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10 Places You Can Travel to This Summer That You Couldn’t Last Summer

Oh, the places you can go!

We’ve said this a lot since 2020, but it looks like more countries are opening up (again!). The last two years have been a rollercoaster with new rules and restrictions every few weeks and it’s been maddening to keep up with everything. We’re having another go at it with this new list of places you can travel this summer that were mostly out of reach last year. 

European countries have started lifting all restrictions, including quarantine and testing, for international travelers—Denmark, Norway, and the UK are much easier to visit now. However, the pandemic isn’t over yet and things can change with no notice. If you’re planning a trip, please read the latest guidelines and check the CDC warning for the country of arrival. It’s recommended to only travel if you’re fully vaccinated (and boosted) to reduce your risk of catching and spreading the virus.

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On February 21, 2022, Australia reopened its borders to fully vaccinated international visitors and there were many tearful reunions of families who had been apart for almost two years. The country had one of the strictest restrictions around the world—it had been mostly closed since March 2020, with some exceptions. Australians were given the green light to come back last year with the phased reopening on November 1, 2021.

Australia requires those who are not fully vaccinated to have a travel exemption and they’re also subject to quarantine requirements.

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New Zealand

Another country that had tales of heartbreak pouring from every part of the world because of its strict border restrictions that separated loved ones. New Zealand had adopted a zero-tolerance policy to COVID-19 and Kiwis had to navigate through a complicated (and expensive) system to get into the country—thousands were stranded abroad with no way back home. 

Now after delays, New Zealand has finally laid out a plan for a five-step phased reopening for fully vaccinated travelers. The first step started bringing Kiwis from Australia on February 27. Now the second step, beginning March 13, will allow New Zealanders from anywhere in the world to enter. The third step, on April 12, will bring temporary workers and student visa holders. In July, the borders will open for Australians and the rest of the world, in the fifth step, will be able to enter from October 2022.

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Entry of foreign nationals has been banned in Vietnam since March 2020 due to COVID-19. But travelers will be able to visit ancient temples and taste rice wine from March 1, 2022. The country has been letting in fully vaccinated travelers with a booking with an approved travel agency (along with other requirements), but starting next month, it’s relaxing rules three months ahead of schedule for unrestricted travel.

Travelers will need proof of vaccination, a negative COVID test, one-day quarantine, and travel insurance along with the e-visa to enter.

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The Southeast Asian country firmly shut its door for international visitors in March 2020 and it’s still deciding when to allow entry. The good news coming from this side of the world is that they’re looking at the second quarter to invite tourists back, and the standard operating procedure will be finalized and announced soon.

The country also launched Langkawi Island Pilot Project to bring foreign travelers to the island given they are fully vaccinated, have a negative test result, and are using the services of a registered and licensed Malaysian tour operator.

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The Philippines

The archipelago in Southeast Asia had plans to reopen in December, but Omicron made them retreat. Now the island nation has been welcoming fully vaccinated tourists since February 10 with a negative COVID test result. So this summer, you can envision yourself sipping a cocktail on a white-sand beach in the Philippines.

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Singapore also let go of its zero-tolerance COVID policy and began easing restrictions with Vaccine Travel Lanes (VTL) in September last year. After a setback due to Omicron in December, the country has resumed reopening. Quarantine-free travel is now extended to Hong Kong, Qatar, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. 

The U.S., Australia, the UK, Malaysia, the Maldives, France, Finland, Spain, Sri Lanka, and many other countries also have active VTLs with Singapore. So, fully vaccinated travelers from these regions can enter the Asian city-state without quarantines. Check the full requirements here.

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This February, one of the hottest island destinations in Asia reopened to all foreign tourists and lifted many bans. However, it still requires travelers to be fully vaccinated and undergo a mandatory quarantine. Direct international flights to the island also resumed after two years. In October, it had approved arrivals from countries that had COVID-19 under control, but now all foreign nationals can visit. 

In the next two weeks, Indonesia may also remove quarantine restrictions in Bali as a trial. Details are awaited, but these are good signs for the country whose economy depends on tourist dollars.

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Travelers waited a long time to see the South American country. After a year and a half, it finally reopened its border on October 1, 2021, to fully vaccinated travelers willing to undergo a five-day quarantine. On November 1, 2021, the quarantine requirement was taken off the table. 

Neighbor Argentina also gave a green light to fully vaccinated travelers on November 1 to visit without quarantine on arrival.

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For those who had the dream of visiting Angkor Wat, you can now fly to Cambodia. The Asian country began reopening to fully-vaccinated travelers in November after two years of closing itself from the world. There are no quarantine requirements for those who are jabbed.

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The East Asian nation opened to vaccinated travelers on February 14, 2022, after two years of strict border control. Ninety-two percent of the country’s adult population is vaccinated and more than half have received a third dose. 

Since November 2020, the country went through 79 days of severe lockdowns under red alert and spent the rest of the days under an orange alert. The country’s strict lockdown impacted businesses severely and led to protests. It comes as a relief that the status has been lowered from orange to yellow.