This morning, I received the question below on Twitter. Since it’s one I get often, I thought I would answer it in a post because it’s important. “Johnny, asking what are the best places to find out what country Covid entrance requirements are. A few I checked are giving me different info. Thanks.”
Here’s my reply:
Hi Terrell (@Terrellcwoods),
I’m sure your head is spinning like mine and every person who is planning a spring/summer trip. These days, it’s almost impossible to keep up with all the different entrance rules and regulations. For example, just a few days ago, after their recent COVID-19 surge, Thailand announced they’re changing their quarantine requirements back to 14 days from a tolerable seven.
So what is a traveler supposed to do when planning travel especially if it’s international?
For one, they need to look up the entrance requirements and keep checking as they could change at a moment’s notice.
I recommend finding the official requirements from the country’s tourism website if you can. One way is to Google “[name of country] official entry requirements.” Just make sure the first results listed don’t have a little “Ad” button listed next to them. You need to go directly to the source.
But that might not always be clear, as I just searched “Thailand official entry requirements” and the information was confusing to say the least. Instead try “[name of country] official entry requirements US embassy.” The US embassy seems to do a good job keeping Americans informed but you need to double check that’s it’s been updated recently.
The one third-party site that I do recommend is the one American Airlines and Expedia use on their websites. It’s called the Travel Reopening Map, powered by the B2B2C company Sherpa. Sherpa normally only sells their technology to companies but a friend informed me that the founders are super nice Canadians (what else is new? I’m married to a Canuck!). They realized that their tool was so useful for the global travel public that they wanted to make it accessible to anyone and everyone.
“Sherpa’s map-based UI, partners, such as airlines, online travel agencies and cruise lines, can ease their customers’ hesitancy to book by enabling them to search for destinations open to travel and COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules for both outgoing and return routes.”
What to know about Sherpa’s map:
- Color-coded map identifies the level of travel restriction: Green=open for travel, lime green=requires COVID-19 testing, yellow: requires COVID-19 test and quarantine upon arrival, peach=entry is restricted. Users can filter results by restriction categories.
- Hover over a country for a quick snapshot of guidelines or select to read a comprehensive list of rules and requirements.
- Sherpa˚ lists the policies travelers need to know including COVID-19 testing, quarantine measures, masking guidelines, and in-destination testing locations as well as links to complete required paperwork and upload negative tests.
- Guidelines for departure AND return flights
- List of newly added AND upcoming guidelines (link)
Unlike other COVID-19 maps, Sherpa processes millions of data points from thousands of sources, including governments, airlines, airports, tourism boards, public forums and media outlets.
It’s important to note that if you are traveling internationally, you do need to produce a COVID-19 negative test three days before arrival, no matter if you’re an American or vaccinated or not. You can also prove you’ve recovered from COVID-19 in the last 3 months. Here are the U.S.A.’s entry requirements.
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