Country-by-country guide to where you can go if you’re vaccinated
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest information.
The time has finally come when COVID-19 vaccination programmes in countries all over the world are in full swing.
With it comes hope for a return of some aspects of pre-COVID-19 “normality.” As more of the world’s population gets vaccinated, travel should start to make a more established comeback as countries begin to welcome back tourists.
It’s still early days in the vaccine rollout process. However, there is already a handful of nations that have announced they will or will soon begin permitting entry across their closed borders, or removing mandatory quarantine and testing restrictions, for those who wish to visit and are fully vaccinated.
On Monday, Air New Zealand announced it will be trialling a digital Travel Pass initiative on its route from Auckland (AKL) to Sydney (SYD). The Travel Pass is designed by IATA and can be used by passengers and crew who have been vaccinated. It’s hoped that it will streamline the health verification of travellers and make journeys contactless as well as speed up the airport process.
The countries in this round-up might be starting to welcome back tourists with open arms, but as it stands, the U.K. remains in a strict lockdown with all domestic and international banned unless it’s deemed essential.
Here’s a guide to the countries beginning to crack open their doors so you can start to plan your first post-lockdown escape.
Over the course of the summer when tourism in Europe had a brief rebound, getting into Cyprus was notoriously stressful.
Not anymore. As of 1 March 2021, those who have been vaccinated and can prove it on arrival into Cyprus will no longer have to present a negative PCR test or be subject to quarantine. However, not all countries are welcome immediately. It remains dependent on categorisation by Cyprus of each nationality based on risk of transmission.
The U.K. is currently on Cyprus’ Category C list, which means that temporary visitors from the U.K. are not allowed.
The beautiful Baltic country of Estonia is welcoming vaccinated foreigners.
On arrival into the country, travellers must present a valid vaccination certificate. The information required on the certificate includes the location and time that the vaccine was given, 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.
As of 1 February 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.
The Georgian government currently has no restrictions in place as to what kind of travel is permitted, meaning that should travel for non-essential reasons be permitted again in the U.K., travel to Georgia would be possible.
If you’re from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and 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.
Currently, Iceland is not allowing Brits across its borders unless the reason for travel is deemed essential by the Icelandic government.
As of 11 January 2021, arrivals into Lebanon who can prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccine will be exempt from having to quarantine. As a precautionary measure, on arrival, travellers will still need to take a PCR test at the airline’s expense.
Additionally, 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.
Brits are allowed to visit Lebanon with a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival according to the gov.uk website.
The Baltic nation of Lithuania has reduced its restrictions on vaccinated travellers.
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 travellers must fill out this form before travelling to Lithuania.
As of 28 December, Poland introduced a mandatory 10-day self-isolation for all arrivals into the country. However, if you can prove by showing a certificate that you are vaccinated against COVID-19, then you will be exempt from self-isolation.
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 Polish government, citizens from the U.K. are currently allowed to visit Poland provided they meet the above requirements.
Romania is an off-the-beaten-track Balkan country steeped in medieval history.
Since mid-January, visitors to the country have been allowed entry without having to quarantine if they’re able to prove they’ve had the vaccine. If the vaccine requires two doses, both must be taken at least 10 days before travelling to Romania.
Brits are currently not permitted to enter Romania unless it’s for essential reasons.
The tropical paradise islands of Seychelles are back on the travel map.
Foreigners from all countries are now permitted to enter Seychelles if they have received a full dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This must have been completed 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.
A certificate of proof of vaccine and a negative PCR test — taken within 72 hours of travel — will also be requested on arrival.
The rule even applies to those coming from countries which are not on Seychelles’ list of permitted countries. Unfortunately, the U.K. does not currently feature on that list, so travelling to Seychelles is not permitted.
Thailand is, without doubt, one of the most popular destinations for those looking for more than just an all-inclusive in the Costa del Sol or Cancun.
If you’re dying to go, you’ll be pleased to know that the country’s government is planning on allowing non-Thai travellers who have been vaccinated into the country. This would mean those arriving with proof of a COVID-19 vaccine will be exempt from the country’s current mandatory 16-day quarantine.
Permission to travel to Thailand will only be granted once an application has been filled out via the Royal Thai Government’s online platform. U.K. citizens must first check to see if you meet the entry requirements before applying.
In a move that would be a first on U.S. soil, the State of Hawaii is looking to allow vaccinated travellers to enter without facing mandatory quarantine.
Vaccinated citizens will receive an electronic code that will enable them to travel around the islands. They’re dubbing the system a “vaccine passport.”
According to Hawaii News Now, the programme is likely to start as soon as 1 March with local vaccinated essential workers who are residents of Hawaii.
The next step will then be to allow U.S. citizens from across the country to enter.
However, Lt. Gov. Green told Hawaii News Now that international travel would be “sometime thereafter, cause we don’t want to let strains into our society”.
As it stands, travellers from the U.K. are currently not permitted to travel to the U.S.
Featured image by Courtneyk/Getty Images
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