The coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, which has been prevailing for more than a year has affected several business sectors severely. The tourism industry- whose basic requirement is the movement of people from one place to another- has also been badly hit due to lockdown restrictions, cancellation of flights for domestic and international travel, closure of resorts and other tourist attractions etc.
However, with the commencement of administering Covid-19 vaccine doses to people globally, countries are allowing or are in the process of allowing inoculated travellers to visit them. As long as people have been administered two doses of their country’s respective vaccine and can produce documentary evidence to prove that they have been inoculated, they are allowed to travel.
Here are some of the countries that are allowing travel for all vaccinated passengers:
According to an official statement on January 17, the government opened Seychelles for tourism for those people who have been administered vaccine doses and also have a negative report from the RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test 72 hours before the journey.
Earlier, the government had announced that it was opening the country in a two step-approach. Under the first step- passengers are allowed to enter the country 14 days after taking both doses of the vaccine along with a negative report from a test done 72 hours before the journey. While under the second step which will be in force from mid-March, the government expects to vaccinate a significant section of its population — when non-vaccinated people would be able to enter the country with just a negative report from a test done 72 hours before the journey.
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The country’s resort island of Phuket is formulating a plan to fully reopen to vaccinated visitors by October this year with the view to revive the tourism industry which has been hard hit by the pandemic. The plan which will need permits from the government also seeks to waive a mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement for travellers.
“This will allow thousands of vaccinated Europeans who usually spend their winter months in Phuket to visit,” Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket tourist association told news agency Bloomberg. The island is also working towards providing private Covid-19 vaccinations for 250,000 residents.
Georgia, which is situated at the intersection of eastern Europe and West Asia, is the first country to remove entry restrictions for all vaccinated passengers, according to a report by the Independent. This means that there is no quarantine , no testing on arrival or pre-departure.
The report by Independent also added that since February 1, all international tourists have been allowed to enter the country as long as they have been administered both doses of their respective coronavirus vaccines and can also present requisite proof.
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Iceland issued its first Covid-19 vaccination certificates on January 26 to ease travel for all those people who have been inoculated against the disease. The health ministry said that this step was taken with an aim to facilitate movement of people between countries and individuals who could produce vaccination certificates would be exempt from border restrictions. The ministry however pointed out that the certificates are yet to be recognised internationally.
(With agency inputs)