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Covid travel: Hassle-free holiday guide to the countries you can visit without quarantine

·4 min read
Head to Iceland for a spectacular winter break  (PA)
Head to Iceland for a spectacular winter break (PA)

If you like piña coladas, and (not) getting caught in the rain, then you might be in need of a long-awaited holiday.

Rules have now tightened in light of the new Omicron variant, but most travel is still straightforward. Just bear in mind that from 30 November, anyone returning to the UK will have two days to take a PCR test. Lateral flow tests will no longer be accepted, and you’ll have to self-isolate until you have proof of a negative test result.

The red list has also been updated to include ten southern African countries - South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, and Zambia. To enter the UK from one of these countries you must be a UK or Irish national or resident, and you’ll be required to isolate in a quarantine hotel for ten days.

Other countries still have their own guidelines in place, so make sure to double check before booking as rules can change quickly.

But with all that in mind, here are ten easy holiday options if you’re double jabbed. Pack those suitcases: your hassle-free holiday awaits.

Norway

 (NTB/AFP via Getty Images)
(NTB/AFP via Getty Images)

Norway now accepts the NHS Covid Vaccine Passport as proof of immunity and British travellers can therefore visit free of restrictions or quarantine, as long as you register before departure.

With dramatic fjords, midnight sun, colourful coastal towns, and a chance of spotting the northern lights, the country makes for an ideal Christmas destination.

Read Kate Lough’s full guide to why a trip to Norway is very worth your while.

Iceland

 (PA)
(PA)

For those in need of a change of scenery, landscapes don’t come much more spectacular than Iceland. Take a dip in a volcanic spring, venture to a vast glacier or head to one of many splendid waterfalls - you’ll never be stuck for something to see in the land of fire and ice.

If you’re fully vaccinated against Covid or have recovered from a previous infection, you’re allowed in. You just need to present a negative PCR or antigen (rapid) test that is no more than 72 hours old before departure.

Find our Iceland travel guide here.

Barbados

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

For those in need of a dose of winter sun, Barbados - with its gentle turquoise seas and luxurious hotels - could make an ideal destination.

Entry is still straightforward - if you’re double-vaccinated, you need only submit their Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) card 24 hours prior to travel, and present a valid PCR negative test result taken no more than three days in advance of your flight’s arrival.

Find our Barbados travel guide here.

United States

 (AP)
(AP)

Brits jumped for joy when US borders finally reopened this month, and many have been flocking to the Big Apple and beyond ever since.

Fully vaccinated travellers from anywhere in the world are now able to visit the US, as long as you comply with existing immigration regulations. If these conditions are met, you won’t have to quarantine.

Read our US travel guide here.

Read our New York travel guide here.

Canada

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

O, Canada - for breathtaking sweeps of mountain framed by aquamarine lakes and seemingly endless forests, the US’s neighbour offers an equally delightful chance to escape into nature. Or head to one of many bustling cities - Montréal is closer to the UK if you fancy a shorter flight.

Entry to Canada is again straightforward - just provide proof of double vaccination to avoid quarantine, as well as presenting an approved Covid test and uploading your details in advance.

Read one of our Canadian travel guides here.

Maldives

Maldives (Getty Images)
Maldives (Getty Images)

For a slice of peaceful island life, the Maldives have been a firm favourite with UK travellers for years.

Visitors need to be fully vaccinated, and you’ll have to take a PCR test in the 96 hours prior to departure (as well as filling in a health declaration form before you go).

Find our Maldives travel guide here.

Turks and Caicos

 (Pixabay)
(Pixabay)

Another reliable option for those seeking powdery beaches and sun-drenched seas.

Anyone travelling who is aged 16 or over will need two doses of the vaccine, and everyone over nine must upload TCI Assured information prior to departure (this includes a negative PCR test, insurance, and a health questionnaire).

Malta

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

If you fancy a stroll through an ancient city, you’re in luck.

Travelling to Malta is as simple as having both vaccines, as long as you also complete a travel declaration and Passenger Locator Form.

Find our Malta travel guide here.

Portugal

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

From 1 December, fully vaccinated visitors will have to present proof of a negative Covid prior to departure, which will also be required to enter indoor facilities and to attend large events.

But Portugal has plenty to offer - think pousadas, wineries, and wide open countryside in the less visited interior, and of course the beaches, bars, and golf courses of the Algarve for those craving a little post-lockdown fun.

From dramatic islands like Madeira and the Azores to the hubbub of forward-looking, design destinations like Lisbon and Porto, there’s something for everyone - read our full Portugal destination guide here.

Croatia

 (Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Croatia is steeped in attractions - from walled cities to the thousand or more islands fringing its coastline.

Brits travelling to Croatia must present either proof of a vaccination, a negative Covid antigen test no older than 48 hours, a negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours, or a doctor’s certificate of recovery.

Find our Croatia travel guide here.

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