At the beginning of 2021, when countries around the world began their own vaccination campaigns, every global government was in a hurry to make sure they had enough vaccines to vaccinate at least the most vulnerable.
Then, as more vaccines were adopted and made available, the number of vaccinated continuously increased.
Now, some ‘game’ tourist hotspots are going one step further by allowing tourists to get vaccinated in an effort to attract more travelers, after 2020 bringing the tourism sector in these places to its knees.
Among these countries are smaller but popular tourist destinations such as the Maldives, as well as larger countries such as Russia and even the United States.
Cities and states in the US now allow travelers to get vaccinated
When the vaccination campaign was launched in the United States, some American authorities were afraid that travelers would try to get vaccinated in the country.
Months later, some US cities and states are volunteering to offer COVID-19 vaccines to foreigners in a bid to safely attract more tourists amid COVID-19.
New York City announced back in May that it would begin vaccinating tourists 16 and older at popular sites like Times Square and the High Line, and later in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Central Park, a plan approved by the district’s governor. State, Andrew Cuomo.
Mobile vaccination centers at these locations are beginning to provide tourists with a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine without the need to make an appointment.
The state of Alaska has taken a similar step in an effort to resume summer tourism, which has been devastated by COVID-19 restrictions.
On June 1, the country began allowing arrivals at its major airports to be vaccinated with at least the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine.
“Anyone traveling in or through Alaska will be able to get vaccinated if they choose,” said Heidi Hedberg, director of public health for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, at the time announcing the move.
Several other US states, including Arizona, Florida, Louisiana and Texas, are offering free COVID-19 vaccines to foreigners and tourists.
Maldives offers free tourist vaccinations once its residents are vaccinated
The Maldives, a small archipelagic country in South Asia popular with wealthy German and American tourists, is offering travelers COVID-19 vaccines in a bid to revive its tourism sector, and thus its economy.
“Visit, Vaccinate, Vacation” will provide tourists with a convenient way to access the footage, but the program will only take effect after the indigenous population has been vaccinated. “The main idea of opening tourism is to provide reasonably safe tourism with the least inconvenience,” Tourism Minister Abdullah Mausom said last May.
In the same month, the authorities of the Maldives announced that 410 thousand tourists visited the country since the beginning of the year until May 8.
Russia sells COVID-19 vaccines to tourists but does not grant visas
Russian authorities also provide COVID-19 vaccines to foreigners, but not for free. Travelers are now offered three-week vaccination plans for foreign travelers with prices ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 in addition to flight costs.
However, some travelers may encounter difficulties in traveling to Russia because the consulates of the latter still do not issue visas.
“The product is ready, but the issues of visa support and legal entry for foreigners wishing to receive the Russian vaccine have not yet been resolved,” said Andrei Ignatiev, President of the Russian Federation of Travel Industry (RUTI).
Free COVID-19 vaccinations for tourists in Abu Dhabi since June 11
Abu Dhabi, another popular tourist destination, without much noise, offers visa holders free COVID-19 vaccinations from Pfizer or Sinopharm.
Vaccine appointments can be booked through the UAE COVID-19 vaccination app since June 11, using passport information. At the time of vaccination, an entry visa or entry stamp is required.
More than six per cent of the total population in the UAE has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so far.
The Indonesian island of Bali also offers COVId-19 Jabs
Bali has also started offering Chinese Sinovac and UK’s AstraZeneca vaccines to overseas tourists through packages that include vaccinations. The plan was developed by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s airline Garuda (GIAA.JK) has started giving free COVID-19 vaccines to vacationers and travelers, with 20 passengers taking advantage of the opportunity to get the Sinovac vaccine on the first day.
Only 5.5 percent of the total Indonesian population has been fully vaccinated so far.
Serbia (not anymore)
Serbia also revealed a plan to vaccinate tourists again in April this year. However, the government backed away from the plan which had prompted a large number of Bosnian residents to travel to the neighboring country for vaccination.
The country has managed to get more vaccines than its population.
The government canceled the offer of vaccines to tourists until further notice after more than 40,000 foreigners took advantage of this opportunity.
Serbia has so far provided at least 5,318,975 doses of the COVID vaccine.