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Vaccinations have been flagged as the way out of the current pandemic, here we look at the relationship of being vaccinated with being able to travel.
Although travel is off the cards during the third lockdown, there is a little light at the end of the tunnel as some tourism hungry countries have announced immunised travellers will be allowed to visit. The landscape is a little tricky as you have to look at both our domestic rules, say on quarantine on return, and the rules of the country being researched to visit but we'll try to help navigate that task here.
Please do remember that currently, vaccinated or not, leisure travel is not permitted but when it is here are some countries welcoming vaccinated tourists.
In December 2020, Cyprus became the first EU country to say that it was planning to lift testing and quarantine requirements for tourists who had been vaccinated against Covid-19. Indications are this will be enacted at some point in March 2021 but remember the lifting of restrictions will only apply to those vaccinated.
Icelandic Authorities state that “all those who present a valid international vaccination certificate for full vaccination with an approved vaccine against Covid-19 are exempt” from quarantine and test requirements in place for other tourists.
Having been vaccinated against Covid-19 and holding a recognised certificate does NOT exempt you from the restriction that only authorised travellers are allowed to enter Iceland, the UK having left the EU is considered a "third country". So currently regardless of being vaccinated or not, unless you have a valid exemption, vaccinated or not, UK passport holders cannot travel to Iceland until those restrictions are lifted by the Icelandic authorrities.
Romania has announced that with immediate effect, if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you will not need to quarantine on arrival in Romania. Furthermore entry into Romania must be 10 days after the second dose and you must have an official document showing you have been vaccinated.
Once UK domestic restrictions are lifted travelling to and from Romania for those fully vaccinated is very much possible.
Pretty much with immediate effect fully vaccinated visitors can enter the Seychelles without needing to quarantine although a negative Covid PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival still needs to be presented.
To qualify as fully vaccinated, you need to have had both doses of either, Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen or AstraZeneca and have waited 14 days after the second dose before entering the Seychelles.
The situation is slightly complicated as in addition to the lifting of the current travel ban, the Seychelles will also need to be removed from the list of Countries requiring hotel self isolation on return to the UK, before this destination becomes easily accessible.
IATA, the organisation representing airlines is campaigning hard for the introduction of a globally recognised "digital travel pass" also called a "vaccine passport" which would allow holders of the same to travel without the need to quarantiine if they've had the Covid vaccine.
For this to really work it would need to be backed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the airline industry is lobbying WHO to endorse "vaccine passports".