The EU Recognizes Digital Certificates From More Countries

The EU Digital COVID Certificate entered into circulation in July of this year. The system, that allows users to store their vaccine, recovery, and testing details on their phones, is designed to facilitate travel both across the EU and within EU countries. The EU is now recognizing the digital certificates of a number of third party countries.

What is an EU Digital Covid Certificate and how do I get one?

The digital certificate acts as proof that the user has either been vaccinated by a vaccine approved by the EMA, has recovered and has a certificate issued by a medical authority, or, has received a recent negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours. Each user receives a unique QR code, which can either be stored on their phones, or printed out and kept as a hard copy. Additional information included on in the system are personal details such as your full name, date of birth, and the date the certificate was issued. The system is secure, free of charge, and valid in all EU countries.

The digital certificate should be issued by your country’s health authorities. Either through testing centres, medical institutes or, online e-health portals, such as an official Covid-19 website. In the case of a minor, parents can either store their testing/recovery information on their own profiles, or the child can have their own.

>> Applying for a French Vaccine Certificate for non-EU Visitors

Which digital certificates are recognized by the EU?

Aside from the 27 EU member states, the certificates from the following countries, regions, and principalities are also recognized by the digital certificate system:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • The Faroe Islands
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Morocco
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Vatican City
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Travel Changes Across the EU

Aside from re-imposing travel bans on travellers from the US, the EU and the EEA have experienced several travel changes this week. We take a look at what’s new.

Cyprus

Travellers from Norway, Slovenia, and Canada have been placed on the high risk, red list. This means they need to provide a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours prior to arrival, and be tested again once in Cyprus at their own cost.

Romania and Kuwait have been moved from the green list to the orange, which means these arrivals must present a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours.

Saudi Arabia has moved from the orange to the green list which means PCR testing is no longer a requirement.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has scrapped it’s ‘extreme risk’ black list of countries. Countries on this list have moved to the ‘dark red’ list, and are considered very high risk. The only European country currently on this list is Ireland. Cyprus, the Netherlands, Norway, San Marino and Slovenia have been moved to the red list, and Romania and the Azores have been moved to the orange list.

Travellers from most countries outside of the EU are only permitted to enter the Czech Republic for essential reasons. Unvaccinated travellers and those who have not recovered from Covid-19 in the last 180 days and are arriving from risk, or high risk countries, need to provide a negative PCR test on arrival, receive another test on day 5, and self-isolate until a negative result is received. These travel changes have been in effect since the beginning of September.

Estonia

Unvaccinated travellers from Bulgaria, Norway, San Marino and Slovenia are now required to undergo a 10-day self-isolation on arrival in Estonia. These countries have been added to Estonia’s red list. Restrictions do not apply to travellers who have proof of recovering from Covid-19 within the last 180 days.

Finland

Travellers from Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Taiwan can travel to Finland without facing any restrictions. Restrictions have been reinstated for traveller from Australia, Brunei, and Ukraine. Non-vaccinated travellers from these three countries can only enter Finland if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Returning to Finland
  • Returning to another EU or Schengen country
  • Are in transit through Finland
  • Are entering Finland for essential reasons

Germany

Germany has made some travel changes by adding the following countries to its ‘high risk’ list:

  • Albania
  • Azerbaijan
  • Guatemala
  • Japan
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Serbia
  • Sri Lanka

Kuwait is no longer considered high risk, and has been removed from the list. Travellers from countries on the high risk list must provide either proof of vaccination, or recovery, or undergo a 14-day at home quarantine.

Italy

Travellers from Brazil, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka will face stricter rules on arrival in Italy. Travel from these countries is only permitted for Italian citizen and residents, those studying in Italy, or those travelling to their minor child, spouse, or civil partner living in Italy. Those travellling from Brazil can do so if their provide proof to the government of the imperative need for their trip.

Lithuania

Unvaccinated travellers from Croatia and Slovenia are now required to undergo a 10-day self-isolation and present a negative PCR test on arrival in Lithuania. Travellers who can provide proof of recovery are exempt from quarantine requirements.

Norway

Norway has removed Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and the USA from its ‘safe’ Third Party country travel list in accordance with EU Council recommendations. Travellers from these countries will no longer be exempt from quarantine requirements, or benefit from lighter restrictions.

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Travel to Spain: Everything you need to know

Fancy a sangria in Seville? A stroll down Las Ramblas in Barcelona? Spain has been open to tourism for a few months now, however, it maintains strict travel rules, and it’s high risk lists, may see you postponing that beach escape to Mallorca.

We take a look at the latest travel rules to Spain.

Travel to Spain From Risk EU/EEA Countries

As of Monday the 30th of August, the following EU/EEA/Schengen countries have been put on the high risk list:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland (Helsinki-Uusimaa, Etelä-Suomi, Länsi-Suomi and Pohjois- ja ItäSuomi)
  • France (Corse, Guadeloupe, Guyane, La Réunion, Martinique, Occitanie, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-FrancheComté, Bretagne, Centre — Val de Loire, Grand Est, Hauts-de-France, Ile-deFrance, Normandie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Pays de la Loire)
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy (Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Marche, Sardegna, Sicilia, Toscana, Abruzzo, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardia, Piemonte, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano/Bozen, Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Puglia, Umbria, Valle d’Aosta/Vallée d’Aoste and Veneto)
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Romania (Bucureşti-Ilfov)
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • The Netherlands

Travellers from these countries must provide a proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative PCR test in order to enter Spain. In addition, travellers from these countries as well as the safe countries, must provide a passenger locator form.

Travel to Spain from Third Countries

Cathedral and tower in Seville
Dusk over the Cathedral of St Mary of the See in Seville, Spain

Non-essential travel to Spain from Third party countries is not permitted unless you meet one of the exemptions, or you are travelling from a country that is considered epidemiologically safe. Currently, the following countries are regions are the only ones on this list:

  • Albania
  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • China
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • United States of America
  • Ukraine
  • SAR of Hong Kong
  • SAR of Macao
  • Kosovo
  • Taiwan

Fully vaccinated travellers and their accompanying minors (under 12) are exempt from the travel ban, but must still ensure that they meet all the necessary entry requirements. The vaccines must be recognized by Spanish authorities and travel cannot take place less than 14 days after the second dose.

All travellers must complete a passenger locator form before departure.

What to Expect in Spain

Spain’s regions are governed autonomously, which means you may experience different regulations across the country. Many regions have dropped nightly curfew rules, and no longer require masks to be worn in outside environments provided a distance of 1.5metres is maintained. Masks must be worn indoors and on public transport.

Bars, restaurants and cafes are open across Spain, but it is advisable to check in advance, as bookings may fill up, closing times may change due to curfews, and many restaurants have a table capacity limit.

Museums, and other attractions are open, however in some regions these operate at specific capacities so always check in advance.

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Travel to Cyprus – Who can and who can’t?

Think crumbling ancient Greek architecture, pristine beaches, and captivating hilltop villages – it’s no wonder that many tourists plan to travel to Cyprus.

Although the island has been open for tourism for a number of months, it has still retained its traffic light system. So, before you book your holiday to this jewel in the Med, make sure that you meet the specific requirements.

>> Outdoor Travel – Our Top Picks

Please Note: All travellers to Cyprus, regardless of their vaccination, or country status, must register online with the CyprusFlightPass within 48 hours of their departure.

The categorization of the below countries is effective from the 19th of August 2021.

If you travel to Cyprus, expect sparkling seas, and blue flag beaches

Who can Travel to Cyprus – The Green List

Arrivals on the ‘low risk’, green list can travel to Cyprus without facing any restrictions or testing. These countries are:

  • European Union member states: Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania,
    Slovakia, Czech Republic
  • Third countries: Australia, Jordan, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore

The Orange List – Testing Needed

Travellers arriving from countries on the medium risk ‘orange’ list will need to provide a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours. These are:

  • European Union member states: Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Latvia,
    Luxembourg, Slovenia, Finland
  • Small states: Vatican City
  • Schengen members: Lichtenstein, Norway
  • Third countries: North Macedonia, Canada, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Qatar, China,
    Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Bahrein, Saudi Arabia

Arrivals who are Cypriot nationals or citizens, maybe undergo additional medical screening on arrival.

The Red List

Travellers on the red list are only permitted to enter Cyprus for essential reasons. These travellers must have a negative PCR test 72 hours before travelling and will be tested again on arrival. The second test and the subsequent self-isolation until a negative test result is at the traveller’s own expense. These countries are:

  • European Union member states: Belgium, France, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Spain,
    Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden
  • Small states: Andorra, Monaco, San Marino
  • Schengen members: Switzerland, Iceland
  • Third countries: Azerbaijan, Egypt, Albania, Armenia, Georgia, United Arab
    Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, Israel, Kuwait, Belarus,
    Lebanon, Montenegro, Moldova, Brunei, South Korea, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia

Grey List Countries

Any country not listed above is on Cyprus’ grey list. This means that visitors cannot travel to Cyprus without special permission and must quarantine for 14 days.

Exceptions to Travel Restrictions

Any person who has received a full dose of an accepted vaccine can travel to Cyprus without facing any testing or quarantine rules. Vaccines that are currently recognized by Cyprus authorities are: Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Janssen, Sputnik V, Sinopharm, Sinovac.

>> Vaccines for Travel: Who Accepts What?

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The Greek Islands: Travel Requirements

Those looking for some Hellenic island-hopping will continue to face specific entry requirements when returning to the Greek mainland. Authorities have announced an extension on the testing requirements for domestic travel as the vaccine rollout has been slower than anticipated.

Travellers returning to the mainland from an island must have a vaccination certificate, proof of recovery, or a negative PCR test or antigen test result. The details are as follows:

  • Vaccinated Travellers: Have received the full dose of an accepted vaccine no sooner than 14 days before travel. The certificate must be in either Greek, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian or Russian. Travellers must carry both printed and digital versions of their certificate with them. Greece accepts the highest number of vaccine types in the EU.
  • Recovered Travellers: Travellers who recovered from Covid-19 at least 30 days before travel can submit a recovery certificate. A recovery certificate is valid for 180 days.
  • Testing: Negative PCR tests no older than 72 hours, or negative antigen tests no older than 48 hours will be accepted.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from travel restrictions.

>> Vaccinations for Travel: Who Accepts What?

Greece’s Restrictions-Free List

A beautiful view over the sea is a great way to see Greece, but make sure you know the island hopping travel requirements
Make sure you know the travel requirements when island hopping through Greece

Visitors from the following countries and principalities can visit Greece without facing quarantine or self-isolation requirements:

  • All European Union countries
  • EU++ countries – Andorra, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican, the Principality of Monaco
  • USA
  • UK
  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrein
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • China
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • Ukraine

What to Expect

Restaurants are open, and offer outdoor seating

Masks must be worn in all public spaces, as well as in public transport.

Restaurants, cafes and bars are open, however seating is only available outside and limited to 6 per table. Archaeological sites are open, and allow 20 visitors at one time. If you want to catch a show while in Greece, it’s advised to book in advance, as theatre and concert capacity is capped at 75%.

Greece is known for sparkling white beaches and turquoise seas. Get to your lounger early though, as only 80 people are allowed on 1000m2 of beach. Plus, with the exceptions of families, only 2 people can share an umbrella.

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UK Drops Restrictions for 7 EU Countries

The United Kingdom’s traffic light system has once again changed restrictions for incoming travellers from a number of countries.

Over the weekend it was announced that arrivals from France would no longer need to quarantine. Previously, France had been on the UK’s now abandoned ‘Amber+’ list which required quarantine – a move that was widely criticised by French authorities.

As well as this change, the UK has also dropped all restrictions for travellers from 7 EU/Schengen countries. These are:

  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Latvia
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia

The improving Covid-19 situation in these countries has allowed them to be moved to the low risk, Green list.

A number of countries have been moved from the Red list, to the medium risk, Amber list. These are:

  • Bahrain
  • India
  • Qatar
  • UAE

Arrivals from these countries must self-isolate at home, unless they are vaccinated, in which case they need to take a PCR test on or before day 2 of their trip. Please note, the UK only accepts very specific vaccinations, find out more here.

Countries that have been moved on to the Red list are:

  • Georgia
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Reunion

Travel from these countries is only allowed for British and Irish nationals, and those who have a right to live in the UK.

Potential Restrictions – The Watchlist

Flags a number of countries that could move to a higher risk list

The UK maintains a watchlist, monitoring countries and noting whether they’re likely to be moved to a different list. If you’re thinking of booking a holiday, the following Green list countries have been flagged so they could move to the Amber list:

  • Anguilla
  • Antarctica
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Cayman Islands
  • Croatia
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Israel
  • Madeira
  • Monserrat
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Taiwan
  • Turks and Caicos

Travel restrictions change regularly, so make sure to check back in here, and on your destination’s official site before confirming a trip.

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The UK’s Amber List – What has Changed?

Europe and the United Kingdom have adopted various shades and hues of colours over the past month, intended to depict the Covid-risk in countries around the world. The UK’s list has received particular ire, and fast-changing, and often incomprehansible rules have led to confusion for holidaymakers. Now, as British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, seeks to ease the path for the travel industry, we take a look at what changes have been made to the country’s Amber list.

What are the lists and what do they mean?

Countries on the Green list have had fewer Covid-19 cases and are considered ‘safe’. Travellers to the UK from these countries do not need to quarantine. Travellers older than 10 must have a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours, and pre-book a day 2 Covid-19 test for after their arrival.

On this list are, amongst others, Bulgaria, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malta.

Red list countries have been tagged with a ‘do not travel’ warning. Arrivals from a country on the list will need to fork out approximately £2000 for quarantine on arrival in the UK. Additionally, these travellers will only be allowed into the country if they are a British or Irish National, or have the right to live in the UK.

The quarantine package assigns arrivals to a designated hotel for 10 days. Travellers must stay in their rooms and complete the two PCR tests included in their package.

The Amber list tends to fluctuate the most. The countries on this list are considered medium risk. Arrivals from any of these spots must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in the UK. PCR tests must be pre-booked and completed on days 2 and 8.

Adjusted travel rules for vaccinated travellers could bring a boost to the UK’s travel industry

What has changed on the Amber list?

Previously, travellers who had received the double dose of the vaccine in the UK were exempt from the quarantine rules on arrival back in the country. This has been expanded to include travellers who have received the jab in the USA, and many European countries. This broadens the opportunity for tourists to visit the UK, and for family members to be reunited.

The government has also announced plans to scrap its Amber+ list, which at the moment only includes France.

Will it help?

While easing restrictions for vaccinated arrivals from countries outside of the EU will certainly help, the tenuous nature of the watchlist does little to ease travel anxiety. Currently, of the 29 countries and territories on the Green list, 16 have been flagged as at risk of moving to amber. Should the government introduce the same measures for amber countries moving to the red list, tourism reticence could grow even stronger.

Ministers are facing strong opposition from the travel industry and others at what is seen to be their failure to provide logical ad adequate travel rules that allows the industry to recover.

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Changes to Norway’s Travel Restrictions

Norway has, this week, announced some changes to its travel restrictions.

Certain travellers will find restrictions somewhat relaxed, while those in some countries face stricter regulations.

An overcast day in Norway as buildings are reflected in the still waters
Norway’s border restrictions remain tight

Travellers in the following categories can expect relaxed quarantine and testing rules:

  • Children travelling with parents who have EU COVID-19 Certificates
  • Spouses, partners, cohabitants, minors, adult children or stepchildren of Norwegian citizens
  • Those who are Spouses, partners, cohabitants, minors, adult children or stepchildren of EEA citizens going to Norway
  • EEA citizens visiting family in Norway, or travelling with a Norwegian family member

Norwegian officials have also withdrawn the ‘Do Not Travel’ notice for the following countries. This is because of their improving epidemiological situations.

  • Albania
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Canada
  • Kosovo
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Qatar
  • Serbia

Despite this move, travel options remain limited for non-vaccinated travellers, as Norway’s regulations are strict.

Norway’s Green List

Norway is open to tourists from countries that have been put on the green list.

These are:

  • Denmark (specific areas)
  • Finland (specific areas)
  • Sweden (specific areas)
  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy (mainland)
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • The Vatican

Arrivals from these countries do not need to quarantine or provide a PCR test result before arriving. They however, will be tested on arrival. Travellers who have proof of being full vaccinated do not need to be tested or complete the travel registration form that is required of others. Travellers from these countries must have spent 10 days in a green country before arrival and cannot transit through any country on the orange or red list unless they are vaccinated.

Unvaccinated travellers from other countries in the EU and Schengen zone are still required to quarantine and be tested. In principle, travel restrictions do not allow travel to Norway for countries not mentioned above, however, a list of exemptions can be found here. Children arriving from outside of a green country and who are under the age of 12 do not need to provide a negative PCR test result.

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The UK’s Sunny Green List

The United Kingdom’s traffic light system has been the source of headaches for many travellers over the past few weeks. The relief it was once welcomed with quickly turned to frustration as the government’s cautious (some say overly) attitude kept the UK’s green list of countries sparse.

Now, however, with the addition of new destinations, holidaymakers and travel agents can breath a small sigh of relief. From the 30th of June at 4am GMT, tropical island escapes will be a possibility for British travellers. The green list’s current holiday options are limited; New Zealand and Australia for example, aren’t even accepting visitors. Other destinations, such as the Faroe and Falkland Islands, are not high on the list for those looking for some sea and sun.

Tropical Getaways on the UK’s Green List

A Caribbean beach with white sands, aquamarine sea and palm trees

Sunscreen at the ready then, as the Caribbean features prominently amongst the new additions. The following Caribbean holiday spots have been green-lit for UK travellers:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Monserrat
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

Travellers returning to the UK from these countries after the 30th of June will not need to quarantine on arrival. If they will return before this date, then they are advised to check the UK’s amber list for entry requirements. If you have decided to take a well-deserved island escape, then please make sure to monitor weather services such as the US National Hurricane Centre as June to November is hurricane season in the Caribbean.

Closer to Home

Yachts anchored off the coast of Ibiza in turquoise seas under blue skies.

Holidaymakers who don’t want to travel too far from home are also in luck, as these sunny spots also made the UK’s green list:

  • The Balearic Islands (Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca) – Spain and the Canary Islands stay on the amber list
  • Madeira – Portugal and the Azores stay on the amber list
  • Malta

Dust off that passport, grab your Summer Reads, it’s time to hit the beach!

For the full green list please check the UK government’s website.

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EU Updates for non-EU Travellers

Europe and the EU’s entry requirements change frequently, and often at the last minute. These changes in particular affect those travelling from Third Party countries, and especially non-EU citizens. Below are some of the latest changes as noted by SafeScore.

Poland

The Polish authorities have announced that travellers from the following non-EU/Schengen Zone countries will be allowed to enter the country provided they submit a negative COVID-19 test result:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • United States

The Netherlands

The Netherlands, from the 24th of June, will drop all travel restrictions for arrivals from Third Party countries it deems to be epidemiologically safe. This includes permitting travel for tourism. Travellers will not be required to quarantine or submit a test for coronavirus, but they may be asked to complete health forms in order to travel. The Netherlands list of safe countries within the EU is more extensive and includes countries such as Germany, Austria and Ireland.

The ‘safe’ Third Party countries are:

  • Albania
  • Australia
  • China
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Lebanon
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United States

Cyprus

Cyprus has updated its safe travel list and moved the following countries on to the Green list. Arrivals from these countries no longer need to provide a test result or self isolate:

  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Czechia
  • Hungary
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Finland
  • Slovakia
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • New Zealand
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea

Slovenia

Since the 14th of June, Slovenia has placed the following Third Party countries on its Green List, permitting all types of travel, including tourism.

  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Kosovo
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • North Macedonia
  • Singapore
  • Serbia
  • Thailand

Much like the coronavirus, travel restrictions can be tricky to predict, so stay tuned and make sure you stay updated.

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