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Where Can I Travel after the COVID Vaccine?

The UK’s COVID vaccination program has been swift. Other countries have been welcoming immunised UK travellers for a while now too. Since Monday 17th May, international travel has been legalised in the UK and the road map out of lockdown has been followed.

On Monday 19th July, Grant Shapps stated that both children and fully vaccinated adults didn’t have to self-isolate when they returned to England. Which meant we could turn our minds to COVID vaccine travel destinations! After 4 am on Monday 4th October, fully vaccinated adults arriving from a country, not on the red list, didn’t have to take a test.

However, from Tuesday 30th November at 04:00 we are required to take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival to the UK. Then self-isolate until you have a negative result.

Previously, we speculated what post vaccine travel might look like. Now we don’t need to speculate any longer. Travelling abroad is now easier than before. However, when and where you travel first will depend on a lot of things, which is why we’ve created an at-a-glance table and guide, to share some of the safe destinations open for COVID-vaccinated travellers from the UK.

 

passenger with the covid vaccine

Which countries are open to COVID vaccinated travellers?

If you have official proof of having the COVID vaccine or have recently recovered from the illness, the countries below should welcome you with open arms.

Remember that entry requirements and mandatory paperwork may vary so check the local rules before you book anything.

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Below is a list of safe countries and when they will accept vaccinated travellers from the UK. The final column provides you with a summary of the criteria to enter the country.

However, please remember that if there are sudden changes in conditions, a country or territory may be moved between lists without warning.

We hope that when you feel comfortable booking something, this guide will help. Then when you do, remember to take your Free Spirit policy, which includes Coronavirus cover.

 

The UK’s Safe Countries List for Vaccinated Travellers

  • Country
  • Anguilla
  • Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Austria
  • Australia
  • The Azores
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Bulgaria
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • The country not the state of America Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Israel and Jerusalem
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Madeira
  • Malta
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Romania
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • 'Open' Date
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Sunday 8th August
  • Monday 17th May
  • Monday 30th August
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Monday 19th July
  • Monday 17th May
  • Monday 30th August
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Monday 19th July
  • Monday 30th August
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Monday 17th May
  • Monday 17th May
  • Monday 30th August
  • Sunday 8th August
  • Monday 17th May
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Monday 19th July
  • Monday 17th May
  • Monday 17th May
  • Sunday 8th August
  • Monday 30th August
  • Monday 30th August
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Monday 17th May
  • Sunday 8th August
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Sunday 8th August
  • Monday 17th May
  • Sunday 8th August
  • Sunday 8th August
  • Monday 17th May
  • Monday 17th May
  • Monday 30th August
  • Monday 19th July
  • Wednesday 30th June
  • Notes
  • Fully vaccinated visitors only require an approved vaccination certificate. Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) or Antigen (quick-test) test. The NAAT test must be taken 72 hours before departure. The Antigen test must be done 48 hours before departure. Then quarantine for 10 days.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Australia. Please check the official guidelines from Australia for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Bulgaria. Please check the official guidelines from Bulgaria for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Brunei Darussalam. Please check the official guidelines from Brunei Darussalam for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • All visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) test taken 72 hours before departure.
    Unvaccinated visitors need to quarantine for 14 days.Fully vaccinated visitors with approved vaccination certificates don't need to quarantine.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter the Cayman Islands. Please check the official guidelines from the Cayman Islands for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • Visitors are not required to quarantine after entering.Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative Antigen (quick-test) test result, taken 48 hours before departure.
    Fully vaccinated visitors can enter without restrictions. They only require an approved vaccination certificate.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Please check the official guidelines from Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) test taken 72 hours before departure. Then quarantine for 10 days.
  • Visitors are not required to quarantine after entering.Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) test taken 72 hours before departing.
    Fully vaccinated visitors with approved vaccination certificates do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) or Antigen test taken 48 hours before departure. Then quarantine for 10 days.
    Fully vaccinated travellers must present proof of vaccination or recovery, before entering.
  • Requirements upon arrival will depend on where you have been in the 14 days prior to your arrival. Requirements depend on whether the countries you have previously visited are on green, amber or red lists.Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) test taken 48 hours before departure. Then quarantine for 5 days.
    Fully vaccinated visitors require an approved vaccination certificate.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Grenada. Please check the official guidelines from Grenada for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Hong Kong. Please check the official guidelines from Hong Kong for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • Visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) test taken 72 hours before departure.
    Unvaccinated visitors need to quarantine for 5 days.
    Fully vaccinated visitors with approved vaccination certificates do not need to quarantine.
  • The FCDO advises against all travel to Gaza, the Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar, within 500m of the border with Lebanon (the ‘Blue Line’) east of Metula, including the northern edge of the town and east of Route 98 along the Syrian border.Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Israel. Please check the official guidelines from Israel for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Liechtenstein. Please check the official guidelines from Liechtenstein for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • Visitors are not required to quarantine after entering.Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) test taken 72 hours before departure.
    Fully vaccinated visitors can enter without restrictions. They only need an approved vaccination certificate.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Montserrat. Please check the official guidelines from Montserrat for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • On Thursday 12 August 2021, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated that New Zealand's borders would be closed until the end of 2021.Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter New Zealand. Please check the official guidelines from New Zealand for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) or Antigen (quick-test) test taken 24 hours before departure. Then quarantine for 10 days after arrival.
    Fully vaccinated visitors with approved vaccination certificates do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Singapore. Please check the official guidelines from Singapore for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.
  • All visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) or Antigen (quick-test) test. The NAAT test must be taken 72 hours before the Antigen test must be taken 48 hours before departure.
    Unvaccinated visitors will need to quarantine for 14 days.
    Fully vaccinated visitors with approved vaccination certificates don’t need to quarantine.
  • UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry into and exit from South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands.
  • The only exception are individuals travelling from Ascension who have been resident for 14 days or more prior to travel.All air arrivals (except from Ascension) to St Helena are required to have had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before travelling to the island. They are also subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days and will be tested on arrival and at the end of quarantine.
  • Visitors are not required to quarantine after entering.Unvaccinated visitors must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) or Antigen (quick-test) test. The NAAT test must be taken 72 before departure. The Antigen 48 hours before.
    Fully vaccinated visitors with approved vaccination certificates do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Most foreign visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Taiwan. Please check the official guidelines from Taiwan for permitted groups and exceptions to the entry restrictions.

 

The UK’s Traffic Light System for Categorising Destinations has been Scrapped

Holiday travel is now permitted to most countries, which are categorised as ‘safe’ or ‘non-red list countries’.

Countries listed as safe to visit are judged according to the following:

  • The number of vaccination rates in the country
  • The country’s infection rate
  • The incidences of variants found within the country
  • The country’s testing for variants

However, the list will still be reviewed regularly. Plus, countries can be added or removed at short notice by the UK government. Therefore, it’s important that you continue to check that your chosen destination is safe to visit before traveling.

Remember that not all countries deemed as safe are currently open to UK tourists, for instance, the USA won’t be open to UK visitors until November 2021. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to check before travel.

What are the requirements to travel to a safe country in the UK?

  • Fill out a passenger locator form online before leaving your destination.
  • Take a private PCR test three days before your departure and a PCR test on or before day two(if required). This applies to people 14 days after having a second jab. Remember that you shouldn’t be using the NHS testing service to get a test, in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test instead.
  • Follow the additional requirements that have been stated by your chosen destination when arriving from the UK (refer to the table above).
  • Adhere to the COVID travel rules and regulations stated by the destination on arrival and throughout your stay.

Thankfully, there’s now no need to quarantine when we return home. Unless your post-arrival test is positive when you return from visiting a country on the safe list, no additional tests will be required either.

What’s happening at the end of October?

On Monday 11th October, the UK Government stated that if you’re fully vaccinated, you’ll no longer have to take a PCR test two days after you arrive in England.  From Sunday 24th October a lateral flow test will only be required, which is cheaper and easier to do. After sending a picture of your lateral flow test to verify the result you can relax! If you’re arriving in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, from Sunday 31 October you’ll also be able to choose to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test.

 

COVID Vaccine Travel to Non-Red Listed Countries

On Monday 4th October the amber list was scrapped and was replaced with new simplified travel rules. The traffic light system has been replaced by a single red list.

The amber and green lists have merged together to become one safe list. The destinations on the list include all of Europe, where we can find many of our favourite holiday destinations. This means we can now visit countries that were previously on the amber list for leisure, business, and to see family and friends. Also, children who live in safe countries can visit the UK without testing too. Plus, if you’re fully vaccinated, you’ll no longer have to take a PCR test before travelling back home to England from one of these countries.

 

COVID Vaccine Travel from Red List Countries

In the 10 days, before you arrive in England from a country on the red list, you must:

After Monday 1st November at 04:00, those coming from red list destinations did not need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days (£2,285 per adult) because there were no countries remaining on the red list.

However, from noon on Friday 26th November, the following countries in Southern Africa went on the red list:

  • South Africa
  • Namibia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Botswana
  • Lesotho
  • Eswatini

Therefore, if you’re returning to the UK between noon Friday 26th November and 4 am Sunday 28th November from any of the above countries, self-isolating at home for ten days will be necessary. Plus, you’ll need to take PCR tests on day two and day eight post-arrival. You should take them even if you’ve already booked or taken a lateral flow test. Then if you arrive from 4 am on Sunday 28th, you must isolate in a government-approved facility for ten days. During your stay, you’ll be required to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight.

As stated before, the red list and quarantine hotels will continue to operate because this is the UK’s first defense against incoming variants of concern (VOC). This is still being reviewed every three weeks.

 

FCDO travel advice for international travel after having the COVID vaccine

For comprehensive information, The Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office’s (FCDO) website still maintains up-to-date rules and regulations for COVID vaccine travel to all countries.

Click the subsequent links for details of exemptions for persons arriving in Wales, and for exemptions for residents and visitors to Scotland.

You can also refer to our guide for more travel advice on Coronavirus or learn more about post-COVID vaccine travel here.

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