As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is gradually reducing, more and more countries are easing their travel restrictions and lifting the mandatory quarantine.
While some are allowing all tourists, regardless of being vaccinated, to enter the country, the non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated are encouraged to get the required shots to travel without hassle. And, if you are planning an international trip, this article may come in handy.
Here are the European countries offering quarantine-free travel with some rules in place
While those arriving from EU or Schengen countries are not under any restrictions, tourists or travellers from elsewhere need to show a full vaccination certificate, a negative PCR or rapid antigen test report or a recovery certificate. Tourists should ideally possess an EU digital COVID certificate (EUDCC) or anything equivalent. However, in case of unavailability of the documents mentioned, they can fill out the SPTH health control form manually through the official link.
Also connected to EUDCC, France is allowing travelling without restrictions throughout EU and EEA countries for fully vaccinated travellers or those carrying a COVID-19 negative report. However, one needs to fill out the passenger locator form (PLF) available on the official site.
Connected to EUDCC, too, the country does not require any COVID-19-related documents for vaccinated travellers. However, they need to complete a form through this link, mentioning their vaccination details. Meanwhile, tourists coming from the People’s Republic of China have to provide valid reasons for entering the borders due to reciprocity agreement issues between the countries.
Travelling to USA becomes hassle-free
The good news for all passengers travelling to the United States is that the country has lifted most of its restrictions related to COVID-19. The official website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reads, “As of 12:01AM ET on June 12, 2022, all air passengers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, are no longer required to show a negative viral COVID-19 test result, or documentation of recovery from COVID-19, before boarding a flight to the United States.”
It also mentions, “CDC will periodically reassess the need for a testing requirement based on the latest science, COVID-19 variants, and evolving state of the pandemic, and may reinstitute this measure if necessary to protect the public’s health.”
Travelling in Asia
Tourists planning their Thailand holiday need not worry about the Thailand Pass after the changes made in the rules which were implemented on 1 July. You can enjoy quarantine-free travel in the country, provided you show valid documents (genuine test reports and vaccination certificates) related to COVID-19. Travel insurance may not be necessary but is strongly recommended by the administration.
Indonesia has ended its quarantine restrictions for all incoming vaccinated foreign nationals. However, a negative COVID-19 test result is still a requirement for entering the country.
Also, Vietnam, known as the ‘Land of the Ascending Dragon,’ has scrapped all quarantine requirements, including showing a negative report for COVID-19.
The government of South Korea has removed all quarantine-related rules for unvaccinated travellers, too, including the seven-day self-quarantine mandate. However, one needs to take the rapid antigen tests on the sixth and the seventh days after entering the country (at the airport or on the third day for tourists visiting for a shorter duration), as required by its health department.
Mongolia has opened its borders to international passengers who are fully vaccinated. Now, no testing is required before travelling or at the country’s borders for both vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists. In fact, you can get vaccinated here with no charges.
Similarly, Israel has permitted all tourists to visit the country, and there is no need for quarantine, irrespective of their vaccination status. Travellers do not need to undergo any tests, either.
Other countries offering quarantine-free travel
The popular island nation of Mauritius has removed the mandatory PCR test requirements for both vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists. As per the country’s new rule, they will no longer have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 result taken within 72 hours of departure.
Adding to the list is Ireland, which has removed all travel restrictions. These include proof of vaccination or recovery, negative PCR test results, quarantine requirements and post-arrival testing in the country.
Iceland has also reopened its borders for both vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists and no COVID-19 prevention measures, such as quarantine or tests, are required.
Norway, too, has dropped all mandates to provide any COVID-19-related documents and tests for its foreign travellers. Additionally, even masks and social distancing rules have been scrapped.
New Zealand still has the rules related to getting tested (rapid antigen test) on the first, fifth and sixth day except for those who will be entering ‘quarantine-free’ (a category for tourists flying from four specific countries who meet certain criterias) and children below six months. You also need to complete a declaration form. You can find more information here.
However, its neighbour, Australia, is allowing all international tourists to leave and enter the country freely. They also don’t need to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration or Maritime Travel Declaration.
Even Italy, Canada, the Netherlands and India have lifted restrictions for international visitors. However, it is prudent to check specific COVID-19 rules approved by the country you plan to visit.
The UK has also relaxed all COVID-19-related travel restrictions, including testing requirements. The new changes include removing the mandatory mask rule, no longer taking the tests or submitting the Passenger Locator Form. It has also kept contingency plans on standby to manage future variants of concern (VoCs) of the virus.
(Main and featured image courtesy: Sam Williams/Unsplash)