Covid: Which countries can you visit without a vaccine?

Turkey is among the countries that unvaccinated travellers can visit (Picture: Getty Images)

The pandemic has had a profound effect on international travel over the past couple of years, with entry requirements varying according to where you are heading.

While the rules are constantly changing, the majority of foreign destinations now require visitors over a certain age to be fully vaccinated, and some may also require a negative test taken shortly before arrival.

Government and NHS advice states that all three doses of a Covid vaccine will offer the best protection against catching the virus, or becoming severely ill with it if you do.

But there are of course those who are unable to have the vaccine for medical reasons, or who have chosen not to have it.

Which countries will accept travellers who have not had the Covid jab?

Which countries can you visit without a Covid vaccine?

The following countries will accept travellers who have not had the Covid jab:

Croatia

Croatia will accept a negative test or evidence of recovery (Picture: Getty Images)

Visitors to Croatia can produce either a negative lateral flow taken within 48 hours of arrival, a PCR test taken within 72 hours or a doctor’s certificate confirming recovery of a Covid infection between 11 and 180 days prior to travel.

Cyprus

Cyprus will also accept a test result (Picture: Getty Images)

From January 4, unvaccinated visitors to Cyprus have to provide a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours of arrival, and then take another PCR test at the airport and self-isolate until the result is received (which should take around three hours)

Passengers are then given five self-tests to use daily – if any of these are positive, you must take a PCR test and notify the authorities and then self-isolate for 14 days.

Greece

Greece remains popular with British tourists (Picture: Getty Images)

Unvaccinated travellers can visit Greece with either a negative PCR test done 72 hours before arrival, of proof of a negative rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory, taken within 48 hours.

Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)

Madeira welcomes visitors with a negative test result (Picture: Getty Images)

Portugal changed its rules in September, and British travellers can now show a negative PCR result taken within 72 hours or a negative antigen test which is included on the EU Common List of Rapid Antigen Tests. A regular NHS-issued lateral flow will not be accepted.

You’ll also need a PCR or rapid antigen test result to enter Madeira and the Azores – and in both Portugal and the islands you will be subject to health screening at the airport.

Mexico

Mexico requires a health declaration form (Picture: Getty Images)

If you’re travelling to Mexico you will need to complete a health declaration form and scan its QR code on arrival.

There is currently no requirement to show a PCR test result, although some resorts may ask guests to complete a health questionnaire on arrival.

Slovenia

Slovenia offers idyllic views as well as the famous Lake Bled (Picture: Getty Images)

Unvaccinated visitors to Slovenia from the UK must fill in a Digital Passenger locator form, as well as a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test taken with 48 hours. Evidence of recovery from infection, in the shape of a positive PCR test result that is more than 10 days old but less than six months old can also be used upon entry.

Turkey

Turkey requires negative tests but no vaccine (Picture: Getty Images)

If you’re visiting Turkey, you’ll need a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours, if you have no proof of vaccination.

Alternatively, you can present proof of recovery from a Covid infection in the past 180 days.

UAE

The requirements vary depending on where in the UAE you go (Picture: Getty Images)

All those arriving in the United Arab Emirates must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival (48 hours if you’re arriving in Abu Dhabi). If you’re visiting Dubai, you must register on the Covid-19 DXB app, as well as filling in a health declaration form and a quarantine form.

If you are in Abu Dhabi, you will also need to test on days six and nine of your trip, if you are still in the country.

Before you travel

If you are planning to go anywhere at all at the moment, remember the situation is constantly changing, and the rules of any country you may be planning to visit can change at any time.

The travel rules on returning to the UK are also subject to change in the event of a new variant taking hold, or case numbers rising in another part of the world.

This means countries could be put on the red list at short notice, meaning you would have to quarantine in a hotel at your expense upon arrival in the UK.

Current rules also state that unvaccinated travellers must self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival in England and take two PCR tests, on day two and day eight.

Your best bet before you travel anywhere is to ensure you are up to date with your Covid jabs, and also have your booster vaccination if you are eligible.

You should also note – whether you are vaccinated or not – that if you do test positive while you are abroad you will be subject to the quarantine rules of that country.

You should ensure before you travel anywhere that you have comprehensive travel insurance which will cover you if you need to extend your stay or if you need medical treatment.


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