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Countries That Closed Their Border to America

Belgium

Belgium says, “no way!” to Americans. The country has decided to restrict all entry from travelers not arriving from the European Union, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom. Those who are nationals of Belgium can still enter, but they’re required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

There are a few other select countries that Belgium allows entry to if they’re diplomats, humanitarians, or military personnel (but America isn’t on that list). For such a small country, it’s been hit pretty hard. The country has had around 10,000 deaths and over 50,000 confirmed cases.

Denmark

Denmark is taking it a step further than some European countries. The country opened its borders to most travelers from the EU and the UK, except Portugal, Sweden, and Bulgaria. That’s pretty understandable considering how they’ve handled the epidemic.

A handful of countries aren’t restricted, including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and a few others. According to the government, people from those countries are allowed to enter without a two-week quarantine, but they need to have a “worthy purpose.” Notice how America isn’t on that list?

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Finland

Finland has just started to ease restrictions, but that doesn’t mean they’re welcoming Americans. The Finnish Border Guard has and maintains a list of countries that they’re allowing in, including most countries in the EU and the United Kingdom.

Finland is also accepting travel between Finland and Australia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, and a select few other countries. People traveling from these places must be coming to the country for work or essential purposes. Finland was never hit that hard, and so far, it hasn’t even reached over 200 active cases.

France

France is one of the top travel destinations for many Americans, but we’ll have to wait a bit longer before we see the Eiffel Tower. The Parisian destination has restricted travel from all foreign nationals except those from the EU, UK, the Vatican City, Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and a few other countries.

Some people from select countries don’t even have to self-isolate. Lucky them. As we all know, France had a high number of cases at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The country doesn’t want to take any chances. There have already been over 30,000 deaths, so they’d like to keep their infection rate down to a minimum. Unfortunately, cases are beginning to rise once again.

Germany

Germany, like the rest of the EU, has relaxed entry restrictions for specific countries. Countries inside the EU, the UK, Australia, Georgia, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, and Uruguay are all allowed into Germany. Anyone else? Completely barred.

However, a person could travel to one of those countries, remain there for two weeks, and then enter Germany. Quarantine may still be required, but this can vary depending on the Germany state. Travelers from high-risk areas are required to quarantine for 14 days, according to the national government.

Australia

Australia wanted to follow New Zealand’s lead. Being an island, it should be easy as long as the country restricts travel. Well, that’s exactly what they did. The country has blocked everyone except New Zealand nationals residing in Australia, diplomats, permanent residents, and their immediate family.

Those coming to the Aussie Outback still need to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of where they’re coming from. The country recently broke 15,000 cases, and they don’t even have 200 deaths. Unfortunately, Australia also had the deadliest day yet with 10 deaths in one day.  

Greece

Greece has blocked American tourists, but it has resumed flights from many European countries. Other than Greece’s residents coming home, the only people allowed to enter are healthcare professionals, government members, diplomats, military personnel, humanitarian workers, airline crew, and travelers in transit.

Anyone that arrives from the European Union is required to get tested for COVID-19 and quarantine themselves. Even though nearby countries were slammed, Greece has had relatively low numbers. The country has over 4,000 cases and a little over 200 deaths – sad, but not bad considering those around them.

Iceland

Iceland is following the European Union’s mandate, barring citizens of most countries (including America). The only people who can come to Iceland are those in the European Economic Area, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City, and the United Kingdom.

It doesn’t matter where they’re coming from, everyone who enters the country has to undergo a COVID-19 test or self-isolate for 14 days. Even if they’re an Icelandic resident returning, they have to get a COVID test and “take special precautions” for the first five days upon arrival whether they test positive or not. Iceland dealt with the virus much better than any other country, as they only have had 10 deaths and 1,800 cases total.

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Italy

Everyone knows what happened in Italy. They were the first to suffer COVID-19 on a massive scale, which caught the world’s attention. Italy shut down its borders and only recently opened it back up to travelers arriving from the EU, Australia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and a handful of other countries, none of which are America.

Italy has had nearly 250,000 positive cases, a massive number. The country has also had over 35,000 deaths, and that number is still climbing. Many people say that Italy could have broken the negative streak, but only time will tell. One thing is for sure: America won’t be allowed any time soon.  

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The Bahamas

At first, the Bahamas allowed Americans on the cluster of islands, along with tons of other nations. However, in late July, the country banned the United States once our nation began to surge in cases. Beaches also closed. On July 27, the islands entered lockdown for a second time.

Tourists from all nations require a 14-day quarantine at a government facility upon arrival. They’ve also banned many other countries from even coming to the Bahamas. The islands have nearly 400 cases with 11 deaths.

Photographer: Melissa Alcena/Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Getty Images

China

China has completely restricted all access to foreign nationals, except those from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Travelers coming into China are required to undergo medical screening and a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Even airline crew must undergo screening and self-isolate at their hotel until their results coming in.

Even if China allowed American residents in the country, American officials declared that the country shouldn’t be visited. Couple that with the tense relations between America and China, it wouldn’t be the best place to visit anyway.

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Netherlands

The Netherlands followed the same guidelines as other EU companies. The nation only allows tourism from countries in the European Union. As of July 1, they’ve begun accepting non-essential travel from the following countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, and several other places (none of which are America).

The Netherlands have had just over 50,000 infected and 6,100 deaths. For this reason, they want to contain the virus as much as they can. Anyone from a high-risk country must quarantine themselves for 14 days and present a completed Health Declaration form.

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Norway

Norway lifted restrictions and quarantine requirements on travelers coming from most European Union countries. Basically, they must have an “acceptable level of infection.” The odd thing is that Norway requires high-risk countries to quarantine for 10 days rather than 14 days. High-risk countries include Sweden, Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Portugal, Luxembourg, Romania, and Spain. America is barred altogether. 

Despite being so close to Sweden, Norway has managed to avoid the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve had over 9,100 confirmed cases and a little over 250 deaths. It’s understandable that the nation would block so many countries from coming in.

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Japan

When Japan started opening its borders, the United States popped up as a banned country. No visitors from America are allowed, but we’re not alone. There is a long list of countries that Japan blocked, including the United Kingdom – a country most EU nations have put on their “accepted” list. Travelers and airline crew must still undergo testing and a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Japan’s size is a third of the United States, but its infection rate is relatively low. The nation has only had around 33,000 infections and 1,000 deaths. Compared to America, our infection rate is over four million, with more than 150,000 deaths.

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Poland

Poland decided to accept people from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, the UK, Japan, and a few other countries. America isn’t allowed as of right now due to surging cases. People from the EU are allowed to enter without quarantine, but anyone outside of the EU must still self-isolate. There are some exceptions, including many worker positions, students, airline crew, and diplomatic members.

Poland has had over 44,000 cases, but the number of deaths remains relatively low. Currently, they’ve had around 1,700 deaths, which isn’t bad for a country of 38 million. When American cases begin to decrease, Poland will consider allowing U.S. residents into the nation.

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Portugal

Portugal isn’t necessarily completely closed to Americans, but the nation has prohibited all non-essential travel. This means anyone traveling for a vacation as a tourist won’t be allowed entry. The tricky part is that some airlines are still selling tickets between the United States and Portugal.

The flights are mainly for Portuguese residents who are stuck in another country. However, some carriers are allowing anyone to buy tickets. Be careful not to fall into this trap! Anyone traveling to the nation must have had a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours, resident or not. They’ll also have to go through a health screening. Portugal is taking this pandemic very seriously.  

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New Zealand

New Zealand is famous for handling COVID-19 the correct way. It may be easier for them (due to being an island), but the nation managed to remain COVID-free for over 24 days. Unfortunately, visitors from the UK came to the little island and ruined that streak. They had been given a special pass because their parent was dying.

Just as everyone was getting used to a post-lockdown world where parties were allowed, they must take things seriously again. The country has restricted entry to anyone who isn’t a permanent resident or national of New Zealand. Anyone who enters must undergo a 14-day quarantine. They’re looking forward to beginning their COVID-free streak again.

Spain

Spain reopened its borders very recently to travelers arriving from the EU and the UK. Outside of those two areas, only Spanish nationals and residents can enter the country. Spain is taking each country on a case-by-case basis, and it only recently opened up to Portugal. You can bet America won’t be able to travel to the country for a while.

When anyone gets to Spain, they must complete an “FCS health control form” and go through a health assessment. Even if someone is coming from the EU, they’re only allowed to go to specific airports. This is to cut down on spread if someone does enter when infected. Spain has over 280,000 cases and around 28,400 deaths.

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Sweden

Sweden has been extremely controversial. The country refused to go under lockdown, allowing everyone to get infected through herd immunity. Even though they didn’t actively fight the infection, they didn’t allow visitors from outside the country for a long time. Only recently, it allowed foreign travelers from the EU and UK. No other countries will be added until August 31 at the earliest.

Because American cases have increased rapidly, Sweden likely won’t allow American residents to come to the country for quite a while. While the country wants to move toward herd immunity, introducing different strains of the virus could cause a major issue for Sweden. A select few other countries are allowed to enter Sweden if they have an essential reason.  

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Switzerland

Switzerland is on many lists for the EU, so naturally, they’re allowing travelers from the EU. The country also eased restrictions on the UK, Iceland, and Norway. Travelers must have necessary visas and permits to enter, and people from certain countries are required to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

The population is rather small, only being about 8.5 million. However, the country has already had about 34,600 cases and over 1,700 deaths. Like most of the other countries on this list, Switzerland is regularly addressing whether or not more countries will be added or removed from entry. It all depends on their infection rate.  

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Canada

Canada may only be a hop, skip, and a jump away from the American border, but they’re telling Americans they can’t come over. Unless an American is there for an essential reason, they need to stay home. Things between America and Canada have been tense, to say the least, as US officials refused to send Canada PPE.

Canada has managed to keep the infection rate rather low considering. They’ve had over 115,000 confirmed cases and around 8,900 deaths. A report from Newsweek reported that Americans are dying of COVID at a rate 17 times higher than Canadians, so maybe there’s a good reason we aren’t allowed there.

Peru

Peru not only closed borders to Americans but for the entire world. No one is allowed in the country unless they’re Peruvian nationals or residents that are trying to get home. Even then, they’re required to quarantine for at least 14 days. Even airline crew must self-isolate in a hotel for the entire duration of their stay (regardless of how long it is).

Peru has struggled with the pandemic. They’ve had over 400,000 confirmed cases and nearly 19,000 deaths. That’s pretty shocking, considering the country’s population is just 32 million. They’re about the size of Canada but have four times as many infections.

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Colombia

Colombia suspended international flights until the end of August, regardless of whether it’s filled with Colombian nationals or not. The country also restricted entry and transit to all travelers except for cargo operators, humanitarians, and extreme scenarios.

Those scenarios require approval from the Civil Aviation Authority before being allowed entry. Anyone arriving in the country (regardless of reason) must undergo a 14-day quarantine and complete a “Control Preventivo Contra el Coronavirus” form, which basically allows the government to keep in contact with the person just in case they are ill.

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Argentina

Argentina followed the lead of my other South American countries. They restricted entry to all foreign nationals. The country is allowing citizens or residents to return until August 2, but after that, who knows. Anyone who comes into the country must quarantine themselves for 14 days.

On top of that, any flights that enter Argentina must include passenger information to the Argentinian government 12 hours before departure. Not doing so may risk entry denial. There’s no word when Argentina will allow North Americans to enter again, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

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