Image by Amanja Hemal from Pixabay

Been vaccinated for covid-19? Lucky you, and perhaps some travel too. Countries are desperate to get tourists back, and amid extremely positive data, many are preparing to drop all quarantine and entry requirements to get you back in. In fact, many already have.

An ever growing list of countries don’t care where you’re from, just that you’ve been fully vaccinated for covid-19 with an approved vaccine. If you are, lovely quarantine free travel awaits, even to places your passport might not traditionally be welcomed right now.

Here’s what you need to know about this unique development in travel, and what it means for the future. For people looking to avoid the crowds, shoulder season travel this year could be the best it’s been in a long time.

Countries Open To Vaccinated Travelers

Countries are eager to reboot vital tourism, which stands for up to 20% of all jobs in many countries, for anyone who fits the ‘fully vaccinated’ bill – and can prove it.

Everyone else carrying the same passport without vaccination may still be banned for some time to come, or require testing and lengthy quarantine, but fully vaccinated travelers may have the golden ticket.

Below, you can take a look at many of the countries which are actively welcoming vaccinated visitors back for travel, be it leisure or business. This includes a huge new jump from the European Union, among others.

Hot tip: As always, be sure to check the latest IATA Travel Tool restrictions in the days before a journey, since they’re always subject to change – and some countries may still require a negative test, in addition to vaccination proof.

Also, even if your destination doesn’t require a negative test, an airline or city where you have a connecting flight may, so be sure to double check each juncture before you head to the airport.

Here’s almost all the countries saying “yes” to vaccinated travelers. We say almost, because it’s changing really fast, as countries rebound, including…

Santorini Sky, Santorini, Greece

Greece

Greece is open to vaccinated visitors, and in fact – it has been for a while. It planned to welcome visitors from May 17th with proof of vaccination or a negative covid-19 PCR test and that’s still ringing true months later. However, the country also opened early for arrivals from the USA, UK, EU, Israel and the UAE, with visitors welcome from the week beginning April 19th, 2021.

There’s no quarantine required for vaccinated travelers or those with a negative PCR test result, and this is a once in a decade (or longer) opportunity to experience Greece without the over tourism experienced in recent years.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas is open to vaccinated tourists, which makes a particularly easy getaway for American tourists. Since early summer, the Bahamas has allowed fully vaccinated tourists to skip out on pre-flight testing.

The Bahamas considers someone fully vaccinated at least two weeks after their final required dose.

Thailand

Thailand began allowing quarantine free travel for vaccinated passengers from July 2021, and that now includes a few islands. Initially, only Phuket was available to fully vaccinated travelers, but Koh Samui is an option now too. Other areas should join by October.

Already, 45+ countries including the United States and UK are eligible to travel to Thailand visa -free once again, but hotel quarantine awaits until July. That’s also set to change for visitors, with Thailand’s announcement of circa 5,000 hotels where guests may leave their rooms and enjoy hotel facilities during quarantine.

Barbados

Barbados is open to vaccinated travelers, but you’ll still need a professionally administered covid-19 PCR test before departure. Home kits and other options don’t count, but that’s a small price to pay for fun in the Barbados sun.

With year round idyllic weather, it’s a fantastic choice, particular as the crowds go elsewhere in the Caribbean and Americas, giving you a chance to enjoy paradise without the masses.

Canada

Canada opens up to vaccinated Americans on August 9th, and the rest of the world on September 7th. Proof of two weeks since receiving the final dose of a vaccine approved in Canada is a must.

Most visitors will still be required to fill out and pay for an ETA to fly into the country. If you’ve been missing Banff, bam!

Most Of The European Union

A few European Union countries are scattered around this article, but let’s call out an exciting development. The USA was added to the EU safe list, which means most EU countries now welcome American visitors with proof of full vaccination.

You can read up on which countries are “in”, and what it means for your travels, here. This list includes countries like Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, Ireland and many more!

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The Maldives

If you’re reading this, you can already enter the Maldives without the need for a covid-19 test, or quarantine, if you’ve been vaccinated. The good news didn’t stop there either.

Once the local population is vaccinated, the Maldives will offer vaccine on arrival to all who want it, creating a great opportunity for people who can’t get appointments, to get one while enjoying a private villa on the water.

Morocco

Morocco is open to fully vaccinated visitors and no testing is required. Vaccinated visitors from the US, UK and Canada are welcome without testing, among many others. Some countries require a negative test in addition to vaccination.

The tourism driven country is offering unprecedented deals at every end of the spectrum, from full on luxury to budget riads. With daily flights from most gateways, it’s an enticing option.

Nepal

Nepal is allowing vaccinated travelers to skip quarantine, but they’ll still be required to take a PCR test before entry. This is a small hassle, and is easily worth it for such a big “bucket list” journey.

Guatemala

Guatemala isn’t just a home of fantastic coffee, it’s full of rich, boundless jungles and beaches, with fantastic value too. You can’t say you’ve fully “done” Central America until you’ve been.

Fortunately, the country is making it easier for anyone who’s been vaccinated, and also for non-vaccinated travelers as well. Vaccinated travelers who can prove both doses and at least two weeks since the last dose are welcome to enter restriction free. For any non vaccinated travelers, a negative PCR test within 3 days of arrival, or proof of recovery are now accepted.

Israel

Israel officially opened for tourism in May, but initially only for groups. A brief stop was put to inbound travel thereafter, due to rising domestic cases and other temporary issues.

Travel for individuals is said to likely begin from August onward, once the group tests are complete. The big x-factor for getting in, is vaccination. If you want to visit Israel, you must be vaccinated. Notably, there won’t be exemptions for children visiting as a tourist.

Israel will accept US, UK and other vaccination certificates, but will test all arrivals for a marker of the vaccine on arrival, to ensure there aren’t any forgeries.

Put Israel on your radar if you’re looking for a gem of an option which is far too overlooked by many, even as tourism has grown. As a relatively short flight from London, and more with more direct US connections than ever, it’s easy to get there.

The Seychelles

How good does a luxury hotel on the beach in the Seychelles sound right now? The Seychelles already allows anyone with proof of both covid-19 vaccinations, and at least two weeks since the second jab to enter the country without quarantine, regardless of passport.

Malta

Malta will pay you up to €200 to visit this year, and vaccinated travelers are able to enter without restriction. It’s an exciting time to check out this former Game Of Thrones location for yourself.

For summer arrivals, hotels will hand out between €100-€200 euros back, for every stay of three nights or more. It’s a fantastic way of saying welcome, and should move this destination up the summer travel list!

Spain

Spain flung open the proverbial doors recently and is welcoming fully vaccinated visitors from inside and outside of Europe, as well as unvaccinated visitors with proof of a negative test. Catch up on the latest here.

The hardest part with Spain isn’t getting in now, it’s deciding between Madrid and Barcelona, or an island getaway. Plus, there’s too many other cities, like San Sebastian for foodies to ever leave!

Cyprus

Cyprus is welcoming all vaccinated travelers, and has since March 1st, without the requirement of quarantine or a negative PCR test, like other arrivals. Visitors will need to show proof of vaccination, and depending on point of departure, may need a special permit before travel.

Iceland

Iceland now allows vaccinated travelers to skip out on all current entry restrictions and quarantine measures. The country also rolled back domestic covid-19 restrictions, so if you’re fully vaccinated, you can enter without testing and enjoy Iceland as it was.

Airlines are adding flights by the minute in anticipation of a huge pent up travel boon to this one of a kind destination. It’s a hot ticket in summer, and cool as ever in winter.

Croatia

From the coastal coves to inland hiking and fabulous value, Croatia is always a brilliant choice. It’s now also welcoming vaccinated travelers, including Americans, who remain barred from most of Europe still.

Full details can be found here, but it’s all relatively easy to enter, as long as you fill out the Visit Croatia form and provide the necessary documents. A villa along the coast sounds pretty great right now.

Georgia

Georgia may not be top of the bucket list for everyone, but the deeply charming and overlooked European country is making its case, allowing anyone vaccinated to enter. It has been since February 1st, 2021, long before many peers. You’ll need proof, but no further testing or quarantine is required.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has pretty heavy covid-19 travel restrictions, but the best chance to visit comes from being vaccinated. Vaccinated travelers to Sri Lanka must still take a covid-19 PCR test before departure, and quarantine in an approved hotel or resort for 24-48 hours, while a second test is carried out, but once that’s complete, you’re free to go.

For most visitors, Sri Lanka is a long way to go anyway, so having a day or two to catch up from jet lag in a nice hotel is hardly a prison sentence. All details are found here.

Image by Amanja Hemal from Pixabay

Lebanon

Lebanon reopened to visitors on February 8th. It allows notable exceptions to covid-19 testing before travel, and to quarantine measures for people with proof of having had covid-19 at least 15 days prior to arrival, or with proof of antibodies.

Romania

Romania has become a gem of charm and value in recent years as mainstream travel dominated western Europe. The country just added exceptions to its entry policy which removes 14 day isolation requirements for travelers with proof of full vaccination, but there’s a catch. The policy only applies to those who’ve been vaccinated within the EU, for now.

Poland

Poland won’t make eligible travelers who enter with proof of vaccination, and at least 10 days since the last shot enter into quarantine. It’s somewhat unclear whether this applies to travelers from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland, but if you’ve been fully vaccinated and are traveling from any of those areas, quarantine free travel is now possible.

French Polynesia

French Polynesia is just about the best place on earth to avoid seeing other humans, if you want to. From an overwater bungalow with water clearer than a swimming pool and lush green mountains as a backdrop, you probably won’t mind.

New entry restrictions are being rolled out now, with exceptions for vaccinated travelers. Read up on what’s expected from French Polynesia Tourism.

Belize, Ecuador & More

A variety of countries are quickly changing restrictions, and are worth looking into. Belize, one of the world’s best diving spots is one of them. We’ll keep updating this list as new countries open for travel and make exemptions to restrictions for vaccinated travelers.

Vaccination Proof Required: A Hurdle

The first let down of the good news, is that it’s not always incredibly clear or easy to prove you’ve been vaccinated at this point, but that’s likely to improve dramatically. Even still, many countries are happy to make the paperwork-work.

They’re primarily doing this by making travel agreements with other countries, on the basis that they’ll accept certificates from each other, known as bilateral agreements. The general consensus is that vaccinated travelers must…

  • have received both doses, not just one.
  • need to wait at least 14 days from the time of second dose.
  • must carry the best form of proof offered by country of vaccination.

Many people who’ve been vaccinated have been given certificates of proof which are petty basic. Sometimes just a piece of paper. Some countries, or individual states have created digital versions, which helps to square databases to make a more trustworthy system.

The IATA Travel Regulation Map is a great way to stay on top of what each country is asking for, to allow entry. For people vaccinated in the USA, the CDC card stating proof of vaccination is the currently accepted piece. Having additional proof never hurts.

The EU developed a ‘green pass’, which helps to digitize and secure vaccination proof for each country, so visitors headed to the EU, or from the EU headed elsewhere can read up on the current status of these ‘vaccination passports’. The UK is also readying the NHS app to serve as proof of vaccination both domestically and abroad.

If you’ve been fully vaccinated and want to travel, the main takeaways are to bring whatever proof you have, and to triple check whether you’ll also need a test before departure, or whether you’re exempt because you’re vaccinated. With a growing list of places to go, it’s an exciting time for travelers everywhere.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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24 Comments

  1. These countries better get ready to receive 1000’s of old age pensioners as they are pretty much the only people that have been vaccinated and are going to be vaccinated for some months.

    1. It was not meant to be offensive to pensioners Geoff. Just a reflection of today’s travel reality.
      I’m in my 60’s myself.
      Hope that’s cleared up any confusion.
      All the best.

  2. You know what’s weird about this and other stories like it? They never speak to people who have not been vaccinated but have had COVID-19. My wife and I fall in the category and have asked our doctors whether the vaccine even makes sense for us… all with a shrugged shoulder response. With the alleged number of “cases” in the US reaching into the zillions, you’d think that this would represent a far larger part of the population than the number of those vaccinated.

    1. Who are these doctors shrugging their shoulders? I haven’t met one that would advise you not to get vaccinated as it is absolutely possible to get Covid twice. My brother had in last September and then again in February… He is still struggling with the effects of long-Covid.

  3. I have been Vaccinated for covid19 with two shots and its been months. Philippines is my destinated place of residence, they don’t seem to have any inkling of letting any tourists in this year. I have a house and a family there, came to Us Jan of 2020 for medical and can’t get back home. I am an American citizen. They already got alot of money from me, time to recipricate by letting vaccinated people back in.

  4. The big question is … what constitutes fully vaccinated proof? At the moment, everyone is all over the place. And countries that are welcoming vaccinated travelers do not have a clear idea too. What if you think your proof is adequate but aren’t allowed to enter when you reach your destination? I can’t wait to travel again but everything around this is too muddy at the moment.

  5. With the new statement from Pizer seems like you are safer if you have already had Covid since the CDC has raised the protected lever from 1st 3 month, then 6 months, now 8 months and I am sure that will go up as we go. Out of 30 million people that have had covid only 5 have been infected again as stated by Dr Fauchi. To get to Hawaii I had to prove I had covid and a letter from my Doctor that I recovered. I feel the countries should be OK with that buy I hear nothing.

  6. I live innSouth Africa and am British. Have had two vaccinations and can’t visit Uk unless I quarantine at Pounds 1700 in an Hotel. It’s very unfair. Can understand tests etc but quarantine NOOO! I am desperate to see my family.

  7. Just came back from Mexico City, no test required if you’ve been vaccinated. Health forms online for entry, super easy, lots of testing facilities for antigen test required for US re-entry. Great to finally do some international travel again.

  8. Even if you are vaccinated and traveling overseas, the bigger risk is having to quarantine to return back to the USA should you test positive for COVID. If I understand correctly, once you test positive then you are stuck in a hotel for up to two weeks. Can be very costly not to mention boring even if you are asymptomatic.

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