Where you can go once you are vaccinated: A country-by-country guide
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Editor’s note: This post was updated on April 30, 2021, with new information.
As more of the world’s population gets vaccinated, travel is already beginning to 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.
While these countries may state that they are or will be accepting vaccinated tourists, some still have bans on U.S. citizens, even if they’re vaccinated.
Here’s a guide to the destinations that are beginning to open their doors to travelers who have received the vaccine.
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Starting May 8, fully vaccinated travelers will be able to have a shorter quarantine if they can prove their vaccine status, take a COVID-19 before arriving and after arrival and quarantine while waiting for their results.
Related: Barbados reopens to Americans
The first Caribbean nation to welcome vaccinated tourists is Belize.
Related: Belize reopens
Travelers wishing to travel to Belize will no longer have to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test so long as they have received both shots of a government-approved vaccine at least two weeks before arrival.
Visitors must also download and fill out the information required in the Belize Health App within 72-hours of arriving in Belize.
Belize is one of the 90+ countries that Americans are permitted to visit.
As of April, vaccinated American travelers can now bypass the country’s COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements. Note that travelers must be fully vaccinated, with the final dose (or a single dose, for one-jab vaccines like Johnson & Johnson) having been administered at least 14 days prior to departure.
Croatia is also open to travelers who are not vaccinated, although they will have to meet specific entry requirements.
- a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test taken less than 48 hours before arrival; those who provide a rapid antigen test result and are staying in Croatia longer than 10 days must repeat the test within 10 days of the original test.
- a vaccination certificate showing vaccination was completed at least 14 days before entry to Croatia
- a certificate confirming recovery from a COVID-19 infection with a positive test result having been received within 11 and 180 days of arrival in Croatia.
Travelers can also test upon arrival (at the traveler’s cost) and self-isolate until receiving a negative result. They must also provide proof of accommodation paid in advance in full or they will not be permitted to enter the country.
Over the summer, when tourism in Europe had a brief rebound, getting into Cyprus was notoriously stressful.
From May 1, 2021, British 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. And the country sent a press release back in March that as of April 1st Americans were also welcome.
According to new protocols released by the government, those who can prove vaccination are eligible to enter the country, and “will not be required to undergo any tests to visit Cyprus. Moreover, they will not be placed in 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.
Currently, the United States is in the so-called “red” zone, however, according to that press release, Americans can still go.
The beautiful Baltic country of Estonia has been welcoming vaccinated tourists since Feb. 1.
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.
French President Emmanuel Macron told CBS News that France will start to lift travel restrictions starting in May. And now, according to local reports, the country will open to non-European Union nations, such as the United States on June 9.
Macron has said that ideally, France would be open for travelers “who are vaccinated, with a special pass” insinuating that a vaccine certificate or a negative COVID-19 PCR test would be required for travel to France.
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.
According to the Georgian government; “Citizens of all countries, traveling by air from any country may enter Georgia if they present the document confirming the full course (two doses) of any COVID-19 vaccination at the border checkpoints of Georgia.
This means vaccinated U.S. citizens are currently permitted to travel to Georgia.
As of March 18, 2021, eligible U.S. citizens are welcomed back to Iceland with open arms. Additionally, 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.
Iceland recently updated its requirements, removing the need for nationality and passport number to feature on official vaccine certificates, which means certificates issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now accepted.
Ireland said travelers that are fully vaccinated “and have the documents to prove that” don’t have to complete a mandatory hotel quarantine when you come to Ireland. This exemption also applies to people traveling with you, including children. However, travelers headed to Ireland still have to have a negative RT-PCR test taken in the 72 hours before departure.
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 travelers.
The relaxed restrictions apply to those arriving in Lithuania with 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 travelers must fill out this form before traveling to Lithuania.
As it stands, U.S. citizens are currently not allowed to enter Lithuania, according to the U.S. Embassy.
Malta plans to reopen to fully vaccinated Britons as of June 1, with their vaccination card as proof. It’s possible that the country could reopen to American tourists in the not-too-distant future.
Malta plans to lift most travel restrictions related to COVID-19 by June 1 and is now looking at ways to revive its tourism industry. Malta plans to offer incoming tourists a handout of up to $238 when they book a local hotel through the hotel website for a minimum of two nights.
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.
Those wishing to visit the stunning Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean can do so quarantine-free on completion of a full dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Travelers must have been fully vaccinated at least two weeks before arriving in 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 Seychelles’ list of permitted countries.
From March 25, all visitors (except those traveling from South Africa) will be allowed to travel to Seychelles even if they haven’t been vaccinated. They will, however, be forced to undergo quarantine on arrival.
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.
Thailand’s government has also introduced the option of quarantining on a yacht rather than in a government facility.
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.
Other countries to keep an eye on
According to Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis, “Greece is ready with a complete protocol for summer 2021“.
The best part is, as well as those who have been vaccinated, the popular tourist destination is planning on also allowing visitors who haven’t been vaccinated, but instead have antibodies or test negative for COVID-19.
U.S. EU and Schengen residents are now permitted to enter Greece. All travelers over the age of five must present a negative PCR test for entry, but travelers vaccinated against COVID-19 don’t need to provide a negative test if it’s been longer than 14 days since the final dose.
Israel’s vaccine rollout is impressive with nearly 60% of its citizens vaccinated as of April 19.
The Middle-Eastern nation wants to leverage its vaccine success to welcome back tourists later in 2021. Israel’s Tourism Ministry has launched a campaign named ‘Bring Tourism Back to Israel’. With it, they’re hoping to welcome international arrivals back again around the middle of 2021.
Other vaccine passport developments
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.
The Prime Minister of the U.K., Boris Johnson, has also unveiled the roadmap that will hopefully lead to the complete lifting of strict lockdown restrictions by June 21. Among the ideas? A vaccine passport for pubs and theaters.
Additionally, digital health passports are a hot topic of discussion as they are likely to be crucial to the reboot of international travel. Once immunized, ‘digital health passports’ will be a means to storing the relevant information related to your vaccination in one place, which you will then be able to show at the required checkpoints throughout your journey.
Finally, it’s not just countries that are requiring vaccines for entry. Some cruise lines also now require that passengers have been immunized against COVID-19 in order to cruise.
To keep up-to-date with all states, check out our guide to coronavirus reopening in America.
- 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 and Daniel Ross.
Featured image by Courtneyk/Getty Images
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