Sick and tired of quarantine? Well, who isn’t? We have been more or less stuck at our homes since March 2020. Can you imagine how this must feel to a travel addict like me? *desperate sigh and nose wipe* If you are anything like me, you are already making travel plans for 2021 and counting the days when we’ll be free to travel again. However, did you know that a few countries are already completely open for tourism? Meaning, there are countries without travel restrictions or entry requirements due to Covid-19, like mandatory quarantine and PCR tests for tourists?
Partially open vs. completely open
A lot of countries, especially those which highly depend on tourism, have partially opened a couple of months ago. The best source for following travel restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemics is this Kayak’s map by countries. Most of the “partially opened” countries have basic requirements, such as PCR test and mandatory quarantine. However, a handful of countries are open for tourism without any restrictions whatsoever. Tempting? Read further!
Before I jump to the list of countries without travel restrictions, let me be clear about a couple of things:
- I am not encouraging you to break the rules or recommendations of government travel advisories or health authorities in your country of residence. I trust you are old and wise enough to follow the local news and regulations.
- If you are coming from a high-risk country, with high (or rising) number of active COVID-19 infections, don’t travel – even if your country doesn’t mind you to. Be responsible.
- This post has been written on November 19th 2020 and will not be updated regularly. Travel restrictions can change at any time. Be sure to check the situation about travel requirements carefully, especially a couple of days before your planned departure.
- Contact your consulate or, even better, local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry before traveling. Better safe than sorry.
- You still need to check other regular entry requirements, such as travel documents, tourist visas or online forms, for each country.
- Make sure you get coronavirus travel insurance to cover the potential costs of treatment or cancelling your trip if necessary.
- Travel responsibly: wear masks in public places (masks in the airports are obligatory), practice social distancing and wash your hands
List of countries without travel restrictions due to COVID-19
Finally, here is the list of the countries without travel restrictions in alphabetical order. Which means, no PCR tests are needed before or upon arrival, no mandatory quarantine periods and no limits in entering for specific nationality:
Lovely small country in Southern Europe with one minus: you can’t take the advantage of its gorgeous beaches during winter. Note: Health screenings, such as temperature check, may be in place at ports of entry.
On my bucket list, for sure, but I wouldn’t risk traveling to Brazil just yet. Too much crime and the country is currently just too unstable in my opinion. However, Steve has just left me a comment (scroll down) that he is enjoying Brazil right now and he feels safe.
Comment same as for Brazil, I think it is just too risky. Note: You need to fill out the Check-Mig form and must comply with follow-up health checks via CoronAPP mobile app.
- COSTA RICA
Lovely opportunity here if you have time for a road trip! Note: You need to complete a digital health pass 48 hours before boarding and own an insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment and accommodation costs.
I am cheating a bit here because to enter Cuba you do need to take a PCR test, however it is quick and cheap, and you take it at the airport (you don’t need to catch the 72-hours deadline as in most of the countries, which makes it a lot easier to travel).
Travelers will be tested on arrival at a charge of 30 USD for the PCR test. Tourists arriving on holiday charter flights will be transferred directly to their hotels and will be briefed on further medical checks or testing within the hotel. Which means if your PCR test is negative, you are free to move around. Travelers on commercial flights are subject to self-isolation and must undertake a second PCR test. If the result for the 2nd test is negative, they will no longer have to self-isolate. Travelers must complete a declaration called “Declaración de Sanidad del Viajero” and present it upon arrival.
- DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Been there 3 times already and in my opinion Dominican Republic is the best option for a short winter escape. Dominican Republic has been completely open for a while now. A small percentage of visitors are tested randomly with a quick breath test at the airport.
Who goes to Haiti anyway? Travelers are subject to temperature check and they must present a completed Health Declaration Form on arrival.
My opinion – the situation in Mexico is similar to the one in Brazil and Colombia.
Note: Travelers from high risk countries will be screened. In some areas the hotels or beaches are closed but major tourist destinations are fully open.
- NORTH MACEDONIA
Lovely small Balkan country with continental climate. No restrictions whatsoever.
The capital Belgrade is famous for good parties, food and (lots of) drinks, however I am not sure how much from that you would be able to experience during Covid pandemics. Note: There are exceptions for travelers from Croatia, North Macedonia, Bulgaria or Romania (excluding Serbian nationals) who must provide a negative PCR test taken in the 48 hours before arrival.
Tanzania is a bit tricky because it keeps on changing the travel restrictions frequently, so make sure you double-check the actual situation before departure. Currently, temperature checks are made and wearing masks, as well as social distancing is in effect.
I have been in Istanbul twice (I still need to write that damn post!) and all I can say – it is a metropolis well worth visiting. Turkey is also famous for beaches and history, so a nice pick here!
Travelers from Afghanistan or Bangladesh may be denied entry, while other nations are welcome. All arrivals are subject to health screening, including temperature checks. Travelers with symptoms are required to take a PCR test. If your test turns out positive you will be provided with medical treatment at a facility determined by the MOH (free of charge). If you prefer, you can take the treatment in a private medical facility in Turkey at your own expense.
There we are, a list of 12 life-saving destinations for those who are on the edge of a nervous breakdown for not being able to travel. I know my favorite, which is yours? Would you risk traveling during Covid-19 pandemics? Let me know in the comment below. And no matter where you are or where you are going, stay safe and travel responsibly!
You don’t need proof of valid insurance to enter Brazil. They’ve dropped that requirement. I’m here as a tourist now. It’s safe, friendly and not unstable at all. Most people are choosing to wear masks but it feels like back to normal otherwise, unlike most of the other countries I’ve been to since February.
Thanks Steve, I’ll make the update now. Enjoy Brazil and stay safe!