Serious "Revenge Travel" opportunities for the vaccinated traveler
With over half of all adults in the U.S. fully vaccinated and 63% with at least their first shot, the urge for “revenge travel” is growing rapidly. The question is, however, “so what if I’m vaccinated?” What is different for the vaccinated traveler other than the fact that they can feel vastly safer venturing out?
First, it is a truism that vaccinations are making travel more complicated not less. Why? Because there was no agreed upon protocol for international travel before we began to get vaccinated and there certainly is no agreement amongst countries on how to deal with vaccinated travelers now. Yes there are efforts such as the EU’s Digital COVID Certificates but the world is a long way away from a uniform and unified approach.
While many countries including the U.S. have not changed their positions on COVID-19 and international travel, there is a perceptible and important number of changes happening for the vaccinated traveler. A few countries are now open to U.S. vaccinated travelers that weren't, a dozen countries have removed the PCR testing requirements for vaccinated travelers, and some amazing destinations that required both testing and quarantines have now relaxed those requirements for the vaccinated traveler.
The bottom line is that these are significant changes that portend a broader relaxing of travel restrictions for the vaccinated traveler.
Countries that were closed but now open U.S. travelers who are vaccinated:
Iceland: You will still need a pre-arrival PCR test but no 5-day quarantine required once there.
Israel: Having vaccinated a vast majority of their population, Israel recently launched a pilot program that allows in small groups of vaccinated U.S. travelers. Watch for an update from Israel on June 15.
Countries that allowed U.S. travelers in before and now allow vaccinated travelers in without a PCR test or quarantine: (in other words, a definite reduction in the hassle factor).
Bahamas: No need for pre-arrival PCR test nor day 5 test.
Belize: No need for pre-arrival test or other tests.
Croatia: No need for pre-arrival test or other tests.
Ecuador: No need for pre-arrival test or other tests unless going to the Galapagos. These travelers still require a PCR test 96 hours prior to arrival in the Galapagos.
El Salvador: No need for pre-arrival test or other tests.
Greece: No need for pre-arrival test or other tests.
Guatemala: No need for pre-arrival test or other tests.
Lebanon: No need for pre-arrival or upon-arrival tests.
Montenegro: No need for pre-arrival test or other tests.
Puerto Rico: No need for pre-arrival test and do not need to wear masks outdoors.
Slovenia: No need for pre-arrival test and do not need to quarantine for 10 days.
Tunisia: No need for pre-arrival test and do not need to quarantine for 7 days.
Countries that allowed U.S. travelers in before and now allow vaccinated travelers in without quarantine: (These are very desirable destinations for world travelers and many if not most of these travelers consider quarantining a non-starter so this is a huge benefit for the vaccinated).
Bermuda: Vaccinated visitors still have to take up to 5(!) tests but do not have to adhere to the fairly arduous 14-day “vacation in place” protocol including colored wristbands.
British Virgin Islands: Still requires two tests but removes the 4-day quarantine requirement.
Italy: Vaccinated travelers to Italy must take two tests but do not have to quarantine for 10 days and are allowed to travel throughout the country (there are local travel restrictions in place for the unvaccinated). NOTE: Italy does currently allow a handful of COVID Tested flights to enter. These are for unvaccinated travelers and everyone on the flight must be PCR tested and verified through the airlines.
Saint Lucia: Still requires one PCR test but no 14-day quarantine required (although their “quarantine” is actually a fairly robust “travel bubble” of hotels and activities for unvaccinated travelers).
Tahiti: Still requires three tests but no strict 10-day quarantine for vaccinated travelers.
Countries that allowed U.S. travelers in before and now allow vaccinated travelers in with a reduced quarantine: (I consider these countries to be putting their proverbial toe in the water for the vaccinated traveler. It will be a personal decision by each individual to see if these changes are enough to entice them when compared to the destinations above).
Barbados: Vaccinated travelers must take a pre-arrival test and are released from the arduous 7-day quarantine with a negative result from the rapid test upon arrival. Must quarantine for 48 hours awaiting the test results.
Anguilla: Still must take multiple PCR tests and quarantine is reduced from 14 days to 7 days.
Grenada: Still must take pre-arrival test and quarantine for 2 versus 7 days.
St Vincent and the Grenadines: Two tests and quarantine for 2 versus 14 days.
St. Kitts and Nevis: Two tests versus three and quarantine for 9 versus 14 days.
And yet with all this detail, I have not included things like protocols for unvaccinated children, protocols for families, protocols for COVID-recovered travelers, etc.
Finally, Hawaii has yet to relax their testing requirements for mainland vaccinated travelers for travel to the Islands or travel between the islands.