Image: Marco Verch Professional, Flickr

America is opening its borders on the 8th of November (hooray!) after a long 18 months of disruption, which is obviously a massive game-changer for the rest of the world, but what - if anything - does this mean for American travelers? We’ve outlined all the most pressing travel-related questions you might have right now (and some that you may not have even thought of!). Because when it comes to all things travel, we want to make it as easy as possible for you - either to get back home or make it further afield!

Q. What does the new policy say?

A. All adults - both foreign nationals and international travelers - will be allowed to fly into the United States, as long as they are fully vaccinated and have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours within hours of departure.

Q. Which countries will the U.S. be opening its borders to?

A. The United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, the European Union, China, India, Iran, Brazil and South Africa.

Q. What about children?

A. Unvaccinated children will be allowed in, but those older than two and traveling with a fully vaccinated adult will be required to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test no more than three days before departing Those journeying alone or with an unvaccinated adult will have to show this within one day instead.

Q. Which vaccines are accepted?

A. Any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization will be approved by the U.S, assuming the traveler has been fully vaccinated. This includes Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Sinovac.

Q. What if I’m not vaccinated?

A. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have not been fully vaccinated will still be able to enter the country, subject to stricter testing and tracing rules. They will need to be tested within 24 hours of boarding the flight and undergo testing upon returning to the country.

Q. Will I still be allowed in if I’ve recently recovered from COVID-19?

A. Yes - if you’ve met the criteria to end isolation in the days leading up to travel and have had COVID-10 within 90 days, you won’t need to get tested before or after you travel because you can still test positive without being infectious. Instead, you will need to show documentation of recovery before boarding your flight.

Q. How will this affect the travel industry?

A. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, lifting the current restrictions on international travelers will contribute to a significant economic recovery. Without this policy change, the U.S. was on course to lose $175 billion in income from tourists this year, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

Q. How does the CDC determine if a country is safe?

A. The CDC reviews data reported to the WHO daily.

Q. So … as an American, where can I travel right now?

A. While the new rules will make travel - especially returning home - more difficult for U.S. tourists, there are many countries ready to welcome you right now! They include:

So … what are you waiting for?!