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Which Countries Require a COVID-19 PCR Test for Entry?

Which Countries Require a COVID-19 PCR Test for Entry?

 

Updated: 3rd March 2022



Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, there is a chance you may require a COVID-19 PCR test for entry to your destination. The Polymerase Chain Reaction Test may be a daunting term but it is simply the process used to detect whether the COVID-19 virus is present in your body. The tests look for the presence of the RNA of the antigen to determine whether or not you may be actively infected.

The test itself is an unobtrusive swab of the inside of the mouth or nasal passage. It takes only a moment and, depending on where you have it done, can take just 12-24 hours for a result. Despite the advertised turnaround for results of half a day, Health and Fitness Travel, the Wellness Specialists, strongly recommend that you do not leave your testing to the 24 hours before your flight. Postal delays at private clinics could derail your travel so we advise you plan ahead. 

For the expressed purpose of travel, the government advises against seeking a PCR test on the NHS as it diverts vital resources that should be used in tackling the crisis. Private medical practitioners offer appointments and walk-in PCR tests with results in 2-3 days. The costs of these tests do vary in price so it is best to shop around for the best deal and availability before booking your test. 

As safety is a top priority in the current climate, many countries are requiring negative results on a PCR test before allowing any travellers access. Some countries have gone further by maintaining stricter measures: not allowing anyone entry or requiring 14-day quarantines in government facilities on arrival. To give you a comprehensive oversight of travel in 2022, we’ve compiled the latest travel advice on which countries currently require a negative covid-19 PCR test. If you are after any more advice for travelling safely and hygienically, discover our top hygiene tips whilst travelling.

 

St Lucia

The piton in St Lucia 

This beautiful mountainous island in the West Indies is accessible and open for travel as of 4 February 2022! The gorgeous island is known for its stunning turquoise waters, exceptional nightlife, and being a hotspot for some of Hollywood’s hottest stars. With only minor restrictions and the end of a quarantine period for vaccinated travellers, the sunny, sizzling island is ripe for exploring! 

Requirements for arrival

  • All travellers must complete a travel registration form and receive an approval confirmation BEFORE they can board their flights (this can be completed months in advance of travel and just the PCR results need to be loaded within five days of travel). A link to that form and FAQs can be found here https://www.stlucia.org/en_UK/covid-19/international-arrivals/ . 
  • A negative PCR test is required to be able to travel to Saint Lucia and MUST be uploaded to their travel registration form within five days of travel (the day of travel is counted as one of those days). 
  • Fully vaccinated travellers are free to explore the island and simply need to provide proof of vaccination (NHS app or letter) which will be checked at the airport in Saint Lucia. Children travelling with fully vaccinated adults need to take a PCR test at their hotels if they want the same access to explore as their parents/guardians https://www.stlucia.org/en/covid-19/fully-vaccinated-arrivals/ . 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers are also very welcome to visit, and they need to follow points 1 and 2 and can still experience covid-certified tours and visit covid-certified restaurants, but they would need to be on the island for 14 days to be able to have the same access as fully vaccinated travellers. 

Requirements for return 

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

   

Turks & Caicos

Beach landscape in Turks and Caicos

 

Turks & Caicos is a Bahaman archipelago of idyllic tropical islands with quiet white beaches and peaceful blue waterways. It is a sanctuary of separation from the modern world and all the safety concerns that come with it. You can relax here, on your private island, safe in the knowledge that the natural tranquillity of this region is unlikely to be disturbed.  

Requirements for arrival

  • Anyone arriving to the Turks and Caicos Islands is required to obtain pre-travel authorisation via the Turks and Caicos Islands Assured Portal. With effect from Wednesday 1 September all travellers to Turks & Caicos aged 16 and above must be fully vaccinated and all travellers aged 2 and above (including those fully vaccinated) will be required to upload on to the TCI Assured Portal. 
  • COVID-19 tests and results need to have been completed within three days of the date of arrival into Turks and Caicos.  
  • Travellers will also be required to provide proof of health/travel insurance with COVID-19 cover and a completed health screening questionnaire. From 1 September 2021, all visitors aged 16 and above will also need to provide evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19 on arrival to TCI. NHS vaccine cards and/or a letter from your GP or professional body where you were fully vaccinated will be accepted as proof of your vaccination in the UK. 
  • From 1 September 2021, any fully vaccinated tourist testing positive whilst in TCI must self-isolate at their own expense for a period of at least five days (5). 

Requirements for return 

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

 

The Maldives

Maldive island in the ocean

 

The Maldivian Atolls dotting the middle of the Indian Ocean have long maintained a tropical mysticism. The main islands and the surrounding volcanic ridges breathe a vitality of life 1000s of miles from the mainlands of Africa or India: a green oasis in a sea of fluorescent blue. Due to its small population, the island has unique travel requirements. 

Requirements for arrival:  

  • Fully-vaccinated travellers who have received a negative PCR test are allowed to travel to islands that are not under monitoring without quarantining. 
  • What makes the situation of the Maldives unique is that each island within the archipelago has different requirements. Here are the quarantining results for fully vaccinated travellers.
    • If the positivity rate of the island is under 5%, nothing changes and quarantine is not mandatory. 
    • If the positivity rate of the island is 5-10%, a seven day (7) quarantine period is mandatory. 
    • If the positivity rate of the island is over 10%, a fourteen day (14) quarantine period is mandatory.  
  • Non-vaccinated travellers can only travel islands with guesthouses if: 
    • 60% of the island population have completed two doses of a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine; 
    • 95% of all employees in the tourism sector of the island have completed two doses of a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine 
    • 90% of the island population over the age of 60 has completed two doses of a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine 
  • With this being said, non-vaccinated travellers also must take a PCR test seven days after arrival. 
  • Most of the resorts and tourist destinations in the Maldives are within Greater Male, and since this island does not comply with the above requirements, only fully vaccinated travellers can travel to this portion of the Maldives.  

Requirements for return 

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

 

Cyprus

Rock formations in the sea off the island of Cyprus

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Croatia based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Mountainous islands seem to have fared well when compared to some larger regions in Europe, America and Asia. Cyprus, in the eastern Mediterranean, is a characterful island with year-long enjoyable weather and vibrant culture. For centuries, the mountain communities have developed the mineral-rich springs for natural bathing and holistic spa therapies. A retreat in Cyprus is a chance to loosen the shoulders and cleanse the skin.

Requirements for arrival

The UK entered Cyprus’ Amber category on 29 April, therefore:

  • All permitted travellers must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before their journey. 
  • All travellers aged 6 or above must get a SafePass to enter any establishment, which you can get for being fully vaccinated or partially vaccinated and showing a negative PCR or rapid test. 
  • The Republic of Cyprus authorities have announced that from 1 May 2021 travellers with proof of two COVID-19 vaccinations completed within a specified timeframe before travel will not be required to take a pre-departure PCR test.  

Requirements for return

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

  

Portugal

Nightscape photograph of a person on the beach in Portugal

 

With restrictions loosening up, it has become relatively straightforward to travel to Portugal out of the United Kingdom. With incredible highlights such as the Algarve, Madeira, and Porto Santo, there are so many decadent retreats to embark on! Here are the most updated requirements on Portugal’s coronavirus requirements. 

Before you travel to Portugal you must:

  • Fully vaccinated travellers do not have to quarantine or test 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival or rapid test within 24 hours of arrival. 

On arrival in England you must:

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

 

Turkey

Landscape photograph of Bodrum, Turkey

 

The southwestern region of the Bodrum peninsula is a different world to many European destinations. Asian cultural influences fuse with the Mediterranean lifestyle to create a region perfect for a summer wellness holiday. Spend your mornings in mosaic chambers filled with a cleansing steam and celebrate the afternoon by diving into the refreshing waters of the Aegean. Turkey is an ideal location for a getaway to focus on your wellbeing and expand your cultural horizons.  

Requirements for arrival:

  • All travellers over the age of 6 must fill out a Form for Entry to Turkey within 72 hours of travel.  
  • Fully vaccinated travellers do not have to quarantine or test 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

Requirements for return 

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

  

Spain

Viewpoint lookout on the Spanish Coast

 

Spain has always been a hit with holiday goers, prior to lockdown it was attracting over 80 million tourists a year. To maintain the travel industry and keep life in the vibrant coastal towns, the Spanish government has allowed visitors to enter without any complex regulations. 

Requirements for arrival

  • All travellers over the age of 6 must fill out a Spanish Health Control Form within 72 hours of travel.  
  • Fully vaccinated travellers do not have to quarantine or test. Note that your final dose has to be under 270 days before your travel.  
  • Non-vaccinated travellers are currently not allowed to enter Spain for tourism with the following exceptions 
    • UK Proof of Recovery Record is accepted by the Spanish government 
    • Children under 12 do not need to be vaccinated to enter Spain 
    • Children aged 12 to 17 can take a COVID-19 NAAT test or show a recovery certificate. 

Requirements for return

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

 

Italy

Stunning night time photograph of the Italian Coast

 

Italy struggled through one of the worst COVID outbreaks in Europe. The Italian crisis has, thankfully, lessened but there is still a risk of travel to the mainland or Sardinia and there are measures in place to curb the spread of any further outbreak. The Italian government will need clarification of a negative result by some means if you plan on staying in the country. There are also specific entry requirements for the Island of Sardinia that do not apply to the mainland. There are still restrictions in Italy despite a general loosening around Europe, here’s what you need to know.  

Requirements for arrival

  • Fill in a European Union Passenger Locator Form 
  • Fully vaccinated travellers do not need to isolate. 
  • As of 1 March 2022, travellers over the age of 6 must show: 
    • Proof of vaccination OR 
    • Evidence of negative PCR test within 72 hours or a rapid test within 48 hours of travel respectively OR 
    • A COVID-19 recovery certificate showing recovery within the last six months. 

 

If you cannot or do not have proof of any of the aforementioned, you must: 

  • Travel to your final destination in Italy by private transport 
  • Isolate for five days (5) 
  • Call the COVID-19 Regional Hotline to notify the Prevention Department of your arrival for monitoring. 
  • Take another COVID-19 test after the end of the five-day isolation period. Upon receiving a negative result, isolation can end.  

All arrivals to Sicily are subject to a free lateral flow test that is free of charge.  

Requirements for return

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

Greece

 Image of Santorini featuring the iconic blue and white buildings looking out over the sea

 

Fishing villages, painted bright white, climb into the rugged cliff lines of the Aegean Sea, making for spectacular views and a charming wellness holiday. Greece has been quiet this season but it has not lost any of its remarkable beauty. The culture of the mainland, the fun activities of the coast and the wellness retreats of the mountains are still available. 

Requirements for arrival

  • Fill out a PLF which can be accessed here before arriving in Greece 
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you must present a negative PCR certificate from a testing laboratory, for a Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival 
  • If the traveller has completed his/her vaccination (i.e., 14 days have elapsed since the last vaccination, depending on the doses required) and holds a vaccination certificate, then proof of a negative test is not required 
  • You may undergo a random health screening 

Requirements for return 

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

 

 Croatia

Aerial image of Dubrovnik looking out onto the sea

 

With over 4000 miles of picturesque Adriatic shoreline, Croatia has become increasingly popular with tourists from the UK as an alternative to the French and Italian Rivieras. Croatia has not felt the brunt of the global pandemic.  

Requirements for arrival

  • The Croatian government has introduced a new online entry form to expedite the entry of foreign visitors. 
  • Fully vaccinated travellers do not need to be isolated or tested upon entry to Croatia. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival or rapid test within 24 hours of arrival. 

Requirements for return

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

 

France

Lounging area at a French wellness resort looking out onto the ocean

 

Vive le France! A nation steeped in culture, history and beautiful landscapes. Rest under the sun, soaking up the surroundings of the French Riviera with wellness activities, therapies and meditation to feel rejuvenated this spring and seasons to come! 

Requirements for arrival

  • Fully vaccinated travellers do not need to present any testing upon entry to France. 
  • Fully vaccinated travellers must provide a sworn statement that they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.  
  • Non-vaccinated travellers need a compelling reason to enter France that does not include tourism. In addition, they must give the same sworn statement as vaccinated travellers, take a negative PCR or rapid test, and are subject to tests on arrival.  

Requirements for return

  • Complete a passenger locator form regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

 

Colombia

Beach at Colombia Tayrona National Park

 Colombia is a slice of South American heaven that offers stunning beaches, gorgeous tropical vegetation, and some of the most fabulous resorts in the world! Previously denying travellers entry, Colombia has since opened up its borders and welcomes vaccinated tourists with open arms!

Requirements to enter

  • All travellers must fill out a “Check Mig” form similar to passenger locator forms in other European countries. 
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to enter Colombia without quarantining or testing upon entry.  
  • Unvaccinated individuals without familial or governmental ties to Colombia will not be allowed entry at this time.  

Requirements for return 

  • Non-vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 test upon arrival.  

 

Although not entirely back to normal, the world is beginning to open up for travel again. For more information on the ever-changing world situation, please go to our detailed COVID-19 Information Hub. 

Talk to one of our Travel Specialists on 0203 397 8891 or contact us here to discuss tailor-making your perfect holiday.