With the weather brightening up and longer days firmly upon us the sight of summer is definitely not far off. As life begins to return to some sense of normality, for many this means jetting off to another country.
While many countries in Europe have relaxed their entry restrictions as we come out of the pandemic, some continue to have checks in place depending on your vaccination status. To avoid facing quarantine, or worse being sent home, it’s important to be aware of all the rules before you book a flight to ensure you’ll be allowed entry when you land.
Here’s everything you need to know about travelling to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland and Austria.
The UK is currently not considered a high risk country, so fully vaccinated travellers can enter the country with proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival. Germany will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued. Your final vaccine dose must have been given at least 14 days prior to travelling.
Travellers from the UK to Germany who are not fully vaccinated may not currently enter Germany unless they are a German citizen; the spouse, partner or child under 18 of a German citizen; a resident of Germany; the spouse, partner or child under 18 of a resident of Germany; serve in an important role; or have an urgent need to travel.
From March 23 all travellers from the UK to the Netherlands will not require a negative pre-departure test for travel to the Netherlands, regardless of their vaccination status.
Fully vaccinated UK nationals who can provide acceptable proof of vaccination, which includes the NHS COVID Pass, are allowed to enter the Netherlands. Everyone arriving by plane must also complete a health declaration form and have it ready to show.
UK nationals who are legally resident in the Netherlands are allowed to re-enter the country regardless of their vaccination status, but will need to show one of the following:
- a residency permit
- a certificate of application
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated and who do not meet requirements of an EU entry ban exemption category, are not allowed to enter the Netherlands from the UK.
If you’re fully vaccinated, you can enter Belgium from the UK if you complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), unless you fall under a very limited list of exemptions listed on the Belgian government website. To qualify as fully vaccinated at least 14 days must have passed since your second dose.
Unvaccinated passengers can enter Belgium but must be able to produce either a recovery or negative test certificate.
Travellers from all over the world can now enter Switzerland without having to follow any COVID-19 rules as the latter has officially dropped all of its measures today, on May 2. This means that all travellers can now enter the country without having to present a valid vaccination, recovery or test certificate.
If you’re fully vaccinated you must show proof of this to enter Austria. Without proof of vaccination at the time of entry, you must fill in a pre-travel clearance form and enter 10-day quarantine. You can leave quarantine early with a negative PCR test result.
For two-shot vaccines, you must show that you received the second injection or a booster no more than 270 days before arrival. Austria will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination, however immigration officials will insist on QR codes, as provided by the UK COVID Pass, as proof of vaccinations and boosters, and have denied entry to those without this evidence.
If you are not fully vaccinated and don’t qualify for exemptions, then you will need to prove recovery or have a negative test. You can enter Austria with proof of recovery, via the NHS app, from a COVID-19 infection in the past 180 days.
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