With COVID-19, international travel has seen a downfall, with most international borders shut. Now, with countries rolling out vaccination programmes, travel between countries has resumed. So, if you’re planning an international trip, here’s a list of countries where Indians can travel without quarantine.
Some countries are allowing fully vaccinated foreigners to travel without having to undergo quarantine. And a few cities, states and countries even have incentives such as vaccine passports and no-mask for the fully vaxxed to encourage people to go and get their jab.
These are the countries you can travel to without mandatory quarantine
On October 1 last year, the Thailand Government opened up the doors of the country for international travel for tourists from 18 countries, including India. Fully vaccinated Indians can now fly to Thailand and avail visa on arrival, reports Republic. The media house adds that one has to apply for a Certificate of Entry, which will be granted by the Thai Embassy or the Consulate.
In the last few months, a hoard of celebrities and influencers have visited the Maldives, as the country is one of those open for gully vaccinated Indian tourists without quarantine. Passengers were required to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test undertaken within 96 hours of travel, reports Republic, before the Omicron wave hit, but as per latest updates, you may take an antigen test if you feel the symptoms of COVID-19, as per an update on March 14, 2022.
Switzerland lifted its travel ban and allowed Indians to travel without quarantine back in June 2021. Those fully inoculated with WHO-approved vaccines are allowed entry into the country.
After the brief travel ban due to the Omicron variant, Switzerland is once again allowing people to enter the country without quarantine, including Indians.
The UAE, on September 12, 2021, lifted its travel restrictions on residents who have been fully vaccinated with WHO-approved vaccines. Thus, Indians who have been inoculated could travel without quarantine to the UAE. This relaxation was done as a run-up to the Expo 2020 that’s happening in Dubai at the moment, reports India.com.
However, after the third wave of the pandemic, the UAE had reinstated its travel rules. Now, months after the same, Indians can enter Abu Dhabi without quarantine, while those travelling to Dubai may be requested to quarantine, reports the country’s travel portal.
The UK recently reopened travel for all, including Indians. The country has also relaxed all of its COVID-19 travel norms, including wearing masks, isolation, COVID-19 tests, submitting Passenger Locator Forms and more, in a bid to boost travel.
European Union countries
Most of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) nations have removed all or many restrictions imposed on travel during the pandemic, taking their travel rules back to the pre-pandemic times. These include nations such as Denmark, Czechia, Latvia, Netherlands, Italy, and more.
Since September 1, Turkey lifted the mandatory 14-day quarantine for fully vaccinated passengers arriving from India or those who had spent 14 days in India before coming to Turkey. The Turkish Government, in addition to WHO-approved vaccines, has approved Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V, and Sinovac. Covaxin, however, is not recognised at the moment, though Covishield is, reports Republic.
Now, the rules have been updated to allow fully vaccinated people from across the globe to enter the country without having to quarantine. According to the latest update, Turkey has also scrapped all COVID-19 test restrictions for Indian tourists. Earlier, Indians had to submit either a vaccination certificate or an RT-PCR test report but none of these is required anymore. No proof of vaccination, no proof of recovery from coronavirus, and no RT-PCR test result either.
Italy is one of the countries with no quarantine for Indian travellers, as long as they have been fully vaccinated in the last nine months or have received a booster shot post that. Earlier, the country mandated a vaccination certificate or a negative test result taken before departure or a COVID-19 recovery certificate, failing which the passengers had to undergo five days of quarantine until they took a COVID-19 test which was negative. Now, starting June 1, the country has scrapped all its COVID-19 norms, writes Schengen Visa Info. All travellers, regardless of their vaccination status and where they are arriving from – an EU or non-EU nation, will not need to provide documents such as a vaccination, recovery, or test certificate upon their arrival.
As per latest updates, Germany has removed travel restrictions for everyone – Indians and otherwise. Earlier, the country required travellers to provide proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test result, or proof of recovery from COVID-19. But now, these restrictions have also been dropped, making travel to the country much easier.
Kenya has reopened its borders for Indians to visit on a tourist visa. In May 2021, the country had closed all borders due to the second wave of COVID-19. Now, along with reopening the borders, fully vaccinated Indians can travel without quarantine and without submitting a negative RT-PCR test result, writes Travel Pulse. However, those who are not vaccinated will need to show a negative COVID-19 report taken within 72 hours of travel, and will be required to take a rapid test upon arrival.
Nepal is one of the countries open for Indian tourists without quarantine. To enter, travellers need to present either a vaccination certificate or proof of a COVID-19 negative test result issued within 72 hours of travel. This means that both passengers – vaccinated and unvaccinated – can explore the vast outdoors of the stunning country and indulge in some memorable experiences there.
Earlier this month, Greece went back to its pre-pandemic travel rules, reports Metro. This means that tourists no longer need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight, nor do they have to undergo COVID-19 tests anymore.
On Friday, April 22, the Canadian government eased its travel restrictions, including dropping the need for having a quarantine plan, wearing masks in public for 14 days after arrival, and unvaccinated children aged between 5 and 11 not needing to test before arrival if they’re accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent, step-parent, guardian, tutor, etc.
In April, South Korea started easing travel restrictions for people across the globe, including India, nearly two years after the pandemic began. Those who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to quarantine before entering the country, state media reports. Even if you are unvaccinated, you won’t need to undergo the mandatory 7-day quarantine. According to the latest update, South Korea has announced the removal of quarantine for unvaxxed international arrivals from June 8.
Australia recently announced that it was opening up its borders for those fully vaccinated, starting February 21. This comes after a temporary closure caused due to the third wave.
France is one of the countries open for tourism without quarantine for Indians, and has eliminated the need for an RT-PCR test for travellers who have received a full vaccination, writes Zee News.
The country removed all travel restrictions on travellers entering the nation as well as for domestic travellers, reports Schengen Visa Info. On Friday, the country’s Federal Public Service (FPS) Publit Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment announced that from May 23, the code yellow, which had been effective in Belgium since March 2022, would be put to an end. Thus, travellers from outside the EU can now enter the country for non-essential purposes, including tourism, and the quarantine and test requirements have also been removed. The travellers will also not need to fill a Passenger Locator Form upon their entry into the nation, the report adds. However, if travellers belong to a country where a new variant has been detected, they will have to go through the prevention measures.
Those who are unvaccinated can also visit Spain now, provided they show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. The country has reopened for all non-EU nations as well, relaxing its quarantine and other mandates to allow visitors to enjoy the scenic locales of the nation.
Among the nations with some of the strictest lockdown measures, Japan is set to reopen international borders starting June 1. The country will allow up to 20,000 daily foreign arrivals starting June 1, and from June 10, it will also allow tour groups from 100 countries and regions. The countries have been divided into the green, yellow and red zones, which determine the quarantine and mask-wearing mandates, writes Times of India, and the tour groups will have to take responsibility of ensuring that the travellers follow all COVID-19 safety measures.
Countries such as Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bahrain, Mongolia, Norway, Indonesia (especially Bali), Mauritius, Czech Republic, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Hungary, Singapore (which has eased a lot of travel restrictions) and Sweden are allowing fully vaccinated tourists to travel without quarantine. However, before you plan a trip, you’ll have to check quarantine rules to check if these countries are open for tourism from India at the time of travel or not.
This story first appeared on Travel+Leisure India.