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The Canaries are likely to be second to roll back out the red carpet to visitors from across Europe, as soon as vaccine passports have been agreed and safety protocols hammered out to keep visitors and the islanders safe.

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3. Cyprus

4 hours 30 minutes May Planning a travel corridor

Cyprus says it will be reopening to visitors who can prove they've had the vaccine from March 1st. Initially restricted to a short list of low-risk countries (and we're not on it), Cyprus plans to expand that provision to more countries as soon as infection rates go down. Since we're not flying until May at the earliest and our vaccine programme should have reached most of us by then, it's looking very likely our holiday plans and Cyprus's holiday plans will nicely align.

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Cyprus is also already signing travel vaccine corridor deals - the first one, with Greece and Israel, goes live on 1st April so by the time we're flying again, Cyprus will be well-versed in safely welcoming tourists.

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4. Estonia

2 hours 40 mins Now Already admits vaccinated travellers

The beautiful Baltic nation of Estonia has long been a favourite for citybreaks. Less than three hours from London, Tallinn is a spectacular medieval city only a short hop from both Helsinki and St Petersburg. Estonia is also noteworthy as a world model for open internet with good, free, public wifi from border to border and a thriving tech sector.

Estonia already allows anyone who can prove they've been vaccinated to enter without quarantine, so once vaccine passports are in place it'll be well-prepared to accept UK visitors.

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It pays to book your airport parking, airport hotel or your lounge as soon as you book your flights. Prices usually go up nearer the date you fly, and last year Holiday Extras saved our airport parking customers £100 each on average when they pre-booked their airport parking instead of paying on the day.

5. Greece

3 hours 35 minutes May Planning a UK travel corridor

Greece is so keen on travel corridors it's already signed up to three, with Serbia, Cyprus and Israel for vaccinated travellers to pass freely from country to country. These come into effect from April and May, so there's nothing actually running yet - but the Greek islands, as a fundamentally tourist economy, are keen to get things moving in time for an early summer season.

Harry Theocharis, Greece's tourism minister, is therefore pressing the EU to accelerate the approval of vaccine passports to let visitors in by May, and Greece is keen to sign a deal with the UK for another vaccine passport travel corridor. But he also confirmed that British travellers who have not had the vaccine will be able to enter with a negative test taken before they fly.

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Last summer, the Greek islands were one of the most popular destinations for British tourists as Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, and Zakynthos remained on the travel corridor list long after France, Spain, Italy and other destinations came off.


6. Iceland

3 hours 15 minutes TBC Already admits some vaccinated travellers

Iceland is one of our top picks for 2021 breaks. Overseas holidays from the UK won't start until spring when Iceland - unless you're hoping to see the Northern Lights - is at its relative warmest and most accessible.

During the Brexit negotiations of 2016 onwards Iceland was always amongst the first to sign deals with the UK ensuring our holidaymakers could come and go unimpeded by the wrangling in Brussels, so we know they're keen to have us in.

And best of all, during the Covid crisis this year and last, Iceland was always pragmatic about letting visitors in. Right now, Iceland will let in visitors from the EU or Switzerland (but not yet the UK), without an onerous quarantine, who can prove they've either recovered from Covid or had the vaccine. So given the success of our vaccination programme, the short flight times from London to Reykjavik and Iceland's record of prioritising access for British tourists, we can't be far behind and we're confident we'll be back by this summer at the latest.

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7. Israel

4 hours 50 minutes TBC Planning a UK travel corridor

Israel has the single most successful vaccination programme in the world and has already jabbed almost all of its adult population. It has signed a travel corridor deal with Greece and Cyprus, starting in April, and is avowedly keen to sign something similar with the UK.

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8. Lebanon

4 hours 40 minutes Now Open to vaccinated travellers

Since January, anyone who can prove they've had the vaccine can visit Lebanon without a quarantine (though they do also administer a back-up PCR test).


Lebanon may not traditionally be one of the UK's top tourist destinations, but once upon a time Beirut was one of the world's great cosmopolitan cities and as a meeting point between east and west it has much the same energy as Istanbul with unique sights and culture.

9. Romania

3 hours 15 minutes Now Open to vaccinated travellers

Like Poland, Romania is happy to admit vaccinated visitors, and but for lockdown you could fly there today. A shade over three hours from London or Glasgow, a little more than four from Manchester and Birmingham, Romania may prove one of the most popular citybreak destinations once lockdown comes to an end.

We visited Romania in 2018 - check out our guides below.

10. The Seychelles

10 hours Now Open to vaccinated travellers

One of the great long-haul tourist paradises, the Seychelles expects to have vaccinated 70% of its population by the middle of March and, as an extremely tourism-dependent economy, is keen to keen visitors back in. The islands are therefore waiving quarantine requirements for anyone who can prove they've had the second dose of the vaccine, and once international travel resumes from the UK it's likely to be one of the most convenient long-haul destinations for vaccinated UK holidaymakers.

Seychelles is currently on the UK government's red list, so if you visited you'd be required to quarantine when you got back - but with the success of the local vaccination programme that's likely to change by the time we can fly again, so we expect the Seychelles to be open for business by spring or summer 2021.

Seychelles beach flag

11. Sri Lanka

10 hours 45 mins direct Now Holiday in a secure bubble

Sri Lanka is the latest holiday destination to announce it is open to visitors again, without restrictive quarantine requirements.

If Sri Lanka's on your bucketlist, check out our video guide from our visit in 2018.

12. Thailand

11 hours 25 minutes October Planning to admit vaccinated travellers

Thailand has experienced a number of false starts in reopening to tourists. Trying last year to encourage visitors willing to stay for longer than a normal holiday, visitor numbers dwindled almost to nothing. Now the country is debating how to restart tourism to the islands, notably Phuket which relies heavily on foreign visitors.

According to the Thai press and local hoteliers, it's likely Thailand will start accepting vaccinated holidaymakers from around October - good news for long-haul travellers, since Thailand's cooler high season begins in November and most people like to visit then to skip the European and American winter.

We visited Thailand in 2019 - have a look at our guide below.

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