Features

Which countries are accepting vaccinated travellers?

20 Apr 2021 by Hannah Brandler
Mahe Coastline View, Seychelles (istock.com/MichaelUtech)

With the roll-out of various vaccines against Covid-19 and ongoing talks regarding the emergence of digital health passports to facilitate international travel, some countries have decided to open their borders to vaccinated travellers.

Here, we round up the countries that you can visit restriction-free once you have been vaccinated. If you have a while to wait before your vaccine, these airlines are offering discounts on Covid-19 tests when you travel with them.

Croatia

Croatia is allowing tourists to enter the country if they have proof of two doses of vaccination more than 14 days before travel, a negative Covid-19 PCR or antigen test, or confirmation that they have recovered from the virus.

Travellers must also provide confirmation of accommodation during their stay.

Cyprus

Vaccinated travellers from ‘Green Category’ destinations will no longer have to present a negative PCR test or undergo quarantine when entering Cyprus from March 1.

Then from May 1 fully vaccinated UK travellers will be able to visit the country without having to quarantine or take Covid-19 tests.

Visitors must have had their second dose of the vaccine at least seven days before arrival, and it’s not yet clear what form of vaccine verification would be needed to permit travel.

Deputy tourism minister, Savvas Perdios is quoted by several publications as saying that:

“We have informed the British government that from 1 May we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated … so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine.”

Travellers would need to have been inoculated with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and authorities would reserve the right to carry out random tests on arrival.

Estonia

Travellers will be able to enter the country provided they have an immunisation passport, a copy of an immunisation passport or a vaccination certificate in English, Estonian or Russian. The certificate should include personal details of the person affected, analysis methodology, analysis result, the place where the analysis was conducted, the time of the analysis, the name of the institution that conducted the analysis and the institution details.

Georgia

From the start of February, foreign visitors who can provide evidence of completing two doses of any Covid-19 vaccine can enter Georgia without the need to self-isolate.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia says:

“Citizens of all countries, travelling 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.”

Greece

The country’s tourism minister Haris Theoharis said that Greece is set to open to tourists from May 14 provided they have received a Covid-19 vaccination, can show proof of antibodies or provide a negative Covid-19 result. Theoharis announced the news at ITB Berlin, also sharing that a pilot reopening of borders is likely to take place in April.

Iceland

Vaccinated travellers will be able to bypass the country’s entry restrictions, which include Covid-19 testing and quarantine measures, from May 1, 2021. Certificates can be in paper or electronic format, and the Directorate of Health has provided details on the requirements and accepted documents on its website.

The Icelandic Authorities are also accepting certificates regarding previous Covid-19 infection, enabling those with antibodies to be exempt from testing or quarantine requirements. See further details here.

Lebanon

Quarantine won’t be on the cards for vaccinated travellers arriving from around the world. They will still need to provide a negative test which has been taken 96 hours before travel, followed by a second PCR test on arrival at Beirut International airport.

Madeira

Madeira is welcoming vaccinated travellers or those who have proof that they have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 90 days. Documentation in English must be submitted to madeirasafe.com before travellers visit the island.

The archipelago is working with certification company SGS to ensure that companies in the tourism sector are carrying out safe practices and minimising the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Maldives

Travellers who have completed two doses of Covid-19 vaccination two weeks prior to travel are now exempted from the pre- arrival negative PCR requirement and do not need to undergo a quarantine upon arrival in the Maldives.

Malta

Malta will welcome vaccinated travellers from the UK from June 1 if they have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine at least ten days before visiting.

The Malta Tourism Authority has said that passengers will have to present their vaccination card before boarding a flight to the island nation. They will not have to take a Covid-19 test before departing or upon arrival.

The UK remains on Malta’s “red list” of countries, however, which means that non-vaccinated travellers will not be able to travel to the country.

Poland

The Polish government has lifted its 10-day quarantine measure for those vaccinated against Covid-19. Travellers can already avoid the self-isolation period by providing a negative Covid-19 test certificate issued within 48 hours before you cross the Polish border – the country accepts both PCR and lateral flow antigen tests.

Romania

Romania has eased travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers, provided that they have received both doses of the vaccine and arrive in Romania more than ten days after the second dose. Travellers will need to show proof of vaccination, and will then no longer be expected to self-isolate.

The authorities have also stated that those travelling from the UK with a positive Covid-19 test will also be exempt from self-isolation provided that it is more than 14 days and less than 90 days since the confirmation of the result of their test.

Seychelles

Seychelles currently permit entry to travellers who have received a complete dose of a vaccination at least two weeks before travelling. This means that if you have got a vaccine that requires two doses, you must wait until you have received the final dose at least two weeks before travelling. Infants and children may not be required to be vaccinated but will need a negative PCR certificate.

Visitors must provide an authentic certificate as well as a negative PCR test result conducted within 72 hours of travel, flight and accommodation details before departure at this link. Travellers can only stay at accommodations certified by the Public Health Authority, which are listed on the website. The website adds that vaccinated travellers will “be allowed free movement throughout their stay in Seychelles”.

As a result of the islands’ own vaccination programme, from March 25 travellers will be able to visit the Seychelles, without quarantine or restriction in movement upon arrival, and regardless of vaccination status, providing they take a PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival, and adhere to public health measures including wearing of face masks, social distancing, regular sanitization and washing of hands.

The relaxation of restrictions applies to all visitors except those from South Africa.

Thailand

While travellers currently have to undergo a 15-day mandatory hotel quarantine when they arrive in Thailand, the country is looking to lift restrictions for those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Travellers will need to provide proof of both doses of the vaccine, as well as usual visa requirements. The ‘Welcome Back to Thailand Again’ plan is set to be unveiled in the third quarter of this year in a bid to boost tourism to the nation.

The island of Phuket is also planning to allow vaccinated travellers to bypass quarantine by October provided that the majority of its population is vaccinated. The “Phuket First October” proposal includes plans to vaccinate approximately 70 per cent of the island’s population, funded by the private sector.

UPDATED on March 3, 2021

Leading international tourism companies launched the ‘Open Thailand Safely‘ campaign in March to reopen the country’s borders from July 1, 2021. The campaign includes a petition which is open to anyone in the country or around the world, and will be submitted to the Royal Thai Government, calling on it to “respond favourable to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination programmes underway in Europe, USA and other Thailand tourism source markets”. To ensure the safe reopening of the country, the petition argues that “international tourists can be asked to satisfy any safeguards the Thai government may require” and cites proof of a Covid-19 vaccination, health insurance or a negative Covid-19 test as examples.

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