These European countries will waive quarantine for vaccinated travelers
Iceland, Romania and Poland are the latest countries to consider waiving quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers.
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The coronavirus pandemic disrupted most of the world in 2020, with nations worldwide closing borders on an unprecedented global scale in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmissions. Many countries imposed stringent mandatory quarantine restrictions for international visitors crossing national borders.
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The standard quarantine worldwide typically requires 10-14 days of self-isolation in an approved facility, and often calls for PCR or rapid antigen testing at least once during the traveler's stay. But as vaccines continue rolling out around the world, nations have begun exploring protocols to maintain safety while opening up their borders to COVID-free visitors.
These three European countries aren't the first in the world to implement updated requirements. The east African island country of Seychelles waived quarantine requirements last month for qualified incoming travelers, while Thailand is planning for a similar rollout to take place toward the latter half of 2021.
Details are still being ironed out in many destinations. But thus far, most eligibility for waived quarantines requires proof that the traveler has completed the full two-dose immunization cycle more than 14 days before the date of travel. Some countries are also requiring an additional negative COVID-19 test dated before travel, while others may still screen visitors for illness upon arrival.
"Vaccine passports" are a topic of hot discussion in COVID-19 circles, although implementation and consistency is still far from perfect worldwide. For now, travelers would do best to keep a close eye on local guidelines and requirements all the way up until the date of travel.
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- Where you can get a PCR test for travel
- Reopening soon: A country-by-country guide to COVID-19 closures
Unfortunately for U.S. travelers, Iceland, Romania and Poland will remain off-limits for some time to come. Borders have remained closed for nearly a year now, a development that seems likely to continue for months as the European region and the U.S. battle new, aggressive variants of the COVID-19 strain.
These countries in Europe, Asia and Africa are at the forefront of travel changes that may take place as 2021 progresses. As vaccines become more readily available and people approach herd immunity against COVID-19, experts predict that the world will begin to reopen more freely than it has in recent months.