Where can I travel without a vaccine?

The travel landscape in 2022 couldn’t look more different from summer 2020. Many countries have loosened their Covid-related travel restrictions, removing requirements such as PCR or antigen tests before arrival, masks on public transport and while out and about, and quarantines. There are some notable exceptions of course, such as China.

In the majority of cases, these rule changes are based on the prerequisite that the traveller is fully vaccinated, with unvaccinated travellers still facing stringent restrictions or banned from entry altogether.

However, a growing number of destinations are also starting to welcome unvaccinated travellers, with or without restrictions, for tourism purposes. Here are the countries where you don’t need to be vaccinated to visit.

Main photo: Oia village in Santorini (Getty Images)

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Where can I travel without a vaccine?

If you are not fully vaccinated, you still have plenty of options when it comes to holiday destinations. However, you may need to take a Covid test before travel and/or on arrival. A period of quarantine — either in an accommodation of your choice or at a government facility — may also be mandatory. In some cases you may be able to get around these extra requirements by showing proof of recent recovery from Covid, or a medical exemption from getting vaccinated.

It’s always worth checking before you travel as restrictions between different countries can vary significantly.

Traveller on airplane wearing mask due to Covid-19

Be sure to check requirements at your destination before you take to the air (Getty Images)

Which countries allow unvaccinated travellers?

The countries below are open to unvaccinated travellers from the UK for tourism purposes. You don’t need to be a resident or citizen, or have recently recovered from Covid. You may however need to show negative results from a recent Covid test.

Very few countries require quarantine now — unless of course you test positive for Covid on arrival — but check your destination requirements first to be sure. These restrictions can change at any time so do double check before you travel and ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance.

What does fully vaccinated mean?

Fully vaccinated could mean the initial course of two jabs, or three jabs including a booster. There are a number of countries that put an expiry on the initial course of jabs, so if you were vaccinated more than 270 days (nine months) ago, you will need a booster. Check the entry requirements of your destination country for more information.

EU: COVID vaccines for travel to Europe

This website does not belong to, nor is it affiliated with, the EU. The official website of the European Union is europa.eu.

  • COVID-19 vaccine certificates are still an important safety measure for international travel. The European Union and Schengen Area recognise a number of vaccines.
  • Visitors can enjoy a trip to Europe as long as they meet the remaining coronavirus vaccination requirements.

covid vaccine travel europe

COVID-19 vaccines are now part of the health travel requirements to travel to Europe. Some European states still require incoming travellers to be fully vaccinated.

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The European Union (EU) recommends that member countries demand proof of vaccination from international arrivals as part of the EU travel restrictions.

Each country makes its own rules for arriving passengers. Most members of the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) took measures in line with this advice.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) was created in 2021 to serve as a vaccine passport for Europe. COVID vaccination certificates issued in many other countries are now accepted as equivalents of the EUDCC.

Does Europe require COVID vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccine requirements in Europe depend on the individual country. Many nations have now removed their vaccine policy, while others maintain it.

Some countries allow passengers arriving from EU nations to enter without a vaccine certificate, but require those arriving from other countries to be vaccinated.

The vaccine used must be one of those approved for use and recognised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Which COVID vaccine do you need to travel to Europe?

All countries in the EU and Schengen Area accept the following COVID-19 vaccines, which are recognised by the EMA:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
  • Moderna
  • Nuvaxoid
  • Pfizer-BioNTech

Some countries also accept the following vaccines, which have been recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO), but not the EMA:

Can I travel to Europe if I get the COVID vaccine?

In most cases, yes. The majority of countries in the EU and EFTA allow travellers to enter from outside Europe if they have proof that they are fully vaccinated.

It is important to remember that the rules and restrictions depend on the destination country. Each European country is responsible for its own policies. These have changed frequently throughout the pandemic, so it is essential to check what you need for the specific country (or countries) you plan to visit.

It is also worth noting that fully vaccinated passengers entering a European country may still be subject to certain restrictions. These may include:

  • Testing before travelling
  • Testing on arrival
  • Quarantine on arrival

Can you travel to Europe without a vaccine?

Yes, many European countries have now reopened their borders to all travellers, including those not vaccinated against COVID-19. However, considering that the pandemic is still ongoing, vaccines and testing are still recommended before travel.

Travelling the EU with a vaccine passport

Travelling between EU or Schengen member states during the pandemic may require an EU vaccine passport or an accepted equivalent from a non-EU country.

The exact rules depend on the country, but most only allow entry to travellers who have 1 or more of the following:

  • Proof of vaccination
  • Proof of recent recovery from COVID-19
  • Negative test result

All of these are displayed on the EUDCC.

This means that it is possible to travel between some European countries without a vaccination. However, by being able to show proof of vaccination, travellers face fewer obstacles when visiting another EU country.

Countries that require a COVID vaccine to travel: Europe

Some EU and EFTA countries still have a requirement for travellers to prove that they are not at risk of carrying coronavirus:

  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Slovakia
  • Spain

Proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test result are also accepted in many cases.

The rules for entry change fairly frequently, so it is vital to check what you need to enter your destination country before travelling.

COVID vaccine to travel to Europe in 2022: What passengers can do now

Travellers who are planning to visit Europe and other areas in 2022 can do the following to prepare for their trip:

Where can I travel without a vaccine? How Europe entry requirements make holidays tricky for unvaccinated

Travelling to Europe is easier and cheaper if you are vaccinated but unvaccinated travellers can still get into 22 countries in Europe quarantine-free

Caucasian women planning trip with map on wooden table

Quarantine-free travel to Europe almost always costs more for unvaccinated travellers (Photo: Getty)

If you want to travel the world freely, then being fully vaccinated and boosted is the key to ensuring that you can holiday overseas as borders continue to reopen.

However, a careful counting of Covid border restrictions by i reveals that while favourites such as Spain, France and Italy are off limits, the majority of countries in Europe will allow unvaccinated UK visitors in for a quarantine-free holiday.

In total, 22 out of 44 countries in Europe – including Greece, Croatia, Cyprus and Portugal – allow quarantine-free travel for un-jabbed travellers from Britain.

This is particularly good news for families with children who are yet to receive their second jab, due to the UK’s delayed vaccine rollout to 12- to 15-year-olds.

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In most cases, unvaccinated travellers will pay more for their holiday due to the extra cost of tests which vaccinated travellers are exempt from taking. This can also mean running the risk of a cancelled holiday if a test comes back positive.

Unvaccinated travellers must fork out extra for more tests than the vaccinated everywhere but Cyprus, where travellers to test regardless of vaccination status, and Lithuania and Iceland, where recent infection rather than testing is required in lieu of vaccination.

In 11 out of 22 countries, unvaccinated travellers can save themselves both the cost and the hassle of testing if they can provide proof of a recent Covid infection.

In three of the countries that will let in unvaccinated travellers – Lithuania, Iceland and Austria – the un-jabbed will only get in with proof of a recent infection.

It is also important to note that unvaccinated travellers will likely find it all but impossible to purchase travel insurance. Most policies will not cover travellers if they have not taken all Covid vaccination doses recommended by the UK health authorities.

More from Travel

While domestic Covid pass rules relating to public places might also restrict an unvaccinated person’s movement once they are at their destination. This could mean holidaymakers having to test regularly or face being barred from public places such as restaurants.

Below, we have listed every country in Europe that will welcome unvaccinated visitors from the UK, quarantine free.

In each case, some form of extra documentation – whether proof of recent infection or proof of a negative test result – is required by countries in lieu of proof of vaccination. There is not a single country in Europe that will let in UK visitors without some sort of Covid documentation.

We have ordered all 22 countries by the type of proof that is mandated at the border. We have also listed how much extra unvaccinated travellers will have to pay to visit each destination, when compared to vaccinated travellers. We have assumed that PCR tests cost £50, antigen test cost £25 and supervised antigen test cost £35. This does not include any possible extra testing costs related to domestic Covid pass rules for accessing public places.

Unvaccinated can enter but only with proof of recent infection

Lithuania

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Evidence of prior Covid infection within the last six months.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? No.

Iceland

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of recovery from Covid.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? No.

Unvaccinated can enter with proof of recent infection or antigen test

Moldova

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of negative PCR taken no more than 72 hours before entry, or a rapid antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before entry, or evidence of prior Covid infection within the past 90 days.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Maybe. It costs around £25 for an extra antigen test for those who cannot provide evidence of prior Covid infection.

Montenegro

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: A negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival or proof of recovery from Covid in the last 180 days.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Maybe. It costs around £25 for an extra antigen test for those who cannot provide evidence of prior Covid infection.

Bulgaria

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of negative PCR taken no more than 72 hours before entry, or a rapid antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before entry, or evidence of prior Covid infection.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Maybe. It costs around £25 for an extra antigen test for those who cannot provide evidence of prior Covid infection.

Turkey

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of negative PCR taken no more than 72 hours before entry, or a rapid antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before entry, or proof of recent recovery within last six months.

Extra testing fees for the unvaccinated? Maybe. It costs around £25 for an extra antigen test for those who cannot provide evidence of prior Covid infection.

Croatia

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: A negative antigen not older than 48 hours, or a negative PCR not older than 72 hours or proof of recent infection.

Extra testing fees for the unvaccinated? Maybe. It costs around £25 for an extra antigen test for those who cannot provide evidence of prior Covid infection.

Slovenia

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of recovery or PCR test no older than 48 hours from time when swab was taken or rapid antigen test no older than 24 hours from the time when the swab was taken.

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Extra testing fees for the unvaccinated? Maybe. It costs around £25 for an extra antigen test for those who cannot provide evidence of prior Covid infection.

Albania

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of negative PCR taken no more than 72 hours before entry, or a rapid antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before entry, or evidence of prior Covid infection within the last six months.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? It costs around £25 for an extra antigen test for those who cannot provide evidence of prior Covid infection.

Unvaccinated can enter with proof of recent infection or a PCR test

Romania

Entry requirements costs unvaccinated: Proof of negative PCR taken no more than 72 hours before entry or proof of recent recovery within last six months.

Extra testing fees for the unvaccinated? Maybe. £50 for extra PCR test for those who cannot provide proof of recent infection.

Serbia

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of recovery in the past six months or a negative PCR test taken within the past 48 hours.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Maybe. £50 for extra PCR test for those who cannot provide proof of recent infection.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of negative PCR taken no more than 48 hours before entry or evidence of prior Covid infection within the past 90 days.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Maybe. £50 for extra PCR test for those who cannot provide proof of recent infection.

North Macedonia

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: A negative PCR test made in the 72 hours before entering the country, or a certificate of recovery from Covid in the last 45 days, counting from the day of recovery.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Maybe. £50 for extra PCR test for those who cannot provide proof of recent infection.

Unvaccinated can enter with an antigen test

Luxembourg

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: A negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival by a professional.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Yes. £35 for extra supervised antigen test for those who cannot provide evidence of prior Covid infection.

Norway

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken less than 24 hours before arrival.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Yes. £25 for extra antigen test.

Ukraine

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of negative PCR taken no more than 72 hours before entry, or a rapid antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before entry.

Extra testing fees for the unvaccinated? Yes. £25 for a pre-departure antigen test.

Cyprus

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departure or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours before departure.

Extra testing fees for the unvaccinated? No. £0. The requirement for Covid testing before and after your arrival in Cyprus applies regardless of vaccination status.

Greece

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of a negative PCR test undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival or proof of a negative rapid antigen test undertaken within the 24 hour period before arrival into Greece.

Extra testing fees for the unvaccinated: Yes. £25 for a pre-departure antigen test.

Portugal

Entry requirements costs unvaccinated: PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival or an antigen test taken 48 hours before arrival.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Yes. £25 for a pre-departure antigen test.

Unvaccinated can enter with PCR test

Ireland

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before entry).

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Yes. £50 for extra PCR test.

Hungary

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: A negative PCR test conducted in the previous 72 hours of arrival.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Yes. £50 for extra PCR test.

Unvaccinated can enter with a PCR test and proof of recent infection

Austria

Entry requirements for unvaccinated: Proof of recovery in the past 180 days and a negative PCR test taken within the past 72 hours.

Extra testing costs for the unvaccinated? Yes. £50 for extra PCR test.

Do you have a question about travel? Email us: asktravel@inews.co.uk

Source https://www.thetimes.co.uk/travel/advice/where-can-i-travel-without-a-vaccine

Source https://www.etiasvisa.com/etias-news/eu-vaccine-health-requirements

Source https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/travel/travel-where-can-without-vaccine-entry-requirements-europe-holidays-unvaccinated-1449467

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