Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still far from over, some countries have introduced effective measures to limit transmission and are once again welcoming tourists. US citizens and residents don’t have as many travel options as they used to, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nowhere they can go. Several Asian countries have already opened their borders to US tourists. Each country has its own health protocol, and some are more restrictive than others, but it’s nothing dedicated travelers can’t handle. These are the countries in Asia welcoming US travelers right now.
These paradisiacal islands in the Indian Ocean have been open to international tourism since mid-July, with no quarantine requirements. As long as you present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival, you’ll be free to enter the Maldives. The only catch is that you need to have a confirmed booking from a tourist facility for your on-arrival visa, and you can only stay at one tourist facility through the entirety of your stay. Temperature checks and other screening measures will take place at the airport. Random PCR tests may be conducted on inbound travelers.
2. United Arab Emirates
The UAE is open to US citizens, with tourist visas being issued in all Emirates on arrival. Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of departure is required before flying to the UAE. Travelers need to have international medical travel insurance before they fly to the UAE. If arriving in the UAE via Dubai, travelers will undergo medical screening and must present a completed health declaration form and a quarantine undertaking form. Travelers may also be tested upon arrival at the airport. Before leaving the airport, travelers are required to download the COVID-19 DXB app for contact tracing. Those arriving in Abu Dhabi are required to wear a GPS bracelet for 14 days and must take COVID-19 PCR test on the sixth day if they are staying six days or more.
Unlike many other countries, Turkey is opening its borders without even requiring a negative COVID-19 test. Upon arrival, travelers are asked to complete an information form and will be screened for COVID-19. If you show symptoms of COVID-19 at the airport a test will be administered, but otherwise US citizens can enter the country quarantine-free. If you do test positive upon arrival, you will be referred to a private hospital. Turkey’s entry requirements are among the lightest in the world right now for international travel, making it an easy option for US tourists looking to avoid a hassle.
Just in time for the fall trekking season, Nepal is welcoming international visitors who intend to trek or climb one of the country’s peaks. To enter Nepal, travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. They must also provide the details of their itinerary, hire a local outfitting company, and show proof of health insurance covering COVID-19 treatment. Even with the negative COVID-19 test, you’re required to quarantine for one week at a hotel in Kathmandu upon arrival, and then take another test before being allowed to embark on your climbing adventures. This is the first stage of Nepal’s phased reopening, and restrictions are likely to either relax or tighten depending on the public health situation and the virus’ rate of transmission.
US citizens are allowed to enter Jordan but must comply with several health protocols. Incoming visitors must have valid health insurance covering COVID-19 treatment for the entire duration of their stay, complete a declaration form, present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test before boarding their flight, take another PCR test upon arrival at the airport in Amman (at their own expense), and install a contact-tracing app on their phone. Since the US is considered a high-risk country, US citizens adhere to a 14-day home quarantine upon arrival and take a PCR test on the seventh day and the 14th day of home quarantine at their own expense.
It’s also important to keep in mind that a nationwide curfew went into effect on October 6, from midnight on Friday until midnight on Sunday. That means you’re not allowed to leave your accommodation on Friday nights and Saturdays. A nightly curfew is also in effect every day of the week from 1 AM to 6 AM.
6. South Korea
US travelers are permitted to enter South Korea, but only if you quarantine for 14 days at a government-approved facility at your own expense. You do not need to show a negative COVID-19 test, but you will likely be tested upon arrival. Temperature screenings, health questionnaires, and contact tracing are also in place, with travelers expected to download a Self-Diagnosis mobile app and respond to daily questions on it for 14 days after arrival.
Bangladesh is welcoming US tourists with a valid visa as long as they can produce a medical certificate with English translation that states they have tested negative for COVID-19. The test must have been taken within 72 hours of travel. Even if you satisfy this requirement, you’ll still be asked to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival.
A version of this article was previously published on October 8, 2020, and was updated on November 4, 2020, with more information.