Where you can go with a vaccine passport; A country-by-country guide
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Editor’s note: This post was updated Feb. 23, 2021 with new information.
As more of the world’s population gets vaccinated, travel could really make a comeback as countries begin to welcome back tourists.
It’s still early in the vaccine rollout process. But, a handful of nations have already announced they are (or will soon) allow access, and waive quarantine and testing mandates, for visitors who are fully vaccinated.
On Monday, Air New Zealand announced it will be trialing a digital Travel Pass initiative on its route from Auckland (AKL) to Sydney (SYD). The Travel Pass is designed by IATA and can is to be used by passengers and crew who have been vaccinated. It is hoped that it will streamline the health verification of travelers and make journeys contactless as well as speed the airport process up.
Also on Monday, the Prime Minister of the U.K., Boris Johnson, unveiled the roadmap that will hopefully lead to the complete lifting of strict lockdown restrictions on 21 June. Among the ideas? A vaccine passport for pubs and theaters.
Here’s a guide to the destinations that are beginning to open their doors to travelers who have received the vaccine.
Over the summer, when tourism in Europe had a brief rebound, getting into Cyprus was notoriously stressful.
As of March 1, 2021, travelers who can provide proof of vaccination on arrival into Cyprus will no longer have to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or be subject to quarantine.
But not all countries are welcome to start. It remains dependent on categorization by Cyprus of each nationality based on the risk of transmission. It appears that Americans are still not allowed to visit for now. As the new system rolls out, that could change.
The beautiful Baltic country of Estonia is welcoming vaccinated tourists.
On arrival, travelers must present a valid vaccination certificate that discloses where the vaccine was made, which vaccine was used, the issuer of the vaccine and the batch number of the vaccine. The certificate will only be accepted in Estonian, Russian or English.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Estonia, U.S. citizens are not currently allowed to enter.
As of Feb. 1. 2021, citizens from all countries are permitted to enter Georgia by air on the prerequisite that they can prove they have received the full course of any of the COVID-19 vaccinations.
This means vaccinated U.S. citizens are currently permitted to travel to Georgia.
If you’re from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and you can prove you’ve been vaccinated, you will be exempt from testing and quarantine requirements on arrival into Iceland.
You must be able to provide a proper vaccination certificate showing where, when and which vaccines were given. This must include the manufacturer and batch lot.
Unfortunately, this means that Iceland remains off-limits to U.S. citizens.
As of Jan. 11, 2021, arrivals into Lebanon who can prove they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine will be exempt from having to quarantine. As a precautionary measure, arrivals will still be expected to take a COVID-19 PCR test ($50, paid to the airline).
You will still need to take a PCR test at least 96 hours before you travel to Lebanon. If you cannot prove this at check-in at your departure airport, you will not be allowed to travel.
Americans are allowed to visit Lebanon, according to the United States Embassy in Lebanon.
The Baltic nation of Lithuania has reduced its restrictions on vaccinated travellers.
The relaxed restrictions apply to those arriving in Lithuania with a proof that they have completed the full course of one of the coronavirus vaccines. This will mean being exempt from partaking in testing on arrival as well as self-isolation on arrival into the country.
All travellers must fill out this form before travelling to Lithuania.
As it stands, U.S. citizens are currently not allowed to enter Lithuania, according to the U.S. Embassy.
As of Dec. 28, 2021, Poland introduced a mandatory 10-day self-isolation for all arrivals into the country. However, if you can prove with a certificate that you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, you will be exempt from the quarantine period.
If you haven’t been vaccinated, you can still travel to Poland and be exempt from self-isolation so long as you can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival at the border.
According to the U.S. embassy, Americans are still not allowed in Poland.
Romania decided back in January to allow visitors with proof of vaccination to come without quarantine. Previously there was a mandatory period of self-isolation for all arrivals into the country. That’s according to Matador Network – the first to report the news. The quarantine order remains in effect for those without a vaccination.
Romania’s National Committee for Emergency Situations (CNSU) decided to lift the required quarantine, but there is a big caveat. You must be able to show that your second dose of the vaccine was at least 10 days prior to arrival.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Romania, “The government of Romania has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.”
Unfortunately, Americans are still not allowed to enter Romania except under certain conditions and not for tourism.
The stunning Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean is open to travelers from all countries who have received full doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Travelers must have been fully vaccinated at least two weeks before arriving in the Seychelles. If the vaccine requires two doses, both must be completed a minimum of two weeks before travel.
In addition to a certificate showing proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel will also be requested on arrival.
The rule even applies to travelers coming from countries that are not on the Seychelles’ list of permitted countries.
The stunning Alpine mountain ranges and mystical lakes of Slovenia are once again open to tourists.
Travelers to Slovenia will be exempt from having to quarantine for 10 days on arrival if vaccinated.
Each of the vaccines has a different set of rules. For example, to be exempt from quarantine you must have had either; a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech at least seven days before arrival, or; a second does of the Moderna vaccine at least 14 days before arrival, or; a second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at least 21 days before arrival.
However, according to the U.S. Embassy in Slovenia, U.S. citizens are not permitted to enter the country at this time.
Thailand is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations for travelers.
The Thai government is planning on allowing non-Thai travelers who have been vaccinated into the country. This would mean people arriving with proof of a COVID-19 vaccine will be exempt from the country’s current mandatory 16-day quarantine.
Americans are allowed into Thailand, but you must apply for a special visa. You can find more information on obtaining a visa from the Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The United States
In a move that would be a first on U.S. soil, the State of Hawaii is looking to allow vaccinated travelers to skip any mandatory quarantine requirements.
Vaccinated citizens will receive an electronic code that will enable them to travel around the islands.
According to Hawaii News Now, the program is set to start with local essential workers. The next step will then be to allow U.S. citizens from across the mainland to enter with a vaccine passport. This could happen as early as May 1, 2021.
International travelers who received the COVID-19 vaccine would eventually follow.
- Here’s what the vaccine may mean for your travel plans
- Where you can get a PCR test for travel
- Reopening soon: A country-by-country guide to COVID-19 closures
Additional reporting by Clint Henderson.
Featured image by Courtneyk/Getty Images
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