The European countries of Estonia and Georgia will begin to accept international travelers who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
Estonia has waived quarantine for certain travelers (Image: kavalenkava/Shutterstock)
Last week, Iceland announced it would allow vaccinated travelers to bypass testing and quarantine. Now, both Estonia and Georgia have followed suit and declared they will be relaxing entry requirements to travelers who can prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccination.
Estonia Waives Quarantine
The Estonian government has announced that it will waive mandatory quarantine requirements for travelers who can prove they've been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. However, it does come with a caveat.
Even though the European Union has approved three vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca – Estonia will admit travelers if their vaccine has been provided by one of nine agreed global suppliers.
Travelers must provide vaccination records or proof of recovery (Image: Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock)
Tourists who can provide vaccination records, which include the manufacturer and batch numbers in English, Russian or Estonian can claim exemption from quarantine. Additionally, those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous six months can also claim exemption, but they must supply a doctor’s certificate as proof.
Currently, Estonia requires all arrivals from countries in the European Union, European Economic Area and the Schengen area with a high prevalence of COVID-19 to quarantine for ten days. "High prevalence" is defined as anywhere with an infection rate above 150 people per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days.
Estonia is a small country in Northern Europe, located on the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland and bordered by Latvia and Russia. Its capital city Tallinn, with its UNESCO-listed Old Town, is a popular destination for tourists and has been described by Lonely Planet as one of Europe's "most captivating cities".
Georgia Follows Suit
In a similar move, the European country of Georgia has also announced that it is lifting restrictions for international air travelers who arrive from any country, as long as they can provide evidence they have received a two-dose course of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Tbilisi in Georgia (Image: MiGol/Shutterstock)
The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital, Tbilisi, announced the “new rules and conditions for entering Georgia”.
The Georgian government has confirmed the easing of restrictions begins immediately:
“Citizens of all countries, travelling by air from any country may enter Georgia if they present the document confirming the full course (two doses) of any Covid-19 vaccination at the border checkpoints of Georgia.”
Located in the Caucasus region, at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Georgia has seen a surge in tourism in recent years with over nine million international tourists visiting Georgia in 2019, making Georgia the most visited country in the area.
Georgia has seen a surge in tourism (Image: Phuong D. Nguyen/Shutterstock)
Separate entry rules for non-vaccinated visitors remain in pace for arrivals from the United States and European Union member states as well as visitors from Israel, Switzerland, Norway, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Georgia.
Travelers from these destinations must travel by air directly from their countries of origin and have had a negative PCR test conducted within 72 hours prior to arrival in Georgia.
Furthermore, they must take another test on the third day of their stay (at their own expense) and complete a form with details of any contact and travel history over the previous 14 days.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced separate rules for UK tourists:
All individuals who have travelled to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland within the last 14 days will be placed in mandatory quarantine for 12 days.