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Is Europe open for travel? Not for everyone…

Updated: May 1, 2021



Europe is opening up for international travelers


After months of social distancing, face masks and lockdown, Europe is beginning to open up. Several countries have lifted bans on travel in hopes of reducing the huge economic losses in the tourism industry.


But, wait, don’t rush online to buy your ticket to a hot European Summer holiday destination. The reopening is gradual and conditional. So far, it’s pretty much focused on other European countries and, in most cases, is not extensive to countries that have failed in controlling Covid-19. That means that travelers from countries like the US and Brazil will have to settle for online travel to Europe for the foreseeable future.



How to figure out which travel restrictions still apply?


Most countries are already moving to lift bans and restrictions on tourism. Among others, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Austria, Germany and even Italy have already announced reopening measures. Some countries have already established free-travel blocks, like the baltic countries, and others, like Greece, have already stated they want to attract tourists from outside Europe, like Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan.


Travel restrictions for countries outside the European Union (EU) and Schengen area will only be lifted starting July 1st and will be based on a list of countries considered relatively safe from Covid. The list will be prepared by the European Commission according to the following criteria:

  • epidemiological scenario equal or equivalent to that of the EU;

  • the ability to apply containment measures before, during and after travel;

  • reciprocity considerations.

An official website was created to provide timely information on travel restrictions and guidelines in the EU, as well as information on what health measures are in effect in each country. It’s called Re-Open EU and provides information in 24 languages. Another good source of information is IATA’s website (International Air Transport Association).



Country cheat sheet


At Konsuu, we know your time is golden, so we decided to help you out by listing the main travel restrictions* in major tourist destinations in Europe.


Austria

  1. No travel bans - Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Vatican.

  2. Travel bans/restrictions -

  3. Non-essential travel by visitors from other countries (not mentioned in number 1 above) is not permitted;

  4. Travelers coming from other countries will need to self-isolate for 14 days. If the traveller receives a negative result from a Covid test taken during self-isolation, the 14-day period can be shortened.


Croatia

  1. No travel bans - Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia

  2. Travel bans/restrictions -

  3. All visitors, even those coming from the countries listed in number 1, must fill an online form;

  4. Travelers from Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland need to provide confirmation of an accommodation booking;

  5. Visitors from Bosnia, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia will need to self-isolate for 14 days;

  6. Non-essential travel by visitors from other countries (not mentioned in items 1 or 2b above) is not permitted;

  7. Visitors allowed on the basis of essential travel must inform the address of where they will stay, a phone number and the duration of their trip.


France

  1. No travel bans - Schengen** countries, UK, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican.

  2. Travel bans/restrictions:

  3. Non-essential travel by visitors from other countries (not mentioned in item 1) is not permitted;

  4. 14-day quarantine for visitors from countries not mentioned in item 1, including from overseas territories of France;

  5. Passengers traveling from mainland to Guadeloupe, Martinique, La Réunion, St Martin and St Barthelemy are allowed to undergo a 7-day quarantine if they test negative for Covid-19 (within 72h prior to the flight and after the 7-day quarantine). In Guyane, the Préfet may continue to limit the movement of people within the department;

  6. Voluntary quarantine for travelers from the UK;

  7. A completed International Travel Certificate must be presented prior to boarding and to Immigration upon arrival or when transiting France for travelers from countries not mentioned in item number 1. The certificate must be obtained before departure via the French consular offices abroad or online and includes a declaration on honor to state that travelers do not have symptoms of COVID-19. The declaration must be dated with the name and signature of the passenger.

  8. Symptomatic travelers during border health checks should be subject to quarantine, regardless of their nationality.


Germany

  1. No travel restrictions - EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein Norway and Switzerland.

  2. Travel bans/restrictions

  3. Non-essential travel by visitors from other countries (not mentioned in item 1) is not permitted;

  4. All other travelers will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine period. The quarantine is extensive to travelers coming from one of the countries listed in item 1, if there have been more than 50 cases of Covid per 100,000 people in the last 7-day period;

  5. Travelers from at-risk countries must inform their arrival to local health authorities.


Greece

  1. No travel bans - EU, EEA (European Economic Area)

  2. Travel bans/restrictions:

  3. Non-essential travel by visitors from other countries (not mentioned in item 1) is not permitted.

  4. Until June 30, visitors from Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden or from EU/EEA airports listed on the EASA affected area list are subject to tests upon arrival into the Athens airport. An overnight stay is required. If the test is negative, the visitor is free to move to their final destination. If the test is positive, the visitor is quarantined under supervision for 14 days.

  5. Until June 30, all visitors arriving into the Thessaloniki airport will be tested upon arrival.

  6. Random or compulsory tests are conducted to visitors upon arrival depending on the origin of their travel.

  7. From July 1st, Covid tests will be conducted randomly on all entry points.


Italy

  1. No travel bans - EU, Schengen**, UK, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican.

  2. Travel bans/restrictions:

  3. Non-essential travel by visitors from other countries (not mentioned in item 1) is not permitted.

  4. All other travelers will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine period and self-certification of the reasons of absolute urgency, work or health for which they must enter Italy.

  5. Mandatory fiduciary isolation is required for those who, although coming from one of the countries listed in item 1, have also been in countries other than those listed in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Italy.


Portugal

  1. No travel bans - Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland

  2. Travel bans/restrictions

  3. Non-essential travel by visitors from other countries (not mentioned in item 1) is not permitted.

  4. Road borders with Spain will be closed for non-essential travel until June 30.

  5. Travel to Madeira:

  6. Passengers must complete an online health form 24 to 48 hours before departure;

  7. Passengers are subject to quarantine if they do not have a certificate with a negative COVID-19 result issued at most 72 hours before departure.

  8. Passengers arriving in Azores are subject to medical screening and quarantine. This does not apply to passengers with a certificate with a negative COVID-19 result issued at most 72 hours before departure. More info here, in Portuguese.



Spain

  1. No travel bans - Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland or United Kingdom

  2. Road borders with Portugal will be closed until July 1st.

  3. Travel bans/restrictions

  4. Non-essential travel by visitors from other countries (not mentioned in item 1) is not permitted.

  5. Travelers from countries not listed on item 1 will have to comply with a 14-day quarantine period.


United Kingdom

  1. No travel bans to any countries.

  2. Restrictions:

  3. Passengers are subject to self-isolation for 14 days, unless they are arriving from within the Common Travel Area (CTA, comprises the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands) and have been in the CTA for the last 14 days before entering the UK, in which case they will not need to complete the Public Health passenger locator form or self-isolate for 14 days.

  4. A completed "Public Health Passenger Locator Form" must be presented to immigration upon arrival. The form can be obtained before departure online.

  5. Travelers risk penalties and fines for not presenting the Public Health Passenger Locator Form or not complying with self-isolation guidelines. Authorities can conduct surprise visits to visitors in self-isolation to ensure compliance.

  6. Rules regarding self-isolation and penalties are different according to the country of destination in the UK.





* Rules in effect on June 24, 2020. For more information and updates, visit Re-open EU, IATA or the official website of your destination country.


** The Schengen area comprises European Union members, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.


Images: personal archive, Shutterstock, Unsplash.


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