Can vaccinated people travel? This question has been top of mind for many Americans as millions receive the COVID-19 vaccine each day. After more than a year of social restrictions, canceled trips and postponed events, Americans are eager to start exploring again. But, of course, traveling should come second to safety.
Although health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise fully vaccinated people to refrain from international travel, there are still multiple countries open to these vaccinated people. (The CDC considers a person fully vaccinated two weeks after his or her final vaccine dose, no matter which brand of vaccine received.) Currently, the CDC recommends vaccines developed by Pfizer (two doses), Moderna (two doses) and Johnson & Johnson (one dose). Vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax are in Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States. Depending on the country you’re visiting, you’ll need to supply documented proof of a vaccine (in the form of the record card you receive at your place of vaccination), as well as some additional information. This official documentation will typically allow you to bypass any testing or quarantine requirements.
Though vaccinated travelers will surely be safer than their unvaccinated counterparts when it comes to sharing public spaces like airplanes, vaccinated people should take special care when traveling, according to Dr. Tom Kenyon, the chief health officer at Project HOPE, an international global health and humanitarian organization. While the top-notch air filtration systems on airplanes and mask requirements lessen the concern of in-flight virus transmission, travelers should know “the situation you’re traveling to is more important than the flight,” Kenyon said. Vaccinated individuals can likely still bring disease (coronavirus and others) into other states and countries by traveling there. Beating the coronavirus is a global effort as much as it is a nationwide concern, Kenyon added, saying, “we’ll never control [the virus] here if it’s left uncontrolled everywhere else.” Vaccinated individuals should continue to practice safety measures, including social distancing, hand-washing and mask-wearing while traveling, according to the CDC.
If you are vaccinated and decide to travel, you’ll want to check with the State Department for information on returning from your visit. As of Jan. 26, the CDC requires all passengers, regardless of vaccination status, traveling to the U.S. from a foreign country (including American citizens) to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before their flight. In mid-April, the State Department updated travel advisories for more than 100 countries to Level 4: Do Not Travel, warning Americans to reconsider international travel due to the ongoing pandemic. Visit the State Department website for additional details on travel advisories. Before embarking on your next journey, be sure to consult your physician and the CDC guidelines as well, which change often.
See below for a list of countries open to fully vaccinated travelers. (Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication and will be updated as additional information becomes available.)
U.S. citizens are no longer permitted to enter Anguilla, as the country has temporarily suspended all incoming travelers. Visitor applications are also paused. This suspension is expected to last until May 25. For more information, visit the U.S. embassy in Anguilla website or Anguilla’s tourism board website.
Vaccinated travelers entering the Bahamas can bypass the country’s testing requirements as of May 1. All travelers must still complete the Travel Health Visa application and provide proof of full vaccination upon arrival (and that two weeks have elapsed since vaccination). For more information, visit the embassy website.
As of May 8, vaccinated individuals can visit Barbados as long as they show proof of vaccination and proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than three days before travel. Upon arrival in Barbados, they must also submit to a second test (either at the airport or at their accommodation). They must quarantine until they receive negative results which could be the same day as arrival or one to two days after. Because the country’s protocols can change at any time, visit Barbados’ protocol website before planning a trip.
This Caribbean nation is open to fully vaccinated individuals from all countries, as long as they show proof their final dose was administered no less than two weeks before traveling. Travelers should present their COVID-19 vaccination record cards upon arrival. Proof of vaccine allows travelers to bypass the country’s negative coronavirus test requirement. Additionally, before landing in Belize, passengers are required to download the Belize Health App and complete a short form within, where they’ll fill in some personal information for contact tracing and location monitoring. For more information, visit the country’s tourism board website.
British Virgin Islands
Starting May 15, the British Virgin Islands will lift quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers. Vaccinated individuals will still have to arrive with a negative COVID-19 test result (taken no nore than five days prior) and will be tested upon arrival, but as long as their second test is negative, they are immediately free to explore the islands. For more information, read the government’s official statement.
This tourist hot spot in Eastern Europe now allows vaccinated visitors to enter without a negative coronavirus test. Visitors must present a certificate of vaccination that proves their final dose was administered at least 14 days prior. All visitors to Croatia, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, must present proof of paid accommodation in the country. For more information, see Croatia’s Ministry of the Interior website.
Vaccinated travelers visiting Cyprus can bypass the country’s testing and quarantine requirements as long as they provide proof in the form of a vaccination card. However, they will still be required to complete a Cyprus Flight Pass which details each traveler’s personal information. After arrival in Cyprus, travelers may also be randomly tested, even if they are vaccinated. For more information, visit the tourism board website or read the government regulations here.
Travelers can visit Ecuador as long as they show proof of vaccination at the airport before departure. Entry into Ecuador also means vaccinated visitors can explore the famous Galápagos Islands. At this time, unvaccinated people can also visit Ecuador as long as they show proof of a negative coronavirus test. For more information about visiting this country, see the U.S. embassy in Ecuador website.
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Estonia will accept people who have received COVID-19 vaccines from any of the nine global suppliers, not just those approved by the European Union. Proof of vaccination must meet a set of requirements to be accepted. For example, documents must include the vaccine manufacturer and batch number, and they must be written in Estonian, English or Russian. Additionally, no more than six months can have passed since vaccination has been completed. This policy is a step forward for Americans who, if not vaccinated, are prohibited from traveling to Estonia. Note that while visiting this country, you’ll find many stores and restaurants are closed, and you’ll still need to abide by safety measures, including social distancing. For more information about traveling to Estonia, visit the country’s tourism board website.
As of May 1, vaccinated travelers can enter French Polynesia and bypass the 10-day quarantine requirement. According to the country’s tourism board, vaccinated travelers must have been in the U.S. for “30 consecutive days prior to departure” in order to skip quarantine. They must also present their vaccination certificate, obtain a negative coronavirus test before traveling, submit to an antigen test upon arrival and take a self-administered PCR test on day four. For more information, visit the tourism website.
Fully vaccinated travelers from around the world can visit the country of Georgia. Travelers just need to show proof that they received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (or one dose, in the case of the J&J vaccine) at the border checkpoints. For more information, read the country’s official entry regulations here.
Vaccinated travelers from designated countries, including the U.S., can now enter this tourism hot spot without providing a negative coronavirus test result as long as they present a vaccination card proving it has been 14 days since they received their final dose. Meanwhile, unvaccinated travelers over the age of 5 must present a negative coronavirus test result. Everyone must complete a Passenger Locator Form prior to entering the country. For more information, visit the U.S. Embassy in Greece website.
All travelers entering Grenada must submit a negative coronavirus test result three days before travel and fill out a Pure Safe Travel Authorization Certificate. However, unvaccinated travelers will face further restrictions and testing requirements while vaccinated travelers only need to quarantine for 48 hours upon arrival (pending the negative PCR test upon entry). For more specific information, read Grenada’s travel advisory website.
This Central American destination is welcoming visitors who can provide documentation they have received their final vaccine dose at least two weeks prior to travel. Guatemala is also open to those who haven’t been vaccinated, but those individuals must test negative for the coronavirus no more than 72 hours before traveling. The vaccine documentation eliminates the need for a test. Once in Guatemala, there are health screenings at the airport, but there are no restrictions on interstate travel, dining or curfews. For more information on the country’s requirements, visit the embassy website.
Iceland has begun allowing fully vaccinated travelers to enjoy its many beautiful landscapes. Proof of vaccination must come in the form of an official document (written in Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, or English) stating that the traveler has received one of four approved vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, J&J or AstraZeneca. Providing a vaccination card means people can travel to this country without prior testing. There are no curfew rules or movement restrictions within Iceland, so once they arrive, vaccinated travelers can enjoy the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and all other unique attractions at their leisure. For more information on traveling to Iceland, visit the government’s official website.
By May 23, Israel will reopen to international visitors as long as they have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. To prove health, even vaccinated travelers must show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Israel; they must also submit to an antibody test upon arrival. Additionally, tourists will only be allowed in tour groups. Once the country can assess the potential disease spread from tour groups, it may reopen to individual travelers. For more information, visit the embassy website.
Without vaccine documentation, anyone entering Lithuania must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours before travel. However, with documented evidence of full vaccination, travelers are exempt from the testing and quarantine requirements. Travelers should be prepared for restrictions on interstate travel, dining and public gatherings once in Lithuania, though. For more information, visit the official government website.
If you received the final dose of a coronavirus vaccine at least seven days before arriving in Montenegro, you can enter the country without a negative test. Travelers should be aware that once in Montenegro, they must abide by a curfew and follow restrictions on interstate travel. Keep in mind, stores and restaurants are also operating on limited hours. For more information, visit the U.S. embassy in Montenegro website.
Nepal is open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. However, vaccinated individuals can bypass the testing rules that require travelers to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours before travel. All travelers regardless of vaccination status must have travel insurance that covers health, immediate crisis or rescue for the duration of the trip; proof of accommodation in Nepal; a completed International Travel Arrival Form; and either a Nepalese visa or a recommendation from the tourism board. Learn more by reading the Nepalese government protocol form here.
Fully vaccinated individuals can bypass the quarantine requirement in Romania as long as they provide documentation of vaccination. The proof must come in the form of a document issued by the health unit that administered the vaccine, whether from Romania or another country. Travelers also must wait at least 10 days after their final vaccine dose to travel. For more information, visit the Romania tourism board website.
The island nation of Seychelles, off the eastern coast of Africa, is now accepting visitors from all over the world. Unvaccinated travelers must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test to visit, while vaccinated travelers can enter by showing a vaccination card administered by their country’s national health authority. There are no movement restrictions, so travelers can enjoy the many attractions and beautiful beaches Seychelles has to offer. However, there is a curfew in place from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. For more information, visit the country’s official tourism website.
Slovenia has a 10-day quarantine requirement for anyone arriving in the country. However, vaccinated individuals can bypass this requirement as long as they present proof of vaccination. Slovenia considers travelers fully vaccinated at least a week after their final dose. However, specific times depend on the type of vaccine a traveler received: Visitors can travel to Slovenia seven days after the second Pfizer dose, 14 days after the second Moderna dose or 21 days after the second AstraZeneca dose. For additional information, keep an eye on the embassy website.
While the countries outlined above are open to vaccinated travelers, there are also several other countries Americans can travel to regardless of their vaccination status. However, more restrictions are in place in those cases, which can include negative COVID-19 test requirements and days of quarantine, among other stipulations.
Kenyon explains that vaccinated individuals can take a coronavirus test (not an antibody test) before traveling to help further ensure they’re not infected. Also, while vaccinated individuals don’t have to quarantine when they return home, Kenyon still advises monitoring your health in the following days to ensure you’re not experiencing any symptoms.
You might also be interested in:
- Where Can Americans Travel Right Now?
- Is it Safe to Travel? How to Vacation Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- The 15 Best Face Masks for Travel
- The Best Travel Insurance Companies
- When Will Cruises Resume?
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