy to get money back for cancelled or significantly changed flights, significantly delayed checked bags, and additional services not provided  

WASHINGTON – The Biden-Harris Administration today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a final rule that requires airlines to promptly provide passengers with automatic cash refunds when owed. The new rule makes it easy for passengers to obtain refunds when airlines cancel or significantly change their flights, significantly delay their checked bags, or fail to provide the extra services they purchased.

“Passengers deserve to get their money back when an airline owes them - without headaches or haggling,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg . “Our new rule sets a new standard to require airlines to promptly provide cash refunds to their passengers.”  

The final rule creates certainty for consumers by defining the specific circumstances in which airlines must provide refunds. Prior to this rule, airlines were permitted to set their own standards for what kind of flight changes warranted a refund. As a result, refund policies differed from airline to airline, which made it difficult for passengers to know or assert their refund rights. DOT also received complaints of some airlines revising and applying less consumer-friendly refund policies during spikes in flight cancellations and changes. 

Under the rule, passengers are entitled to a refund for:

  • Canceled or significantly changed flights: Passengers will be entitled to a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly changed, and they do not accept alternative transportation or travel credits offered. For the first time, the rule defines “significant change.” Significant changes to a flight include departure or arrival times that are more than 3 hours domestically and 6 hours internationally; departures or arrivals from a different airport; increases in the number of connections; instances where passengers are downgraded to a lower class of service; or connections at different airports or flights on different planes that are less accessible or accommodating to a person with a disability.  
  • Significantly delayed baggage return: Passengers who file a mishandled baggage report will be entitled to a refund of their checked bag fee if it is not delivered within 12 hours of their domestic flight arriving at the gate, or 15-30 hours of their international flight arriving at the gate, depending on the length of the flight.  
  • Extra services not provided: Passengers will be entitled to a refund for the fee they paid for an extra service — such as Wi-Fi, seat selection, or inflight entertainment — if an airline fails to provide this service.

DOT’s final rule also makes it simple and straightforward for passengers to receive the money they are owed. Without this rule, consumers have to navigate a patchwork of cumbersome processes to request and receive a refund — searching through airline websites to figure out how make the request, filling out extra “digital paperwork,” or at times waiting for hours on the phone. In addition, passengers would receive a travel credit or voucher by default from some airlines instead of getting their money back, so they could not use their refund to rebook on another airline when their flight was changed or cancelled without navigating a cumbersome request process.  

The final rule improves the passenger experience by requiring refunds to be:

  • Automatic: Airlines must automatically issue refunds without passengers having to explicitly request them or jump through hoops.   
  • Prompt: Airlines and ticket agents must issue refunds within seven business days of refunds becoming due for credit card purchases and 20 calendar days for other payment methods.  
  • Cash or original form of payment: Airlines and ticket agents must provide refunds in cash or whatever original payment method the individual used to make the purchase, such as credit card or airline miles. Airlines may not substitute vouchers, travel credits, or other forms of compensation unless the passenger affirmatively chooses to accept alternative compensation.    
  • Full amount: Airlines and ticket agents must provide full refunds of the ticket purchase price, minus the value of any portion of transportation already used. The refunds must include all government-imposed taxes and fees and airline-imposed fees, regardless of whether the taxes or fees are refundable to airlines.

The final rule also requires airlines to provide prompt notifications to consumers affected by a cancelled or significantly changed flight of their right to a refund of the ticket and extra service fees, as well as any related policies.

In addition, in instances where consumers are restricted by a government or advised by a medical professional not to travel to, from, or within the United States due to a serious communicable disease, the final rule requires that airlines must provide travel credits or vouchers. Consumers may be required to provide documentary evidence to support their request. Travel vouchers or credits provided by airlines must be transferrable and valid for at least five years from the date of issuance.

The Department received a significant number of complaints against airlines and ticket agents for refusing to provide a refund or for delaying processing of refunds during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, refund complaints peaked at 87 percent of all air travel service complaints received by DOT. Refund problems continue to make up a substantial share of the complaints that DOT receives.

DOT’s Historic Record of Consumer Protection Under the Biden-Harris Administration

Under the Biden-Harris Administration and Secretary Buttigieg, DOT has advanced the largest expansion of airline passenger rights, issued the biggest fines against airlines for failing consumers, and returned more money to passengers in refunds and reimbursements than ever before in the Department’s history.

  • Thanks to pressure from Secretary Buttigieg and DOT’s flightrights.gov dashboard, all 10 major U.S. airlines guarantee free rebooking and meals, and nine guarantee hotel accommodations when an airline issue causes a significant delay or cancellation. These are new commitments the airlines added to their customer service plans that DOT can legally ensure they adhere to and are displayed on flightrights.gov .  
  • Since President Biden took office, DOT has helped return more than $3 billion in refunds and reimbursements owed to airline passengers – including over $600 million to passengers affected by the Southwest Airlines holiday meltdown in 2022.   
  • Under Secretary Buttigieg, DOT has issued over $164 million in penalties against airlines for consumer protection violations. Between 1996 and 2020, DOT collectively issued less than $71 million in penalties against airlines for consumer protection violations.  
  • DOT recently launched a new partnership with a bipartisan group of state attorneys general to fast-track the review of consumer complaints, hold airlines accountable, and protect the rights of the traveling public.  
  • In 2023, the flight cancellation rate in the U.S. was a record low at under 1.2% — the lowest rate of flight cancellations in over 10 years despite a record amount of air travel.  
  • DOT is undertaking its first ever industry-wide review of airline privacy practices and its first review of airline loyalty programs.

In addition to finalizing the rules to require automatic refunds and protect against surprise fees, DOT is also pursuing rulemakings that would:

  • Propose to ban family seating junk fees and guarantee that parents can sit with their children for no extra charge when they fly. Before President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg pressed airlines last year, no airline committed to guaranteeing fee-free family seating. Now, four airlines guarantee fee-free family seating, and the Department is working on its family seating junk fee ban proposal.  
  • Propose to make passenger compensation and amenities mandatory so that travelers are taken care of when airlines cause flight delays or cancellations.   
  • Expand the rights for passengers who use wheelchairs and ensure that they can travel safely and with dignity . The comment period on this proposed rule closes on May 13, 2024.

The final rule on refunds can be found at https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/latest-news and at regulations.gov , docket number DOT-OST-2022-0089. There are different implementation periods in this final rule ranging from six months for airlines to provide automatic refunds when owed to 12 months for airlines to provide transferable travel vouchers or credits when consumers are unable to travel for reasons related to a serious communicable disease. 

Information about airline passenger rights, as well as DOT’s rules, guidance and orders, can be found at   https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer .

Watch CBS News

France has banned short-haul domestic flights. How much it will help combat climate change is up in the air.

By Elaine Cobbe

Edited By Alex Sundby

May 24, 2023 / 6:56 PM EDT / CBS News

Paris - France has passed a law banning some domestic flights and encouraging travelers to take the train instead. Under the new law, flights that can be replaced by a train journey of under two-and-a-half hours should be scrapped.

The ban on short-hop flights became law on Tuesday. However, France's national airline had already canceled three routes that were deemed too high on carbon emissions. All three went from Paris' second airport, Orly, serving Bordeaux, Lyon and Nantes. Those three cities are all on the country's extensive high-speed rail network, and taking the train is also far faster than flying there.

Air France agreed to drop those direct routes in return for coronavirus financial assistance from the government in 2020.

Critics say the ban will have a negligible effect on carbon emissions. Laurent Donceel, interim head of industry group Airlines for Europe, which represents several airlines including Air France, KLM, Lufthansa and Ryanair, dismissed the law as a "symbolic ban." He told the Agence France-Presse news service that governments should instead support "real and significant solutions" to airline emissions.

While the ban sounds like a good idea to help combat climate change, in fact there are a number of caveats that severely limit its scope. The replacement train service must be frequent, timely and allow travelers to get to and from their starting point in the same day while allowing them a full eight hours at their destination.

The choice of train station designated as the departure point has also strangled plans to limit short-haul flights from Paris' main airport, Charles de Gaulle . The comparative train station is the one at the airport — which has a much more limited service than the seven mainline stations in Paris itself.

That has meant that while you can't fly from Orly to Bordeaux direct, you can fly to the southwestern wine city from CDG. In fact, the only routes that will be affected by the ban are the three from Orly that no longer operate.

An Air France Airbus aircraft lands at Athens International Airport on July 15, 2019.

An exception in the ban allows flights with a transfer to continue to operate, and that has led to some convoluted routes that take much longer than a direct flight or a train — and mean even more harmful emissions in takeoff and landing.

For example, the direct route from Paris to Lyon in eastern France, capital of gastronomy and a business hub, used to take under an hour from Orly. That route has been canceled as it was considered wasteful. You can still fly from Orly to Lyon — but you have to fly via Nice, in the south, changing planes to hop back up to Lyon, for a flight time of three hours, 15 minutes.

By contrast, a high-speed train from Paris will have you in central Lyon in just two hours. Or you can still fly direct in over an hour from de Gaulle. However, the total journey takes considerably longer when you add in the trip to and from the airports, checking in and going through security checkpoints.

The quest for lower emissions has led European airlines to examine a number of options. Air France recently announced plans to renew its fleet in an effort to cut carbon emissions. It says it will also increase its use of sustainable aviation fuel.

The airline already has a train and air partnership with France's national rail company SNCF in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It allows travelers to combine plane and train reservations in one booking, essentially allowing people to quickly and easily compare methods of travel.

Aviation news website Runway Girl Network  reports that Spanish airline Iberia is currently expanding its flight and train combination offer. Dutch airline KLM is buying up seats on high-speed trains from Schipol airport in Amsterdam to Brussels in a move to drop one of its daily flights between the two cities.

When the ban was first raised as part of France's 2021 Climate Act, Transport Minister Clément Beaune called it "a major step forward in the policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

"I am proud that France is a pioneer in this area," he added.

  • Climate Change

Elaine Cobbe is a CBS News correspondent based in Paris. A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience covering international events, Cobbe reports for CBS News' television, radio and digital platforms.

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  • Carry On Bags: Yes (Less than or equal to 3.4oz/100 ml allowed)

Check with your airline before bringing any alcohol beverages on board. FAA regulations prohibit travelers from consuming alcohol on board an aircraft unless served by a flight attendant.  Additionally, Flight Attendants are not permitted to serve a passenger who is intoxicated.

Alcoholic beverages with more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging. Alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags. 

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For more information, see FAA regulation: 49 CFR 175.10(a)(4).

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Alcoholic beverages with more than 70% alcohol (over 140 proof), including grain alcohol and 151 proof rum. For more information, see FAA regulation: 49 CFR 175.10(a)(4).

Check with your airline if ammunition is allowed in checked bags. Small arms ammunitions must be securely packed in fiber, wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. Ask the airline about limitations or fees. Read the guidelines for traveling with firearms.

When traveling, be sure to comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international government.

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You may transport this item in carry-on or checked bags. For items you wish to carry on, you should check with the airline to ensure that the item will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

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Measures must be taken to prevent unintentional activation of the heating element while on board the aircraft. Examples of effective measures to prevent unintentional activation include, but are not limited to: removing the battery from the lighter; placing the lighter into a protective case; and/or using a protective cover, safety latch, or locking device on the lighter's activation button.

Each lithium ion battery must not exceed a Watt-hour (Wh) rating of 100 Wh; or for lithium metal batteries, a lithium content of 2 grams.

Recharging of the devices and/or the batteries on board the aircraft is not permitted.

See FAA regulations for more information.

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will air travel be banned

Europe's climate laws could spell the end to low-cost flights—but what about private jets?

T he era of low-cost air travel in Europe may be over for good, thanks in part to recent EU environmental policies. All in all, this is good news for the climate. But many low- and middle-income people who used to travel around the EU will no longer be able to do so, or at least will be able to do so much less often.

Yet the same policies will have little or no impact on the use of much more polluting private jets, which typically cover distances served by commercial airlines and trains. This is a case of unfair sacrifice for climate action. Addressing this injustice should be a top priority for the next EU legislative term if a just and inclusive climate transition is to be achieved.

Rising prices…

According to data from the European Commission, intra-EU airfares last summer were on average between 20% and 30% higher than they had been before COVID-19. The main reasons are high consumer demand, rising fuel costs and disrupted supply chains—the latter two at least partly due to the geopolitical turmoil of recent years.

Prices are likely to rise further in the coming years as a result of three factors. First, the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), which is at the heart of the "Fit For 55" policy package proposed by the European Commission in summer 2021 and partially adopted in spring 2023.

Since 2012, intra-EU aviation emissions have been part of the EU ETS, the market-based system introduced by the EU in 2005 to cap emissions from certain EU sectors, notably energy-intensive industries, electricity generation and aviation. Like industry, aviation has so far benefited from free emission allowances —until last year less than 20% of the aviation allowances were auctioned. Under the new ETS reform, free allowances will be phased out between 2024 and 2026. This means that airlines will have to bear not only the private cost of fuel, but also the social cost of their operations. While the EU ETS reform maintains free allowances for operators using less polluting fuels, these are more expensive than traditional fuels. In addition, the annual ETS emissions cap will be gradually reduced in the coming years, leading to an increase in the price of auctioned allowances (since 2021 the UK has its own ETS ).

Second, the EU institutions are currently working on a reform of the 2003 Energy Taxation Directive (ETD). More specifically, the ETD was intended to introduce minimum levels of taxation on electricity and motor and heating fuels, both to avoid market distortions in the EU and to promote the decarbonization of these sectors. However, to date, both kerosene used by aircraft and heavy fuel oil used by the shipping industry have been exempted from taxation under the ETD. As part of the "Fit for 55" package, the European Commission had also proposed an update to the ETD, which is still awaiting adoption and which would, among other things, remove the above exemptions. Thirdly, some countries, and most notably France, defended the idea of a fixed minimum price for intra-EU flights. It remains to be seen whether these proposals will be adopted in the future.

… and plummeting demand

According to Airlines for Europe , the EU's largest airline association, the cost to airlines of complying with the above EU norms will be 13 to 14 times higher in 2030 than in 2019. According to the research center SEO Amsterdam Economics , if these price increases are fully passed on to consumers, demand for flights will fall, leading to a reduction in intra-EU air traffic of more than 8% in 2030 and around 12% in 2035 , compared to if such reforms had not been implemented.

Anyone concerned about climate change can breathe a sigh of relief. Rising ticket prices will reduce the number of air travelers and the frequency of flights. This is inevitable if the EU is to achieve its goal of zero net CO 2 emissions within a few decades. In recent years, however, low-cost airlines have made it possible for people on low incomes to travel between EU countries—something that was previously very uncommon. In a way, low-cost airlines have democratized travel, allowing poorer people to both build international experience and maintain affective and family ties (think of how many parents now have children studying or working in other EU countries, or how many couples live and work in different places). This is also because, as Greenpeace pointed out in a recent study , traveling by train in the EU is still significantly more expensive than flying.

An unjust transition

You could say that these concerns are minor compared to the climate threat. Low-cost airlines have so far produced an inordinate amount of CO 2 for purposes that are ultimately not about subsistence. However, if the climate threat justifies people on low incomes not traveling, or at least traveling much less than before, then it must also justify affluent EU travelers giving up private flights, which on average emit up to 14 times more CO 2 per passenger than a scheduled flight, and using airlines or, better still, high-speed trains. The main problem with the EU's one-size-fits-all approach to climate policy is that many rich jet users will simply remain indifferent to the ongoing increases in the price of emissions permits.

Asking low-income people to give up something valuable to them—travel—for the collective good, while the rich continue to enjoy superfluous luxury, is the furthest thing from the fair and inclusive transition that the EU institutions have set as their goal. Moreover, the more the rich contribute to the increase of CO 2 in the atmosphere with their luxury emissions, the greater the behavioral sacrifice that will have to be made by everyone else in order to keep global warming within more or less acceptable limits.

According to a recent study commissioned by Geenpeace from CE Delft, the number of private flights in Europe increased from just under 120,000 in 2020 to more than half a million in 2022. More than half of these flights are short to medium distance, comparable to the distance between Paris and Marseille (about 750 km), which in the vast majority of cases can be reasonably substituted by alternative means of transport. The top four routes for private flights in Europe are, in order, London-Paris (just over two hours by high-speed train), London-Nice (several scheduled flights per day), Paris-Geneva (just over three hours by high-speed train) and Paris-Nice (many scheduled flights or just over five hours by high-speed train).

Several national initiatives to ban luxury flights

A group of EU countries, namely Austria, the Netherlands, and France, recently wrote to the EU institutions calling for new regulations on the use of private jets (backed by Ireland and Belgium). The current EU Transport Commissioner has indicated that this will not happen, at least for now. Press reports suggest that the European Commission's approach is to legislate on aviation as a whole, rather than introducing specific rules for private jets.

Some EU countries are trying to fill this regulatory gap at EU level with national measures. France , for example, has discussed a ban on private flights (proposed by the left-wing coalition La France Insoumise (LFI) and supported by the Greens) and a super-tax on luxury flights (favored by Emmanuel Macron's centrist government). The Dutch airport Amsterdam Schiphol is planning to restrict access to private aircraft. Spain is considering a ban on short-term private flights as part of its plan to achieve net zero CO 2 emissions by 2050. There is every reason for the next European Commission to take up the climate leadership baton from the current one and close the regulation loophole that private aviation currently enjoys. If there is to be ambitious and accelerated climate action, everyone, including the richest, should be part of it.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article .

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Alliance Air leaves hundreds of passengers in the lurch at Lakshadweep airport

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Kochi: Over a hundred tourists from Kerala who had booked tickets to the state on Alliance Air flights have been stranded at Agatti airport in Lakshadweep without accommodation, food or medicines for over two days after the airline cancelled all its services from the island since Sunday. Making matters worse, the number of such passengers is rising every day as Alliance Air is continuing to cancel flights, citing bad weather conditions. Meanwhile, the stranded tourists have accused the Alliance Air staff of negligence and non-cooperation. The tourists had stayed at various resorts in Lakshadweep and had vacated their rooms before reaching the airport to return home.

However, many of them were informed about the cancellation of their flights after receiving the boarding pass. Now they cannot stay at the resorts as the rooms have been occupied by other tourists. Many of the tourists trapped at the airport are currently staying at the homes of Lakshadweep residents. The tourists said that other airline companies provide accommodation and food to passengers when flights are cancelled. However, Alliance Air has refused requests in this regard, they alleged. According to the passengers, Alliance Air staff told them to go to court, when they requested a place to stay and food. One staff member at Agatti airport even said that he would give this statement on record.

Among the stranded passengers is a 25-member group of senior citizens from Kozhikode. Several of these tourists suffer from various ailments and need medical attention. But, the stock of their regular medicines has been exhausted. “I am an asthma patient. With my inhaler empty, I spend the nights struggling for breath. I don’t know what to do. The behaviour of Alliance Air staff towards passengers who have paid for their tickets is despicable,” said Usha Mathew, one among the aggrieved passengers. Apart from elderly passengers, people carrying infants and small children are also stranded at the airport. Ironically, while Alliance Air is cancelling flights, other airline companies such as Indigo and Fly91 are conducting regular services between Lakshadweep and the mainland, said passengers.

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Senate Approves Bill to Reauthorize F.A.A. and Improve Air Travel

The Senate also passed a short-term extension of the current F.A.A. law to give the House time to clear the longer-term package early next week.

A traveler walks through an airport. Delta airplanes are seen through a window in the background.

By Kayla Guo

Reporting from the Capitol

The Senate on Thursday passed legislation to reauthorize federal aviation programs for the next five years and put in place new safety measures and consumer protections for passengers, at a moment of intense uncertainty and disruption in the air travel system.

The bill , which still must win final approval in the House before becoming law, would provide more than $105 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration and another $738 million to the National Transportation Safety Board for airport modernization, technology programs and safety. It would also bolster the hiring and training of air traffic controllers, codify airlines’ refund obligations to passengers, ensure fee-free family seating and strengthen protections for passengers with disabilities.

“Aviation safety has been front of mind for millions of Americans recently, and this F.A.A. bill is the best thing Congress can do to give Americans the peace of mind they deserve,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said on the Senate floor on Thursday evening.

It passed in an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 88 to 4, just one day before the current law is scheduled to lapse. The Senate also unanimously approved a short-term extension to allow time for the House to take up and clear the longer-term package next week, a step that would send it to President Biden.

The legislation is a bipartisan compromise negotiated over months by the Senate and House committees with jurisdiction over the F.A.A., after Congress authorized several short-term extensions of the agency when lawmakers failed to meet earlier deadlines. The House passed its version of the bill almost a year ago in a lopsided vote of 351 to 69.

Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington, chairwoman of the Commerce Committee, celebrated the bill’s provisions on consumer protections, aviation safety, air traffic controllers, airport infrastructure and work force development on the floor after passage.

“This is a big moment for aviation,” Ms. Cantwell said. “We have had safety issues and concerns that we need to make a big investment. This legislation is that investment — in safety standards, in protecting consumers and advancing a work force and technology that will allow the United States to be the gold standard in aviation.”

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, said: “This legislation is a strong, bipartisan, bicameral bill that includes hundreds of priorities for senators and representatives, both Republican and Democrat. This bill gives the FAA the safety tools it needs at a critical time.”

As one of the few remaining bills considered a must-pass item this year, the F.A.A. package, which prompted several regional disputes, became a magnet for dozens of amendments and policy riders that threatened to delay it in the Senate.

With the legislation threatening to stall, the House on Wednesday approved a one-week extension for the F.A.A. before leaving Washington for the weekend. The Senate followed suit on Thursday, steering around lingering disputes that had threatened to scuttle the effort and cause a brief lapse for the F.A.A.

The debate came at a time of acute uncertainty about the aviation system, which has had a recent spate of concerning episodes such as dangerous near collisions on runways, plane malfunctions and thousands of flight delays and cancellations.

It was unclear for much of Thursday whether the Senate would be able to push through the legislation and the extension, as senators demanded votes on amendments or threatened to block speedy passage. No amendments were ultimately brought to a vote.

The most intense regional fight was over a provision in the bill that would add five round-trip long-haul flights out of Ronald Reagan National Airport outside Washington. Proponents, which include Delta Air Lines, have said they want to expand access to the nation’s capital and increase competition.

The proposal incensed lawmakers representing the area , who argued that the airport maintains the busiest runway in the country and cannot support additional flights. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia and Benjamin L. Cardin and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, all Democrats, filed an amendment to strike the new flights.

Mr. Kaine and Mr. Warner threatened to hold the bill up if they did not receive a vote. But Mr. Cruz blocked an effort to bring up a compromise amendment that would have given the transportation secretary the final say on new flights after considering any effects they would have on delays and passenger safety.

“The Senate abdicated its responsibility to protect the safety of the 25 million people who fly through D.C.A. every year,” Mr. Kaine and Mr. Warner said in a statement. “Some of our colleagues were too afraid to let the experts make the call. They didn’t want to show the American people that they care more about a few lawmakers’ desire for direct flights than they care about the safety and convenience of the traveling public. That is shameful and an embarrassment.”

The senators from Virginia and Maryland were the only votes against the bill.

Another group of senators failed to secure a vote on a proposal to halt the Transportation Security Administration’s expansion of facial recognition technology at airports and restrict it where it is in use.

Senators had also proposed adding a number of unrelated bills, including one that would compensate people harmed by exposure to the nation’s nuclear weapons program , legislation to fully fund the replacement of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, and a credit card competition measure. Senators Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, and Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, were pushing for a vote on their bill to protect minors online into Thursday. None of them made it into the final product.

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the bridge in Baltimore that collapsed. It is the Francis Scott Key Bridge, not the Francis Key Scott Bridge.

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Kayla Guo covers Congress for The New York Times as the 2023-24 reporting fellow based in Washington. More about Kayla Guo

Our Coverage of Congress

Here’s the latest news and analysis from capitol hill..

Democrats’ ‘Sword and Shield’ Strategy: Despite certain defeat, Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, is pushing showdown votes on border security  and abortion rights  ahead of this year’s elections. Here’s why .

Trump’s Meeting With Oil Executives: Senate Democrats opened an investigation  into a fund-raising dinner where Donald Trump asked oil executives to donate $1 billion to his campaign and vowed to roll back climate rules .

Noncitizen Voting:  House Republicans are pushing legislation to crack down on voting by noncitizens , which happens rarely and is already illegal in federal elections, in an effort to sow doubts about the 2024 results if Trump loses .

A New Centrism Rises: The emergence of a new form of American centrism — call it neopopulism  — has made the last four years arguably the most productive period of bipartisanship in Washington in decades.

Hurling Insults: In an after-hours session of the House Oversight Committee, insults by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a right-wing Republican, led to a raucous exchange with Democrats .

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Kids and adults gather at a Memorial Day parade to honor and celebrate veterans in South Portland. Sofia Aldinio/ Staff Photographer

BATH 10 a.m. Monday. Parade begins at 200 Congress Ave. and concludes at Library Park and will be followed by a wreath-laying service at 11 a.m.

BERWICK 11 a.m. Monday. Parade begins at Berwick Town Hall/Sullivan Square and proceeds to Lord’s Cemetery by way of Wilson and Allen streets. After a ceremony there, the parade will continue down Saw Mill Hill Street with a pause at the Somersworth-Berwick Bridge for a brief memorial service for those lost at sea. The parade ends at Sullivan Square with a memorial service honoring area veterans.

BIDDEFORD-SACO Opening ceremony at 9:55 a.m. Monday at Saco City Hall. Parade starts at 10 a.m. from Saco City Hall and proceeds along Main Street and down York Hill into Biddeford, continues along Main Street, onto Alfred Street and finishes at Veteran’s Memorial Park with a closing ceremony at 10:45 a.m.

BRUNSWICK-TOPSHAM 9 a.m. Monday. Parade proceeds from Topsham Town Hall, pauses for observances while crossing the Brunswick-Topsham bridge, and concludes at the Brunswick Mall.

CAPE ELIZABETH 9 a.m. Monday. Parade begins at the middle school parking lot, turns right on Scott Dyer Road, right onto Route 77 and ends at the village green adjacent to the town hall. A brief ceremony and laying of the wreath will be held at the Village Green after the parade.

CUMBERLAND 8 a.m. Monday. Kids run at Greely High School followed by 5K Run and Remember race at 8:30 a.m. Parade starts at 10 a.m. at Mabel I. Wilson School and ends at the veterans’ monument in Moss Side Cemetery in Cumberland Center, where a ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Advertisement

FALMOUTH 10 a.m. Monday. Parade proceeds from 65 Depot Road (Falmouth American Legion) to Pine Grove Park, where a ceremony will be held.

FREEPORT 9:30 a.m. Monday. Parade proceeds from Holbrook Street, heads north on Main and makes a right onto School Street, then right onto Park Street, ending in Memorial Park. There will be a small ceremony in Memorial Park starting at 10 a.m.

GORHAM 11 a.m. Monday. Parade starts at Village School (12 Robie St.) and ends at Eastern Cemetery on Johnson Road.

GRAY 11:30 a.m. Monday. Parade leaves the Russell School (8 Gray Park), proceeds to Shaker Road and continues to the Soldiers Monument at the intersection of Routes 26 and 3 for a wreath-laying ceremony. Parade continues north to the American Legion Post (15 Lewiston Road) for a closing ceremony.

LYMAN 1 p.m. Monday. Parade starts at Waterhouse Road/Mill Pond in Goodwins Mills and ends at the Lyman Town Hall on South Waterboro Road.

NEW GLOUCESTER 9 a.m. Monday. Parade leaves from Memorial Elementary School (86 Intervale Road) and heads down Intervale Road to Route 100/202 to Veterans Park for a memorial service. The parade will reconvene and go down Peacock Hill Road, then take a left on Gilmore Road. Advertisement

OLD ORCHARD BEACH 1 p.m. Monday. Parade starts at the corner of Ballpark Way and E. Emerson Cumming Boulevard and proceeds down Saco Avenue, Old Orchard Beach Street to First Street and ends at Veteran’s Memorial Park.

PORTLAND 2 p.m. Monday. The procession starts at Longfellow School (432 Stevens Ave.) and ends at Evergreen Cemetery for a commemoration ceremony.

SANFORD 10 a.m. Monday. The parade starts at the Sanford Armory (88 William Oscar Emery Drive), proceeds up Gowen Park Drive and ends at Central Park.

SCARBOROUGH 10 a.m. Monday. Parade starts at Scarborough High School, turns onto Route 114 and then Route 1, past town offices to the Maine Veterans Home and concludes with a ceremony there.

SOUTH PORTLAND 10:30 a.m. Monday. Parade starts at Southern Maine Community College parking lot, proceeds down Broadway to the Veterans Monument for a short Memorial Day recognition service.

WELLS 9 a.m. Monday. Parade starts at Wells High School (200 Sanford Road) and proceeds to Ocean View Cemetery for a ceremony and musical performances. Advertisement

WESTBROOK 10 a.m. Monday. Parade proceeds down Main Street and will be followed by a ceremony in Riverbank Park.

WINDHAM 9 a.m. Monday. Parade starts at Windham Town Hall and proceeds onto Route 202 toward Windham High School. At 10 a.m., there will be a ceremony in front of Windham’s Veterans Memorial Flagpole at Windham High School.

YARMOUTH 10 a.m. Monday. Parade leaves from Yarmouth High School (286 West Elm St.) and proceeds to the Memorial Green at Town Hall for a ceremony.

YORK 10 a.m. Monday. Parade starts near St. Christopher’s Church (4 Barrell Lane) and proceeds down York Street to York Town Hall.

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