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#TripTips: 10 countries that have dropped their test requirements for leisure travelers

By Leanne Baldelovar Published Sep 15, 2022 6:36 pm

Planning on going on a vacation any time soon?

The holiday season is upon us, and Filipinos are likely planning to go on vacations and visit families in other countries. But for many travelers, the numerous travel requirements including having to get pre-departure RT-PCR tests are an additional hassle. 

The good news is that many countries around the world have eased travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers. Before planning your trip, make sure to get vaccinated and maintain basic health protocols such as wearing masks and maintaining good hygiene.  

Listed below are just some countries that have dropped the RT-PCR tests and other COVID-19 requirements as of September 2022.  

Japan  

Since the yuletide season is coming, many Filipinos plan to spend their holidays and witness snow in Japan in December. Starting September 7, 2022 triple-vaccinated travelers are no longer required to provide negative results from PCR-RT tests. Japan’s Prime Minister announced the new measure on August 24, to accept international tourists as long as they have been vaccinated and boosted.

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France 

Planning to visit the Eiffel Tower or The Louvre for your holiday trip? Whether traveling or returning home, tourists will no longer be required to present the COVID-19 declaration form or certificate and take an antigen test or biological exam upon arrival in France. However, foreigners must still provide a vaccination card along with a valid Schengen visa. The COVID certificate is no longer required as of August 1, 2022.

Meanwhile, unvaccinated travelers or those who only had one jab are required to provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test taken within 48 before their arrival in France. Like vaccinated travelers, unvaccinated individuals are no longer required to quarantine for seven days on arrival. 

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United Kingdom 

Want to visit the UK? The success of the UK’s vaccination program led to its government removing all the remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions last March, including tests such as the RT-PCR for all tourists entering the UK. Therefore, this eliminates the requirement for unvaccinated travelers to take a pre-departure test and a day-two post-arrival test when entering the country. 

USA 

The United States has begun accepting international travelers sans a negative COVID-19 test result after it dropped the testing requirement last June. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the protocol only applies to vaccinated travelers who received a single dose of the Janssen/J&J vaccine or two doses of the following brands:

  • Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech)
  • Spikevax (Moderna)
  • Novavax

Travelers are required to show proof of vaccination along with their visa when boarding their flight to the US.

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Italy  

If you want to tick the Colosseum in Rome or Grand Canal in Venice off your bucket list, this holiday would also be a good time to do so. Italy scrapped its testing requirement last June 1, as well as its mandate to show proof of vaccination upon entry to the country. 

Wearing of masks is no longer required on flights to and from Italy, but passengers entering via ferry, train, or coach are required to wear an FFP2 mask upon arrival and follow basic COVID-19 protocols. 

Malaysia 

For inbound travelers under three programs, including the air and land vaccinated travel lane (VTL) with Singapore, Malaysia abolished the six-day COVID-19 RTK-Ag tests in March this year. The pre-departure and post-arrival two-day test is still maintained.   

Thailand  

Planning to visit the Thailand temples? Since May 1, Thailand has lifted RT-PCR test requirements for fully vaccinated travelers with an approved vaccine two weeks before travel. Chilldren aged 12 to 17 children must have at least one dose of the approved vaccine, while those under 12 or traveling with parents are exempt.   

Singapore  

RT-PCR tests are also no longer required for fully-vaccinated travelers and unvaccinated children 12 years and younger since April 26 prior to or upon arrival in Singapore. To note, Singapore was the first Asian economy to remove travel restrictions on vaccinations for tourists who want to visit the city in a bid to revive tourism amid the pandemic.

 

India 

Want to visit historical places such as the Taj Mahal or enjoy nature in India? Their guidelines, which went into effect in February, stated that international travelers from more than 80 countries, including the Philippines, are no longer required to submit RT-PCR tests. The self-declaration form on the Air Suvida portal must be filled out completely and truthfully by international passengers.

Switzerland 

For those dreaming of a ski holiday this Christmas, Switzerland has eased the travel restrictions since January by removing the requirement to show negative PCR or antigen test upon entering the country. It will still be necessary for passengers taking a plane or a "long-distance bus service" to complete a Passenger Locator Form prior to departure. Those who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated are not permitted entry into Switzerland unless they have a credible reason (except for those under 18 with an accompanying adult).  

 
Before booking your flights, be sure to check the additional visa requirements and other travel guidelines specific to Filipino tourists for the various destinations. Travel requirements and restrictions may still change without prior notice.