It is pretty much indisputable that New Zealand has done much, much better at containing the coronavirus than the US. The leadership shown by the NZ government stands in stark contrast to the utter shambles that we have seen in the US. That country has had just 1,569 cases and 22 deaths so far, compared to over five million cases and 163,000 deaths in the US. Life in that country seems to have pretty much gone back to normal, though the government stands ready to take quick action if there is any sign of the virus coming back.
So it came as a surprise that the US has issued a warning to be very cautious about US citizens traveling to NZ. Why? Because NZ currently has 23 active cases. Yes, a whopping 23! They are all being being kept in managed isolation but that tiny number seems to be enough to merit a travel advisory from a country where the numbers are two to three orders of magnitude larger.
This advisory is not necessary because many parts of the world, including NZ, are not allowing Americans to enter even if they do travel there. While the European Union is easing travel restrictions within its borders and from certain other countries, the list of countries to which it has opened its borders notably excludes the US. Canada is also being very strict about not allowing Americans in. An American friend of mine’s sister’s daughter died in an accident in Canada. When he tried to go for the funeral, he was told that he had to first provide the Canadian authorities with documentation of his US citizenship, his sister’s citizenship, and copies of both their birth certificates to prove the relationship before they would even consider letting him in. Since these things are impossible to get at short notice, he did not go. They clearly just do not want Americans to enter.
It used to be the case that if one had a US passport, one had easy access to most parts of the world, with the ability to get on a plane and arrive at many countries and be granted entry without having to get a visa ahead of time. But those days are gone. Thanks to the utter incompetence of the US government led by Trump in dealing with the pandemic that has resulted in the greatest number of infections and deaths in the world and still shows little or no sign of abating, people from the US are no longer welcome, even in those countries that used to be its closest allies.