Besides the usual bureaucracy involved with traveling abroad, such as checking passport validity and visa requirements, vacationing during Covid comes with its own set of challenges. From strict testing regimes to proof of vaccination status, travelers have had to comply with extremely complex rules when visiting other countries.
Fortunately, now that the global community is shifting towards treating Covid as endemic, and organizations such as WHO call on countries to relax curbs, travel is about to become a lot easier again. While more popular destinations are still a bit wary of dropping the guard, there are others that have opened up and are keen on welcoming travelers.
Here you will find a list of 10 off the beaten path countries that are currently open to vaccinated tourists with no testing, quarantine, or any other restrictions:
Tunisia is a developing destination on the Mediterranean coast of Africa famous for its spotless coastline and ancient Roman heritage. Whether it’s a city break in Tunis, which features some of the most impressive archeological sites in the Roman World, or a weekend in an all-inclusive resort in Djerba, this highly affordable country truly has a lot to offer to budget travelers.
Luckily, Tunisia has pretty simple entry requirements, unlike neighboring countries in the Mediterranean. If vaccinated, all you need to show is your Covid certificate, as long as it has been at least seven days since the two-dose vaccination course was completed. Those who were vaccinated with Janssen recently need to wait 28 days.
No testing or isolation is required of vaccinated arrivals, though those who are unvaccinated must present either a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, or rapid antigen in under 24 hours. They will also be quarantined for five days, so getting vaccinated is strongly advised in order to enjoy smoother entry into Tunisia.
Egypt is another destination in North Africa that sees millions flying in every year to visit the Pyramids, wander down the Valley of the Kings, or take a dip in the Red Sea. With cheap flights available from many destinations in Europe, many Americans couple a visit to the Old Continent with a stopover in Egypt, or even fly to Cairo directly.
At present, as long as you’re fully immunized with a vaccine approved by either the Egyptian Drug Authority or the World Health Organization, you no longer need to test or observe quarantine traveling to Egypt. If vaccinated recently, make sure at least 14 days have elapsed since receiving the last dose before flying.
On the other hand, if unvaccinated, you will be expected to present a negative Covid test at most 96 hours before arriving if traveling from countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom (London-Heathrow only). When flying from anywhere else, the testing window is 72 hours. More information is available here.
Oman is another up and coming destination in Asia that had been attracting a growing number of tourists before the pandemic hit. It is known worldwide for its impressive mosques, old bazaars, fortresses, and its beaches that straddle the mystical Persian Gulf.
Those who are vaccinated are granted unrestricted entry to the Sultanate of Oman regarding health measures, as long as they also satisfy any visa requirements if applicable. The last dose of the vaccine must have been received at least two weeks before the date of travel.
Other than that, there are no testing or quarantine mandates. As stated on the U.S. Embassy in Oman webpage, travelers must purchase international travel insurance that covers Covid treatment for at least one month before boarding their flights. Right now, the unvaccinated are not allowed to enter unless they have a contraindication for not being vaccinated.
One of a select few in Asia that are again welcoming visitors from all around, Sri Lanka is one of the most biodiverse, and with some of the most incredible nature in its continent. Besides natural attractions, it also offers unparalleled city breaks with the likes of Colombo, its metropolitan capital, and Dehiwala being among the mst visited.
And the best news is: it is fully open for vaccinated foreigners who completed their vaccination schedule at least 14 days before traveling. According to Sri Lankan Airlines, Covid tests are no longer required for this category, while the unvaccinated must present a negative PCR within 72 hours of departure, or a rapid antigen 48 hours in advance.
Visitors to Sri Lanka are also required to purchase a mandatory Sri Lankan Covid-19 insurance, which costs USD 12,00 for one month. It can either be obtained online prior to departure, or at the airport upon arrival to the country. The policy has a coverage of USD 50,000, including hospitalization due to Covid.
Although countries like Belize and Costa Rica attract the most tourists in Central America, the relatively unexplored Honduras also has access to both the Caribbean and Pacific Sea coasts and clear water beaches. It is also part of the historical Mundo Maya, housing the ancient Mayan site of Copán.
Currently, non-citizens are permitted to visit test and quarantine-free as long as they can prove they have been fully immunized. At least two weeks must have passed since the last dose. Even though no testing is required, vaccinated tourists must still fill out an online form.
As for those who are yet to be immunized, they must be in possession of a negative PCR, antigen or ELISA test that is not older than 72 hours before entering Honduras. The test results must be presented at check-in and at the point of entry.
Nestled between Europe and the Middle East, Cyprus is an island-nation with a History spanning thousands of years, and a community split between Greeks and Turks. Its capital, Nicosia, is also deemed the last divided European capital, being shared by the Republic of Cyprus to the south, and the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to the north.
Currently, vaccinated visitors no longer need to undergo testing before or after arriving in the island, and are free to explore its Mediterranean beaches and modern promenades soon after landing. Even following vaccination, travelers still must register online for a Cyprus Flight Pass, a pre screening process that guarantees faster entry.
Right now, unvaccinated travelers arriving from a Red Category country must present a negative PCR or antigen within 72 hours and 24 hours of departure, respectively. On top of that, they must get tested again on arrival at the airport, being expected to pay between 15 and 19 euros for further testing. Isolation is also compulsory until a negative result is obtained.
A Western Balkan nation that is largely overlooked by many travelers, the Republic of North Macedonia borders Bulgaria and Greece and has close historical links to both countries. Lake Ohrid, one of its main attractions, is in fact one the most idyllic destinations in Europe.
Entering North Macedonia now, foreigners must simply carry proof that they are fully vaccinated against Covid. No testing or quarantine is required of any immunized visitors, including Americans, Canadians, European Union citizens, and Brits.
Unvaccinated arrivals have the option to present either a negative PCR or rapid antigen test (within 72 hours and 48 hours of arriving, respectively), or a recovery certificate dated no earlier than 45 days before the intended date of border crossing.
Panama is a Central American jewel and an extremely strategic nation due to the Panama Canal, which cuts through land to link both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Its capital, Panama City, is also filled with skyscrapers and nightclubs, while the Casco Viejo district features colonial-era architecture.
In order to visit Panama and bypass most restrictions, foreigners must present a vaccination certificate showing at least two doses, and that has been issued 14 or more days ago. The vaccine manufacturer must also have been approved by the World Health Organization or the American or European Medicine Agencies.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated visitors can choose between a negative PCR or rapid antigen test as valid proof of entry. All categories of travelers are required to complete the Electronic Health Affidavit and present it to the airline before boarding a flight to Panama. It can be found on this link.
A lesser-known Mediterranean destination, Albania features impressive natural landmarks, medieval castles, and traditional cuisine that rivals those of any other European country. Among its most famous cities, Vlore and Sarande are those favored by foreign tourists, due to their coastal location and quieter atmosphere compared to Italian or Croatian hotspots.
Albania is also open to all categories of foreign travelers, albeit with different requirements based on vaccination. While fully vaccinated individuals do not have to present any tests, those who are not can use either a negative PCR (performed up to 72 hours before arrival) or negative rapid antigen (48 hours) as Covid documentation.
Once inside Albania, visitors can expect to experience a restriction-free vacation, with masks not being required in a majority of places and cultural venues open to all, irrespective of vaccination status. Albania’s land borders with neighboring Greece, Montenegro, Kosovo, and North Macedonia are also open.
Slovakia is located in Eastern Europe and makes for a perfect day trip from more popular cities such as Prague, in the Czech Republic, or Dresden, in Germany. The landscape of its quaint capital, Bratislava, is dominated by a majestic medieval fortress, while its countryside can also be appealing to nature seekers.
Like all other examples on this list, Slovakia is open to vaccinated travelers with no testing or quarantine policies in place. Recently, the EU has announced it will require travelers from outside the bloc to get a booster shot if their vaccination course was completed more than 9 months ago. This measure affects those traveling to Slovakia.
The unvaccinated can also visit the country, in principle, if arriving from a Schengen Area nation that allows their entry. They may be denied entry if traveling to Slovakia directly from a destination in Europe outside Schengen, such as the already mentioned Cyprus, Albania, or North Macedonia.
Travel Insurance Still A Must
When traveling abroad during these uncertain times, we advise you to make sure you are prepared for any eventualities and adverse events by purchasing travel insurance before flying. That way, you can minimize your risks of travel disruption and financial issues due to contracting Covid while abroad.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com