Countries That Are Still Closed to Travellers Due to COVID

Woman at airport

As the world slowly begins to transition back to normal after the 2020 lockdown and pandemic, we at OfficialRapidTests are here to update you and share information that could impact your travel plans. In this article, we will discuss countries still closed to travellers due to COVID.

This year, 30 countries have removed their entry requirements concerning covid, 118 countries are open, with 109 still having some travel restrictions in place.

However, in some countries, borders are still completely closed to unvaccinated travellers. We understand people have their own reasons and exemptions for not taking a vaccine. But we also understand the precaution taken by these countries.

Let’s take a look at countries that are not accepting unvaccinated travellers from the UK, along with countries that are accepting anybody regardless of vaccination status.

Current travel bans

Couple at airport

This is the list of countries not accepting unvaccinated travellers from the UK. This is as of November 2022, please bare in mind that this may change as restrictions begin to ease. As it stands, rejection of unvaccinated travellers is done in these countries:

  • USA
  • Angola
  • Papa New Guinea
  • Indonesia
  • Cameroon
  • Ghana
  • Liberia
  • Eswatini
  • Yemen
  • Pakistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • China
  • Azerbaijan
  • North Korea
  • East Timor
  • Equatorial Guinea

Here is a list of countries that will accept unvaccinated travellers on the condition that they have a negative COVID test on arrival and quarantine for a set amount of days. There may be additional stipulations such as wearing a mask, but this will vary from country to country.

  • Sierra Leone
  • Ukraine
  • Eritrea
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Central African Republic
  • South Sudan

And finally here is the list of countries not accepting anybody regardless of vaccination status.


Most fully vaccinated visitors from the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter China for tourism purposes.

North Korea

North Korea was known to have banned foreign travel before COVID. Visits can be organised however this is organised through a stringent government-organised tour.

Be sure to check the foreign travel advice regularly before considering leaving the country, as rules and restrictions may come into effect with little notice. This is the best way to be prepared.


Equatorial Guinea




Most visitors regardless of vaccination status are not allowed to enter these aforementioned countries. Exemptions to travel and entry restrictions may include citizens, permanent residents, other approved individuals with travel exemptions and more. Please check the official guidelines from the country for the full list of exceptions.

Why do these countries still have bans?

The reasoning for the ban is the prerogative of that country’s leader, of course, the health and safety of their citizens is the driving factor. It also must be considered that economically the countries may not be able to recover if they have to go into another mass lockdown, so they want to prevent any outbreak on their own soil before inviting anybody from outside..

However as this past year has shown, travel bans can be lifted, the best way to stay aware is to check the government gateway’s advice on foreign travel, in which you can search the current requirements to enter any country.

So what if you end up finding a country you can travel to? What are your options if you need to provide a negative test? Well, that is where Official Rapid Tests come in.

Official Rapid Tests

Scientist holding Covid Test

Other countries have specific rules when it comes to travelling. This may include:

  • Providing a negative Covid Test
  • Providing proof of vaccination
  • Wearing a mask wherever you are required to
  • Quarantine on arrival
  • Complete a passenger locator form on arrival.

To see the rules for a specific country, click here.

With over 120 clinics nationwide, it’s never been easier to book the appropriate test you need,

it’s as simple as heading over to our website. Simply take our questionnaire, whether you are entering or leaving the UK. We would also recommend that before even booking your tickets to travel, you become familiar with the government guidelines on travel.

Please note that whether you feel ill or not, taking a test is a requirement to ensure the safety of other passengers.

Unless the country you visit has eased its travel requirements, or unless you have a medical exemption clarified by your doctor, the likelihood is you will not be allowed to travel abroad without taking a test.

Once you know which test you need to do, you can click this link and enter your address to find your nearest test centre, then proceed to book your test.

Official Rapid Tests lets you choose the option of using a walk-in clinic to be tested by a professional, or purchasing a test to do at home, which can be posted back to a clinic to test.

you may be wondering why we still need to test people. Sadly, the world witnessed the severity of this virus, so in order to prevent further global lockdowns, some degree of security measures had to be implemented, which in this case is testing.

If no testing takes place, and an infected individual attends a flight, the likelihood of spreading infection becomes certain due to the mass of people being in an enclosed space on the plane for an extended time. As well as touching surfaces at the airport, a space that is host to thousands of people on a daily basis.

Now that we have explained the need for testing and how we can help with the process, let us explain two common types of tests that are taken.

PCR and Antigen tests

Man taking covid test

The common types of tests are the PCR test and the Antigen test.

PCR stands for ‘Polymerase Chain Reaction’ which is a common technique used in laboratories for research and clinical purposes. PCR’s amplify or copy small segments of genetic material.

Using COVID-19 PCR kits as an example, they use a ‘primer’ which is a strand of DNA sequence that matches and amplifies a strand of the virus in question if detected, in this case, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

PCR tests can be performed at a clinic or home, either way, results are analysed in a lab so results do take at least a day to be confirmed to you.

If you require booking a PCR test for travel, we recommend you take a read of our blog which provides extra information when it comes to a ‘fit to fly PCR test’.

Antigen test kits differ from the PCR. As mentioned earlier, PCR test kits use a primer (a particular strand of DNA of the subject being looked for) to ascertain whether the testee is infected. Whereas Antigen test kits use lab-made antibodies to search for antigens from the COVID-19 Virus.

Because antigen testing kits can be done from home, results are made apparent in a much shorter frame of time, just 15 minutes. Antigen test kits have become a common method of testing due to this convenience.

(Not all rapid antigen tests are the same. E.g. some test kits come with the tube and liquid in separate parts. So, always read the instructions on the box or leaflet before you do the test.)

Do you need an antigen test kit? Our website provides these test kits for you. Want to know some more information about antigen test kits? Our blog contains all the relevant information that you need.

Contact us

Official Rapid Tests is a trusted global supplier of Covid testing. We are the highest-rated UK Government listed provider on Trustindex. Even though some countries have lifted their travel restrictions, other countries may still have stricter guidance. That is why we are here to help in this ever-changing landscape.

The EU and the UK Government verify all Official Rapid Tests. We work with qualified front-line doctors and tech experts to develop the most convenient testing solutions for travel. We blend technology and medical expertise to offer the market the fastest and most convenient PCR testing service.

If you are not sure which Covid test you may need, take our Quiz on our webpage here, and this will tell you which type of Covid test is suitable based on your travel requirements.

Within this article, we hope to have helped give an understanding of your travelling needs whilst sharing information regarding the countries that are still closed to travellers due to COVID.

Find out more about Official Rapid Tests by browsing our website here.

We have over 120 clinics nationwide where you can get a Covid test. Find your nearest test centre by clicking here.

We are open 24/7, seven days a week.

Read more articles on travelling and Covid tests on our blog here.

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