Where Can You Travel Unvaccinated? Top 15 Countries Welcoming Back Visitors


Immanuel Debeer | 09/05/2022

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If you’re unvaxed and looking to start travelling again, I’ve got good news for you! Since April 30, 2022, the Australian federal government has scrapped all vaccination requirements to enter and leave Australia. There is however, one important catch; you will need to be either an Australian Citizen or a permanent resident; New Zealand citizens who usually live in Australia can also enter and leave the country unvaccinated. Temporary visa holders such as tourists will still need to be fully vaccinated to enter Australia.

What about different states?

It’s important to understand how Australian borders work. To make it easy to understand, you should know that the federal government controls the international border. However, the domestic border is controlled by the state government. So this means you could be subject to 2 different sets of rules depending on which Australian state you fly into.

NSW: New South Wales makes it pretty easy; they simply mirror the federal Government on entry rules which means you do not need to be vaccinated to enter Australia via NSW.

VIC: Victoria also followed the federal government on the rule changes, which means you can now leave and enter Victoria without being vaccinated.

QLD: Queensland also follows the government rules, so you can enter and leave Queensland without needing to be vaccinated.

WA: It will be no surprise that Western Australia continues to punish unvaccinated travellers. Currently, you will need to do 7 days of self-funded hotel quarantine when you arrive unvaccinated from overseas. If you don’t want to be locked up, you can simply fly via another state because there are no vaccine requirements to enter WA from interstate. Logic.

SA: South Australia now also treats vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers under the same set of rules. This means you no longer need an exemption to enter or leave South Australia if you’re unvaccinated.

NT: The Northern Territory has also scrapped any vaccine mandates for travellers and also follows the rules set out by the Australian Government.

ACT: Like most states, the ACT has also dropped vaccination requirements for travellers.

TAS: There are currently no restrictions for entering Tasmania, which means unvaccinated and vaccinated travellers will be treated equally once again.

Where can I travel unvaccinated?

Now that you’re free to go, the important question remains: where can you go? As it turns out, a lot of places! So instead of listing them all, we will focus on the most prominent names instead:

  • United Kingdom: the UK has done away with vaccine requirements for some time now, and of course, that means you’re welcome back regardless of your vax status.
  • Maldives: The Maldivian Government has recently done away with most covid requirements, so if you’re after a luxury travel destination, this would be it!
  • Vietnam: Vietnam also no longer requires tourists to be vaccinated; you are welcome to visit as long as you have a visa and a negative test.
  • Denmark: it’s time to lock in a reservation at Noma because Denmark has also dropped all entry requirements.
  • Sweden: relaxed from day one, the Swedes also welcome back visitors regardless of vaccination status.
  • Greece: Greece is dropping its COVID entry rules and mask mandate from May 2, just in time for European summer.
  • France: While France now welcomes back unvaccinated tourists, they do need to come from a “green” country, and currently, Australia is orange.
  • Portugal: Portugal welcomes all tourists back as long as they have a negative test before arrival.
  • Spain: It’s expected that Spain will drop all restrictions from May 15; in the meantime, you will need to be double vaxxed or have recovered from covid within the last 6 months.
  • Mexico: the country never really shut its border, so that means tourists are welcome to visit.
  • United Arab Emirates: If you’re planning a trip to Dubai, you can now also visit without being vaccinated. You will be required to provide a negative test before arrival.
  • Turkey: If you’ve ever wanted to visit Istanbul, I highly recommend it, and it’s probably the perfect time to do so! Turkey only requires a negative test before departure.
  • Italy: while you will still need to provide a negative test, Italy is open again to unvaccinated tourists. The “green pass” system has also been scrapped, which means you no longer need to provide proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars and museums.
  • South Africa: a negative PCR test will be required before entry, and you may be screened upon arrival, but vaccines are not required for entry.
  • Iceland: if you’ve never been, this might be the perfect time to go before mass tourism returns; Iceland does not have any restrictions on international arrivals.

While there are plenty more countries, I hope this list can give you some travel inspiration for the time being!

What about airlines?

Believe it or not, there aren’t many airlines that require their passengers to be fully vaccinated. In Australia, the only international carrier that requires passengers to be vaxxed is Qantas. All your other favourites, such as Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines, do not require their passengers to be vaccinated.

Summing Up

It’s nice to see that normality is once again returning to the world of travel after 2 years of complete insanity. Travel is back, and I’m not mad about it!


Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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  1. The Australian rules are still a little wonky. If I’m not vaccinated and want to visit my child who is a student in Sydney, can I fly into Sydney without being vaccinated?

    • If you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident you can enter the country without vaccination (no quarantine required either). If you’re entering as a tourist you will still need to be vaccinated for the time being.

  2. My daughter currently lives in Canada. New guidelines indicate she can return (unvaccinated) but what about her unvaccinated ‘Canadian’ children & partner?

    • Hi, children don’t need to be vaccinated regardless of nationality to enter Australia if they are under the age of 12. If they are older it would depend if they have Australian citizenship; I’d assume they are eligible? However, your daughter’s partner would need to be vaccinated to enter Australia; at least for the time being.

  3. Understand the countries we can go to unvaxxed – thanks for that information very helpful. My question is if flying those other airlines can we transit in eg Singapore or UAE without a negative test and also being unvaxxed? Good work btw – very useful information well done

    • Hi Ray, transitting a country like Singapore is not a problem. You won’t be able to enter the country but Singapore Airlines does not discriminate based on vaccine status. For the UAE, they now allow unvaccinated tourists so if you wanted to enter the UAE you would need to have a negative test but for transit, this isn’t required as long as you stay airside.

  4. You might want to check Virgin Immanuel – they state on their website that they wont carry the Unvxd. Be interesting to see what happens with the treatment of Unvaxd now Virgin has done a codeshare deal with Qatar. Qatar will carry the Unvxd. How will that work?
    Have also been advised to fly back into NSW as QLD are putting caps on the number of unvxd entering qld per week. No caps on entries into NSW.
    Also what is the best business class fare to South Africa Immanuel?

    • Good point, however they only fly domestically at the moment so it’s not a huge issue for international travel. I have a feeling both airlines will quietly remove the need to be vaccinated now that the emergency act has ended. You raise a valid point with the QR agreement but that won’t come into play for a few more months at which stage I’d be surprised if they kept on discriminating based on ones medical status…
      As far as I’m aware QLD no longer requires vaccination to enter in line with the federal government so I’m unsure how/why they would put caps on inbound passengers? Business-class to South Africa, I would use KrisFlyer miles to book.

  5. Unfortunately Emirates does not distinguish between visa holder and Australian/permanent resident. From their website:

    If you have flights booked with Emirates but you are not fully vaccinated with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or TGA recognised vaccine, and you are not in a medical exemption for contraindication category, you will not be able to travel to Australia until you are fully vaccinated. Please contact Emirates or your travel agent to rebook your flights.

    • The information on their website is outdated though. They can’t refuse you on those grounds since the entry rules for Australian citizens/PR have changed.
      In any case, I will follow up with their PR team to see if they plan to update this information.

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