What Countries Can I Travel to If I’m Vaccinated?

Here's your guide to traveling after vaccination

Illustration showing a Covid Checked passport

TripSavvy / Ellen Lindner

With the rollout of COVID vaccines finally picking up steam, people are wondering not just when they will be able to travel again but where they can safely travel to. Most parts of the world are still off-limits for travel until a universal “health passport” is developed. Still, a growing number of countries eager to revive local tourism are already encouraging stir-crazy foreigners to visit—as long as they’re vaccinated. 

The destinations listed here have had strict entry requirements ranging from mandatory self-isolation upon arrival to completely closed borders, and they are now planning to safely re-open for tourists who’ve gotten their shots. Several countries worldwide are open for tourism whether you’ve been vaccinated or not, but the limited re-opening of the places below provides extra peace of mind for travelers who have already been jabbed. What’s more, you may find some extra sweet travel deals in countries that haven’t seen tourists in months.

Be sure to confirm the vaccination details for any specific countries you plan to visit, including what documentation you need to show and if your vaccine is valid. If you've received a vaccine that isn't yet approved in your destination country, it may not count. And most importantly, don't forget your healthy habits just because you've been inoculated. Vaccinated people may still be able to share the virus with others, so keep washing your hands and don't lower your face mask just yet.


The first country to open its borders to vaccinated tourists was the Seychelles, the archipelago off East Africa's coast that’s practically synonymous with paradise. Visitors need a certificate showing that at least two weeks have passed since being fully vaccinated—meaning both shots—and also bring a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. By the end of March 2021, the government expects the majority of the local population to be vaccinated, making it one of the fastest vaccination campaigns globally. Getting to Seychelles may seem like a long journey, but after being cooped up at home for nearly a year, an escape to one of the most far-flung places in the world sounds better than ever.


If you’re looking to explore somewhere new and the country of Georgia wasn’t on your travel radar before, it should be now. Beginning Feb. 1, 2021, any foreign nationals entering Georgia with a certificate showing they’ve received the full vaccination are exempt from the current restrictions of arriving with a negative test and self-quarantining. But that’s not to say that the only reason for visiting is the lack of obstacles. The Caucasus Mountains rival the Alps in terms of scenery and ski opportunities but at a fraction of the cost. When you get tired of the snow, the beaches of the Black Sea are just a few hours away. Between the two, don’t forget to make a pitstop at the Georgian vineyards in one of the oldest wine regions in the world.


For a tropical escape that’s a bit closer to home, the Aloha State plans to be one of the first places in the U.S. to pilot a vaccine passport. Hawaii has had the lowest number of cases per capita out of any U.S. state, partly due to a strict arrival procedure requiring all incoming passengers to complete a PCR test and also self-quarantine for 10 days. To balance out locals' safety while also welcoming back much-needed tourists, Hawaii plans to launch its own digital health passport so vaccinated visitors can enjoy the islands without worrying about a test or quarantine. The program is being rolled out in phases, starting with essential workers in early March and with plans to include tourists from the mainland by spring or early summer.


With easier borders to control and a heavy dependence on tourism, it’s not surprising that most destinations opening up to vaccinated travelers are islands. Cyprus is launching a tiered system for 56 countries on March 1, 2021, with differing levels of restrictions whether you’re coming from a green, orange, or red country. However, vaccinated travelers don’t need to worry about any of those restrictions, as long as they have a certificate stating they've already been jabbed. American travelers aren’t included in the initial group of 56 countries. Still, the U.S. is set to become a “red country” on April 1, 2021, meaning restriction-free entry for vaccinated travelers or a double PCR exam for unvaccinated travelers. Other Mediterranean beaches like Santorini or Majorca may still be out of sight, but a vacation to Cyprus could be just on the horizon.


The Kingdom of Thailand re-opened its borders to tourists in December, including visitors from the U.S. But before you go and book a flight to Bangkok, know that you’ll need to get a negative PCR test result and quarantine in a government facility for 14 days after you arrive, at your expense. Eager to bring tourists back as soon as possible, the island of Phuket has already requested an exemption to the entry requirements for vaccinated travelers, and it’s currently under review by the government. Any relaxing of the rules would likely be tied to the majority of locals being vaccinated as well, a milestone that the Thai government expects to reach in Sept. 2021.


As of Feb. 1, anyone entering Romania who shows that at least 10 days have passed since being fully vaccinated or that they’ve already had COVID-19 in the previous six months can skirt the strict 14-day quarantine period upon arrival. Despite the laxer rules, however, tourism is still off the table for American visitors. European Union borders are closed to non-EU residents unless it’s for essential travel or some other justifiable reason, and Romania is included in that group. But the country is one of the main proponents for safely reopening EU borders and, if they can show their new policy is effective, may help to spur on the rest of Europe to follow suit.


The small island nation has had one of the lowest incidence rates of COVID in the world, largely due to being naturally isolated and enforcing a strict double screening where visitors must take a PCR test on arrival, quarantine for five days, and then take another test. Beginning Feb. 19, 2021, anyone arriving in Iceland must have a negative PCR test before boarding the plane in addition to the double screening, meaning you have to endure three exams over the course of a week—unless you’ve been fully vaccinated. Vaccinated travelers can forgo the pre-boarding test, the double screening, and the self-isolation on arrival—even those coming from the U.S. You'll just need to show your vaccination certificate and take one COVID test on arrival.


The small Baltic country of Estonia decided to follow Romania’s lead and also waive the self-isolation requirement for anyone who’s been vaccinated or has already recovered from COVID, hoping to entice immunized travelers. Like Romania, entry to Estonia is still limited to EU residents or those with a valid excuse for traveling. More European countries are sure to follow, with Greece and Denmark already making plans to release their own digital health passports by summer. As more European countries open up to inoculated travelers, it’s only a matter of time until the entire bloc opens up to non-EU tourists.


If being homebound for over a year has you dreaming of lounging away on a Greek island, that may soon be a reality if you’ve been fully vaccinated. The Greek Minister of Tourism announced that the country is planning to re-open to vaccinated travelers beginning on May 14, 2021, according to Reuters. About one-fifth of the country’s GDP comes from tourism, so Greece has been particularly eager to safely welcome back visitors as quickly as possible. To keep locals safe, the government has been prioritizing vaccinations for workers in the tourism industry. Even though Greece has announced that borders will be open to all international vaccinated travelers, it’s part of the EU and—in theory—American travelers are still barred from entering the EU. Whether Greece is going to comply with that rule isn’t clear yet, so you may want to wait a little longer before booking a flight.


The country of Belize has a lot in common with Cancun. They both have Mayan ruins to explore, Caribbean beaches with turquoise water, and they’re both open to U.S. travelers. The difference is that Cancun is open to all travelers without restrictions while Belize is opening exclusively to vaccinated travelers and those with a negative PCR test result after enduring one of the toughest lockdowns in the Caribbean. Visitors must download the Belize Health App before arrival and show they’ve either been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks or have a negative PCR test result. They also must stay in a Gold Standard Hotel, which are accommodations that the government has recognized for implementing high-quality safety procedures against COVID (there are over 500 hotel options and counting). 


Just across the border from Belize, Guatemala is allowing travelers who have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks to enter the country without completing the mandatory PCR test before arrival (travelers who can show they’ve recovered from COVID within the last three months can also enter the country). If getting your shots has you hankering for something adventurous, then Guatemala may be just what you’re looking for. Camp out at the base of an active volcano, try surfing on the black sand beaches of the Pacific Coast, or go for a swim in the underground caves of K’an Ba for a truly memorable post-quarantine vacation.


As of March 22, Ecuador is letting in international travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID, including the ultimate destination getaway of the Galapagos Islands. If you've already gotten your full dosage of the COVID vaccine, then you can enter the country without issues (otherwise, you'll need to show a negative PCR test that was completed less than 72 hours before your flight). Everyone entering Ecuador—vaccinated or not—will have to undergo a health screening including a temperature check. If you present any possible symptoms of COVID, you'll have to take a rapid test at the airport as well.

Article Sources
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  1. Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Georgia. "Regulations for Crossing the Georgian Border in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic." Retrieved February 22, 2021.

  2. The New York Times. "Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count." Retrieved February 22, 2021.

  3. Visit Cyprus. "Travel Safely to Cyprus." Retrieved February 22, 2021.

  4. Insider. "Thailand resort island plants to let in vaccinated tourists in October." Retrieved February 22, 2021.

  5. Matador Network. "Romania will lift quarantine for vaccinated travelers." Retrieved February 22, 2021.

  6. Icelandair. "Visiting Iceland." Retrieved February 22, 2021.

  7. CNN. "Denmark pins hopes on a Covid-19 vaccination passport." Retrieved February 22, 2021.

  8. Reuters. "Greece to welcome vaccinated and COVID-negative tourists from May." Retrieved March 12, 2021.

  9. U.S. Embassy in Guatemala. "COVID-19 Information." Retrieved March 12, 2021.

  10. Embassy of Ecuador in the U.S. "New Measures to Entry to Ecuador by Air." Retrieved April 12, 2021.

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