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What Should Fully Vaccinated Travelers Know Before Planning a Yoga Vacation?

by Cris Puscas

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Will you be fully vaccinated soon? Or have you taken your COVID-19 vaccination and are looking to travel sometime in the near future?

As vaccines are being rolled out across the world, it brings the promise of a return to our pre-pandemic life, or, at the very least, something close to it.

That said, it’s important to keep in mind that while these shots do come with some protection against the virus, some regulations, such as lifting the mandated use of masks, may not be happening as soon as we’d hoped.

You’re probably wondering, under these circumstances, how to best plan and pack for a vacation – say for a much-awaited yoga holiday?

In this article, we’re sharing using useful information that may just help you plan your trip with an added peace of mind. You’ll find insights on:

  • How COVID-19 vaccines work;
  • The types of vacations that are “safer” to take;
  • The entry requirements for the top yoga destinations favored by our customers.

 

What Should a Vaccinated Traveler Keep in Mind?

 

From what we’ve gathered from authoritative sources, all of the available COVID-19 vaccines are quite effective at reducing the risk of serious symptoms or death from contracting the virus. (source)

However, you can still get infected, and there’s not enough data yet available regarding transmission.

The good news is that recent studies have shown the vaccines likely reduce virus transmission to other people in addition to protecting the person who received the shot. (source: Reuters ; Forbes)  

Should you choose to travel sometimes in the near future, it’s highly advisable to continue to take health & safety precautions, such as wearing a mask, washing your hands often, and maintaining the practice of physical distancing.

While it’s not mandatory, you should also consider getting tested 3 to 5 days after arrival and self-isolate for 7 days, even though you are fully vaccinated. We are still unsure as to how much protection the vaccines offer against the new variants of the virus (and the strains continue to emerge), so, it’s always better to be safe.

In short, being fully vaccinated does give you more ‘freedom’ and peace of mind when it comes to travel but it’s in you & your fellow travelers’ best interest to maintain precautions when traveling.

Not only is it crucial for us to ‘adhere’ to local rules but also to keep personal consideration and precaution for the sake of your and other’s health and safety.

 

What Type of Travel Is Recommended for a Yoga Vacation?

striking a yoga pose

Even if you are fully vaccinated, these days, the type of travel you choose to take matters more than ever.

Domestic travel has been returning slowly but steadily starting last summer. With the rollout of vaccines, countries that are likely to reach herd immunity faster, may be a ‘safer’ choice for locals and non-locals alike.

Many travelers are now choosing destinations that are off-the-beaten-paths, those that are away from condensed cities, and often, these places are immersed in nature.

A yoga retreat in nature is a great choice for any traveler. Some retreats are easy-going while others go above and beyond to offer a wealth of activities. But no matter where you choose to go, it is easy to combine other outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, or running with your yoga sessions.

»Read more: Why Should You Go on a Yoga Retreat in Nature?

To get to your travel destination, road trips are recommended as non-public transportation is ‘safer’ than using public transportation. In fact, according to the CDC, fully vaccinated travelers who go on a road trip and are moderately careful at the destination, would have a relatively ‘safe trip’.   

Another way to lower risk is to choose to visit a country that is waiving restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers. At the time this article was written, only a handful of countries have gone this route, but, as summer approaches and the vaccine passports are likely to become a reality, more and more countries would consider this option to open for travel.

Many travelers are eager for this to happen, too. According to a survey by The Points Guy & YouGov, 49% of Americans would prefer to visit a destination requiring COVID-19 vaccination. (source)

Lastly, should you choose to travel internationally, it’s better to focus on visiting one country, rather than opting for a multi-country itinerary. Now is the perfect time to focus on slowing down, taking longer to explore a country, immerse in its culture and traditions, and discovering local gems.

 

What a Vaccinated Traveler Should Expect When Planning a Yoga Vacation in Top Destinations?

 

While countries across the globe are starting to slowly ease restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers, we strongly advise those who decide to travel to seek out local resources before they take any decision to book a yoga retreat or holiday.

Currently, there are no standard recommendations across the countries and the information constantly changes.

That said, across the world, “vaccine passports” are already used as a standard way to prove a traveler’s COVID-19 status.

The European Union is implementing, as of July 2021, the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Residents of the member states, as well as residents of Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway, can download an app that contains proof of their status: have been vaccinated, have recovered from the illness, or have a negative test. The app generates a QR code to be scanned upon entry into the country and to various events, etc. The app is free, and the document is issued in the native language of the country and English. More details here.

Likewise, IATA (International Air Transport Association) has already implemented the IATA Travel Pass Initiative. Only passengers flying on airlines that are part of the trail can use it, though. More details and a list of those airlines can be found here.

Elsewhere in the world, countries are also looking into opening borders for travelers who can prove their status. Do expect that the requirement to get tested might still linger for a while, especially with the emergence of new variants of concern.

It’s also important to keep in mind that while the entry requirements into a certain country might not include showing a negative test, the airline might require one to board the plane. Do your due diligence and check the requirements ahead of time so that you can plan accordingly.

Disclosure: Please be aware that the information below is valid at the time this article was published and changes in travel requirements & restrictions can occur at any time.

 

Europe

 

Spain

yoga in spain

Photo credit: Yoga and Coaching Retreats Mallorca

Starting on June 7, Spain allows vaccinated travelers from all over the world to enter the country (including EU, UK, and US citizens).

All passengers must complete the FCS Health Control Form.

Passengers from certain countries are required to quarantine. From May 1, 2021, travelers from India must remain in quarantine for 10 days after their arrival in Spain (or for the duration of the stay if it’s shorter than that). They may test out of quarantine on day 7.

All passengers arriving in Spain from a country / zone of risk must have a valid health certificate, which can be a COVID-19 vaccination certificate, a negative test taken within 48h before arrival, or a recovery certificate.

Unvaccinated passengers must undergo a diagnostic test to enter Spain (PCR or rapid antigen), within 48 hours before their arrival.

Passengers who have a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate and who add it to the Spanish Health Control Form, will obtain a QR code FAST CONTROL that will facilitate a speedier health control upon arrival.

Children under 12 are exempt from presenting the certificates. However, a health control form must be filled in their name.

»Read more details from official resources

 

France

Effective from June 9, 2021, the movement of travelers between France and foreign countries has resumed under new terms and conditions. The countries have been classified, based on health indicators, as follows: green, amber, and red. The lists may change depending on the global evolution of the pandemic.

There are no restrictions to enter from a green list country, but travelers must present the proof of vaccination and a sworn declaration of their health status or, if not vaccinated, a negative PCR or antigen test taken no longer than 72 hours before departure.

Unvaccinated travelers from amber countries must give a compelling reason to be allowed in the country and must self-isolate for 7 days (followed by a PCR test at the end of the isolation period). Vaccinated travelers face no restrictions. However, all passengers from amber countries must present a negative PCR or antigen test taken no longer than 72 hours before departure, as well as present a sworn declaration of their health status.

Only travelers with a compelling reason to enter France will be allowed if they are from red list countries. All travelers must present a negative PCR or antigen test taken no longer than 48 hours before departure. Unvaccinated travelers must also quarantine for 10 days.

»Read more details from official resources

 

Portugal

yoga in portugal

Photo credit: 4elements retreat

Travelers from the European Union, Schengen Associated countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland), Albania, Australia, China, South Korea, United States of America, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Republic of Northern Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan are allowed to enter mainland Portugal for both essential and non-essential travel.

Starting on July 1, 2021, they may present the EU Digital COVID Certificate upon entry or a PCR negative test (taken 72 hours before boarding), or a rapid antigen test (taken 48 hours before boarding). They must also fill a Passenger Locator Card before boarding.

Passengers from the UK are allowed for both essential and non-essential travel. All UK passengers (aged 12 and older) arriving in mainland Portugal must show a negative PCR test result taken no longer than 72 hours before departure or a lateral flow test taken 48 hours prior to departure. To avoid the 14 days quarantine, proof of vaccination is required. It’s also required to fill in the Passenger Locator Card.

Passengers from Brazil, India, Nepal, and South Africa are allowed only for essential travel.

Passengers flying into the Azores and Madeira should provide either a PCR negative test result (72 hours before boarding) or an immunity declaration (if they’ve had the disease), or the EU Digital COVID Certificate. They also must fill a questionnaire if they fly into the Azores; and register here if they fly into Madeira. Free tests need to be performed on arrival into both archipelagos to avoid quarantine.

»Read more details from official resources

 

Africa

 

Morocco

yoga in morocco

Photo credit: Dfrost Almugar Surf House & Yoga Morocco

International flights to Morocco have been resumed since June 15, 2021. Travelers may enter Morocco under certain conditions, depending on their country of departure.

The countries have been classified under two lists (A & B) under the recommendation of the Ministry of Health.

For travelers from list A countries, a vaccination pass or certificate attesting that the person is fully vaccinated is required. Those who are not vaccinated, must present a negative PCR test result at boarding (taken no longer than 48 hours before departure). Children under 11 are exempt from the requirements.

Travelers from list B countries, must present a negative PCR test result (taken no longer than 48 hours before departure) and a signed declaration of where they’d undergo the 10 days mandatory quarantine.

The list of countries can be found in the official link below.

»Read more details from official resources

 

Asia

 

India

Due to the surge of Covid-19 cases in India, many countries across the globe have banned flights from India.

Only nationals and residents of India, as well as residents of Nepal and Bhutan, passengers with an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card or booklet, passengers with a Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card, as well as certain visa holders are allowed entry.

Passengers must have a negative PCR test result taken at most 72 hours before departure. In addition, passengers from certain countries, including France, Germany, and the Netherlands, are subject to a molecular test upon arrival (at their own expense).

Passengers from the UK, Brazil, and South Africa are subject to a molecular test upon arrival, as well as on day 7, at their own expense.

»Read more details from official resources

 

 

Thailand

yoga in thailand

Photo credit: Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort

Travelers from countries or territories exempt from having a visa to travel to Thailand for tourism may enter the country for a period of maximum 45 days.

A Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Thai Embassy in the area where the traveler first embarks on the journey (can be requested here) has to be presented to allow a foreign visa holder to enter Thailand onboard a special repatriation flight, chartered flight, or semi-commercial flight.

Tourists that are not on the visa exemption list, may get a special tourist visa (STV).

All travelers must provide proof of a negative PCR test (taken no longer than 72 hours before departure, as well as proof of insurance coverage of a minimum of US$100,000. Upon arrival, another PCR test must be taken, and the passengers must quarantine in government-approved hotels. They must also install the Thailand Plus app.

As of July 1, 2021, travelers heading to Phuket will be able to enjoy the whole island without a quarantine period. The program is named the "Phuket Sandbox" and is open to travelers from 63 countries, including the US. Travelers must have been fully vaccinated, present a negative PCR test result (taken no longer than 72 hours before departure), provide proof of at least US$100,000 travel insurance, and have the COE.

Upon entry in Phuket, passengers will take another test, as well as two additional tests during the stay. They must book their accommodation at approved hotels, and also install the Thailand Plus and Morchana apps onto their phones for health and location tracking.

After 14 days, they’ll be free to visit the rest of Thailand under the same restrictions that apply to Thai residents.

As of July 15, 2021, Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, and Ko Tao are open for travelers under the same program (and restrictions) as Phuket.

»Read more from the Tourism Authority of Thailand  

 

Indonesia

Visitors are not permitted to enter Indonesia, except for the following categories:

  • Holders of visa and stay permits issued according to the New Normal law, which is implemented since Sep 29, 2020;
  • Travelers permitted under the travel corridor arrangement (TCA) bilateral agreement scheme: United Arab Emirates (UAE), the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore;
  • Foreign nationals due to special discretion and provided with written permission from relevant ministries/government institutions.

All travelers permitted entry need to provide a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test, taken no longer than 72h prior to departure. Upon arrival, they need to take another test. After 5 days in isolation / quarantine, a new test is required.

An electronic health awareness card must be presented upon arrival.

After the mandatory 5 days isolation, all international travelers are encouraged to undertake self-isolation at their respective residence up until a total of 14 days after arrival.

Please be advised that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia has temporarily suspended visa applications.

 

»Read more details from official sources.

 

The Americas

 

Mexico

Mexico is open for travelers and there’s no need to provide a negative test or quarantine upon arrival.

All travelers should fill in the “Questionnaire of identification of risk factors in travelers”.

The inbound land borders with the USA are open for “essential travel” only and does not prevent US citizens to return home. 

US citizens can fly into Mexico without any restrictions. However, please be advised that a negative COVID-19 test, taken at most 3 days before departure, is mandatory to board the flight back to the USA.

Alternatively, documentation of recovery from the COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days, is required. (Official source).

»Read about the COVID-19 restriction and control measures in Mexico here.

 

Costa Rica

yoga in costa rica

Photo credit: La Posada Surf Camp

Travelers from countries around the world can travel to Costa Rica by air, as long as they meet the visa and COVID-19 entry requirements.

There’s no requirement to take any test before or after arrival, or quarantine upon arrival.

However, all travelers should complete the digital health form. And it’s mandatory for them to purchase travel insurance, covering the accommodations in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19 illness.

If the traveler purchases international insurance, a certification in Spanish or English should be issued and should include the validity, a minimum coverage of US$2,000 for accommodation expenses, and a guarantee of coverage for medical expenses.

Kindly note that visitors must abide by the re-entry rules of their country of origin (including the need to show negative tests upon boarding return flights).

»Read more details here.

 

United States

With specific exceptions, travelers from the following countries / areas are not permitted entry in the USA: China, Iran, European Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa.

All travelers who may enter, including US citizens returning from abroad and those transiting through the US, must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 viral antigen, NAAT, RT-LAMP, RT-PCR, or TMA test result. The test must have been taken at most 3 days before departure.

Alternatively, if the passenger has a medical certificate with a positive coronavirus test result issued at most 90 days before departure and has been cleared to travel, they don’t need to provide a negative test result.

All passengers must complete a disclosure and attestation form before departure. Those arriving into Massachusetts, must complete the Massachusetts Travel Form, whereas those arriving in New York State, must complete the New York State Travel Health Form.

»Read more information from official resources.

[Last Updated: July 1, 2021]


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