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Summer holidays 2021: Countries opening up for travel with a Covid ‘vaccine passport’

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As the days get longer and skies get bluer, we’ve probably all caught ourselves fantasising about a summer holiday (or two) in recent weeks.

Several countries have already opened up their borders to vaccinated travellers, while others are planning to do so at a later date.

Here we take you through the full list of destinations, so you can start planning those long-awaited summer getaways. Note that each country has its own border policies, so be sure to check Foreign Office advice before travelling, and that international travel from the UK will only be permitted at the earliest from May 17.

Turkey

When? As soon as travel restrictions lift

Hot air-ballooning in turkey / Unsplash

Turkey looks set to accept British tourists without proof of vaccination, which means that borders will be open as soon as international travel is allowed from the UK – hopefully from May 17.

Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy said the country would also be unlikely to require a negative Covid test from UK travellers.

He added that the country is “looking forward to welcoming British tourists with open arms.”

Greece

AFP via Getty Images

Greece hopes to welcome vaccinated Brits by mid-May. Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis indicated that borders will be open to foreign tourists by May 14, although travel from the UK will not be permitted until May 17 at the earliest.

Visitors will be required to have been vaccinated, had a recent negative Covid-19 test or have coronavirus antibodies, he explained.

Portugal

Pixabay

Insisting that the situation in the country was now “stable,” Rita Marques, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism, said last week: “I do believe that Portugal will soon allow restriction-free travel, not only for vaccinated people, but those who are immune or who test negative. We hope to welcome British tourists from 17 May.”

Cyprus

Aphrodite’s Rock, Paphos in Cyprus / Unsplash

Cyprus will welcome fully vaccinated Brits from May 1.

“We have informed the British government that from May 1 we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated … so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine,” said Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios.

Jet2holidays said bookings to Cyprus have tripled since the Mediterranean island confirmed that British nationals will be welcomed this summer.

France

AFP via Getty Images

France recently eased its border restrictions for UK holidaymakers, announcing that the UK is now one of seven countries that people can travel from and to without justifying their journey.

Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said people travelling to the country will simply need evidence of a negative coronavirus test taken within the previous 72 hours.

Spain

AFP via Getty Images

María Reyes Maroto, Spain’s Minister of Tourism, said that the country “could be in a position to start implementing the digital passport in May.”

She explained that the Spanish government hope to have the system in place by May 19, but warned that the rollout of any potential scheme would be dependent upon the progress of the pandemic in the country.

Israel

AP

The success of Israel’s vaccine rollout is no secret, so the country has already set about creating a “vaccine bubble” with Greece, allowing visitors to travel between the two countries without quarantining.

Israel has also been in talks with the UK about a potential travel corridor, with the Tourism Ministry claiming that they expect to open borders to international travellers “in the middle of 2021.”

Seychelles

GETTY IMAGES

From March 25, everyone will be free to visit The Seychelles.

Those who have had two doses of the vaccine will have quarantine requirements dropped, but for now, everyone also needs proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken in the 72 hours before travel.

Thailand

When? Third quarter of 2021

AFP via Getty Images

Thailand currently has a strict 15-day hotel quarantine policy, but the country is hopeful about welcoming back tourists later this year under the “Welcome Back to Thailand Again” plan. It is likely that anyone who has been fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine upon arrival.

Hungary

It is possible that Hungary could use an app to track the vaccination status of anyone entering the country. A government spokesperson said: “The need for citizens to provide proof that they have gained protection against the coronavirus is increasing all over the world.”

United States (Hawaii)

AFP via Getty Images

In an effort to bolster its struggling tourism industry, Hawaii is also looking into the possibility of vaccine passports.

Lieutenant Governor Joshua Green said that authorities are looking into a system that could eliminate the need to quarantine, which could involve electronic codes used as a “passport” allowing vaccinated travellers to move between islands.

Estonia

Estonia was one of the first countries to accept vaccinated travellers without need for quarantine, with Foreign Office advice explaining that: “From 1 February, the 10-day self-isolation and Covid-19 testing are not mandatory for individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 and declared cured no longer than six months ago; or individuals who have undergone Covid-19 vaccination less than six months ago.”

Romania

Anyone can visit Romania – Brits with two doses of the vaccine will not need to quarantine, whereas those with no proof of vaccination need to present a negative Covid-19 test taken in the 72 hours before travel, and quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Georgia

Georgia is open to all vaccinated travellers, with the Georgian government explaining: “Citizens of all countries, travelling by air from any country may enter Georgia if they present the document confirming the full course (two doses) of any Covid-19 vaccination at the border checkpoints of Georgia.”

Poland

Travellers who have been fully vaccinated will not need to self-isolate when visiting Poland, with Foreign Office advice stating: “You do not need to self-isolate if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and produce a certificate of vaccination for a vaccine authorised for use in the EU.”

Lebanon

Similarly, Lebanon has also waived quarantine for vaccinated arrivals. Foreign Office advice reads: “Diplomats and their families, official delegations and UNFIL officers are exempt from the quarantine measures, as well as those who have received the COVID-19 vaccination, on the condition that they have proof of vaccination and take a PCR test on arrival as a precautionary measure.”

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