TIME TO TRAVEL
Countries That Have Opened Up International Borders to Tourism
BY HIRANMAYII AWLI MOHANAN
Travel is back. Malaysians are domestically hitting the road again, with many ready to start booking future trips, if not already travelling internationally. Find out which countries are open for you based on your country of residence and vaccination status.
Canada is a beloved country for its charming people, high standard of living and jaw- dropping landscapes. After closing its land borders and halting international flights due to the pandemic, Canada now welcomes all eligible fully-vaccinated travellers regardless of citizenship to enter the country. Those who qualify as a fully-vaccinated travellers are required to show a pre-entry molecular test, use ArriveCAN upon arrival and they are exempted from quarantine and Day-8 testing. If you’re hoping to travel to Canada, you must be fully vaccinated with a Canada-approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J or AstraZeneca) and submit proof electronically through the ArriveCAN app. You must also show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours prior to entering.
Beautiful Egypt, the great land of millenia-old monuments that sit along the fertile Nile River Valley including Giza’s colossal Pyramids and Great Sphinx as well as Luxor’s hieroglyph- lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs is a treasure trove for history lovers and adventure seekers. At present, there are no countries barred from entering Egypt. All incoming travellers arriving in the country from abroad need to fill in a health declaration form for Egypt. You can fill the form upon your arrival. Unvaccinated travellers must submit a negative RT-PCR test report taken at a maximum of 72 hours before their flight departure time. Fully vaccinated passengers are exempted from testing and quarantine requirements.
Picturesque lavender fields, iconic monuments and buildings, fairy-tale castles and scenic villages easily make France one of the most visited tourist spots in the world. If you are vaccinated, you too can now travel to France with no quarantine restrictions. Fully vaccinated travellers from countries on its green list will be permitted to enter France without restrictions and quarantine measures. Non-vaccinated travellers from the green list will have to present proof of a PCR or antigen test taken within the last 24 to 72 hours before their arrival in France.
If you’ve been wanting to kick back at the idyllic, laidback, luxury vacation Maldives has to offer, now is the time. At present, the scattered country is receiving travellers, without asking those vaccinated to quarantine (provided they are travelling to an island where 60% of the population are fully vaccinated). In addition, a negative PCR certificate issued no more than 96 hours prior to departure is still requisite for all unvaccinated passengers. Passengers must complete a “Traveller Health Declaration” 24 hours before departure. The government is primarily relying on the fact that guests usually prefer to lounge and relax in their private over- water huts and villas. Nonetheless, most of the islands can be visited.
Spain is truly blessed with the overwhelming Mediterranean Sea on three sides and with the sea and the coast come the jaw-dropping and beautiful Mediterranean beaches. Spain has almost 3,000 catalogued beaches, the most in all of Europe. From late night parties, mouth-watering meals and splendid gothic buildings, the aesthetically pleasing beautiful streets of Barcelona, Madrid, Grenada and Seville — the European nation of Spain calls your name. Spain has been welcoming fully vaccinated tourists from all countries who have been fully vaccinated with an EMA-approved COVID-19 vaccine since June 7, 2021. All travellers entering Spain must fill in a Health Control Form, which can be completed and signed in electronically. Although Spain’s state of emergency has been lifted, certain COVID-19 related measures still remain effective in the country in order to protect public health. Museums, exhibitions, monuments and other cultural spaces are open to visitors. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, many of these spaces have reduced their visitor capacity and have prioritised remote purchasing of tickets.
Turkey is famous for a diverse set of both oriental and European elements — from the traditional Turkish tea to the majestic Hagia Sophia. It’s also famous for its carpets, hammam and bazaars, destinations like Istanbul and Cappadocia and sweet treats like Turkish delights and baklava. Turkey is accepting travellers from most countries, with the exception of those who have travelled to Brazil, South Africa, Nepal or Sri Lanka until further notice. All travellers must submit a Turkey Entrance Form within 72 hours before travel and may be subject to PCR testing upon arrival in Turkey. Travellers who have been vaccinated at least 14 days before their arrival in Turkey can skip testing and quarantine.
# THE UNITED KINGDOM
Visiting the birthplace of Shakespeare and The Beatles is always a delight, given its fabulous sceneries, centuries-old universities and buildings,aswell as it being the melting pot of cultures. The UK has a single red list in effect consisting of only seven countries, which means that fully-vaccinated travellers outside the red list are allowed to enter the UK without having to take a PCR or lateral flow test first. To be classified as fully vaccinated, travellers must have been vaccinated in countries where the administered vaccines along with proof of vaccination are recognised by the UK government including the UK, EU, US or several other recognised countries. Travellers departing from non-red list countries may be able to apply for a UK tourist visa.