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COVID Travel Restrictions Easing Around the Globe

Multiple destinations have recently relaxed or completely lifted travel restrictions that were implemented due to COVID-19. With increasing vaccination rates, easy access to rapid testing for detection of the virus, improvements in healthcare capacities and availability of treatments, many countries are making it easier for international travelers to cross borders around the world. Below are some of the latest changes.

Borders Reopened

Australia has reopened its borders to fully vaccinated tourists. A PCR or other Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) no older than three days is required. Travelers should also visit Australia’s COVID-19 Restriction Checker for any additional restrictions or travel requirements in the Australian state or territory they plan to visit.

New Zealand dropped its quarantine and self-isolation requirement for fully vaccinated approved travelers. Additionally, tourists and business travelers from visa fee countries (including the UK and US) may enter beginning May 1, instead of the previously announced July date.

Testing Requirements Rescinded

Canada has announced that effective April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer need to provide a PCR test result taken before travel. Canada had already lifted the requirement for a test upon arrival back in February. Despite this latest development, travelers may still be selected at random for testing, although they will not be required to quarantine while awaiting their test result.

Travelers must still submit their mandatory information in ArriveCan before arriving in Canada. Anyone arriving without completing their ArriveCan submission may have to test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status. Those taking a cruise ship or plane must submit their information in ArriveCan within 72 hours before boarding.

France allows fully vaccinated travelers from “green-listed” countries to enter with only proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers must provide a negative test result for entry.

Germany allows fully vaccinated travelers who are not from “high-risk” countries to enter without testing.

Namibia no longer requiresfully vaccinated travelers to produce negative PCR test results. They may simply present an authentic valid vaccination card at point of entry. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated must produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test result that is no older than 72 hours.

Spain allows all fully vaccinated travelers to enter without a COVID test but requires registration through the Spain Health Portal.

Approved Country Lists

The European Union Commission has encouraged member states to move to a “person-based” approach and will consider doing away with its list of approved third countries at the end of April. Until then it has relaxed its criteria for approved countries. EU recommendations are adopted at member states’ discretion. Some EU countries continue with strict requirements, while others have relaxed significantly or removed all restrictions, as indicated below.  

All Restrictions Lifted

The following countries have lifted all public restrictions due to COVID-19. Travelers do not need to be vaccinated nor have COVID test results to enter the country. There are no requirements for quarantine.

  • Iceland
  • Hungary
  • United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales)
  • Norway
  • Romania

Because restrictions can alter at any time in accordance with epidemiological developments, travelers should always check requirements before leaving for a trip. Check the US State Department Travel website or the Reopen Europe website for the latest. Be sure to understand the definitions of “full-vaccinated” for each destination before booking travel.

SCI members who need assistance may contact the SCI Hunter Hotline at https://safariclub.org/contact.

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