Hassle-free incentive travel without Covid restrictions

With a growing list of countries scrapping all pandemic restrictions, incentive travel is poised to make its much-anticipated return in 2022.

From Cambodia to Iceland, these countries have removed testing and quarantine requirements, enabling travellers to have a more enjoyable experience.
From Cambodia to Iceland, these countries have removed testing and quarantine requirements, enabling travellers to have a more enjoyable experience. Photo Credit: Gettyimages/Mumemories

As vaccination rates increase by the day and people all around the world start accepting that the Covid-19 virus could be part and parcel of their daily lives, more destinations are lifting travel entry requirements entirely for travellers, making it easier for planners to organise incentive groups.

In this article, we highlight several destinations where companies can send their employees to for seamless incentive trips minus the various Covid-19-related tests, quarantines and other travel restrictions.

1. Cambodia

Photo Credit: Getty Images/kitzcorner

Cambodia has been widely acknowledged by industry members as "ASEAN's most open destination". And it’s living up to its accolade as fully vaccinated travellers are no longer subjected to Covid-19 tests and quarantine upon entry from 17 March onward. Meanwhile, visa on arrival for passengers arriving by land, air and waterway has also resumed.

2. Maldives

Photo Credit: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

Back in July 2020, the Maldives had been one of the first few countries to open without quarantine requirements. Since 4 March this year, the country scrapped all remaining travel requirements, meaning that fully vaccinated international travellers need not present a negative Covid-19 test to enter the country. Already popular with tourists, it is now making a play for MICE travellers looking for unique experiences.

Furthermore, the Maldives has removed its mask mandate, allowing visitors to fully take in the country’s fresh air and create once-in-a-lifetime experiences on this island paradise. Meeting planners can additionally explore hosting business travellers on floating doughnut boats where small business meetings can be conducted, liveaboards for corporate activities, beach setups for networking sessions or gala dinners, and private islands for large-scale conferences to be held in a safe and calibrated manner.

3. UAE

As of 26 February, the UAE will no longer require PCR tests for fully vaccinated visitors. Under the new relaxed guidelines outlined by the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, vaccinated visitors need only show a vaccine certificate with an approved QR code. Unvaccinated travellers are allowed entry, but they will still have to present a negative pre-arrival PCR test result within 48 hours.

UAE has also dropped the need for physical distancing in public places. Masks remain mandatory in public indoor spaces, but optional outdoors.

4. England

From 18 March, both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers are free to travel to England without taking any Covid-19 tests, quarantining, or completing a UK passenger locator form. Previously, the Covid test and quarantine exemption only applied to fully vaccinated travellers.

5. Ireland

Photo Credit: Gettyimages/jamegaw

Guinness fans, rejoice! Starting from 6 March, international travellers visiting Ireland can do so without any Covid-19 restrictions. The Irish government announced that travellers from other countries are no longer required to present proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid. They are also exempted from the requirement to fill in the passenger locator form.

However, travellers who plan to go to Northern Ireland (to visit the first official Game of Thrones Studio Tour perhaps?) after staying in Ireland will still be required to follow the UK’s travel requirements, including completing a UK passenger locator form.

6. Switzerland

On 17 February, Switzerland lifted nearly all its pandemic restrictions as the country said that the Omicron wave has not translated into a peak of hospitalisations. Under the new policy, there is no test or quarantine requirement at present for vaccinated travellers entering Switzerland, and travellers entering do not have to fill out an entry (passenger locator) form.

Additionally, when travelling around Switzerland, tourists and locals alike no longer have to wear a mask or present a vaccination certificate to enter bars, restaurants and other indoor venues such as sports facilities, theatres or concert halls.

7. The Netherlands

From 23 March, people travelling to the Netherlands from outside the EU/Schengen area no longer need to show a negative test result. The Netherlands has also on 25 February lifted its self-quarantine requirement.
However, to qualify for a Covid-19 test-free and quarantine-free arrival, travellers still need to show proof of vaccination or recovery.

8. Italy

Italy has eased entry requirements for travellers visiting from non-EU countries. As of 1 March, fully vaccinated or recovered travellers no longer need to take a Covid-19 test. Additionally, unvaccinated individuals are also granted quarantine-free entry, but they will still be required to present a negative test result. Italy will ease mask requirements from 30 April.

9. Iceland

Photo Credit: fredapxh/Freda Poh/Instagram

The land of fire and ice has lifted the entirety of its Covid-19 biosecurity measures with effect from 25 February. This includes border policies, social distancing, mask mandate, and gathering limitations. International travellers can now visit Iceland’s world-famous glaciers without having to present a negative test and show proof of Covid-19 vaccination.

10. Canada

Starting 1 April, fully vaccinated travellers visiting Canada need not provide a negative Covid-19 test. Travellers may still be selected out of random for testing, much like how travellers are randomly selected for baggage checks, but they will not be required to quarantine while awaiting their test results.

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