One of the lingering byproducts of COVID is a longer list of countries that require visitors to have some sort of travel insurance. So if you’re wondering, “Do I need travel insurance to visit [country name here]?”, the answer is … maybe.
Circumstances are changing quickly, and there’s also some general confusion about who’s actually required to buy travel insurance, and how much, and from whom.
Let’s try to clear up some of that confusion.
Countries That Require Travel Insurance
As mentioned earlier, more countries require travel insurance than before COVID. However, since required travel insurance can be seen as an impediment to travel, it’s possible that countries may roll back their requirements.
Some, like Costa Rica, already have.
It’s always a good idea to check for updates before you book, and hopefully the information below helps get your research started.
Here’s where the world stands on required travel insurance for American travelers as of March 2022.
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Anguilla - No
This Caribbean island had required Americans to buy travel insurance, and some outdated resources still show that travel insurance is required.
However, the correct answer is no, American visitors to Anguilla do not need travel insurance at this time.
Where to check for updates: The U.S. Embassy in the Eastern Caribbean
Antarctica - Yes
COVID or no COVID, Antarctica has long required travelers to buy travel insurance before visiting. If that’s you, remember the cost of being evacuated from the bottom of the world can easily climb into the mid-six figures, and choose your insurance plan accordingly.
Where to check for updates: “Travel to Antarctica during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go”
Aruba - Yes
Incoming visitors must buy Aruban travel insurance at a cost of $15/day. You can bring in your own travel insurance, but you still have to buy the Aruban plan.
Where to check for updates: visitaruba.com
Argentina - Yes
The country requires visitors to show proof of medical travel insurance that covers COVID-related expenses.
Where to check for updates: The U.S. Embassy’s COVID page
Bahamas - Yes
The islands now require all international visitors age 18 and older to get a Bahamas Travel Health Visa that includes travel health coverage for COVID-related expenses. The coverage is somewhat more robust than the Aruban plan, including $500/day trip-interruption coverage and up to $50,000 in coverage for COVID-related emergency medical expenses.
Where to check for updates: Bahamas.com
Bermuda (And The Eastern Caribbean) - Yes
If you’re detecting a pattern with Caribbean islands requiring travel health insurance, go to the head of the class.
Bermuda has a requirement similar to those of Aruba and the Bahamas, with the one difference being that Bermuda will accept private travel health insurance if it meets the country’s requirements.
Here are the rest of the Caribbean nations that require travel insurance – more specifically, travel medical insurance, to cover the costs of treating you for COVID. Countries differ as to whether you can bring in your own travel insurance or are required to buy their plan, so do your research carefully.
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Maarten/St. Martin
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Where to get updates: The U.S. Embassy in the Eastern CaribbeanLEARN MORE ABOUT OUR TRAVEL INSURANCE PLANS
Bolivia - Yes
Travelers to Bolivia are required to have travel medical insurance.
Where to get updates: The U.S. Embassy in Bolivia
Cambodia – No (but it’s highly recommended)
The country doesn’t require travel insurance, though travel insurance with emergency medical evacuation protection is very, very strongly recommended for travelers to Cambodia.
Where to check for updates: The State Department
Chile – Yes
Visitors must show proof of health insurance that covers COVID-related expenses and has a medical maximum of at least $30,000 in coverage.
Where to check for updates: The U.S. Embassy in Chile
Costa Rica – No
Costa Rica suspended its travel-insurance requirement April 1, 2022.
Where to check for updates: The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica
Democratic Republic of Congo – Yes
The Congo’s travel insurance requirements have more to do with the dearth of medical providers in the country and the cost of medical evacuation as opposed to expenses related to COVID-19.
Where to check for updates: The U.S. Embassy in the Congo
Egypt – Maybe
Egypt has extremely strict and complex COVID-related protocols that travelers to the country must follow in order to be admitted. (U.S. government issued vaccination cards are not acceptable, for instance – only cards issued by the World Health Organization.)
Where to check for updates: The U.S. Embassy has deferred questions on travel insurance requirements to the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C. The embassy’s website has no information on COVID-related travel restrictions; call 202-895-5400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Jordan – Yes
Proof of health insurance that covers travelers in Jordan is required to enter the country.
Where to check for updates: The U.S. Embassy in Jordan
Lebanon – No
As of March 2022, visitors are no longer required to show proof of travel medical insurance that includes coverage for COVID-related health expenses.
Mauritius – Yes
According to the country’s travel ministry, travel health insurance that covers expenses related to COVID-19 is required for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers to the island.
Where to check for updates: Mauritius Now
Paraguay – No/Maybe
Unlike many other South American countries, Paraguay’s most recent travel restrictions make no mention of a travel insurance requirement, though that does not mean travel insurance is not required for entry.
Where to check for updates: More information can be found on the U.S. Embassy’s COVID page, though contacting the embassy directly is recommended for visitors to Paraguay.
Saudi Arabia – Yes
The country lifted many of its COVID-related restrictions in March 2022; however, it retained its travel health insurance requirement. Proof of insurance is required for a tourist visa.
Where to check for updates: The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia
Seychelles – Yes
Visitors to the Seychelles are required to have travel medical insurance that covers these specific costs related to COVID-19: quarantine, isolation, and treatment.
Where to check for updates: The U.S. Embassy for Mauritius and the Seychelles
Thailand – Yes
In early 2022 the country approved the easing of the entry rules for travelers to the country. While it has retained a travel insurance mandate, the required amount of medical coverage has dropped from a $50,000 benefit to a $20,000 benefit.
Where to check for updates: Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration
Uruguay – Yes
Unlike Paraguay, Uruguay requires all travelers to the country to show proof of health insurance effective in the country, to cover COVID-related expenses.
Where to check for updates: The U.S. Embassy in Uruguay
Countries That Recommend Travel Insurance
The best place to start with countries that recommend travel insurance is right here at home. The State Department recommends that all international travelers buy travel insurance that includes coverage for medical emergencies.
In addition, the State Department strongly recommends travel insurance for travelers visiting countries with less-than-robust medical and transportation infrastructure, including African countries like Burkina Faso and Chad.
In general, it’s better to follow State Department directives on travel insurance than individual countries’ recommendations, which may be optimistic and/or outdated.
Schengen Visa Countries
Most of western and central Europe is part of a unified travel area meant to allow passport-free travel and limit the impact of borders.
This area, known as the Schengen Visa area, requires travelers from many countries to buy travel insurance before visiting … but not Americans. This isn’t immediately clear from even definitive sites like schengenvisainfo.com, depending on which page you visit.
If you visit the page on the site for U.S. citizens, you’ll learn that travel insurance is not required for U.S. citizens but “is highly recommended for travelers (both US citizens and non-US citizens) visiting Europe for business, tourism, and other purposes as well.”
The other little wrinkle in travel to the Schengen area is that all travelers are required to supply proof of financial soundness – generally the ability to spend around 100 euros per day in their country.
As you can tell, the list of countries that require travel insurance is constantly changing – so get travel insurance before you leave and be sure of coverage. The process is easy and the coverage is surprisingly affordable. Get a quote and see for yourself.
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