Updated September 10, 2021 11:00 AM ET.
We know, we know: Vaccines are a polarizing topic which is all the reason to take note of where they’re mandatory. More and more countries are requiring vaccinations for all tourists in an effort to keep everyone safe while new variants take hold.
Travelers themselves are also putting themselves at higher risk when leaving home. That might be a calculated risk, or perhaps an essential trip where you don’t have much choice, but if you’re looking for extra peace of mind, these countries require travelers to be fully vaccinated.
This article will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.
In addition to the over-arching guidelines set out by the Biden administration, some destinations have added further restrictions.
Hawaii: While there is not a firm vaccine mandate, the government of Hawaii has put out statements asking tourists to postpone their trips in light of an uptick in the Delta variant in Hawaii. In addition, O’ahu has put in additional restrictions regarding public places such as restaurants and movie theaters.
New Orleans: The city recently released a widespread mandate requiring proof of vaccination (or a recent negative Covid-19 test) in order to enter high-risk indoor establishments, including restaurants, bars, gyms, casinos, concerts and stadiums.
New York City: New York City recently mandated that proof of at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is necessary to enter indoor dining, fitness and entertainment establishments, regardless of whether you’re a patron or staff. Residents of New York can download the Excelsior Pass app as an easy-to-carry form of proof; paper vaccination cards are also acceptable.
San Francisco: All patrons age 12 and older must have proof of vaccination to enter establishments that serve food or drink (including, but not limited to, restaurants, bars or entertainment venues). Gyms and other recreational centers also require proof of vaccination. For both orders, the vaccine is also obligatory for all staff.
The Bahamas will require all cruise passengers 12 and over on ships that stop in the Bahamas, including those on cruise line owned islands, be fully vaccinated. This goes in effect September 3-November 1, but may be extended.
Over 70% of Canadians age 12 and up are already fully vaccinated, and you can expect that number to keep going up. The country recently announced that all federal workers will be required to get the vaccine as well as employees working in federally regulated air, rail and marine transportation sectors.
Proof of vaccination is already required for all arriving international visitors and is expected to extend to all commercial air travelers, passengers on interprovincial trains and passengers on large marine vessels by the end of October. This includes Canadian citizens.
Puerto Rico is the first widespread market to require proof of vaccination for all employees and guests of overnight accommodations, covering everything from hotels to short-time rentals (like Airbnb).
Employees and patrons of indoor restaurants or other eateries must also have proof of vaccination. Those ineligible for the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons may present a recent negative test instead.
St. Kitts and Nevis
Currently, only fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed entry into St. Kitts & Nevis. Exemptions are made for Citizens, Residents, and non-vaccinated children under 18 traveling with fully-vaccinated parents or guardians.
Trinidad and Tobago
The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago makes their entry requirements excruciatingly clear: only fully vaccinated travelers are allowed entry at this time. Assuming you’re vaccinated, you’ll need to upload proof, along with a recent negative Covid-19 test and an affidavit that you’ve been symptom-free, as part of your mandatory TTravel Pass application.
Turks and Caicos
As of September 1, Turks and Caicos will require any visitor to the island to be fully vaccinated. This is in addition to the other steps to be approved for the TCI Assured Travel Authorization.
The EU has taken the United States off of the safe list, meaning that it encourages individual member nations to only allow vaccinated adults or children traveling with vaccinated adults to enter.
U.S. residents may travel from the United States to Belgium without an Essential Travel Certificate if they can present a valid vaccination certificate. Travelers from the United States who cannot present a valid vaccination certificate will not be permitted to travel to Belgium for non-essential reasons unless they hold an EU citizenship or residency.
Under the Bulgarian Ministry of Health order, countries are classified as Green, Orange, or Red zones based on their COVID-19 risk. As of September 1, 2021, the United States is considered a Red zone country. That means persons arriving from the United States, regardless of their citizenship, are prohibited from entering Bulgaria with limited exceptions.
As of August 23 only vaccinated Americans are permitted to enter the Czech Republic as tourists. More information can be found with the Czech Ministry of Health.
Denmark welcomes fully vaccinated visitors from EU, Schengen and OECD nations (which includes the UK and USA). In most cases, for vaccinated visitors there is no mandatory quarantine period in Denmark, but please check carefully on the Danish Government’s info website, as there are some exceptions.
Following the EU, on September 10, 2021 France placed the United States on the “orange” list, meaning that non-essential travel for unvaccinated visitors is prohibited. If you have upcoming plans to visit France, the U.S. embassy can provide guidance on how to digitize your proof of vaccination.
As of August 15st Germany is only allowing vaccinated travelers to visit from the United States. Visitors must complete a digital registration upon entry before arrival into Germany.
Like many European countries, Malta accepts proof of vaccination to bypass quarantine when you come to visit. Unlike other countries, there’s no way to opt-out by taking a PCR test: choose the vaccine or you’ll be stuck killing time for 14 days in a government-mandated hotel.
You must self-quarantine for 10 days at home or in your accommodation if you travel/return to the Netherlands after staying in an area where the risk of coronavirus infection is very high, including areas where there is a virus variant of concern. This requirement applies even if you have proof of vaccination or proof of recovery. If you get tested on day 5 you might be able to shorten the quarantine period. You may be exempt from the mandatory quarantine requirement depending on the purpose of your trip. Details here.
Through the “Phuket Sandbox” program vaccinated travelers from the United States are allowed for first visit Phuket for a week or more, then move to a different Thai island from a select list.
Tahiti is currently under a lockdown, set to expire September 6. Once the borders reopen, vaccinated travelers will not be required to quarantine. Pre-registration is required.
The only thing that’s been predictable with health policies is that they’re constantly changing as new strains peak, new research is released and hotspots wax or wane. Because of this, don’t be surprised when more policies change moving forward. We’re still in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and it’s likely more countries will join this list as times progress.
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