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Countries without quarantine to spend uni summer hols at in 2021

countries without quarantine
An aerial picture shows crowds of people, including foreign tourists, enjoying the sun and the sea. Source: Damir Sencar/AFP

Summer holidays are upon us, yet the uncertainty of whether it will be another year stuck wherever you are still goes unanswered. With random spikes of COVID-19 cases followed by strict lockdowns, it seems like an ongoing cycle that won’t end.

In the US, with the surge of infections across the country, 72% of Americans in 2020 decided not to take the risk to travel according to Forbes. Another report shows 56% of Europeans are feeling enthusiastic about booking summer holidays abroad now that vaccine rollouts are finally happening — a lot of booking platforms have seen monumental surges in planned holidays this year, be it local or abroad.

Now, pandemic or not, summer breaks are a priority for students. It’s time to recharge. To take a break from school. To distress and avoid burnout. 

If you’re planning to spend it abroad this year, do it safely. At the time of writing, there are 153 countries that have started vaccinating. However, there are more factors to consider. Below, we make your research easier as we round up a list of top countries without quarantine to vacation this summer.

For the unvaccinated

Dreaming about the sun, sea and sand? Maldives has now reopened to tourists where upon arrival, inbound travelled will be granted a 30-day visa and be exempted from self-isolation. To get your safari on in South Africa, you must have a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 test not more than 72 hours before the travel date. 

What about margaritas and tacos? Mexico is currently open for international tourism, where travellers can fly and visit select beaches — like Los Cabos — with no mandatory quarantine period. Arriba arriba!

countries without quarantine

Male, the capital of the Maldives withbcrystal clear waters and white sand that have made the Indian Ocean archipelago a honeymoon destination for the rich and famous. Source: Roberto Schmidt/AFP

You can be salsa-ing your way to Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic too. Costa Rica’s borders are open to anyone and all you have to do is fill out an online form while in the Dominican Republic, travellers must present a health declaration form. 

For the splendour of Turks and Caicos, you must register in their portal and have a negative COVID-19 test no earlier than five days of departure. A trip to the US has a recommended but not required 14-day quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test result.

Wondering about Turkey? If you’re travelling from the UK, South Africa and Denmark, you are required to quarantine. Those coming from other countries do not need to,  provided they submit a PCR test within 72 hours of boarding their flight. Although there is no quarantine, expect tests and screenings upon arrival. 

countries without quarantine

Fishermen stand on the Galata Bridge at sunset at the Eminomu district in Istanbul. Source: Ozan Kose/AFP

For those with the jabs

Croatia — home to the world’s biggest truffle and also has the highest number of UNESCO Intangible Goods of any European country — is open to you. So is Cyprus.  Bask in the Mediterranean Sea if you’re vaccinated and are from Green category countries.

A sweet escape to Guatemala could be in the cards if you have a COVID-19 vaccine certificate administered at least two weeks prior to arrival. If you want to experience the culture in Lebanon — Beirut is basically the Paris of the Middle East — you must be vaccinated and present a COVID-19 PCR test within 96 hours of travel.

countries without quarantine

Tourists walk in Antigua Guatemala, 45 km southeast of Guatemala City amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Source: Johan Ordonez/AFP

Montenegro doesn’t sound too shabby too. Here, fully vaccinated folks can skip testing and quarantine arrangements. The second dose of the vaccine must have been received at least seven days before arrival, but entry is subject to restrictions depending on your country of residence.