The borders of Vietnam have been shut for the last 18 months, and now, the country is set for a phased re-opening in October.
Vietnam’s initial re-opening will be the tropical island of Phú Quốc, to the south of the mainland. Much like Thailand’s sandbox re-opening of Phuket, this scheme is designed as a boost to the local economy, and a precursor of a further re-opening down the line.
From October, fully vaccinated tourists can visit Phú Quốc, and travel by both chartered and commercial flights. A negative PCR test is a requirement.
The government is also working towards securing mutual recognitions of vaccine passports with other countries in order to facilitate travel and ensure a smooth return to the travel market.
About Phú Quốc
Considered one the best kept secrets in Vietnam, Phú Quốc is a holidaymaker’s dream. Also known as Pearl Island, the 150km long coastline offers visitors their pick of glitteringly white beaches. Dotted along the southern coastline are palm-lined resorts, restaurants, bars, and markets. It is not yet clear whether visitors will be required to stay in specific hotels, but Phú Quốc has accommodation options to suit every budget.
The marine life around Phú Quốc allows for exceptional diving and snorkeling. The coral is colourful and abundant, a myriad of species of fish, and if you’re lucky, giant clams, sea turtles, and other rarities, make for a memorable experience.
To the north of the island is the Phu Quoc National Park – over 30,000 hectares of protected forest. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the park offers visitors a wide range of activities and experiences. The dense forest has a number of hiking trails, including, for the fit, a four-hour trek and a climb up a bamboo ladder, to Mount Heaven.
Phú Quốc is the ideal tourist destination, so it is hoped that it’s re-opening will provide a healthy boost to a struggling economy.
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.
Travel to Europe became trickier as the UK left the EU, and currently, Covid-19 restrictions are making it a bit harder still. Where can UK travellers visit without quarantine? Where can non-vaccinated travellers travel to? We take a look.
Which countries require quarantine for non-vaccinated UK travellers?
UK travellers are allowed to visit Austria. All travellers must complete the online pre-travel registration form – this must be done no earlier than 72 hours before travel. Additionally, passengers are required to present on arrival, either: proof of full vaccination certificate; a recovery certificate no older than 180 days; or a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours; or a rapid antigen test no older than 48 hours
Non-vaccinated travellers are required to quarantine for 10 days in their residence or location of their choice. They can leave quarantine if they test negative from day 5 of their trip.
Vaccinated and recovered UK travellers can also visit the Czech Republic and do not face any quarantine, or testing requirements. Vaccinated arrivals must present proof of a full dose of an approved vaccine administered no earlier than 14 days before arrival. Recovered arrivals are required to present a recovery certificate that is no older than 180 days.
Non-vaccinated travellers are required to take a PCR test no sooner than 5 days and no later than 14 days after arrival. Self-isolation is required until a negative test result is received
Cyprusis open to vaccinated and recovered travellers from the UK. Vaccinated travellers are exempt from restrictions provided they have received a double dose (or single, in the case of J&J) of an approved vaccine which was administered in an approved country. All passengers must complete the registration form, and receive the CyprusFlyPass within 48 hours of their departure to the country.
Non-vaccinated travellers are required to present a test, and be tested again on arrival. Self-isolation is needed until a negative test result is obtained.
Only essential travel to Franceis allowed for non-vaccinated travellers from the UK. These arrivals are required to have a negative PCR test, and pledge to self-isolate for 7 days. If you are vaccinated, then you are allowed to travel to France without any restrictions, provided you present proof of full vaccination.
Countries with no quarantine requirements
Greece does not require any UK travellers to self-isolate on arrival, regardless of their vaccination or recovery status. If you haven’t been vaccinated, or don’t have a recovery certificate then you are required to present either a PCR, or an antigen test on arrival.
If you present either, vaccination or recovery certificates, or a negative test result taken in the last 48 hours, then self-isolation isn’t needed when entering Italy from the UK. A Passenger Locator Form must be completed prior to arrival.
The same rules apply to UK travellers wanting to visit Ireland. If a negative test result is used for entry, then it must be a PCR test no older than 72 hours. If you are travelling with a recovery certificate, then it cannot be less than 11 and more than 180 days old.
Portugal and Spain are open to travellers from the UK. Those not travelling with a vaccine certificate are required to provide a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours. The Portuguese authorities require all arrivals to complete the Passenger Locator Card. Prior to travelling to Spain, all passengers need to complete the Health Control Form and receive the QR code.
France has recently relaxed its entry requirements for vaccinated travellers from all over the world. The EU digital COVID certificate is recognized all over Europe, and allows its holders ease of entry to restaurants, attractions, and accommodation. Now, in order to facilitate a visitor’s trip to, and through, France, the French government have created a system to recognize non-EU (or UK) vaccine certificates.
Applying to convert your vaccine certificate is quick and easy – and will make your holiday in France a bit more stress-free!
How to convert your vaccine certificate
If you have not been vaccinated in one of the following: European Union Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom (England and Wales only) then you can apply to receive a French certificate of equivalence.
You must meet the following criteria:
You are not below the age of 18. A certificate is not required for those between 12 and 17 years. Children under 12 are exempt from all Covid-19 restrictions.
You have received a full dose of a vaccine recognized by the European Medicines Agency or equivalent. Or provide proof that you have recovered from Covid-19 and received one jab. The following timelines apply:
4 weeks after a single dose injection (Johnson & Johnson)
7 days after the second dose of a double injection (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna)
7 days after the first injection if you have recovered from Covid-19.
You can apply for the certificate if you are already in France or travelling to the country soon.
All applications for the vaccine certificate can be made online through the following links:
Once your application has been processed you will receive an email with a QR code. This can be printed and used as a hardcopy, or, added to the TousAntiCovid smart app which you can download onto your phone. The latter can store all your certificates and documents, and can be presented when visiting museums, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
South Africa has faced stringent travel restrictions from a large part of the rest of the world for a number of months. Now, restrictions are easing for fully vaccinated South Africans. We take a look at where South Africans can travel to if they’ve had the jab.
Recently, Austria removed South Africa from it’s virus variant list. Subsequently, South Africans who have been fully vaccinated can enter the country for any reason, and don’t need to quarantine.
Non-vaccinated travellers are required to obtain pre-travel clearance, submit negative tests, and self isolate on arrival.
France has dropped travel restrictions for all vaccinated visitors. Non-vaccinated minors travelling with vaccinated adults also don’t face restrictions. Non-vaccinated children over the age of 12 will need a negative PCR test result taken less than 72 hours before arrival. Travellers who have been in South Africa in the last 14 days and are not vaccinated, can only travel to France for pressing reasons, undergo two tests, and will need to quarantine under supervision for 14 days.
Restaurants, bars, and attractions are open, although a health pass is needed in order to access these public spaces. Internal travel through France is allowed, and also requires a health pass for long-distance trips. The health pass contains either, proof of vaccination, recovery, or a PCR test taken within the previous 48 hours.
Masks must be worn on public transport, and indoor public spaces, but aren’t needed where a health pass is required. If you are outside, masks are only required if social distancing isn’t possible.
Travellers from South Africa who have received their full dose more than 14 days prior to travel are now allowed to visit Germany. This form must be completed before you travel to the country. On arrival you must present proof of your vaccination. Non-vaccinated travellers must have an urgent need to travel to Germany, and need to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
Restaurants, bars, cafes, and attractions are open in Germany, although, like France, they can only be access with a health pass. This applies to everyone over the age of 6. Masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces, public transport, and busy outdoor spaces. Masks must fulfill the requirements of FFP2 or KN95/N95.
In order to enter Spain, travellers must present a vaccination certificate, which demonstrates that the full dose was not received less than 14 days prior to arrival. Non-vaccinated travellers need to quarantine for 10 days, and meet specific criteria such as EU residency, long term visa holders, or diplomats. Children under 12 are exempt.
All establishments and businesses have re-opened in Spain, and follow safety protocols. Masks are required in indoor public spaces and in public transport. Masks don’t need to be worn outdoors provided the 1.5 metre social distancing rule is followed. Visitors are advised to book tickets to attractions, and tables in bars and restaurants in advance as venues venues have capacity limits.
Travellers to Switzerland from South Africa can enter the country with a recognized vaccination certificate. Non-vaccinated travellers must provide a negative PCR test result and quarantine for 10 days, a negative test result can be submitted on day 7 for release. Please note, some cantons (regions) in Switzerland have different quarantine requirements so it is advised to check your final destination’s rules.
Masks are mandatory in public spaces, except outdoors. Bars, restaurants, dance halls, and water parks are open – access to larger venues requires a Covid certificate.
Pastries by the Danube, and refreshing hikes through the Alps, Austria should be on everyone’s bucket list. And, the country has recently lifted quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers arriving from more countries.
The government has announced that fully vaccinated arrivals from the following countries no longer need to undergo quarantine:
The news comes after it was announced that these countries would no longer be listed as ‘virus variant’ locations.
Prior to the easing of restrictions, only non-essential travel to Austria from these countries was allowed. This meant that only travel for business or medical reasons was permitted, and required a 10-day quarantine on arrival.
In order to skip quarantine, travellers must have received a full dose of one of the following vaccines:
Johnson & Johnson
The Austrian government accepts mixed vaccines. So, a traveller is still considered fully vaccinated even if they have received a combination of two of the above vaccines.
If a traveller is arriving from one of Austria’s ‘safe’ countries where there is a lower incidence of Covid-19, then they will not have to undergo quarantine. If they are not vaccinated then they must present a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours – an antigen test will not be accepted.
Alternatively, if the traveller have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 90 days, then a proof of recovery certificate can be submitted.
Travellers from countries not on the ‘safe’ or ‘virus variant’ list and who are not vaccinated, need to register online to get pre-travel clearance. These travellers must present a negative PCR test, or recovery document and undergo 10-days self isolation.
Once in Austria
There is no curfew in Austria and hotels, restaurants, and attractions are open. A negative Covid-19 result, vaccination, or recovery certificate is needed when checking-in or visiting places such as museums. Masks must be worn on public transport and in public spaces.
Canada has maintained its strict entry requirements throughout much of the pandemic. The border crossing with the United States has remained largely off-limits, separating loved ones and family members. This week, the country began its phased re-opening, by permitting border crossings for US citizens and permanent residents.
Fully vaccinated US based travellers are now allowed to visit Canada for non-essential reasons – good news for family reunions.
Entry Requirements: What you need to know
In order to check their eligibility for travel, arrivals must submit all their travel information through the ArriveCAN app or web portal. This system will notify the traveller as to whether or not they can enter Canada. Travellers must provide proof that they have received a full dose of one of the recognized vaccines no less than 14 days before arriving in Canada. Check our list of recognized vaccines here.
A PCR test is still required for arriving passengers, however, as of this week, vaccinated arrivals don’t need to provide post-arrival test results. Instead, they might be randomly selected through the airport screening process and be tested then.
The mandatory 3-day quarantine in a government appointed hotel (which preceded the full quarantine) has been scrapped for all travellers. Vaccinated travellers do not need to quarantine at all. Nevertheless, all arrivals, regardless of vaccination status, must have a quarantine plan in places should officials at the border deem it necessary.
Canada, in line with this re-opening, has restarted international services to five more Canadian airports. These are:
Halifax Stanfield International Airport;
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport;
Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport;
Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport;
Edmonton International Airport.
This is in addition to Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport which are already in operation.
A tentative date of the 7th of September has been set for a relaxation of entry requirements for international vaccinated arrivals.
For many travellers, the Covid-19 vaccination offers them to opportunity to travel internationally once again. But, such is the trend throughout this pandemic, every country has different rules. We take a look at which vaccinations are accepted in these holiday destinations.
Don’t forget to check back in as travel rules and restrictions can change rapidly.
Vaccinated travellers wanting to visit France won’t face any restrictions when entering the country. Travellers must wait 7 days after a double dose vaccine before travelling, and four weeks after a single dose. The following vaccines are accepted by French authorities:
AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria and Covishield)
Johnson & Johnson
Greece’s relaxed travel restrictions has meant that many tourists have returned to her hellenic shores. Now, the country has opened its arms even wider by accepting the most vaccines in the world. These are:
Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
AstraZeneca – Serum Institute of India (Covishield)
Entry to Greece doesn’t require vaccination, but it does facilitate the process.
Ireland has a mandatory hotel quarantine requirement in place for arrivals from specific countries. This restriction is lifted for vaccinated travellers who have received a full dose of one of the following:
Oxford-AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria or Covishield)
Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
Poland will exempt a vaccinated traveller from its 10-day quarantine, but only recognizes the following vaccines:
AstraZeneca EU (Vaxzevria)
Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
Arrivals must wait 14 days after their second jab before travelling to Poland.
Want to visit the land of chocolates, lakes and mountains? Vaccinated travellers to Switzerland are exempt from most entry regulations. Vaccinations accepted in Switzerland are:
Moderna (mRNA-1273 / Spikevax / COVID-19 vaccine Moderna)
AstraZeneca (AZD1222 Vaxzevria®/ Covishield™)
Janssen / Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S)
Sinopharm / BIBP (SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell))
Travellers who have not been vaccinated, or have proof of having recovered from Covid-19, and are arriving from a variant-free country also do not need to quarantine.
The UK has recently relaxed its vaccination exemption rules for travellers who received the vaccine outside of the UK. Vaccines approved by the FDA (United States of America), EMA (Europe), and Swissmedic for Switzerland and administered in the US, EU, a European principality such as San Marino, as well as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are recognized in the UK.
Canada has recently started easing restrictions for vaccinated visitors. American citizens and permanent residents who are travelling from the US and have been fully vaccinated can now visit Canada for ‘discretionary travel’. A tentative date of the 7th of September has been set for re-opening to fully vaccinated foreign citizens. These vaccines are accepted for travel eligibility:
Travellers to Gabon are exempt from quarantine on arrival if they provide proof of full vaccination. Gabon recognizes vaccines approved by the WHO.
The island of Mauritius will re-open fully to vaccinated travellers from the 1st of October, requiring only a PCR test for entry. The following vaccinations are recognized by Mauritian authorities:
Johnson & Johnson
From the 1st of October, non-vaccinated visitors are also welcome on the island, however, they will be required to complete 14 days of in-room hotel quarantine.
Thailand is attempting a phased re-opening, starting with the Phuket Sandbox which allows entry to vaccinated visitors. Travellers wanting to visit Thailand must provide proof of a full vaccinated from one of the following:
Johnson and Johnson
While strict restrictions are still in place for entry to the Philippines, travellers from specific green list countries who have been fully vaccinated can now enter the country. The Philippines accepts vaccinations that have been officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). These are:
The Bahamas’ numerous islands and cays all offer their own character and unique experience to visitors. Visit The Exumas and swim with the famous pigs, stroll along the pink sand beach on Cat Island, or spend your days sailing sedately through the islets and cays, stopping to explore grottos and caves as you go.
Don’t Miss: The lesser known and secluded, Rum Cay, home to historical ruins, shipwrecks and spectacular marine life.
Vaccination Status: There’s currently no quarantine requirement for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers who have been approved for the travel visa.
This archipelago off the coast of Africa, in the Atlantic Ocean, is often over looked and underappreciated. The volcanic nature of the series of islands has created a dynamic topography and diversity, giving visitors a bit of everything. Travellers can visit the island of Fogo with its dark, black, earth and rich green landscapes – its no surprise to see the volcano dominating the views. Or, meander the 55km of white sandy beaches of Morna island. Known for its music, restaurants and beautiful beaches, the island of Saint Vincent is gives culture and relaxation.
Don’t Miss: Explore the tiny island of Brava – said to be the greenest of the archipelago and home to nature trails and jagged mountain peaks.
Status: Beyond a negative PCR test there are no other specific entry requirements. Travellers are advised to enquire locally with regards to inter-island travel.
This Indian Ocean island is officially re-opening to all travellers in October. Mauritius is surrounded by a natural reef, so visitors can enjoy snorkeling in the calm waters of the lagoon, kite-surfing, water-skiing and more. If you need a break from the beach, the island has a number of historical, and cultural attractions. Take in the sights at the Chateau de Labourdonnais, L’Aventure du Sucre, and the Chamarel Waterfall. Out of Mauritius’ multiculturalism has emerged a kaleidoscopic cuisine, with fusions of the various heritages of its people entwined in its local dishes. Experience this while strolling through the many markets, or, on the beach, watching the sun slip into the sea.
Don’t Miss: Take a catamaran trip out to the small islands of Coin de Mire and Ilot Gabriel for excellent snorkeling and a barbeque on the beach.
Vaccinated Travellers: No travel restrictions except for a PCR test
Non-Vaccinated Travellers: In-room hotel quarantine for 14 days
Zanzibar, Tanzania – PCR Test: 72 hours and again on arrival
A melting pot of distinct histories and culture, Zanzibar presents visitors with a little bit of everything. If you tire of sunning yourself on the beach, then spend a day visiting Stone Town. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a fascinating mélange of Persian baths, Anglican cathedrals, an old fort, and colourful bazaars. Zanzibar is a spice-lover’s mecca, and a key source of some of the most valued spices. Book a spice tour to learn how this stop on the trade route influenced the culinary world. After all this, whether you head back to your luxury resort, or your local guest house, you’ll be met with warmth and hospitality (and excellent food).
Don’t Miss: Spotting monkeys, bush pigs, antelope and more on a Jozani Forest Tour.
Vaccination Status: Tanzania has no quarantine requirement in place, regardless of your vaccination status.
Let stories of pirates and buried treasure weave through your imagination whilst lying on the beach in the Seychelles. Visitors will have their pick of sandy coves, as the Seychelles is home to miles of unspoiled coast line. Inland, stretch your legs on gentle trails through verdant landscapes, or challenge yourself and conquer one of the steep peaks. The Seychelles is home to some of the world’s most biodiverse landscapes, as well as fascinating markets, museums, and attractions (and, according to rumour, pirate treasure!).
Don’t Miss: Charter a yacht (or, if experienced, sail yourself) and sail between the islands at your own pace.
Vaccination Status: The Seychelles has no quarantine requirement regardless of vaccination status
Status: Open to all countries except South Africa, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan
Whether you choose to go for a luxury resort, a yacht anchored off one of the atolls, or a budget-friendly guesthouse, the Maldives has accommodation for everyone. The small nation remained popular with visitors throughout 2020, and is now open to travellers from all countries. Think glisteningly white beaches, parasol palm trees, and spectacular marine life – whether you jump from atoll-to-atoll or stay in one place, you’ll have everything you need for a proper escape!
Don’t Miss: Dining at Ithaa, the world’s first underwater restaurant.
Vaccinated Travellers: Do not need to quarantine but must provide a negative PCR test
Non-Vaccinated Travellers: Must be accommodated in a tourism guest house that meets specific requirements. More information here.
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.
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.