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These Countries Are Open to Vaccinated Travelers

AFAR logo AFAR 4/30/2021 Michelle Baran and Tim Chester

calendar: Greece Will Reopen Earlier Than Expected to Vaccinated Travelers © Photo by Zebra-Studio/Shutterstock Greece Will Reopen Earlier Than Expected to Vaccinated Travelers

Several more countries have announced that they’re opening up to vaccinated travelers as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts continue in the United States and abroad. The Bahamas, Grenada, Cyprus, and Greece are among the latest to make the move.

This week, the Bahamas announced that all international travelers who are fully vaccinated will be able to enter without needing to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and Grenada said it will reduce its quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travelers.

That followed in the footsteps of Greece beginning a phased reopening, including to vaccinated Americans, on April 19. The list has grown to more than a dozen destinations now allowing vaccinated U.S. travelers to visit, including:

  • Anguilla
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Republic of Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Montenegro
  • Nepal
  • Seychelles
  • Tahiti

Additionally, Europe has signaled that it plans to open to vaccinated travelers this summer, a move that has already been backed up by statements from France and Spain indicating a June reopening. But countries are only placed on this list once there is an official policy in place and guidelines for travelers to follow.

As there is an ongoing debate about whether vaccinations should be a passport to entry for travelers, it is worth noting that in many cases, countries also have alternative protocols for unvaccinated travelers, such as the option to submit to a COVID-19 testing requirement.

Whether or not you’re vaccinated, you can, of course, still travel. You can drive or fly to countless destinations across the U.S. and you can even venture farther afield to Mexico, Costa Rica, and other countries where Americans are allowed to enter (regardless of vaccination status), typically when armed with negative COVID test results.

These are the countries that at press time were giving travelers vaccinated for COVID-19 a pass of some kind.

Anguilla

As of April 12, vaccinated travelers who had their final dose at least 21 days prior to arrival only need to stay in place for 7 days (reduced from 14). They’ll still need to submit a test result 3 to 5 days before arrival and undergo a second test on arrival.

The entry application fee for fully vaccinated visitors staying under 90 days in a hotel or villa is $300, as opposed to $600 for unvaccinated travelers staying in an approved private dwelling. From July 1, Anguilla is removing the fee and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated visitors. The entry protocols will be revised and eventually eliminated by October 1. Anguilla’s tourist board has more information on the new entry protocols.

Bahamas

a group of people on a beach with a palm tree: If you’re vaccinated, a Bahamas getaway will no longer required COVID-19 testing. © Photo by Shutterstock If you’re vaccinated, a Bahamas getaway will no longer required COVID-19 testing.

Starting May 1, all international travelers who are fully vaccinated can enter the Bahamas without needing to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. They will be required to follow other safety protocols implemented by the government. Unvaccinated travelers will still need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than five days before arrival in the Bahamas.

Fully vaccinated Bahamian citizens and residents have been exempt from testing requirements as of April 21. All travelers—both vaccinated and unvaccinated—are being asked to follow government-mandated face mask requirements and social-distancing efforts.

Barbados

Fully vaccinated travelers (who have had the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson shots) can travel to Barbados with a shorter quarantine as of May 8. They’ll still need to provide a negative PCR test result three days prior to travel, as well as a vaccination certificate, have a test done at the airport, and then quarantine for one to two days. Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for five to seven days and can’t leave their rooms at approved accommodations until their second negative PCR test result. Visit Barbados has all the latest COVID travel guidelines.

Belize

a group of palm trees on a beach: Have vaccine, will travel . . . to Belize. © Photo by Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock Have vaccine, will travel . . . to Belize.

In order to be permitted to travel to the Central American country of Belize, travelers must present a COVID-19 vaccine card that shows proof of complete vaccination at least two weeks prior to arrival. Those who have not been vaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 96 hours prior to travel or a negative rapid antigen test taken no more than 48 hours prior to travel. Children under the age of five are exempt.

British Virgin Islands

water next to the rock: Swap your face mask for a snorkel mask in the BVI. © Photo by Shutterstock Swap your face mask for a snorkel mask in the BVI.

Starting May 15, fully vaccinated travelers arriving in the British Virgin Islands will be able to travel freely within the territory after taking a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival and receiving negative results (typically within 24 hours). Vaccinated travelers will still need to provide a negative PCR test result from within five days of travel and provide proof that it has been two weeks since receiving the second shot of an approved two-dose vaccine—including Moderna, Pfizer, or AstraZeneca—or one shot of a single-dose vaccine like Johnson & Johnson. Unvaccinated travelers will still be required to quarantine for a full four days after arriving, in addition to the two PCR tests. The BVI tourism board has more information on reopening guidelines.

Croatia

a large waterfall over some water: Come for the coastline, stay for Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. © Photo by Shutterstock Come for the coastline, stay for Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

As of April 1, anyone can travel to Croatia if they present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate (the final dose must be administered at least 14 days before arrival); can present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in Croatia (if it’s a rapid test, a second test must be taken 10 days after the initial test if your stay in Croatia is longer than 10 days); or were diagnosed with and recovered from COVID-19 no more than 180 days prior to arrival. Children under seven years of age are exempt.

The U.S. Embassy in Croatia reminds travelers that tourists who meet the above requirements will only be permitted to enter Croatia if they provide evidence that they have paid for their Croatia accommodations in advance and in full prior to arrival at the border.

Cyprus

Starting on May 10, travelers from the EU, Armenia, Bahrain, Belarus, Canada, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Russia, Saudia Arabia, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States who can prove they have been fully vaccinated won’t have to submit to any COVID-19 tests or to a quarantine when traveling to Cyprus. A copy of the certificate will need to be uploaded onto the Cyprus Flight Pass platform. Visit Cyprus has full details of the latest plan, including more on its traffic light system for country categorization.


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Ecuador

a large reptile in the water: Ecuador's wildlife-filled Galápagos archipelago is now available to vaccinated travelers. © Photo by Shutterstock Ecuador's wildlife-filled Galápagos archipelago is now available to vaccinated travelers.

On March 17, Ecuador issued new guidelines for entering the country that went into effect on March 22: Anyone can enter Ecuador as long as they have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate, can present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than three days prior to arrival in Ecuador, or were diagnosed with and recovered from COVID-19 and are symptom free. Children under two years of age are exempt.

Visitors will be asked about and screened for symptoms (such as fever, cough, general malaise, loss of smell, loss of taste) upon arrival in Ecuador and will be evaluated by health ministry personnel. If there’s cause for concern, travelers will be required to take a rapid antigen test and, if it comes back positive, isolate for 10 days at their own expense. If the rapid antigen test is negative, the visitor can continue on their trip and will not need to isolate.

Travelers in Ecuador must abide by safety protocols including mandatory mask wearing, maintaining a social distance, and avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.

Estonia

If you’re vaccinated, Estonia will have you. © Photo by F-Focus by Mati Kose/Shutterstock If you’re vaccinated, Estonia will have you.

Effective February 2, the northern European country of Estonia has declared that those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter the country without having to submit to an otherwise mandatory 10-day quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements. The Estonian government has said that vaccinated travelers must still adhere to any public health measures that are in place in Estonia.

Georgia

a view of a lush green hillside: Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains are accessible for those who have been vaccinated. © Photo by Shutterstock Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains are accessible for those who have been vaccinated.

As of February 1, 2021, any fully vaccinated traveler from any country is allowed to enter Georgia as long as they present documentation confirming their COVID-19 vaccination status (if the vaccine required two doses, proof of both doses must be provided).

Unvaccinated travelers arriving from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, the European Union, Israel, Kazakhstan, Norway, Northern Ireland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, or the United States must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result conducted within 72 hours prior to travel at the Georgian border. On their third day in Georgia, travelers must submit to a second PCR test.

Greece

Effective April 19, travelers from the European Union, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Serbia, and the United Arab Emirates are allowed to enter Greece without having to quarantine if they meet certain conditions.

Those coming from the above countries who’ve received a full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival do not need to quarantine; they also are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test. Those who are not vaccinated will need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test from within 72 hours of arrival in Greece. Children ages five and under are exempt.

Passengers can enter the country through nine airports: Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, Chania, Mykonos, and Santorini. Land border entries are permitted at the entry gates of Promachonas and Nymphaio.

All travelers must fill out a Passenger Locator Form no more than 24 hours prior to arriving in Greece.

All international arrivals will be subject to random and mandatory health checks in Greece, which can include a rapid COVID-19 antigen test. Those who test positive for SARS-Cov-2 will be transported to a quarantine hotel, paid for by the Greek government, where they will take a COVID-19 PCR test to confirm the results. For travelers who test positive again, they will remain in quarantine for at least 10 days after which they will undergo a new round of testing to determine if they are COVID-free.

Grenada 

a tree in front of a building: The Caribbean nation of Grenada reduced quarantine from seven days to two days for vaccinated travelers. © Photo by Shutterstock The Caribbean nation of Grenada reduced quarantine from seven days to two days for vaccinated travelers.

Effective May 1, Grenada will reduce the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travelers who are two weeks out from their second AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna shot or first Johnson & Johnson shot. Vaccinated travelers will still need to provide a negative PCR test result from no more than 72 hours prior to travel, have another test done at the airport, and then quarantine until those test results come back (up to 48 hours). Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine up to seven days, with a PCR test administered on the fifth day. Travel authorization applications must be completed via travelauth.health.gov.gd. More information can be found via the Grenada Tourism Authority website and covid19.gov.gd.

Guatemala

a large building with a mountain in the background: The Spanish colonial buildings and surrounding volcanoes of Antigua are calling. © AFAR The Spanish colonial buildings and surrounding volcanoes of Antigua are calling.

Effective February 24, anyone entering Guatemala must present either a COVID-19 vaccine certificate with vaccination completed at least two weeks prior to arrival, a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or proof or having tested positive and recovered from COVID-19 within three months of arrival, according to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala. Children under 10 are exempt.

Iceland

a large waterfall over a hill with Sipisopiso in the background: Vaccinated Americans can now visit Iceland. © Photo by Shutterstock Vaccinated Americans can now visit Iceland.

Effective April 9, “everyone arriving to the country shall be tested at the borders as before, quarantine for five days and undergo a second test upon finishing,” the Icelandic government says. Vaccinated travelers don’t have to quarantine but must go to their place of stay and wait for the initial test results. Iceland also allows travelers who have been previously infected with COVID-19 to enter the country without quarantine and testing.

Everyone needs to preregister before visiting the country.

Israel

The Israel Ministry of Tourism and the country’s Ministry of Health say that the country will begin welcoming vaccinated travelers back starting May 23. Full details of the guidelines are expected in due course, but the program will see a select number of tour groups allowed to visit at first. The number of groups will increase based on the success of the program. Individual travelers will likely be allowed in July. All visitors will still be required to undergo a PCR test before flying to the country, as well as a serological test to prove their vaccination upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.

“Sixty percent of Israel’s population has been vaccinated and with the United States and Israel using the same vaccines, we are hopeful that by summer we can open our doors wide and welcome every visitor to Israel who would like to come,” said Eyal Carlin, Israel’s tourism commissioner for North America.

Montenegro

a bridge over a body of water: The city of Podgorica in Montenegro is open to vaccinated travelers. © Photo by Tatiana Zinchenko / Shutterstock The city of Podgorica in Montenegro is open to vaccinated travelers.

Montenegro is allowing in vaccinated visitors from any country, including the United States. Travelers must present either a negative PCR test from the previous 72 hours or proof that they received the second dose of a vaccine more than seven days before their arrival. The CDC still currently classes Montenegro as a level four (“do not travel”) country. The country’s government declared that there were 6,446 active cases of COVID as of April 1.

Travelers to Montenegro will have a new place to stay from the beginning of May: the One & Only Portonovi at the entrance of Boka Bay on the Adriatic Coast. The luxury development’s Chenot Espace spa and new dining space from acclaimed London restaurateur Giorgio Locatelli are among the reasons it’s one of our most highly anticipated 2021 hotel openings.

Nepal

Nepal is allowing in vaccinated travelers. All arrivals must show either a negative PCR result taken 72 hours before boarding or “a document showing complete vaccination against COVID-19.” They’ll also need either a visa or recommendation letter from the department of tourism, proof of travel insurance, and a barcode obtained via an online application. Nepal's tourism board has a document outlining the latest protocol.

Seychelles

a herd of cattle standing on top of a body of water: The Indian Ocean island paradise of Seychelles is beckoning. © Photo by Shutterstock The Indian Ocean island paradise of Seychelles is beckoning.

In a March 29 advisory, the island nation of Seychelles announced that it’s welcoming all visitors regardless of vaccination status effective immediately, as long as they have a negative PCR test result from within 72 hours of travel. There’s no quarantine requirement, but they must have travel insurance and need to stay at licenced establishments or liveaboards. Visitors who have been to South Africa in the previous 14 days are excluded.

Tahiti

The islands of Tahiti will reopen to international tourists by May 1, the government announced in a release. Travelers must show proof of vaccination; if you received a Moderna or Pfizer shot, you can travel the day of your second shot. If you received a Johnson and Johnson vaccine, you have to wait 14 days to travel. Non-vaccinated or immune travelers must quarantine for 10 days. Children under the age of six aren’t subject to quarantine and can travel with their vaccinated parents; children between 6 and 16 who have not been vaccinated or can’t show proof of immunity from a prior infection will have to quarantine with their family. PCR tests are still required on arrival and with 72 hours of departure. 

Tahiti also received the “Safe Travels by WTTC” designation, the world's first global health and safety label for travel and tourism.

This story was originally published on March 8, 2021, and was updated on April 2, 13, 14, 19, 29, and 30, 2021, to include current information. Lyndsey Matthews contributed reporting.

>> Next: Europe Could Have COVID-19 Vaccine Passports by Summer

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