Where Can Americans Go in the Middle East?
*Editor’s Note: Each week, we’ll be covering regions and updating you on which countries are open to Americans for travel and what you need to know before you go. Check PeterGreenberg.com for all of the latest, weekly updates. This week, we look at the Middle East.
U.S. travelers can enter Jordan, but must comply with a number of restrictions.
Before boarding the flight, they must:
Have valid health insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment for the entire period of their visit.
Complete a passenger health declaration form found at gov.j and present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
Receive a QR code.
Install the jo application on a mobile device.
Prepare to pay at their own expense for a second COVID-19 PCR test that will be conducted upon arrival.
All travelers who test negative for COVID-19 must still quarantine. The length of quarantine differs based on a traveler’s country of origin and/or a passenger’s location over the preceding 14 days before entry into Jordan. For the United States this period is 14 days.
Non-Jordanian travelers who both test positive on arrival at the airport and have valid health insurance will be sent to a quarantine facility at the Dead Sea or a private hospital. If a traveler’s insurance does not cover the complete costs of hospital care for the duration of the illness, the Jordanian Government will return the individual to his or her origin country.
As of October 6th, the Jordanian Government imposed a weekly nationwide comprehensive curfew on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 12:00 a.m. Fridays until 12:00 a.m. Sundays. In addition to the comprehensive curfew on Fridays and Saturdays, there is a nightly curfew nationwide from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. for commercial establishments. Airport taxis still operate. During curfew, travelers must carry confirmed flight tickets with them.
Lebanon is open to all travelers with restrictions. Before boarding a flight, a medical form issued by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health must be completed. In order to enter the country all travelers over the age of 12 must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 96 hours of travel. The traveler must then, upon arrival, opt for either a $50 second COVID-19 PCR test or go into self-quarantine for 10 days.
U.S. citizens may only enter Kuwait with a valid visa or residency. Valid visas will need to be requested in advance of travel from a Kuwait embassy or consulate as visas are not being issued upon arrival at the airport or electronically.
Travelers over the age of six must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test result that’s administered by a health clinic within 96 hours of the flight to Kuwait. Upon arrival, all passengers must quarantine at home for 14 days.
U.S. citizens travelling from the following countries (listed here), must quarantine in a different country for two weeks before entering Kuwait:
Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China and Hong Kong, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Italy, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nepal, North Macedonia, Panama, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Spain, Syria, and Yemen.
U.S. citizens do not need to bring a negative COVID-19 PCR test and can receive visas upon arrival into the country. Once in the country, all travelers will need to pay for their own test at a price of 30 Bahraini Dinars ($80). Be prepared to pay double that price as some travelers may be required to take two tests at their own expense. Any positive test results will result in quarantine at a government facility until a clean bill of health is received. Bahrain also requires a second test on any traveller who stays beyond 10 days.
Saudi Arabia is closed for tourism and U.S. travelers are only allowed to enter with:
- Current residence permits (iqamas) with a valid entry/exit visa. U.S. citizens with residence permits can obtain an exit visa online if they have an Absher account or with the assistance of their sponsor.
- Valid business or visit visa. U.S. citizens on visit visas (business or family visit) will not have additional exit requirements but must depart Saudi Arabia before the expiration of their authorized period of stay. A visa extension can be requested on the Ministry of the Interior website or in person through the General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat).
- Within 72 hours before entry, a negative COVID-19 PCR test is required for travelers over the age of eight. Following arrival, all travelers must fill out a health disclaimer form and submit it to health personnel at the airport and then download and register on Tataman and Tawakkalna applications and assign a home location through the Tataman app. The app lets travelers complete a daily health assessment to help monitor possible COVID-19 symptoms.
- All Travelers will also be required to quarantine in their homes for two days following their arrival and obtain negative test results.
All U.S. citizens with a valid residency are permitted to enter Oman without prior approval. Upon arrival, travelers are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test for 25 OMR ($64). The PCR tests are pre-booked prior to arrival on Tarassud+ mobile application. If a traveler presents a negative test result and is staying in the country for less than seven days, he or she may go on about their stay as usual following the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. Travelers staying more than seven days are required to wear a wristband and follow a 14-day quarantine.
Turkey is open to U.S. citizens for tourism. A negative COVID-19 PCR test is not required for entry into the country. Travelers arriving in Turkey will be required to complete an information form and will be checked for symptoms. If an individual shows symptoms, a COVID-19 PCR test will be conducted. If the test shows positive, that individual will then be subject to quarantine.
United Arab Emirates:
U.S. citizens are permitted, and tourist visas are being issued in all Emirates. All travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result within 96 hours prior to their departure. Children under the age of 12, and those with severe and moderate disabilities are exempt from the test requirement.
Qatar is not open for tourism but is open to U.S. citizens with restrictions. A negative COVID-19 PCR test is required for entry followed by a mandatory quarantine. The length of that quarantine is determined by whether or not the individual is traveling from a country on the Qatar government’s low risk list. Additional COVID-19 tests must be conducted at the end of the quarantine period. All travelers who test positive for COVID-19 at any point may be sent to an isolation facility.