Countries large and small around the world have eased travel restrictions since borders closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this year weren’t exactly positive, places from Iceland to Caribbean destinations are once again welcoming tourists. One island nation, in particular, which has been closed to tourists all this time, will open its borders next month.

The South Pacific Ocean nation of Vanuatu will open its borders to tourists from July 1, 2022. This is the first time the small island nation will open its borders since the start of the 2020 pandemic. According to the website of Vanuatu Tourism, the group of islands off the coast of Australia will still require travelers to adhere to certain COVID protocols.

The website says travelers must provide certified proof of a negative rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours of departure, regardless of their vaccination status. Travelers can also present medically certified proof that they have contracted COVID-19 and have recovered within 28 days of travel. Although travelers are not required to quarantine or undergo testing upon arrival, they will be asked to wear masks in indoor public spaces.

Vanuatu has about 80 islands. Out of these 80 islands, travelers will only be allowed to visit provinces and islands classified as “level 1 health recovery status”, meaning they have a high level of vaccination against COVID-19. According to the tourist board, this includes more popular places like Efate and Sanma.

“We are delighted to welcome international travelers back to our shores from July 1, 2022,” the tourist board wrote on its website. “Our beautiful smiles await you, and we invite you to answer Vanuatu’s call once again!”

Janae Price is an editor at Thrillist. She’s originally from New York and loves all things cheese, K-pop, and culture. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @janae_larie.


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