Countries relaxing COVID entry protocols
COVID protocols are a fact of life for international travel these days, but we’re pleased to report that just in the last week some of our favorite destinations have made it easier to get in. As is the case just about everywhere, being fully vaccinated will open more doors to travelers.
Having already dropped its pre-arrival testing requirement, the U.K. announced that effective Feb. 11 fully vaccinated travelers will not have to present a negative COVID test on their second day in the country. From the White Cliffs of Dover to the Shetland Islands of Scotland, over the coast of Wales and the six counties of Northern Ireland, travelers won’t be met with a testing requirement until they’re getting ready to head back to the U.S.
While you’re in Northern Ireland, by the way, feel free to cross on over into the Republic of Ireland, which is dropping most of its restrictions. Physical distancing and group-size limits of six for indoor events are gone, as is the requirement to show a COVID pass for indoor venues. Masks will still be required on public transportation and in most indoor public settings. Be aware that if it’s been more than 270 since the last shot of your initial vaccination series, you will need a booster to avoid testing.
Especially in Europe, the lowered barriers to entry make it much easier to plan multicountry itineraries. Across the North Sea from the British Isles, Norway has dropped its 10-day quarantine requirement for unvaccinated travelers. They can now get in with a negative test taken within 72 hours before arrival. Vaccinated visitors, meanwhile, can avoid testing by showing proof vaccination. The Northern Lights, the majestic fjords along the country’s west coast, they’re all within easy reach.
In the heart of Europe, Switzerland will no longer require fully vaccinated Americans to provide a negative test upon entry. The lakes, mountains, cities and, oh yes, the chocolate of this natural and cultural marvel are at your fingertips.
In the Pacific world, Thailand is dropping its quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated visitors. They will have to take a PCR test on arrival and head straight to a prebooked hotel for the night to await results. When a negative result comes in, they’re free to roam the country until a second test and prebooked hotel stay five days later. Australia isn’t open to Americans yet, but it is now accepting negative rapid antigen tests as well as PCR tests, a further step toward decreased restrictions.
These are just announcements from the last week. Stay tuned as more countries relax their protocols. For up-to-date information on your destination of choice, contact your travel advisor or reach out to us at 800-322-9481 or firstname.lastname@example.org.