With vaccination programs well-underway across the world, some countries – particularly those that are highly dependent on tourism – are welcoming arrivals who have already had their ‘shots.’ Seen as a way of safely re-opening a vital part of the economy, which countries, in particular, have decided to open up specifically for vaccinated travelers? Let’s find out.
Ever since the beginning of this global health crisis, there has been a constant tension between shutting things down to contain the virus and keeping parts of life ‘open’ to protect economies and the livelihoods of many. COVID-19 vaccines are the solutions that allow the two goals to be achieved.
So, which countries are adopting entry policies that cater to those who have already been vaccinated? It’s a small list, but it will probably grow in the months to come…
The list of countries (or territories) accepting vaccinated travelers
Cyprus: The Mediterranean country is not quite yet open for vaccinated tourists but will be soon. Condé Nast Traveler notes that, starting in May, the Cypriot government will allow all who have had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter the country.
Estonia: The country’s 10-day self-isolation policy does not apply to those who “have undergone COVID-19 vaccination and no more than six months have passed since its completion.”
Georgia: Globe Trender notes that since February, vaccinated travelers from any foreign country can enter Georgia without the need to self-isolate. Both doses must be administered.
Iceland: On its website, Iceland Tourism states that as of March 18th, those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to travel to Iceland “without being subject to border measures, such as testing and quarantine. This includes citizens outside the Schengen area, such as the UK and the USA.”
Greece: This week, Greek City Times reports that Greece’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, Sofia Zacharaki, said the following:
“Whoever comes will have a vaccination certificate and those who have recovered from COVID-19 or have taken the test will be able to come to our country,”
Lebanon: Arrivals to Lebanon can avoid quarantine with proof of vaccination. However, a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours before their flight must be presented. Additionally, arrivals must still take a second test upon landing in Beirut.
Panama: Panama’s local media has reported that vaccinated arrivals can skip being tested upon arrival, with the Minister of Health saying:
“Those people who have their doses set, even if they come from other countries, do not need to swab or carry out traceability, because those people must already have immunity in an adequate state,” – Luis Francisco Sucre, Head of the Minsa (Ministry of Health, Panama), via La Estrella de Panamá
However, the country’s official tourism site makes no mention of special exemptions/exceptions for those who have been vaccinated.
Poland: Since December 28th, those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are exempted from the country’s quarantine requirement. A certificate confirming vaccination against COVID-19 must be presented. While vaccination saves a few steps, it should be noted that entry into Poland is still only limited to citizens, permanent residents and other eligible groups. The full details can be found on the government’s website.
Portugal: The country’s tourism website notes that the country is open to arrivals from several countries. However, it states that arrivals to the Azores and Madeira Islands can present a vaccination certificate against COVID-19- “respecting the period of activation of the immune system foreseen in the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC).” This would replace the requirement to quarantine or provide a negative test result.
Romania: In late January, Romania stated that those who have been fully vaccinated are exempted from quarantine measures. However, the National Committee for Emergency Situations (CNSU) of Romania adds that travelers must ensure that “at least 10 days have elapsed from the administration of the second dose until the date of direct contact or until the date of entry into Romania.”
Seychelles: As we noted in a previous article, passengers who have received their full vaccinations can enter 14 days after the last dose. However, a pre-departure test of fewer than 72 hours old is also required.
The list is sure to grow as more and more countries grow more certain that they can control their own COVID-19 situations.
Does a specific vaccinated-arrivals-policy affect your future travel plans? Let us know in the comments.