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What Does Travel Look Like For Fully Vaccinated People?

There may be some relief for those who are suffering from globetrotting withdrawals during the pandemic.

This year, the Covid vaccine rollout began around the globe. As of April 2, 2021, the most recent guidelines from the American CDC reports that fully vaccinated individuals can travel at low risk to themselves. However, it remains to be seen if the vaccines prevent the transmission of COVID-19, and if they offer full protection against certain variants.

Regardless, the COVID-19 vaccines have made traveling a possibility once more. And thankfully, borders worldwide are slowly opening to fully vaccinated people. To learn more and feed your wanderlust, follow this guide!

Countries allowing vaccinated travelers

The following countries are allowing or planning to allow entry to vaccinated people. At the time of publishing this blog, travelers from high-risk areas, including the U.S., are not permitted. As global travel restrictions change daily, be sure to continually check government websites before planning your trip and before you depart.

person getting vaccinated

Country

Must be fully vaccinated to enter

Must have a negative Covid test

If vaccinated, are the Covid test and quarantine exempted?

Belize

No

Yes

Yes

Croatia

No

Yes

Yes

Ecuador

No

Yes

Yes

Estonia

No

Yes

Yes

Georgia

No

Yes

Yes

Greece

No

Yes

Yes

Guatemala

No

Yes

Yes

Iceland

No

Yes

Must have a negative Covid test upon arrival, then quarantine is exempted

Lebanon

No

Yes

Yes

Montenegro

No

Yes

Yes

Nepal

No

Yes

Yes

Poland

No

Yes

Yes

Romania

No

Yes

Yes

Seychelles

No

Yes

Yes

Slovenia

No

Yes

Yes

Sweden

No

Yes

Yes

Thailand

No

Yes

Must have a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure, then quarantine for 7 days

What are digital health passports and how would they work?

As you can see, many countries have already opened their borders to vaccinated travelers and for non-essential tourism. In the upcoming months, it’s expected that several more will follow suit. With luck, modern technology will enhance the border screening systems in place.

While somewhat controversial, COVID-19 digital health passports or vaccine passports, are currently being explored as a means to serve as an electronic documentation of an individual’s vaccine status. The passport will display a QR code that contains your personal information, proof of vaccinations, and possibly recent COVID-19 test results. So the idea is that a quick scan of the code will both reduce the screening process and eliminate the need for quarantine.

Countries including Denmark, Sweden, Australia, Israel, Greece, Italy, and Slovakia, have already created, or are close to, instituting a form of vaccine passports. Among the interested countries, airline industry trade groups, and some tech giants are also developing digital health passport apps.

But, developing a foolproof app will come with its challenges. First, there needs to be a collaborative system for vaccine passports. The platform should be universal so that anyone traveling to and from any region can use the app. Secondly, to prevent fraudulent certification and breach of personal data, the app must be secure. And lastly, we need to consider other options for those without access to the internet or mobile devices.

Vaccination Passport

CDC recommendations for travelers (*most recent guidance issued as of April 2, 2021)

While the American CDC has recently updated its guidelines on travel, it still maintains that international travel increases your risk of getting and spreading the virus. Furthermore, it can increase the chances of creating new variants.

So, if you must travel after your vaccinations, here are some tips to keep you and others safe:

  • After your second shot of the Covid vaccine, wait at least 2 weeks to travel
  • Do not travel if you’re having any type of cold or flu-like symptoms
  • If there’s no running water available, use sanitizer for your hands 
  • Wash your hands often
  • While you’re traveling, wear a mask that covers both your nose and mouth 
  • Practice social distancing in public areas by staying 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid large crowds
  • Get a Covid test 3-5 days after traveling
  • If you’re experiencing symptoms, isolate and get tested
  • You don’t need to quarantine if you’re returning to the U.S.
  • Depending on your destination, you may need to get a Covid test before leaving the U.S. 

tourists with masks

If you’re unvaccinated, the American CDC strongly recommends staying home. But, if you need to travel for essential reasons, there are alternative guidelines available for traveling under these certain circumstances.

Let’s all do our part to keep ourselves, others, and the vulnerable population safe. With patience, compassion, and understanding, we can get back to exploring the globe again soon. Prevention is key.