Last Sunday, the powers that be swung into action and gave us an extra hour of daylight to enjoy, and today I wanted to ‘bring to you’ some more good news: the restrictions on entering the whole world softens. Chances are, wherever you dream of going this year, you can do it now or very soon!

Of course, as a local friendly travel agent at Monroe Travel Service, I have to encourage you to stay fluid with your plans, be prepared to quickly adapt to country protocols, and always, always buy travel insurance, but , finally, our “one day” seems to have arrived. It’s time to make plans.

After all, if the pandemic and the possibility of a global war have taught us anything, it’s how unpredictable and uncontrollable the future is. Moments matter. Time should not be wasted; we shouldn’t put those bucket list adventures on the back burner anymore. Fortunately, in so many parts of the world, we’ve been given the “everything is fine” sign with fewer challenges and many more choices. Check out all the great places we can go below:

AUSTRALIA – after a very serious two-year lockdown – has officially reopened to fully vaccinated travelers who present either a PCR test taken within 3 days of flight departure or a rapid antigen test, taken no more than 24 hours before.

NEW ZEALAND is not yet open, but expect that to happen as early as July. Now is the time to start planning your DOWNUNDER vacation to include both destinations.

BAHAMAS ease entry requirements. Visitors are no longer required to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test on the fifth day of their stay, but a negative covid test taken 3 days before arrival is still required for any visit.

SAINT LUCIA also welcomes everyone, but they require fully vaccinated visitors to present the results of a negative rapid antigen COVID-19 test taken within a day of arrival, while the unvaccinated must present the negative results a standard PCR test performed within 5 days of arrival.

SAINT-MARTIN invites those fully vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 within the last nine months to visit their Caribbean island. Unvaccinated visitors only need to provide a negative PCR test taken 48 hours before arrival or an antigen test taken 24 hours before arrival. All travelers must complete a health pre-authorization form.

JAMAICA no longer requires visitors to complete a travel authorization from March 1, and travel-related quarantine measures have also expired. A negative COVID-19 test, whether antigen or PCR within 72 hours prior to travel date upon check-in, is the only requirement to enter this beautiful island.

ITALY has relaxed its entry requirements for US travellers. As of March 1, fully immunized travelers no longer need a negative COVID-19 test result to visit this amazing country. Additionally, unvaccinated travelers can avoid quarantine with a negative PCR test result that is only 48 hours old or an antigen test performed within 24 hours of flight departure.

GERMANY plans to remove all covid restrictions on March 19 for the vaccinated traveler, but a covid test, carried out within 24 hours of flight arrival, is still required for the unvaccinated. PORTUGAL has the same rules, but they allow the test to be carried out within 72 hours of the departure flight time or a negative antigen test within 24 hours is required.

HOLLAND is easy for the vaccinated, but, alas, the unvaccinated cannot enter – yet. A NAAT (PCR) test performed within 48 hours or an approved antigen test performed within 24 hours is required along with a health declaration form. The Netherlands does not classify us as covid safe.

SPAIN says fully vaccinated US citizens can travel freely as long as they can provide proof of a COVID-19 booster shot administered within 14 to 270 days of entering the country. If more than 270 days (9 months) have passed since the last required dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, proof of having received a booster at least 14 days before arrival in Spain must be presented. Everyone must receive a health authorization QR code to go.

GREECE requires everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, to present a negative PCR test result that was taken within 72 hours before travel to their country or else show a rapid antigen test result taken within 24 hours before travel. arrival to enjoy its islands and explore its history.

MALDIVES has abolished the pre-arrival Covid-19 PCR test for fully vaccinated people, but you cannot enter without completing the Traveler Health Declaration Form.

FRANCE has radically relaxed its rules: no PCR test for fully vaccinated people; non-vaccinated are welcome as long as they can show a negative PCR test result taken no later than 24 hours before departure. Mandates for masks ended on March 14 in France, except for public transport, so long live France!

COSTA RICA no longer requires an online health pass after April 1, and people who are not vaccinated will no longer need to purchase travel insurance. FYI: For full access to everything this cool destination has to offer, you need to be fully vaccinated.

ICELAND changed all of its rules on March 6. Travelers no longer need to provide proof of vaccination, negative test results or covid recovery. They even ditched the previously required Passenger Locator Form (PLF), so is it easy?

PUERTO RICO is now as easy to visit as Iceland, and they have also lifted mask mandates in public businesses like restaurants, bars and theaters.

HAWAII wants your business again. Starting March 25, the state will lift its Safe Travels program, meaning travelers will no longer need a QR code, show COVID-19 vaccination status, or take a pre-travel test to enter. in the islands. Unvaccinated travelers must still present a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of flight departure.

ISRAEL began inviting visitors from around the world, regardless of their vaccination status, on March 1 if a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival is presented and a traveler accepts another test taken upon arrival.

BELIZE tells us that fully vaccinated travelers who present proof of vaccination are no longer required to present a negative COVID-19 test to enter their beautiful country. Curfew mandates have been removed and masks are no longer required in outdoor spaces. Unvaccinated persons only need to present proof of a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of arrival or a negative rapid antigen test performed within 48 hours of arrival, but the purchase Travel health insurance in Belize is mandatory for everyone.

KENYA says no vaccinations or restrictions apply with regards to covid. Ready to go a little wild in Africa?

IRELAND has also lifted all restrictions. Just fill out a passenger locator form and you can enjoy the Emerald Isle.

MEXICO also has no rules, no requirements and no need to complete a health declaration form. Anyone can go south of the border to Mexico for a fun getaway.

See how much easier it is to travel now? As a travel agent at Monroe Travel Service, I am delighted to see the easing of covid restrictions and sincerely hope this means covid is dead in the water. Yet while I find it oddly wonderful how the timing of most of these rule changes aligns so well with spring break travel dates and Easter holidays around the world, I hear the words of my dear old mama saying, “Dianne, Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!”

Therefore, today, instead of being skeptical, I will remain grateful for how the rules and restrictions have been relaxed. We have wonderful new places to go and enjoy again. We no longer need to “walk” in place. The time has come to “jump forward!”

Dianne Newcomer is a travel agent at MONROE TRAVEL SERVICE. For your next vacation, tour or cruise call one of our professional travel agent friends on 318 323 3465 or email INFO@MONROETRAVEL.com. We would love to send you back!