Albania becomes the latest country to remove all of its Covid-19 related entry requirements as of May 1, 2022.
The European country, known for its stunning mountain ranges and diverse, natural landscapes, along with tranquil beaches, joins a growing list of nations dropping travel rules, becoming the 36th country to ‘return to normal’.
Whilst it may not be a household name for North American travelers, Albania has more than enough to offer those who come it’s way – and these entry requirement changes might just tempt more travelers into visiting.
Here’s a look at what exactly is set to change regarding Albania’s entry requirements, when the changes will take effect, plus a look at the types of activities travelers can look forward to in Albania.
Albania Drops Restrictions – Information For Travelers
A mountainous country located in the Balkan peninsula, with countries such as North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Greece as neighbors, Albania saw its total number of tourism arrivals rising year upon year – until the pandemic struck. The country went from welcoming 6.4 million travelers in 2019 to just 2.7 in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and the strict travel restrictions that came with it.
Reopening for travelers in July 2020, Albania enjoyed almost a year-long period of time where it had very few travel restrictions in place. However, once fall 2021 arrived, they implemented a series of entry requirements, following along with the trend throughout Europe at that time.
From September 2021 to present day, travelers must show either proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to arrival, a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours, or proof of recovery from the virus.
However, in just a few days, entry into the country is set to change in a major way.
From May 1st, Albania will be removing all of its Covid-19 related entry requirements, making travel into the country not only much easier but a much more attractive proposition for travel-started tourists around the world.
As of May 1, tourists will be able to enter Albania with:
- no proof of vaccination
- no negative Covid-19 tests
- no proof of recovery
All normal entry rules will be in effect – just a flight ticket, a passport, and a visa where required. Travel insurance isn’t mandatory but should be considered for anyone traveling in 2022, as cancellations and delays are still happening worldwide.
Many countries have started dropping their mask mandates, and Albania is following the trend. As of May 1, masks for indoor spaces like restaurants, shops, museums, and other public places will no longer be mandatory.
Travelers should be aware that masks may still be required when using public transport, such as buses, trains, and taxis.
There are a few other favorable changes happening that will increase Albania’s tourism this summer. The nightly curfew was already lifted last month, but starting May 1st nightclubs will once again be allowed to reopen and the ban on late-night music playing past 11 pm will be removed.
Once in the country, travelers have plenty to look forward to. The country’s capital, Tirana, boasts more cafes than any other European city per capita and has a thriving nightlife scene.
The local cuisine is a wonderful mix of both Balkan and Mediterranean favourites, whilst a plethora of nature-based activities – from hiking to beach days and hot spring soaking – can also be found around the country.
To get off the beaten path a little, try checking out Ksmail, A small town on the Albanian Riviera not far from Sarandë. Ksmail has secret sandy beaches, ‘Cancun-like’ turquoise waters, several seaside resorts and ancient landmarks.
While Americans and Canadians can’t fly directly to Albania, they can easily get there with 1-stop by transiting in places like Frankfurt, London, Rome, Paris, Barcelona, and more European capitals that all fly daily to Tirana.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com