As of March 18, nobody needs to take a Covid test when they return to the UK from a foreign holiday. The rule change will be welcomed by millions of Britons – and, indeed, millions more travellers from around the world – who have chosen not to get vaccinated. Under previous rules, unjabbed travellers needed to take two tests: one before departure and one upon arrival.
Nevertheless, holiday options remain fairly limited for Britain’s unvaccinated cohort. Among the major holiday destinations still banning them entirely are France, Spain, the US, Morocco, Thailand and Australia. Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden are also blocking entry – indeed, much of Europe remains off-limits.
However, there is still a significant – and expanding – list of options. Here are 36 destinations still welcoming unvaccinated holidaymakers. This article will be updated regularly.
No restrictions of any kind
These countries are following in the UK’s footsteps, with no travel restrictions of any kind. Just don’t forget your passport.
- Madeira (Portugal)
11. Costa Rica
The wildlife paradise of Costa Rica not only welcomes unvaccinated arrivals but does not require them to take a test. They must, however, buy insurance with specific cover requirements and complete an advance epidemiological information form.
Currently, commercial establishments may voluntarily ask customers to prove their vaccination status using either a QR code or the physical card provided when they were vaccinated. Doing so means they can operate at 100% capacity, otherwise they must remain at 50%. According to reports, some hotels are asking for proof of vaccination and operating at full capacity, but most restaurants and shops are remaining at 50%. Check with your hotel or tour operator before you book. In the coming weeks, it is expected that such domestic measures will be dropped.
12. El Salvador
Like its Central American neighbour, El Salvador does not require arrivals to be vaccinated – or take a test. However, the Foreign Office warns that proof of vaccination may occasionally be required for entry to specific events.
In a sea of confusing travel policies, with borders closing at the drop of a sombrero, Mexico has kept things simple. For the duration of the pandemic it has been open to all (vaccinated and unvaccinated alike) – without even a requirement to take a test.
It is mandatory to register on the Mexico Vuela Seguro Platform before boarding your flight to Mexico, and to show a QR code generated by the system upon arrival at the airport. But that’s it.
Negative test required
Unvaccinated travellers (aged six and above) must show one of the following:
- A negative PCR test performed up to 72 hours ahead of arrival
- A negative rapid antigen test performed no more than 48 hours ahead of arrival
- Evidence proving that you have recovered from Covid within the last six months
15. Bosnia and Herzegovina
If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll need to show proof of a negative PCR test (taken no more than 48 hours before entry) or rapid lateral flow test (also taken no more than 48 hours before entry).
If you’re not fully vaccinated, you can enter from the UK with a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before entry) or rapid lateral flow test (taken no more than 48 hours before entry).
If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll need to show proof of a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before entry) or an antigen test (taken no more than 48 hours before entry).
If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll need to show proof of a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before entry) or rapid lateral flow test (taken no more than 24 hours before entry) to visit mainland Portugal.
For the Azores, you’ll need to take a test on arrival or before you travel.
There are no requirements for entry to Madeira and Porto Santo.
As one would expect of a country that worships Novak Djokovic, unvaccinated visitors are welcome in Serbia. They must, however, present one of the following documents on arrival:
- A negative PCR test result issued within 48 hours of arrival.
- Certificate of Covid-19 recovery, issued within six months of arrival, issued in Serbia or a country with which Serbia has concluded an agreement on such documents (does not include the UK).
All arrivals into Turkey aged six and over, including Turkish citizens and residence permit holders, must complete an online form (Form for Entry to Turkey) a maximum of 72 hours prior to travel.
If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll need to show proof of a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before entry), rapid antigen test (taken no more than 48 hours before entry), or proof of a recent recovery (within the last six months).
For children aged 11 and under, no test is needed. Note that face masks are no longer required outdoors or indoors if air circulation and social distancing are adequate.
Rest of the world
21. Dominican Republic
A fine option for sunseekers with a limited budget, the Dominican Republic welcomes unvaccinated travellers who can present evidence of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before their arrival. Health screenings and random testing takes place upon arrival.
Travellers over the age of three must present either proof of vaccination or a negative laboratory PCR test, taken up to 72 hours prior to boarding their flight. There are no requirements for travellers under three years old.
If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll need to show proof of a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen) taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Egyptian authorities have advised that unvaccinated tourists arriving directly at airports in the coastal governorates of the Red Sea (Hurghada and Marsa Alam), South Sinai (Sharm El Sheikh), and Marsa Matrouh have the option of taking a PCR test on arrival for a fee of $30. After testing they are required to self-isolate at their hotel until they receive their test result (typically 12 to 24 hours).
All travellers should submit a self-declaration form on the online “Air Suvidha” portal before they travel. If you are unvaccinated, you will need to upload a negative PCR test, conducted within 72 hours of departure.
The reliance on tourism in the Caribbean means border closures have been few and far between, while several islands remain open to the unjabbed. Jamaica is one. All travellers aged 12 years or older must present evidence of a negative Covid test (PCR or antigen), with the test taken within the 72 hours prior to the date of travel. Based on a health screening and risk assessment on arrival, they may also be required to be tested at the airport or a designated facility and must await their test result in their hotel room. If the test is negative, they must remain at your hotel/resort within the island’s “resilient corridor”, but are permitted to join approved excursions.
You must present proof on arrival of a negative PCR test taken in the country of departure. The test result must not be older than 72 hours (calculated from the time that the sample for testing was taken) at the time of entry into Namibia.
You will need to wear two face masks or a KN95 mask on flights bound for Peru and must complete an affidavit to enter or travel through Peru as a visitor. If you’re not fully vaccinated and are 12 years old or more, you’ll need to show proof of a negative PCR test (taken no more than 48 hours before entry) when entering Peru.
28. South Africa
Having been briefly ostracized for having the temerity to inform the world about the omicron variant, South Africa is once again a holiday option. Furthermore, it has no additional restrictions on unvaccinated arrivals. All visitors need to produce a paper copy of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure (children under five excluded). The Foreign Office advises visitors to carry several copies of their test result as they may be asked to produce it more than once.
If you fail to produce a paper copy of a negative PCR test you will be required to do an antigen test on arrival at your own expense. If you test positive for Covid-19, you will be required to self-isolate in line with government guidelines at your own cost for 10 days.
29. Sri Lanka
An online pre-travel health registration form needs to be completed by all travellers. Details can be found on the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority website. Specific travel insurance offering Covid cover is also mandatory for all visitors. You can apply and pay online.
Unvaccinated travellers aged 12 and above must show proof of either a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before embarkation), or a negative Rapid Antigen Test (taken within 48 hours before embarkation). Self-swab tests will not be recognised.
Once you arrive in Sri Lanka you will need to stay in a Tourism Bio Bubble for one week. However, you will be allowed to visit approved tourist sites and use all facilities of the hotel.
Like South Africa, Tanzania offers both sunshine and safari. It also became somewhat notable early in the pandemic for refusing to impose any kind of Covid restrictions. That attitude has hardened slightly, with all visitors now required to present both a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival and submit to a rapid test on arrival, but there is no need to prove you have been vaccinated.
31. UAE (including Dubai)
Residents, tourists and visitors travelling from or through the UK and arriving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi must have a negative PCR test before departure and present the certificate at check-in. These need to be taken no more than 48 hours prior to departure. Travellers arriving in Abu Dhabi will also be required to undertake a PCR test on arrival. Travellers arriving in Dubai may be required to undertake a further PCR test on arrival and will have to isolate pending the result.
All arrivals, regardless of vaccination status, must present proof of a negative test (except for children under two years of age) done within 72 hours of departure for PCR tests or within 24 hours for rapid antigen (lateral flow) tests.
Open to unvaccinated arrivals, but Covid passports used domestically
To be allowed entry into Croatia, unvaccinated travellers from the UK must present one of the following documents on arrival:
- A negative Covid-19 antigen not older than 48 hours, or;
- A negative PCR test result not older than 72 hours, or;
- A doctor’s certificate of recovery from Covid-19.
Children under 12 are exempt from these requirements if their parent or guardian has one of the documents set out above.
However, Croatia uses domestic Covid passports. Anyone entering public services, local and regional municipalities, state-owned companies and institutions will be required to show either a digital Covid-19 certificate or appropriate proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or a negative test.
Unvaccinated Britons must undergo a PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure and provide proof of a negative result. They must then undergo another PCR test upon arrival at the airport in Cyprus. Test results should be available within three hours through the country’s online platform. The cost of both tests is borne by the passenger.
However, Cyprus has strict Covid passport requirements domestically. People aged six and above require a SafePass, which can only be obtained if you are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid in the previous six months, to enter venues including restaurants.
If you are unvaccinated, you will need one of the following:
- Proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72-hour period before arrival into Greece
- Proof of a negative Covid-19 rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory, undertaken within the 48-hour period before your arrival into Greece
- Proof of recovery from Covid-19. Evidence of a positive PCR test result taken between 30 to 180 days of your travel dates can be used and can be demonstrated via the NHS Covid Pass.
Note, however, that Greece’s domestic rules mean it only permits indoor entry to bars, restaurants, entertainment and sports venues if you are fully vaccinated or under 12. Similar measures apply to some public transport networks. To board boats or ferries to travel between Greek islands or take a long distance bus, you will also need proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test result.
All travellers, aged six and over, must show one of the following:
- Proof of vaccination
- Evidence of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before entering Italy or a negative rapid lateral flow test taken no more than 48 hours previously
- A Covid-19 recovery certificate, certifying that you have recovered in the last six months
However, a Super Green Pass – which requires proof of vaccination or recovery; a negative test is not acceptable – is required to access restaurants, bars, hotels, all local and regional transport services (excluding taxis and international flights) as well as museums, cultural centres, sports facilities and stadiums. A super Green Pass is also needed to access outdoor facilities such as restaurants, swimming pools, wellness centres, ski lifts and to participate in celebrations following civil and religious ceremonies.