Walt Disney World is set to reopen in just a few weeks, and that has left us with a LOT of questions.
One BIG question that’s top of mind for many potential visitors is when Disney World opens, can you even go? This is a BIG question for international travelers. The current status of international flight schedules and availability make it pretty clear that international travel is being discouraged right now. But, is international travel flat-out banned? And what does that mean for Disney fans abroad? We’re taking a look.
Yes, some international travel is COMPLETELY banned to and from certain countries.
Although international travel isn’t banned outright in the US, there are some countries where it is. According to Kayak, many countries still have borders that are completely closed to incoming air travel, with no announcement of reopening. These include Canada, Greenland, South Africa, and Argentina.
In most cases, these countries with closed borders do not prohibit travel for their own citizens. For instance, Canadian citizens are able to leave and enter Canada without restrictions. Still, if a Canadian citizen were to leave Canada, they are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine when they return per the Government of Canada’s Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act.
For most countries with closed and restricted borders, citizens could get to the US and return home. However, they would need to be able to carve out another two weeks at the end of their Disney trip to be able to quarantine. Many governments are also discouraging non-essential travel in general. Effectively, that makes it pretty difficult for any international guests to get to Disney World from one of these closed countries until the borders open.
On the other hand, the US does have mostly open borders right now — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get in and out of the country. For one, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a global travel advisory saying “Do Not Travel.” Still, an advisory isn’t a ban.
Technically, most countries in the world currently have access to the US, but there are a handful of countries that are currently prohibited from travel to the US including China, Iran, countries from the European Schengen area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and Brazil. According to the CDC, anyone who has been in one of these areas in the last 14 days is not permitted to travel into the country.
So, a lot of international travel is still impossible or at least extremely difficult based on government restrictions.
Traveling out of the US isn’t easy either — so you might want to rethink those Disneyland Paris plans.
If you were hoping to visit one of the international Disney parks, you should be aware that travel OUT of the US isn’t easy right now either. For instance, entry by foreign nationals into China is prohibited so that means no Shanghai Disneyland. Entrance from the US is restricted in Japan so Tokyo Disneyland is out.
Some international travel to and from Europe resumed July 1st. However, American travelers will not be allowed to travel into Europe during the first round of reopening. The European Union is limiting the first phase of reopening to low-risk countries.
It’s important to note that even if a country will accept travelers from the US, a 14-day quarantine is recommended by the CDC upon return from any international travel. That’s a lot of vacation time to take if you have to account for two weeks of quarantine PLUS your vacation.
International flights ARE coming back, but there still aren’t a ton of options.
Let’s say that someone wants to travel to the US from a country that allows the travel both ways. They would still have to find a flight! According to the Wall Street Journal, international flights are down 70%.
Even though international travel is starting to come back, it is nowhere near what it used to be. For the coming months, it may be difficult to find a direct flight to the US or to find any flight at all! Plus, many international arrivals mandate proof of a health test or a 14-day quarantine. Even though the US does not mandate this, we have to think about folks heading home too.
International travel isn’t completely out of the question, but it definitely isn’t easy.
You can see that international travel isn’t TOTALLY banned or impossible — but it won’t be easy. Governments and their relevant agencies are working hard to address the risks and some of the mitigations they’re taking definitely have an effect on our ability to fly. The largest UK travel agency has even canceled all Disney World vacations through December!
All in all, it may be a few more months before we start to see international travelers in the Disney parks. Stay tuned to Disney Food Blog for the latest updates and to learn more about how the global health crisis could affect your Disney trip.
Are you nervous about being able to travel to Disney World? Tell us in the comments!