As COVID-19 vaccination efforts are underway around the world, many people hope receiving the vaccine could be their ticket to international travel. And in a number of countries, proving that you've got it will grant you access - and the chance to skip the quarantine period that has curbed so much leisure travel.
While travel rules related to COVID-19 change quickly and will vary based on your country of origin, these are some countries that are allowing entry for vaccinated travelers.
Travelers who have been vaccinated can now visit Belize without quarantining, provided they wait until two weeks after their final dose to be inoculated against COVID-19. To enter the country, visitors must download the Belize Health App and and enter their vaccine health information no less than 72 hours before traveling to Belize. Travelers who aren't vaccinated will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 result from a test taken within 96 hours of travel. Find out more here.
Visitors to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands will be able to enter without a negative PCR test, if they carry a vaccination certificate that proves they have received the complete COVID-19 vaccine doses. Travelers aged two and over who don't have the vaccine must show proof of a negative PCR test to enter Ecuador, with a validity of up to three days before their arrival. In the absence of a negative PCR test, a negative antigen test with the same timeframe validity is permitted. If visitors wish to visit the famous Galápagos Islands from Ecuador, they will need to produce a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of travel. Ecuador has Find out more here.
Mandatory quarantine will be waived for travelers to Estonia who can prove they’ve received the vaccine from one of its nine agreed global suppliers. Travelers will be required to provide a vaccination record that includes both the manufacturer and batch numbers for their vaccine in English, Russian or Estonian. Travelers who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months can also skip quarantine if they can supply a doctor’s certificate. Find out more here.
From 10 May, vaccinated tourists from 65 countries, including the US and the UK, will no longer be required to quarantine in Cyprus, nor do they have to undergo COVID-19 testing. Travelers will need to upload their vaccination certificates to the Cyprus Flight Pass platform before arrival. Find out more here.
International travelers who can prove they’ve received a two-dose course of a COVID-19 vaccine can arrive by air in Georgia. There are separate entry rules for unvaccinated visitors based on their destination of origin. Find out more here.
Greece is currently open to vaccinated travelers from European Union member states, in addition to vaccinated travelers from the UK, US, Serbia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. These travelers do not have to quarantine, nor are they required to undergo COVID-19 testing. The country plans to formally open its tourism sector on May 14. Find out more here.
Guatemala’s land, air, and seaports are open to passenger traffic and international tourism. Travelers can visit with a negative COVID-19 test result, but are also permitted with a valid certificate showing they have received the COVID-19 vaccine, with the last dose administrated at least 2 weeks before starting the trip. Find out more here.
One of the world’s most coveted travel destinations, Iceland will allow qualifying visitors to skip quarantine if they have proof they've received a COVID-19 vaccine. Until June 1, those with a certificate of vaccination or proof of recovery must undergo a single test at the border. From there they must quarantine at their place of residence until the result is available. According to the government: "From June 1, less stringent border measures will apply to those countries that are defined as low-risk areas". Travelers will need to show an approved digital or paper vaccination certificate in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English to skip screenings. Iceland is the first country in the EU/Schengen area to allow entry to vaccinated passengers from anywhere in the world, after expanding access to those from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Find out more here.
Poland accounced in December that quarantine would not be required for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. However, Poland is still only allowing travelers from certain countries of origin. Find out more here.
The country is waiving quarantine for those who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The country announced that arriving travelers won't need to quarantine if they’ve had two doses of the vaccine and at least ten days have passed since their second dose. However, they will need to show proof of vaccination. Find out more here.
Where can I go without a vaccination?
The answer to this question often depends on your country of origin, however there are a few countries that are allowing all tourists without a vaccination. Mexico and Costa Rica among the countries that are welcoming all travelers, regardless of vaccination status.
What destinations could be next?
Israel will reopen to fully-vaccinated visitors from the end of May, although the numbers allowed to enter will be limited initially. The Portuguese island of Madeira is allowing travelers who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, while Thailand's tourism sector reopening has already entered its first stage, allowing fully vaccinated tourists to enter the country via five so-called “pilot provinces” - Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Chiang Mai and Pattaya, where the quarantine requirement has been reduced to one week.
Where you can travel may depend on where you are from, as certain countries will allow vaccinated travelers from those that share a reciprocal agreement. The European Union is moving ahead on plans for a “digital green pass” that would facilitate travel within the EU by indicating if the holder has been vaccinated or has tested negative for the virus. It's also planning to open its borders to vaccinated travelers from the US in the coming months.
In the US, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has approved domestic travel for fully vaccinated people, without the need to get tested before or after a trip, or self-quarantine afterwards. While domestic travel is back on the table, the CDC advises anyone interested in international travel to pay attention to the public health situation in their destination of choice before traveling “due to the spread of new variants and because the burden of COVID-19 varies globally”.
This article was first published on February 16 and last updated on April 27, 2021.