Which countries have eliminated COVID travel restrictions? Thanks in part to the advance of the global vaccine rollout, the gradual return of travel continues across the world. Though the sequencing of the more contagious Omicron variant put a damper on holiday plans for millions of people, dozens of countries are opening up faster than ever.
If you're curious to know which countries have removed all restrictions related to COVID-19, read on for the details.
Which Countries Have Eliminated COVID Travel Restrictions?
On February 1, Denmark lifted all existing restrictions related to the pandemic. Its government officials believe that the high rate of vaccination is enough to keep the coronavirus from being a "critical" risk and disease to society. Indoor masking requirements are no longer enforced – except in health centers and hospitals – and other social limitations are melting away.
To enter Denmark from abroad, travelers must be fully vaccinated; in the case they're not, they'll have to submit a valid negative COVID test.
2. United Kingdom
The British government has decided that with the coming Spring season, COVID-19 will be considered an endemic disease – much like the common flu. As such, required masking and other protocols will be lifted. All of this is in the hopes that by summer, life will be as close to how it was in 2019 as possible.
Regarding those who test positive and if they'll have to quarantine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that by the end of February, isolation will not be necessary, nor will proof of vaccination be required.
Spain is also leaving face mask requirements behind; however, they remain in place for mass events and gatherings. In Catalonia, the forced closure of nightlife venues as well as the cancellation of classes in schools have been lifted.
These announcements come after government officials reported a drop in cases as well as hospitalizations.
4. The Philippines
We reported that this island nation will be reopening to tourism by the end of February. The list of permitted countries includes the United States, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Canada, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
China, Taiwan, and India remain on the red list for entry to the Philippines.
Following a two-month closure in November 2021, Morocco is ready to open both its borders and airspace to international arrivals. Fully vaccinated travelers will be granted entry as long as they also provide a valid negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of departure. Children under the age of 6 do not need to provide a test or take one upon arrival.
Tourists must also complete a health declaration form before traveling.
Since the end of January, Ireland has been gradually lifted its travel restrictions related to COVID-19. Bars and restaurants have resumed regular activity and opening hours, capacity limitations have been eliminated, and nighttime curfews have as well.
Despite this, the use of face masks is still required at all local businesses in Dublin, as well as in schools and on public transport, through February 28.
To be granted entry, foreign travelers must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Fully vaccinated travelers do not have to take an antigen test, either. However, note that tourists must have received a third dose (or "booster") to be considered fully vaccinated. If a traveler's last dose was received over nine months ago, the Irish government considers them to be not vaccinated.
Similar to Denmark, Sweden has all but declared the "end of the pandemic," and is treating the coronavirus as an endemic disease. Nearly every single restriction has been lifted as the virus isn't seen as a critical illness. Bars and restaurants are open as usual, without capacity limits nor requesting clients show proof of vaccination. Sports arenas can be filled to 100% and the recommendations to work from home when possible and use face masks on public transport are no longer being made.
Travelers coming from the European Union can enter Sweden freely, without having to provide a negative COVID-19 test result.
February has been a key month for Norway with regard to eliminating travel restrictions related to COVID-19. Its entry requirements for travelers have relaxed; authorities announced that quarantine upon arrival is no longer necessary to control the spread of the virus. This means that whether they're vaccinated or not, international arrivals do not need to isolate after entering Norway.
Israel's Health Ministry announced the elimination of its "red list" of high-risk countries. It also announced that fully vaccinated travelers coming from "orange" countries (that were previously on the "red" list) only need to quarantine for 24 hours after arrival, or until they receive a negative result from the COVID-19 test they're required to take before boarding their flight.
10. El Salvador
In November 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to eliminate all COVID-19 travel restrictions and entry barriers. According to reports, travelers to El Salvador will not be required to present proof of vaccination nor take a COVID-19 test. However, there are some internal restrictions and protocols that remain in place regarding the pandemic.