Countries US Citizens Can Travel To Now

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Countries US Citizens Can Travel To Now

“Being smart was key; being careful was critical. Being lucky didn’t hurt.” Kate Brady

The United States has more confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths than any country in the world, so its no surprise that people don’t want to come here or want us to visit their countries. Tourism has plummeted so some countries are letting us in with restrictions. Here they are.

Albania has a health screening upon arrival.

You must present a negative Covid screening test taken up to seven days before arrival in Antigua. Visitors are subject to monitoring by health officials for 14 days and another Covid-19 test may be required, which could mean quarantining while waiting for the result. Masks are required in public spaces.

Aruba requires a negative Covid test before arrival and another one, on arrival. You must also purchase specific Aruba visitors insurance. Aruba also has a list of US states it considers higher-risk, and people from those states will require additional testing. It changes so check the listing for your state.

Visiting the Bahamas involves a negative Covid test within five days of arrival. You will be given another rapid test when you arrive at the airport in the Bahamas.

You must complete an online health screening and have a negative Covid test within 72 hours before you arrive in Barbados. As the US is designated a high-risk country, you must still quarantine for 14 days at an approved hotel or resort and you’ll be monitored daily for symptoms. After five days of submitting the entry test, visitors can take a second second Covid-19 test and be released from quarantine with a negative result.

There are no restrictions other than a temperature check to visit Belarus but they are having mass protests against the government so you might not want to go.

You must down load the health application and have a negative Covid test within 72 hours or take one when you get there for fifty dollars to travel to Belize.

Bermuda requires a negative Covid test and a travel authorization fee of 75 dollars. Upon arrival you must submit to an additional Covid-19 test and quarantine until the results are ready. More tests are required on days 4, 8 and 14 of your visit.

You can just go to Brazil as long as you show proof of health insurance. They are also having big surge in cases of COVID 19.

Traveling to Cambodia is possible if you bring a deposit of 2000 dollars and a negative Covid-19 test result taken with 72 hours of arrival. You must also take two more Covid-19 tests, on arrival and day 13 of a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Colombia requires a negative Covid test within four days of departure.

You must fill in an online form, have travel health insurance and a negative Covid test within 48 hours, to travel to Costa Rica.

Croatia wants a negative Covid test within 48 hours of arrival.

Curacao is reopening to US citizens from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut but only with a valid state ID and negative Covid test within 48 hours. The rest of the states are way too high risk now for them to take a chance.

Dominica requires a valid negative Covid test within 72 hours and visitors from the US may require further screening as we are an at risk country.

The Dominican Republic will give a few random breath tests and everyone must fill out a health screening form.

Visitors to Dubai must have medical travel insurance to cover any Covid-19 treatment and present a negative Covid-19 test result within 96 hours of arrival. You must complete a health declaration form before departing to confirm you are not experiencing any coronavirus symptoms.

Ecuador requires US travelers to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 10 days of arrival to avoid quarantine. Testing is available on arrival for those who don’t have a negative result. You must quarantine at an approved facility while waiting for results.
The Galapagos Islands require visitors to take another Covid-19 test and present negative results within 96 hours of arrival in Ecuador.

Visitors to Egypt need to show a valid negative Covid test within three days of arrival.Travelers must present paper copies not digital.

Ethiopia requires a negative Covid screening test within five days of arrival and a two week quarantine.

French Polynesia (Tahiti and Bora Bora) requests a 72 hour negative Covid test on arrival.

Guatemala requires a negative Covid test within 72 hours.

You must have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result that’s 72 hours old or less to travel to Ghana. Arriving passengers then must take a second test that costs $150. There’s also a temperature screening.

Grenada wants a negative Covid-19 test result within seven days of travel. you need a minimum four-day reservation at an approved hotel for quarantine. You must take a second test to be allowed to move about or remain at the hotel for the rest of the vacation.

Arriving passengers in Haiti must complete a health form and self-quarantine for 14 days. The Ministry of Haiti will check in on you three times for symptoms.

Honduras requires a negative Covid test and a quarantine for anyone exhibiting symptoms. You may want to reconsider Honduras as there is a travel advisory from the state department for other reasons.

Ireland requires a two week quarantine on arrival.

Jamaica requests a negative Covid test within ten days of arrival, an online “travel authorization” and the possibility of being tested upon arrival.

Kenya is open to US travelers with a negative Covid-19 test result taken 96 hours or less upon arrival and who pass a strict health screening.

All arriving tourists to the Maldives must present a negative result for a Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Passengers who transit via a “safe corridor country” that allows US visitors (like Turkey or Ireland) may enter Malta after they’ve been in that country for 14 days.

You can fly to Mexico. The land borders are closed.

Montenegro welcomes Americans with a negative Covid-19 test result or a positive coronavirus antibody test result, neither older than 72 hours . You cannot transit through a country that is not on the approved country list to get there.

You must have reservations with a  hotel or travel agency or be invited by a company for business to travel to Morocco.You must also bring a negative Covid 19 test and blood test within 48 hours of arrival.

Namibia requires a negative Covid 19 test 72 hours before arrival and you must be available for second test five days later.

North Macedonia is open. I have to look and see where that is.

Panama requires a 48 hour or less negative Covid 19 test on arrival.

Rwanda wants international travelers to have a negative Covid 19 test within 120 hours of departure. They also must take a second test upon arrival, shelter in a hotel and receive their results within a day.

Senegal is allowing US tourists to visit with a negative Covid 19 test within five days of departure.

Serbia requires a negative Covid 19 test within 48 hours of departure.

US travelers can visit South Korea, but you must take a Covid 19 test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days.

St. Barts visitors are required to show a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival. Those staying longer than a week will need to pay about $150 for an additional test on their eighth day.

US citizens traveling to St. Lucia must provide a negative Covid 19 test, taken within seven days of arrival. Visitors must also complete a travel registration form and arrive with a printed copy.You must have confirmed reservations at a Covid-certified property for the duration of your trip.

Travelers to St. Maarten must present a negative Covid 19 test within 120 hours of arrival.

You must present a negative Covid 19 test within five days of arrival to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.You must then quarantine at hotel for five days and take a second test after that.

Incoming passengers to Tanzania are required to fill out a health surveillance form and have a health screening. You might also have to take a Covid-19 test on arrival.

There are no restrictions for US citizens traveling to Turkey, although passengers must complete an information form and prepare to be checked for coronavirus symptoms. In addition, you will be asked to take a Covid-19 test if you show symptoms.

Visitors to the Turks and Caicos must provide a negative Covid 19 test taken within five days of arrival. Children who are nine years old and younger are exempt. Travelers must complete an online health questionnaire and carry travel medical insurance to cover any Covid19-related costs.

The UK requires a mandatory 14 day quarantine.

Zambia wants a negative Covid 19 test within 14 days of arrival. If you show symptoms when you arrive, you will be asked to quarantine.

Fly and stay safe,
JAZ

 

 

Countries With the Most Travel Friendly Passports

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Countries With The Most Travel Friendly Passports

I’d rather have a passport full of stamps than a house full of stuff.” Anonymous

I used to think that the USA had the best passport. We could go almost anywhere but we do need an awful lot of visas. The Henley Passport Index periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords. The ranking is determined on the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. It is based on the exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association, which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information. Here are the top countries starting with the best passports to have. We are not number one. 

Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most powerful passport in 2019 for the second time in a row with access to 190 countries.They believe it is due to strong security regulations, economic security and international reliability. They are good guests.

 Singapore is in second place with 189 countries. People from Singapore are welcome almost everywhere.

South Korea is in third place with 188 countries.The Asian countries are dominating this category.

Germany and Finland are in fourth place with 187 countries. Germany has given up its  previous first place ranking. (Finland)

Denmark, Italy and Luxernbourg rank fifth with 186. No one expects trouble from this group.  (Italy)

France, Spain and Sweden are next with 185. They are independent, they don’t usually break anything and they are quiet. (Spain)

Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland and Portugal are behind them with 184. I feel very welcome in these countries so I understand why counties like them.(Portugal)

Belgium, UK, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Canada and USA rank eighth  with 183. Brexit has not yet impacted the UK score -nor has our President changed ours. (Greece)

Malta has a  score of 182. This tiny independent,European Union country has a very attractive passport to many people.Wealthy individuals seeking secondary citizenship for security, have their eye on Malta, which doesn’t impose taxes on their worldwide income and assets and applies only a flat 15 per cent tax on money brought into the country. 

Czech Republic follows with 181. It is doing very well for an ex Communist country.

Lithuania,

Australia, Iceland, New Zealand and Lithuania jointly share the eleventh position with access to 180 nations. (Iceland)

 The findings suggest that visa free access is improving in the world. The last time I went to Brazil I needed one. This time I do not.

Fly safe,
JAZ

Best Book Stores In The World

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Best Book Stores In The World

“It is clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying, and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down.” Agatha Christie

I love traveling. Some things I don’t mind skipping out on. Base jumping is always a pass. Art and Architecture is always in. I wish I had more time for fashion. But there are few things more tragic than knowing I strolled through the streets of a far off city and walked right past a book attraction I may never get the chance to see again. This collection of bookstores includes many I have seen and some that got away. I write this blog with a hint of regret as I am moving and once again I have to narrow down my collection of books.

Shakespeare and Company, Paris, France

This independent bookstore on Paris’s left bank was originally founded in 1919 by Sylvia Beach, and became a popular gathering space for famous writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound and James Joyce. It might seem strange for an English-language bookstore to have such an important place in the history of literary Paris, but many notable English-speaking writers gathered in the City of Light during the 1920s to work on their craft. These writers and artists became known as the ‘Lost Generation’ and Shakespeare and Co was at the center of their world.  In the 1920s, this was not only a bookstore, but also a lending library. Another reason Shakespeare and Co is so well-known in literary circles is for its famous sleeping facilities. There are over 10 beds in the bookstore that have offered a place of rest to young writers since the 1950s. The present-day bookshop isn’t the original shop which was shut down by the Nazis during the French Occupation in World War II. It was reopened at its current address in 1951. In 1981 the owners daughter, named Sylvia after Sylvia Beach, runs the bookshop and is a wealth of knowledge about the history of the building and the writers that have passed through this famous door.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Teatro Grand Splendid  was built in 1919 as a theatre for top-tier tango concerts. What a wonderful name for a theatre. Tango legends such as Carlos Gardel, Francisco Canaro, Roberto Firpo, and Ignacio Corsini performed here. In 1929, the theater underwent its first transformation to become a cinema, with the distinction of being the first in Buenos Aires to show sound film. Its latest transformation is the El Ateneo bookstore. The painted ceiling, detailed balconies, and stage are all intact. The private boxes are now small reading rooms. The stage is a café. The shelves fit perfectly around the theater’s original shape. The book collection is pretty standard and mostly in Spanish. It is an amazing place to buy a book or have a coffee on the famous stage.

Livrario Lello, Porto, Portugal

Once upon a time Livraria Lello was an old beautiful book store. The Lello book store was built in 1906 in Porto, Portugal by the Lello Brothers (Antonio and Jose). Their book store is one of the most ornate book stores in the world, mixing Neo-Gothic and Art Deco elements. Carved wood ceilings, a stain-glass roof, an undulating, opulent red staircase, and even a built-in wheel-barrow on rails for moving the store’s 120,000 books all make the Lello seem like a bookstore out of some fantasy-world. One day some lady named J.K. Rowling lived in Porto while working on her first book. You might have heard of it- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Livraria Lello is reputed to have inspired parts of Hogwarts. Since then, it has been inundated with Potter fans from around the world wanting to catch a glimpse and selfie of the bookstore’s interior.

Cook And Book, Brussels, Belgium

A unique restaurant that is also a bookstore… Or a bookstore that’s also a restaurant? The huge bookstore is located on the outskirts of the city. There are different bookstore entrances divided by themes. In the literature themed bookstore, the books are hanging from the ceiling and most of the books for purchase are in French. The cucina themed section has cooks behind the lunch bar and books filled in the salad bar. There are nine different bookstores and two restaurants. Be careful when hunger hits you while you’re caught in the middle of a good book reading. Bringing a book to the table while eating means that you’ll have to pay for the books and whatever else you consumed at the table.

Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy

This bookstore is close to St. Mark’s Square and opened in 2004. The name translates to “bookstore of high water” due to the store being plagued by Venice’s rising waters, which regularly flood the floors of the shop each winter. To combat the issue, the bookstore’s owner, Luigi Frizzo, piled all of the books into waterproof bins, bathtubs, canoes, and even gondolas in order to protect the literature. Books are everywhere possible and seem to have taken control of the space.

Selexyz Dominicanen, Maastricht, The Netherlands

This location of the Selexyz chain of bookshops occupies a thirteenth century Dominican church. The glorious interior is massive and includes an eating area.To maintain the integrity of the space, the architects built vertically, which means the three-story bookstore is not only impressively imposing, but also outfitted with neat walkways, staircases and elevators. A Frescoed vaulted ceilings soar over the book browsing activity.

Carturesti Carusel, Bucharest, Romania

Literally translated as the “Carousel of Light” in English, Cărturești Carusel is situated in a restored 19th-century building in the very heart of Bucharest’s Old Town. It has six floors, over ten thousand books and a bistro on the top floor. Built in the 19th Century by the Chrissoveloni family, the impressive columns and spiral staircases were once the headquarters for their banking dynasty. A few decades later, it was transformed into a general store. In the 1990s the structure had become unstable and the building was abandoned. It was later restored and opened as a bookstore.

Barter Books, Ainwick, UK

Barter Books in Alnwick is the most magical place for book lovers. It was opened by Mary Manley in 1991 and is now one of the largest second-hand bookshops in Europe. The store is situated inside a Victorian railway station which is a beautiful building with so much character. Those with a particular interest in the station’s history and architecture can take a walking tour. There are books everywhere and comfortable chairs, sofas, fires and even a train running on tracks above your head. Amazing quotes join bookcase to bookcase and there are beautiful murals to enjoy.

Livraria Da Vila, Sao Paulo, Brazil

The front door of Livraria de Vila is made of revolving bookcases. Once you get inside, you’ll notice books on every surface – on shelves from floor to ceiling, on nooks and crannies, and even on shelves carved into holes between each floor. In fact, this bookstore seems to be made of books.

City Lights,San Francisco, USA

As a reader, City Lights is one of my favorite bookstores. It is heavily associated with the Beat movement and its writers – Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and store co-founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The big story behind the store is the obscenity trial surrounding Ginsberg’s Howl And Other Poems, which City Lights published and sold in 1956. I wasn’t a huge fan of the poem but it was deemed obscene and the poem went on trial. Lawyers were interrogating academics over the literary merit of a graphic work. City Lights grew to occupy all three floors of the building with an outstanding selection of world literature, poetry, and progressive nonfiction that is as significant today as it was in the ‘50s. City Lights gives us a physical reminder that ideas and words will always be challenged because they are powerful. Of course I bought a copy of Howl.

Fly safe,
JAZ

The Voice Heard Round The World

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The Voice Heard Round The World

‘Where words fail, music speaks.’ Hans Christian Andersen

I love to be able to travel when I am home. I watch The Voice. Reality TV and coffee are my vices. If you happen to live under a rock, it is a singing competition with celebrity judges. I love the Blind Auditions where the judges have to pick their team by hearing them. The audition is the only reality TV that we have left. You can’t fake an audition. You are actually watching someone vulnerable who’s life can be changed. I like seeing new talent emerge.

One night I was trying to catch up on some auditions, and I came across videos of blind auditions from The Voice Around The World. I was hooked. I’m obsessed with the Italian and the French judges. The Ukrainians and the Russians love heavy metal music and they like to make comments.  The Voice originated in Holland. I have no idea who any of these judges are. I watch the British version now as well. Here are my favorite auditions in no particular order. One is a battle round.

italy, France, Germany, Australia, Ukraine, UK, China, Russia, Holland, Poland.

Music always makes me feel that we are more the same than different.

Fly safe

JAZ