5 countries you can travel to with proof of COVID-19 recovery

Jan 21, 2022

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Nobody wants to test positive for COVID-19, but with cases of the omicron variant still surging around the world, it’s a very real possibility.

And travelers who recently recovered from the virus may not be able to get a negative COVID-19 test if they have upcoming travel plans. You can continue to test positive for up to three months after infection.

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Right now, many countries across the globe require proof of a negative COVID-19 test (some also have vaccination requirements) for entry.

But some destinations will also allow travelers to enter with proof that they’ve recovered from the coronavirus instead of a negative COVID-19 test.

If you’re headed back on the road after recovering from the coronavirus, you may be wondering what documents you need for travel – and whether proof of recovery is enough. Here are five popular destinations you can visit with proof of recovery from COVID-19 — and what qualifies as proof of recovery.

What is proof of recovery?

(Photo by Nathan Laine/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

What is considered proof of recovery will vary depending on the country you’re visiting. So, it’ll be helpful to check out the country’s embassy or tourism website to see what documents you’ll need to show to prove that you’ve recovered from the coronavirus.

For instance, travelers headed to Argentina simply need to show their positive PCR test results showing they were infected in the last 90 days. However, they must show the proof at least 10 days after taking the test. In the U.S., travelers need a signed letter from a licensed health care professional stating that they’re cleared to travel back to the U.S.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery,” but these requirements can vary depending on where you’re traveling.

Argentina

(Photo by Bruno Maia/Getty Images)

U.S. citizens can enter Argentina as long as they’re fully vaccinated and the second dose has been given 14 days before arrival. (U.S. citizens who are not fully vaccinated can enter Argentina if they are direct family members of an Argentine citizen or resident.)

In addition to showing proof of vaccination, travelers must also present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of travel, sign a sworn electronic statement within 48 hours of their arrival and have proof of health insurance valid for COVID-19 treatment in Argentina.

But suppose you’ve recently recovered from the virus and won’t have a negative test in time for travel. In that case, Argentina allows travelers to submit a certificate indicating they’ve recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. That means you don’t need to show proof of a COVID-19 test, as your recovery certificate will be accepted.

Canada

(Photo by Yu Ruidong/China News Service via Getty Images)

All travelers 5 years of age and older must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada. However, travelers visiting Canada who recovered from COVID-19 can enter the country with proof of a positive molecular test instead of a negative one.

The Canadian government says the positive test must have been taken at least 15 and no more than 180 days before entering the country. The positive test must be from an accepted type of molecular test, which can be a PCR, nucleic acid test or an RT-LAMP. Travelers who show a positive result won’t have to take an arrival test upon entry to Canada.

Fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. are currently able to visit Canada, and all travelers must provide results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure to Canada or proof of recovery.

Germany

Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt, Germany (Featured photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

Germany considers the U.S. a “high risk” area. That means travelers who have spent time in the U.S. within 10 days before entering Germany must be fully vaccinated or need to “demonstrate an important reason for entering Germany.”

Germany considers travelers fully vaccinated if it’s been 14 days after receiving their last vaccine dose. But, like Argentina, the country added some exceptions for those who have recovered from the virus. Travelers who can show proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the past six months are allowed entry into Germany. The document must be in written or digital form in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish.

Additionally, proof of recovery must meet the following requirements:

  • The date of the positive test must be at least 28 days in the past.
  • The date of acceptance of the positive test must not be older than 90 days.

Germany said it reduced the recovered status from six months to 90 days because it found scientific evidence indicating that unvaccinated individuals who have had an infection have “reduced and even more temporary protection against reinfection” with the omicron variant compared to the delta variant.

Ireland

(Photo by Walter Bibikow/Getty Images)

Travelers headed to Ireland who have proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 do not have to show a negative test result.

Ireland is now one of the easiest countries for Americans to visit. The country recently scrapped its requirement that vaccinated travelers or travelers who have proof of recovery get a predeparture COVID-19 test. Travelers who plan to show proof of recovery should ensure their document shows they’ve recovered from the virus in the previous six months before traveling to Ireland.

According to the Irish government, the document must contain the following:

  • Name and date of birth.
  • Disease from which holder has recovered.
  • Date of holder’s first positive NAAT test result.
  • Member state or third country in which test was carried out.
  • Certificate issuer.
  • Dates the certificate is valid from.

United States

Cherry blossom blooming Washington, D.C. with monument in the background
(Photo by John Baggaley/Getty Images)

The U.S. has one of the strictest entry requirements for international travelers, but does allow travelers who had COVID-19 to show proof of recovery in lieu of a negative test.

All travelers flying to the U.S. from abroad who are 2 or older must show negative COVID-19 test results taken within one day of departure. (Non-U.S. citizens must also show proof of vaccination.)

Travelers who recently recovered from COVID-19 can fly back to the U.S. with proof that they’ve recovered from the virus instead of a negative test. As I’ve written before, that proof can include a positive COVID-19 viral test result, but it has to be taken no more than 90 days before flying from a foreign country.

Travelers will also need a signed letter from a licensed healthcare professional stating that they’re cleared to travel back to the U.S. The letter must include information such as your name and date of birth, and it must be signed, dated and on an official letterhead that contains the name, address and phone number of the health care provider or public health official who signed the letter.

Featured photo by ronstik/Shutterstock

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