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It’s possible to travel whether or not you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19, with countless destinations in the U.S., Mexico, and many Caribbean islands along with a handful of other countries where Americans can enter regardless of vaccination status, typically with negative COVID test results in hand. But in recent weeks, a number of countries have opened up to vaccinated travelers, allowing them to bypass otherwise mandatory testing and/or quarantines. That currently includes these destinations – of course, with things frequently changing, it’s always a good idea to check for the latest restrictions and requirements.
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Effective April 6th, travelers from all countries who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can visit Iceland without being subject to testing or quarantines. Travelers must provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine that has been certified for use by the European Medicines Agency, which includes the Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna vaccines. As one of the hottest travel destinations in recent years, many have already welcomed this news, planning trips to witness the newly active volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula along with the country’s stunning waterfalls and other attractions.
As of April 1st, anyone can enter Croatia by presenting a COVID-19 vaccination certificate with the final dose having been administered at least 14 days before arrival. You’ll also need to book and pay for your accommodation in advance. There are options for non-vaccinated travelers as well, check the U.S. embassy in Croatia for the latest details here. Your reward for the effort will be the opportunity to stroll through legendary centuries-old cities like Dubrovnik and Split, visit spectacular islands and walled towns, magnificent waterfall-filled national parks, enjoy some of the world’s most delicious food and wine, and much more.
Ecuador is only about the size of the state of Colorado, but its diverse terrain includes everything from the famous Galapagos isles and beautiful beaches to the dramatic Andes mountains and the Amazon. Most visits start in the capital of Quito, a magnificent city that sits at 9,250 feet above sea level and is well worth spending at least a couple of days in. Effective as of March 22nd, anyone can enter Ecuador provided they present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative antigen or PCR test taken within three days prior to arrival. If you plan on visiting the Galapagos, be aware that there are special additional entry requirements – all the latest details for visiting the country, including the Galapagos, can be found here.
Montenegro is a land of fairytale landscapes that include a rugged coastline, sapphire blue fjords, dramatic mountains, rushing rivers, lush valleys, and ancient palaces. The fortified town of Kotor is only a little over a two-hour drive from Dubrovnik in Croatia making it a popular day trip, but it’s worth dedicating at least a few days to this beautiful country. Just a few of the other must-visits include Perast, Budva, and Lake Skadar. And, Montenegro is now allowing visitors with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate if the second dose was administered at least 7 days before arrival.
A tropical island paradise, the Seychelles include 115 islands that lie along the equator in the Indian Ocean. No matter which you choose to visit you’ll find stunning stretches of powdery white sands and crystal-clear turquoise water with a backdrop of lush jungle. It’s renowned for offering some of the world’s best diving and snorkeling, and you’ll find interesting wildlife on land too like the Seychelles giant tortoise which can live well over 100 years. Earlier this year the island nation announced that it would welcome vaccinated visitors from anywhere in the world with proof of being fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to arrival. As of now, even if you’re vaccinated, you’ll also need a negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained less than 72 hours prior to travel, but it’s worth the money and effort for this blissful destination.
Slovenia offers spectacular natural beauty with everything from beaches to the soaring Julian Alps along with storybook castles and historic landmarks. Wandering the vehicle-free cobblestone streets of Ljubljana’s old town is a must, as is visiting Lake Bled. Now, those who have been vaccinated can bypass the 10-day quarantine requirement by presenting proof of vaccination, with the final dose administered at least a week before arrival. The specific times depend on the type of vaccination – check the latest details here.
One of the most biogeographically diverse European countries, Romania offers everything from greener than green hills covered with vineyards and forests to snow-capped mountains and sandy beaches along the Black Sea. It’s also home to Transylvania, a very real place known for its truly medieval landscape with more than 150 fortified churches and many castles, including the famous Bran Castle, looking as if it popped out of the pages of a vampire novel. Now, fully vaccinated travelers can visit, bypassing the quarantine requirement as long as they provide documentation of vaccination at least 10 days before arrival.
The Central American country of Belize offers ancient Mayan ruins, postcard-perfect beaches, lush rainforests, and diverse wildlife. It also hosts the Western Hemisphere’s longest barrier reef, making it one of the best destinations for diving and snorkeling. The good news is that it’s now open to fully vaccinated individuals from all countries without a negative COVID-19 test required, with proof of receiving a final vaccination dose, administered no less than two weeks before traveling.
In the years leading up to the pandemic, Guatemala was fast becoming one of Central America’s most popular destinations, home to Tikal National Park which includes one of the largest Mayan cities ever uncovered. Visiting Lake Atitlan, a crater lake surrounded by three volcanoes and villages where Guatemalans live a traditional life, and taking part in a wealth of outdoor adventures are just a few of the other reasons to visit. Effective February 24th, anyone with a COVID-19 vaccine certificate with vaccination completed at least two weeks prior to arrival can enter.
Georgia is a small country that packs a punch, offering something for everyone from outdoor adventurers and nature lovers to history buffs. The capital city of Tbilisi is fun to get lost in with an Old Town that boasts enticing winding alleyways and traditional balconied homes that are tucked in between magnificent Art Noveau buildings. Now, fully vaccinated travelers can visit this unique, off-the-beaten-path destination by showing proof of vaccination.
A Portuguese autonomous region in the North Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is accepting travelers who are able to provide an official vaccination certificate that states the dates they received each dose of the vaccine. This lush green oasis with a year-round spring-like climate boasts incredible natural scenery with tropical forests and towering mountains. It’s a place to discover local culture, enjoy delicous food and wine, and find solitude by hiking the scenic trails bursting with exotic, colorful flowers.
While it may not be talked about often, Estonia is truly a hidden gem with nearly half of the country covered in forest, providing a nature lover’s paradise without the crowds often found in more well-known destinations. It’s also more budget-friendly than most, with the capital city of Tallinn offering a rich cultural scene and a medieval setting complete with cobbled streets and fortifications. Fortunately, it’s now welcoming visitors who have received the vaccine within the last six months.
As of January 11th, visitors to Lebanon no longer have to quarantine provided they’ve been vaccinated and provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 96 hours. One of the safest countries in the Middle East with the exception of border areas around Syria and Israel, it offers everything from ancient history to hipster cafes. It was once a major strategic area for the Roman Empire and today, visitors can explore several archaelogical sites, including the ruins of Baalbek, one of the most important Roman sites outside of Rome itself.
Located in the heart of Europe, Lithuania is often overlooked, but if you’re looking for a cheap destination that offers plenty of reasons to visit, this country is a great pick. Plus, travelers who can prove they’ve been vaccinated by producing a valid certificate are permitted to enter without isolation requirements. Vilnius, the capital city has an intriguing UNESCO-LISTED Old Town with a mix of many different architectural styles, including Baroque, Classicism, Gothic and Renaissance. The cobbled streets and alleyways are fun to wander and you’ll find plenty of cafes, shops, museums, galleries, theaters and squares to enjoy along the way. Climb the hill to reach what was once a castle, Gediminas Tower, for breathtaking views of the city. You can also see one of the most unlikely statues in Europe here, a figure of legendary musician Frank Zappa who was viewed here as a symbol of freedom.