COVID-19 Testing Requirements Globally
Dominican RepublicDominican Republic removes all COVID restrictions The Dominican Republic removed all COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday (February 16), including face masks and the need to show proof of vaccination to access certain places. Other nations, such as Mexico and El Salvador, have removed all entry requirements, but still have mask mandates in place. Travellers do not have to show a negative test of proof of vaccination or a pre-flight test in order to enter the Dominican Republic, Travel Off Path confirms.
Western Australia plans to reopen in March
Western Australia has announced plans to reopen to international travellers from March 3 – the final Australian state to ease its border restrictions. The state’s decision to reopen its borders comes as the rest of Australia prepares to reopen to international arrivals on Monday (February 21) for the first time in nearly two years, says TTG Media. International travellers must be fully vaccinated and take a lateral flow test within 12 hours of arrival. They must also apply for an online G2G Pass, which is a mandatory registration and declaration form.
Japan to relax entry restrictions for non-tourists
Japan PM Fumio Kishida said on Thursday (February 17) that the nation would allow new entries of foreign nationals for reasons other than tourism, such as foreign students and business travellers, starting from some time in March. Kishida also said he would shorten the quarantine period for all arrivals to three days. People arriving from some countries where the outbreak is under control may be exempted from quarantine entirely.
Israel allows unvaxxed tourists from March
Tourists of all ages will be allowed into Israel, regardless of vaccination status, from March 1, subject to a negative PCR test within 72 hours before departure and after arrival. Furthermore, Israeli nationals entering the country will no longer be required to perform an antigen or PCR test ahead of boarding a flight and will instead only be required to take a PCR test upon arrival, The Jerusalem Post reports.
Kuwait lifts many travel restrictions
Kuwait has lifted many of its travel restrictions and has announced revised guidelines for travellers. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation State of Kuwait has announced that fully vaccinated travellers will not have to undergo mandatory quarantine on arrival. Those who are fully vaccinated and have taken a booster dose are no longer required to take a pre-departure and on arrival RT PCR test in Kuwait, says Times of India.
Singapore eases entry rules for some flights
Singapore further eased requirements for its Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) regime, which allows quarantine-free entry to the destination, yesterday (February 21). Travellers flying to Singapore on a designated VTL flight will no longer have to take a PCR test on arrival. They will instead have up to 24 hours to take a supervised self-swab test at a designated centre in Singapore, TTG Media confirms. South Africa is not currently on Singapore’s list of VTL countries.
Austria accepts negative tests for entry
From today (February 22), Austria will apply a ‘3-G-Rule’ to all arrivals, meaning that travellers are permitted entry as long as they hold a valid certificate indicating either vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test result, or proof of recovery. Travellers can prove their status by using the NHS Covid app or the EU COVID-19 Certificate. Printed versions are also accepted, Schengen Visa Info reports. The PCR test must be taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, and the rapid antigen test must be taken within 24 hours in order to be accepted upon entry.
Slovenia removes all COVID entry requirements
The Republic of Slovenia has ended all COVID-related entry requirements. The country’s RVT system, recovered/vaccinated/tested, has been repealed and now all travellers may enter Slovenia without restriction. The quarantine requirement for travellers has also been dropped. The official tourism board of Slovenia now reads “The door to Slovenia is wide open for tourists and other visitors,” Travel Off Path confirms.
Hawaiian Islands remove some entry requirements
Two of the most popular islands for travellers in Hawaii have removed several of their long-standing COVID-19 related restrictions. Travellers to Maui will no longer have to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result to enter establishments such as indoor restaurants and bars, fitness centres and gyms. Oahu will also ease restrictions by removing its “Safe Access Oahu” program from March 6. Visitors will no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test before entering restaurants, bars, and gyms, according to Travel Off Path.
Cyprus drops pre-departure tests
Cyprus recently introduced new testing rules for all arrivals – vaccinated and unvaccinated – stipulating they provide evidence of a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure or a negative antigen test taken up to 48 hours prior to departure, as well as a PCR test on arrival. However, the Foreign Office yesterday (February 22) confirmed fully vaccinated arrivals will no longer have to test negative pre-departure. And from March 1, the country will also scrap the PCR test on arrival requirement for fully vaccinated arrivals, TTG Media confirms.
Bahrain scraps quarantine for all arrivals
Bahrain has will no longer require travellers to undergo mandatory COVID-19 quarantine upon arrival, from Sunday (February 27), authorities announced today (February 24).
The Civil Aviation Affairs said that passengers would also no longer need to take a PCR test at Bahrain International Airport on arrival, Arab News confirms.
Jamaica eliminates COVID travel authorisation
Jamaica is taking several steps to return to more normal travel operations.
Visitors will no longer need the Travel Authorisation, and travel-related quarantine measures will no longer be required from March 1.
Children 12 years and older will still need to provide a negative COVID-19 test (antigen or PCR) conducted within 72 hours prior to travel, says Travel Pulse.
Bermuda restricts unvaxxed pax from March
Unvaccinated travellers will no longer be allowed to visit Bermuda for leisure purposes from March 7, Travel Off Path reports.
According to Bermuda’s official government website, the new guidelines will apply to all unvaccinated travellers aged 12 and above. Individuals under 12 years of age will not need to show proof of vaccination if they are travelling with their fully vaccinated parents or guardians.
St Maarten updates COVID-19 entry requirements
The Dutch Caribbean island of St Maarten will transition from pandemic to endemic status, relaxing COVID-19 entry requirements from March 1.
All visitors who are fully vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last nine months will no longer be required to show proof of a negative test on arrival.
Unvaccinated visitors will still be required to provide a negative PCR test taken 48 hours prior to arrival or an antigen test taken 24 hours prior to arrival, Travel Pulse confirms.
Iceland lifts all COVID-19 restrictions
Iceland will lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions today (February 25), including a 200-person indoor gathering limit and restricted opening hours for bars, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday (February 23).
“Widespread societal resistance to COVID-19 is the main route out of the epidemic,” the Ministry said in a statement, citing infectious disease authorities, according to Reuters.
“To achieve this, as many people as possible need to be infected with the virus as the vaccines are not enough, even though they provide good protection against serious illness.”
Germany to lift quarantine for children from high-risk countries
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has announced that the country will ease COVID-19 entry restrictions for children, removing quarantine requirements altogether, Schengen Visa Info confirms.
For now, all children aged 6-12 who have not been vaccinated or recovered from the virus and who reach Germany from a country that is placed on its high-risk list need to follow a ten-day quarantine requirement.
However, the self-isolation period can be ended earlier by presenting a negative COVID test on or after day five. Children under six can end their quarantine automatically after the fifth day without having to undergo testing.
Thailand to ease more entry requirements
Thailand is set to ease some of its entry restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers from March 1.
Travellers will no longer have to book and pay for a second PCR test on their fifth day after arriving into the country. They can instead perform a self-test using a rapid antigen test.
The minimum medical insurance coverage for visitors has also been reduced to US$20 000 (R306 000) from US$50 000 (R765 000), Travel Off Path reports.
Italy / South Africa
SA tourists may return to Italy
Italy has finally loosened the restrictions on third countries (non-EU countries) entering the country – from March 1, it will allow EU and non-EU arrivals under the same rules. This means travellers may enter for reasons of VFR or pure tourism, and no pre-travel testing is required. A vaccination certificate, a recovery certificate or a negative test result would suffice for entry into the country from March 1, says Travel News.
United Arab Emirates / Dubai
Dubai removes testing for vaxxed pax
Fully vaccinated tourists no longer need a negative PCR test to enter the United Arab Emirates. Instead, fully vaccinated travellers only need to provide evidence of full vaccination, complete with a QR code.
PCR testing requirements will remain for unvaccinated travellers. They will need to provide a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure or proof of recovery within one month prior to travel.
Masks are still in all indoor places but are now optional in all outdoor areas. Dubai has removed social distancing in all popular tourism areas throughout the city, Travel Off Path confirms.
Travelling to the Netherlands with a vaccination certificate from a country outside the EU
If you do not live in the EU, you are subject to the EU entry ban and cannot travel to the Netherlands, unless:
- you can show a valid, paper vaccination certificate, or
- you can show a digital vaccination certificate issued by a country taking part in the EU Digital COVID Certificate system (ec.europa.eu).
Your proof of vaccination and the vaccine with which you were vaccinated must meet these requirements:
Your vaccination certificate must:
- have been issued following vaccination with a vaccine that has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or is on the Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organization (WHO);
- have been issued based on full vaccination. That means that:
- you received one dose of a single-dose vaccine (Janssen); or
- you received two doses of a two-dose vaccine; or
- you received one dose of a two-dose vaccine and it has been confirmed that you had SARS-CoV-2 in the 6 months before vaccination;
- have been issued in one of the following languages:
- include the following:
- information identifying the person who has been vaccinated;
- information demonstrating that the person in question has been fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2;
- the name of the vaccine and the name of the manufacturer or marketing authorisation holder of each dose of vaccine administered;
- the date on which each dose of vaccine was administered;
- the name of the country in which the vaccine was administered;
- information identifying the issuer of the vaccination certificate.
The vaccine you received must have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or be on the Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organization (WHO). This is currently the case for the following vaccines:
- AstraZeneca EU (Vaxzevria)
- AstraZeneca – Japan (Vaxzevria)
- AstraZeneca – Australia (Vaxzevria)
- AstraZeneca-SK Bio (Vaxzevria)
- AstraZeneca – Thailand (Siam Bioscience Co., Ltd)
- COVAXIN (Bharat Biotech International Ltd)
- Nuvaxovid (Novavax)
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine – United States of America
- Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty)
- Johnson & Johnson ((COVID-19 Vaccine) Janssen)
- Moderna (Spikevax)
- Serum Institute of India (Covishield)
- Sinopharm BIBP/Sinopharm BBIBP
- Sinovac (Coronavac)
- Your proof of vaccination is valid 14 days after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine listed above, or 28 days after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine ((COVID-19 Vaccine) Janssen).
The Government of Canada announced a series of adjustments to the current border measures, representing the beginning of a phased easing of travel restrictions. The ability of the country to transition to a new phase at the border is a result of the actions of tens of millions of Canadians across the country who followed public health measures, including getting themselves and their families vaccinated.
As of February 28, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. EST:
- We will be easing the on-arrival testing for fully-vaccinated travellers. This means that travellers arriving to Canada from any country, who qualify as fully vaccinated, will be randomly selected for arrival testing. Travellers selected will also no longer be required to quarantine while awaiting their test result.
- Children under 12 years old, travelling with fully vaccinated adults, will continue to be exempt from quarantine, without any prescribed conditions limiting their activities. This means, for example, they no longer need to wait 14 days before attending school, camp or daycare.
- Unvaccinated travellers will continue to be required to test on arrival, on Day 8 and quarantine for 14 days. Unvaccinated foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter Canada unless they meet one of the few exemptions.
- Travellers will now have the option of using a COVID-19 rapid antigen test result (taken the day prior to their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry) or a molecular test result (taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry) to meet pre-entry requirements. Taking a rapid antigen test at home is not sufficient to meet the pre-entry requirement – it must be authorized by the country in which it was purchased and must be administered by a laboratory, healthcare entity or telehealth service.
- The Government of Canada will adjust its Travel Health Notice from a Level 3 to a Level 2. This means that the Government will no longer recommend that Canadians avoid travel for non-essential purposes.
- Travellers should understand the risks that are still associated with international travel given the high incidence of Omicron, and take necessary precautions.
- On February 28, 2022 at 16:00 EST, Transport Canada’s Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts where international passenger flights can arrive in Canada will expire. This means that international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at all remaining Canadian airports that are designated by the Canada Border Services Agency to receive international passenger flights.
Denmark relaxes entry rules for all countries
Starting from March 1, travellers from the European Union and Schengen Area will be eligible to enter Denmark completely restriction-free, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
At the same time, travellers from third countries will also be eligible to enter Denmark under facilitated rules, Schengen Visa Info reports.
“If you are entering from a country outside the EU or Schengen, you will only be required to take a test within 24 hours of entry. Persons entering from outside the EU and Schengen who have been vaccinated with a recognized vaccine or can document that they have been infected with COVID-19 within the last 180 days are exempt from this requirement and can therefore enter without restrictions,” a press release notes.
Travellers are exempt from testing or self-isolation upon entry to Denmark if they are fully vaccinated with a recognised vaccine or previously infected.
Read below about the requirements to be recognised as fully vaccinated or previously infected.
If you are neither fully vaccinated or previously infected
If you are neither fully vaccinated or previously infected you need to be aware of how the country you are travelling from is as a EU- or Schengen country, a COVID-19 risk country, COVID-19 high-risk countries and countries with variants of concern:
- If you are travelling from an EU- or Schengen country you must be tested within 24 hours after entering Denmark unless you can document either a negative antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before the date of entry, or a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before the date of entry.
- If you are travelling from a COVID-19 risk country you must be tested within 24 hours after entering Denmark.
- If you are travelling from a COVID-19 high risk country you must be tested within 24 hours after entering Denmark and self-isolate without undue delay at a self-isolation site for 10 days, and as a general rule you may not leave the self-isolation site before the end of the period. This also applies even if you have tested negative for COVID-19 before or within 24 hours after entering Denmark. You may break the self-isolation if you get a negative PCR test result taken no earlier than the sixth day after the date of entering Denmark.
Please note that special rules apply if you have stayed in countries, regions and areas with variants of concern within the past 10 days (currently there are no such countries, regions or areas).
Click here for more information: https://en.coronasmitte.dk/travel-rules/new-mandatory-testing-and-isolation-requirements
Starting from today, February 15, vaccinated arrivals from all countries are permitted to visit Finland, exempted from additional testing requirements.
Vaccines approved for entry to Finland include the following:
- Comirnaty Pfizer-BioNTech by BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH
- Spikevax, formerly Moderna by Moderna Biotech Spain, SL
- Vaxzevria, formerly AstraZeneca by AstraZeneca Ab
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) by Janssen – Cilag International NV
- BIBP / Sinopharm by Beijing Institute of Biological Products
- COVISHIELD by Serum Institute of India
- CoronaVac by Sinovac Life Sciences
On the other hand, unvaccinated travellers are permitted to enter Finland only on special permission, which does not include tourism.
For more information click here
Faced with the new phase of the pandemic characterized, in most countries, by the predominance of the Omicron variant and a high level of vaccination, the Government has decided to lighten this health control system at the borders, particularly for vaccinated travellers.
Thus, from February 12, 2022, the following rules will apply at borders:
- For travelers vaccinated within the meaning of European regulations, no more tests will be required on departure. Proof of a complete vaccination schedule becomes sufficient to arrive in France, regardless of the country of origin, as was the case before the distribution of the Omicron variant.
- For unvaccinated travellers, the obligation to present a negative test to travel to France remains, but the measures on arrival (test, isolation) are lifted when they come from countries on the “green” list, characterized by a moderate circulation of the virus.
- When unvaccinated travelers come from a country on the “orange” list, they must continue to present a compelling reason justifying the need for them to come to mainland France and may still be subject to a random test on arrival. Travelers who test positive will have to isolate themselves, in accordance with the recommendations of the Health Insurance.
For more information visit: Covid 19 : International travel | Ministère de l’Intérieur (interieur.gouv.fr)
The Portuguese authorities have confirmed that the country will lift the requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken before arrival.
Effective 22 January 2022, the government of Switzerland is no longer requiring travelers who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 to present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test before entering Switzerland. Unvaccinated travelers will still be required to undergo testing prior to entering the country. All travelers who have entered Switzerland will no longer be required to undergo follow-up testing on day four or day seven of arrival.
What are the Changes?
The government of Switzerland updated its travel entrance policies due to limited testing capacity within the country. Fully vaccinated travelers or travelers who have recovered from COVID-19 will no longer be required to undergo testing prior to entering Switzerland.
For more information click here.
Travellers from third countries who in the last 180 days have been infected from COVID-19, and have recovered from it, can now enter Spain
The move has been announced by the Spanish government, which has published the changes to the Spanish COVID-19 regulations on travel to the country in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on Saturday, February 26.