This article is reviewed regularly (on a monthly basis) by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.

Updated 4 October 2021

Last year, the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to an unexpected, abrupt standstill, confining people to their homes. Though the last part of 2020 saw international borders gradually opening up, international tourism hasn’t picked up yet post lockdown.

2021, however, started on the much-welcome note of mass vaccination programmes, giving travellers the hope of getting to fly cross-border once again. With thousands of people getting the jabs every day in the UAE and many other countries, international travel doesn’t seem too far down the road anymore.

Let’s take a closer look at how the COVID-19 vaccination will reshape international travel.

Can Emiratis travel after getting vaccinated?

In short, yes.

While getting vaccinated doesn’t automatically mean travel is back to normal, vaccination carries certain travel incentives.

Quarantine-free travel

The UAE has signed agreements with several countries to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor for fully vaccinated people. Passengers holding vaccination certificates issued by health authorities can travel to and from these countries and the UAE without having to quarantine on arrival.

Currently, the UAE has opened up quarantine-free travel corridors with the following countries:

  • Bahrain 
  • Greece
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles

Abu Dhabi

In early January, Abu Dhabi has announced several exemptions enjoyed by the vaccine recipients. People getting vaccinated from COVID-19 are largely exempt from border regulations and quarantine. Vaccinated people will no longer need a PCR or DPI test to enter Abu Dhabi by land.

Vaccinated travellers are no longer required to complete 14 days of quarantine upon arrival. The Abu Dhabi government has classified certain countries under its Green List, classifying them as ‘safe to travel’. You can view the complete list of countries on the Green List here.

Vaccinated travellers arriving from Green List destinations must:

  • Take a PCR test on arrival
  • Quarantine not required
  • Take a PCR test on day 6 after arrival

Vaccinated travellers arriving from other destinations must:

  • Take a PCR test on arrival
  • Quarantine is not required.
  • Take a PCR test on day 4 and day 8 after arrival.

Unvaccinated travellers 

Unvaccinated travellers arriving from ‘green’ countries must take an RT-PCR test on arrival and again on day 6 and day 12 from arrival. They are not required to quarantine themselves. 

Unvaccinated travellers arriving from other countries must take an RT-PCR test on arrival, quarantine for 10 days and take another PCR test on day 9. 


Is it safe to travel after getting vaccinated?

Does the vaccine reduce the chances of contracting the virus? Sure. But does it eliminate it altogether? No.

No vaccine is 100% effective and there is always a chance of getting sick in spite of being inoculated. Though the COVID vaccines that have been approved around the world for emergency use are highly effective, they don’t come without their limitations.

Even after receiving all the doses, the vaccine may take time to build up your immunity. Achieving herd immunity, too, will take several months, and will hugely depend on the number of vaccines getting approved, production and distribution of the vials, and public acceptance of the vaccine.

Moreover, new, mutated strains of the coronavirus having been cropping in different regions. Till now, most vaccines have been proved to work against all the different strains, but that may not necessarily be the case for all the possible mutations.

Dr Alia Mohammad Al Dallal, acting director of specialized program services at the Dubai Health Authority, has advised people who plan to travel to consult a medical professional about the vaccine, in order to assess their medical condition, allergies, and pre-existing health conditions. The vaccine should be taken at least one month before departure to make sure the immunity system is well-primed against the virus.


Safety precautions while travelling

Considering all this, it is better to take all the necessary safety measures, in case you do travel.

  • Wear well-fitting masks at all times when in public and maintain social-distancing norms.
  • Sanitise your hands constantly and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • While booking your seats, try to avoid sitting next to other people.
  • Limit your travel to offbeat locations which will be less crowded.
  • As far as possible, skip public transport.
  • Consider vacation homes and apartments, as they are less likely to be frequented by travellers, unlike hotels and resorts.
  • Prefer delivery and take-out options to dine-in in restaurants.

In short, be just as careful as you would have been if you hadn’t been vaccinated.


Will COVID vaccination be mandatory for international travellers?

Whether or not coronavirus jabs should come with travel-related privileges, such as exemption from the two-week quarantine rule, has become a much-discussed and debated question. Some countries have already made vaccination a prerequisite for international arrivals, sooner or later.

A few countries now allow only fully vaccinated travellers from the UAE to visit. However, proof of vaccination – that is, your vaccination certificate – is asked for to verify your eligibility to travel.



All adult visitors arriving in Anguilla must be fully vaccinated and have received their last vaccination at least 21 days before arrival. The only exception to this requirement is for pregnant women. All visitors and returning residents will be tested on arrival and will be required to quarantine until they produce a negative result.

The entry application fee for fully vaccinated visitors staying under 90 days in a hotel or villa is $300, as opposed to $600 for unvaccinated travellers staying in an approved private dwelling.

Recognised vaccine: Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Janssen/Johnson and Johnson



Fully vaccinated travellers from third-country (with the exclusion of those arriving from “virus variant areas”) are eligible to enter Germany, even for non-essential purposes like tourism, if 14 days have elapsed since the second dose of a Coronavirus vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (or single dose for Janssen/Johnson&Johnson).

Travellers reaching the country by plane will have to prove their vaccinated status.

The proof of vaccination should be an “EU Digital COVID certificate” or a comparable certificate issued by the travellers’ country of residence, either in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish.

Recognised vaccine:

  • BioNTech/Pfizer Manufacturing GmbH, Comirnaty (including BNT162b2/COMIRNATY, Tozinameran)
  • Janssen-Cilag International NV
  • Moderna Biotech Spain, S.L., Spikevax (including mRNA-1273)
  • AstraZeneca AB, Schweden, Vaxzevria (including AZD 1222)



All residents returning to Qatar will be exempt from quarantine provided they have completed a vaccination course as recognised by MoPH Qatar, their last vaccination dose having been administered 14 days prior to entry to Qatar and are able to provide a negative PCR test certificate taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Qatar, recognised by the Health Department in the departing country.

Recognised vaccine: Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm (Those vaccinated with Sinopharm shall undergo antibody test upon arrival, if the result is positive, they shall be exempt from the quarantine requirements).


The UK

Effective on October 4, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers from the UAE can now travel to the UK without the need of undergoing a pre-departure Covid-19 test, nor a Day 8 test, nor quarantine at home or in the place they would stay for 10 days after arriving in England.

From October 4, those who have received Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, or Janssen vaccines, and have the Covid-19 vaccination and PCR test record in the Al Hosn app will now be recognised and accepted for entry in the UK.

Moreover, it was also announced on September 26 by the UK government said that vaccinations from two different approved locations will now be allowed. This means that an individual could have received one shot of vaccination from the UK and one shot from another country’s approved programme. The approved vaccines are AstraZeneca, Covishield, Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda. However, Sinopharm that has been widely distributed in UAE, has not been approved in the UK.


Where can Emirati travellers fly after getting vaccinated?

Can’t wait to travel again? We totally understand and so do some destinations in the world.

If you’ve been vaccinated (two doses for most vaccines out in circulation), some countries will allow you to skip testing or quarantine. Croatia, Romania, Georgia, and Estonia are only some of the growing list of countries that are flinging their borders open for travellers who have been vaccinated. With more and more people getting vaccinated and countries growing desperate to welcome tourists, expect more places around the world to join this list.

As mentioned above The UAE has set up vaccine bubbles with Bahrain, Greece, Seychelles, and Serbia. The safe travel bubbles are meant for travellers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The arrangement signifies the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates issued by their respective health authorities and will allow travellers to enjoy trips without managed isolation.

The UAE is also in talks with Maldives and Israel to create a travel corridor for vaccinated citizens, to facilitate travel for commercial, tourism and official purposes.

Effective on October 4, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers from the UAE can now travel to the UK without the need of undergoing a pre-departure Covid-19 test, nor a Day 8 test, nor quarantine at home or in the place they would stay for 10 days after arriving in England.