“When Will I Be Able to Travel to Europe?” and Other Burning Travel Questions in the Age of COVID

Originally published April 1, 2021. Updated June 23, 2021.

Our video blogs answer the burning questions surrounding travel in the age of COVID, including “When will I be able to travel to Europe again?” Scroll down for our April 1 blog, and see our May 12 update here. Read on for the most up-to-date news of Italy’s reopening. 

And read on for updated information. 

When will I be able to travel to Europe again? This is a question we get asked a lot. As you can imagine, in the past year, with travel at a standstill (or nearly a standstill), we’ve had many travelers ask when they will be able to get back to Italy, when they will be able to go to Greece, Spain, Peru, Morocco, and elsewhere.

We’ll try to answer some of these questions!

Counties Currently Open to US Travelers

First off, there are already some destinations that are open to US travelers, even in Europe, including Italy!

Italy finally announced its reopening plan in May, including allowing US travelers to arrive on what were called “COVID-tested flights.”

On June 21, new regulations went into effect allowing US travelers to arrive in Italy with one of the following:

1) anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, fully completed cycle. Those vaccinated in the U.S.A. can prove this with the “white vaccination card” bearing a CDC logo

2) recovery from COVID-19 (requires a medical certificate outlining any necessary information);

3) negative rapid antigenic or molecular PCR test carried out within 48 hours of departure (proved via certification from the laboratory that performed the test).

Passengers must also complete a special registration before embarking.

See all our Italy cooking vacations here!

After July 1 it is anticipated that U.S. travelers will be able to use the European Green Pass with proof of vaccination, immunity, or negative COVID test.

Croatia has also been open to US travelers, as have been Turkey and Greece. You do have to produce a negative COVID test, but if you do that, you can go to Croatia, you can go to Greece, you can go to Turkey. Turkey has re-instated some local restrictions; however, many of them are not applicable to foreign tourists. And these are all amazing destinations, wonderful culinary destinations, where we offer some fabulous tours, including:

Find out what to expect during a trip to Croatia in our video blog.

Portrait of a beautiful woman enjoying a beach vacation.Mexico, Morocco, and Peru have also been open to US travelers. Mexico requires a health screening only, while Morocco and Peru require a negative COVID test. This mean that you can also consider these other great tours:

Recently Reopened Countries

A couple enjoying a romantic stroll during a culinary vacation on a Greek Island.France, Spain, and Portugal have all reopened since the start of June. The requirements vary by country, with some requiring a negative COVID test, some proof of vaccination, and some both. But you can once again travel to France, Spain, and Portugal!

Is Travel Safe?

Visiting the vehicle-free island of Hydra in Greece.Is it safe to travel? This is another question we get asked a lot, and of course we understand that safety is paramount in people’s minds. Certainly if you have been vaccinated or have already had COVID you may feel ready to travel, but that does not mean you should not still worry about safety.

Delicious penne pasta with a spicy tomato sauce made during a cooking vacation in Tuscany with The International Kitchen.Generally, in addition to the enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols that have become the norm in the last year, other restrictions are expected to continue including some social distancing and mask wearing, particularly in tourist spots. You can contact at any time for details on the safety measures related to specific trips.

We do anticipate, however, that you will be able to see the same sites, eat the same foods, and experience the same culture that you would any other year. And you will have the advantage, not to be overlooked, of having far fewer travelers and tourists sharing those locations with you.

Another note about safety is that many countries, and particularly those that rely heavily on tourism, are giving precedence to people in the travel industry for vaccinations. So tour guides are getting vaccinated, as are hotel employees, restaurant workers, drivers, and others in the tourism sector. This allows the destination to reopen their borders to travelers but also allows travelers to know they will be safe when traveling in that destination.

See our April 1 video blog on when you can travel again:

Why You Might Want to Plan Travel Now

Inspirational travel quote by Susan Sontag over a picture of balloons flying over Cappadocia.One reason you may want to consider planning travel at the moment is that there is unprecedented flexibility being offered to travelers, including from The International Kitchen. We have worked hard with our partners to offer as much flexibility as possible in order to give you peace of mind when planning your trip, including Worry-Free Trips and Special Flexible booking terms. Similarly, the airlines are offer more flexibility than ever before. Whereas they are usually strict about cancelations and change fees, the airlines have had to adapt just like the rest of the world, and it has never been easier to find flexible fares that allow you to change or cancel your flights without penalty.

A typical village of Liguria, with a perched coastal town, brightly colored houses, and mountains behind.You can find information on what countries are open to US travelers, what the requirements are for entry and return, and what countries we anticipate will reopen this year (and when) on our “Countries Ready to Welcome You” page. And you can sort our tours into a list of culinary vacations currently open for travel. It is impossible for us to predict with total accuracy the reopening of the world to travel, but we do try to keep the information as up to date as possible, and we have links to the websites of the individual countries where you can find up-to-date information.

Visiting Pompeii during a cooking vacation on the Amalfi Coast.We have missed travel. We love it, and we cannot wait to get back to doing it. We have a feeling you feel the same. So if you are ready to start thinking about travel again, whether it be for next month, six months from now, or next year, we’re happy to help you start planning! Just contact us to get started.

See country-specific updates on:

By Peg Kern

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