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COVID-19 vaccine required: A country-by-country guide to where you can only go while vaccinated

Aug. 19, 2021
10 min read
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Editor's Note

This story was updated on Aug. 23, 2021 with new information

As countries have reopened to tourists around the world, including the United States and much of Europe, the Caribbean and Central America and pockets of Africa and Asia, we've seen some countries go one step further — no vaccination, no entry.

While just five countries are currently limiting entry to vaccinated travelers at this point, this number is likely to increase as the coronavirus variants continue to spread, so check back here for more updates as they come.

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Pigeon Point, Tobago. (Photo courtesy of Visit Tobago)


Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago issued a travel advisory to prohibit unvaccinated non-nationals on July 17.

"Only fully vaccinated non-nationals are being allowed entry into Trinidad and Tobago at this time," Visit Tobago says. "Individuals are only considered to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if 14 days have passed since they received the full dosage of a World Health Organisation approved vaccine, i.e. 14 days after they have received a second dose in a 2-dose series or 14 days after they have received a single-dose vaccine." See here for a list of approved vaccines.

While fully vaccinated nationals and non-nationals can enter via airports in both Trinidad and Tobago (POS and TAB), unvaccinated nationals are restricted to Trinidad's Piarco International Airport, after which they will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine at an approved state-supervised hotel.

All travelers to Trinidad and Tobago are required to apply for a TTravel Pass within 72 hours of arrival in the country, in addition to submitting a negative PCR test taken with the same time frame.

A curfew remains in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., per the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago.

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The U.S. Department of State's advisory for Trinidad and Tobago is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Read more: When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

Englishman's Bay, Tobago. (Photo courtesy of Visit Tobago)

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos Islands. (Photo courtesy of Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board)

As of Sept. 1, all visitors age 16 and older to Turks and Caicos must be fully vaccinated, per Visit Turks & Caicos. This means at least 14 days must have passed after receiving your second dose of a two-dose shot or single-dose vaccine. Vaccines currently approved are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Spikevax and Vaxzevria.

As of Aug. 19, the islands will accept paper vaccination records as proof of vaccination (including the CDC card), in addition to vaccination letters signed by a doctor (specifying doctor's registration or license number) and E-Cards, such as those from CVS, Walgreens, the National Health Service or similar sources. As we previously reported, the islands temporarily prohibited handwritten CDC cards. Should this happen again, we suggest verifying if your state or city allows access to vaccination records online. Additionally, many doctors' offices and insurance companies allow members to upload proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to their systems. Lastly, vaccination records can be accessed online for vaccines administered at places like CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.

Read more: Some countries no longer accept paper CDC vaccine cards. Here’s how you can prove vaccination status

All visitors must obtain a TCI Assured Travel Authorization online prior to boarding your flight to the islands, which requires all incoming travelers over the age of 10 to:

  1. Submit results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel to the islands.
  2. Provide proof of insurance covering COVID-19-related medical costs, including hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions and air ambulance.
  3. Complete an online health screening questionnaire.

Once granted entry to the islands, no further COVID-19 tests are required and visitors are permitted to stay for 90 days, which can be extended for an additional three months. Visitors are free to move throughout Providenciales and the rest of the Turks and Caicos without restrictions during their stay.

The below COVID-19 restrictions remain in place until at least Oct. 31:

  • Masks are required in all public places.
  • There is a 1-5 a.m. curfew on all islands.
  • Businesses are open until midnight.
  • Restaurants and bars are open at 70% capacity.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for Turks and Caicos is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the islands is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Turks and Caicos Islands. (Photo courtesy of Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board)

Read more: Turks and Caicos Islands will soon require vaccination for all visitors


Frankfurt, Germany, in 2021. (Photo by Mimi Wright/The Points Guy)


Thanks to Germany's recent re-designation of the U.S. as a COVID-19 high-risk area, Germany is only accepting American tourists who are fully vaccinated as of Aug. 1. As a result, anyone who has spent time in the U.S. in the 10 days prior to traveling to Germany must be fully vaccinated or able to "demonstrate an important reason" for entering the country.

Germany considers persons to be fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving their last vaccine dose or those who can prove recovery from COVID-19 within the past six months.

As a result, unvaccinated travelers from high-risk areas who have received approval from the German government, including the U.S., must quarantine for 10 days, per the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Germany. This quarantine can be cut short by providing results of a negative COVID-19 test taken on day five of being in Germany. Children under the age of 12 can end quarantine automatically at the same time, without a test.

All travelers must complete a digital registration form online before entry and travelers older than 12 must bring proof of vaccination.

Read more: I was one of the first American tourists to enter Germany: Here’s what it was like

Those coming to Germany from an area with a virus variant of concern are subject to a 14-day quarantine, vaccination status notwithstanding, and there is no possibility of ending it early, per the U.S. Embassy.

Entry testing and quarantine requirements are based on the traveler's country of origin or where they have traveled in the past two weeks, in addition to their vaccination status.

All unvaccinated travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test result taken within 72 or 48 hours of arrival, respectively.

FFP1 or FFP2 medical-grade face masks are currently mandated on public transport. Germany's Federal Foreign Office provides updates on the entry restrictions, testing and quarantine regulations.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Germany is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Read more: Germany now requiring vaccination for American visitors

North America

View of Montreal from Mount Royal. (Photo by Caroline Tanner/The Points Guy)


Our neighbors up north opened their doors to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents for tourism purposes on Aug. 9, per the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada.

Travelers to Canada are considered fully vaccinated 14 days past their final dose and are no longer subject to quarantine. Fully vaccinated travelers seeking to enter Canada must upload the following COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN:

  • Proof of vaccination prior to departing for Canada.
  • Results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of departure to Canada.
  • A paper or digital copy of vaccination documentation in English or French (or a certified translation, along with the original copy).

Related: Canada will open to fully vaccinated US citizens Aug. 9

Unvaccinated children under 12 who submit their information through ArriveCAN and meet all testing requirements will also be allowed to enter Canada.

The Canadian government intends to welcome back citizens of other countries on Sept. 7.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Canada is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Quebec City. (Photo by Caroline Tanner/The Points Guy)
Mount Otemanu in Bora Bora. (Photo by TriggerPhoto/Getty Images)


French Polynesia (Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora)

Since easing border restrictions on June 9, the Islands of Tahiti restricted tourism on Aug. 13 to vaccinated visitors, no quarantine required. As of Aug. 23, Tahiti is under a two-week lockdown until Sept. 6, 2021, to "fight against the spread of COVID-19 in French Polynesia," per Tahiti Tourism. During this period, travel is restricted to compelling reasons, specifically those related to work, family, health or purchasing essential goods. Tourists already on the ground in Tahiti are allowed to travel within their tourist accommodations, as well as to and from the airport.

The borders of Tahiti remain open during the lockdown. Children under 18 can also enter freely when accompanied by a vaccinated parent or legal guardian; however, they are subjected to additional COVID-19 tests on days four and eight, if applicable.

Vaccinated travelers must complete an online application within 6-30 days of departing for the islands and submit results of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 72 or 48 hours prior to departure, respectively. Travelers must also complete and print an online Sworn Statement and bring vaccination proof to the islands.

Currently, unvaccinated travelers are barred from entering French Polynesia, unless they can present a compelling reason to travel that is approved by the Tahiti government, specifically related to health, business or family, per the Tahiti Tourism board.

The U.S. State Department's advisory for French Polynesia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC's advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Related: French Polynesia will reopen

Tikehau island, Tahiti. (Photo by Max shen/Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.