What’s the latest on European travel restrictions?


Many countries have tightened safety restrictions once more in a bid to contain the virus while the vaccine is rolled out worldwide.

Here’s a summary of the travel restrictions being enforced across Europe.

Albania

  • Albania has confirmed more than 50,000 coronavirus cases within its borders.
  • The country reopened for all international tourists for the second time on 9 December.
  • Since 24 December, the country has operated a curfew system which includes restaurants and bars, except for delivery.

Andorra

  • Andorra has seen over 8,000 coronavirus cases throughout the pandemic.
  • The state is currently recognised as a high-risk area, and officials advise against all but essential travel.
  • Safety measures include restrictions around leisure, culture, sport and skiing.

Austria

  • After a second national lockdown throughout December, which included the closure of schools and non-essential shops, Austria is to review measures in mid-January.
  • This means travel to and from Austria is on hold except for essential reasons.

Belarus

  • Back in September, Belarus recorded one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the whole of Europe, and at that point saw only 73,000 infections.
  • Throughout the pandemic, President Aleksander Lukashenko opted against following the lockdown strategy sweeping the rest of the globe.
  • However, as infection rates around the world continue to rise, last month Belarus introduced additional exit controls at its land borders – though flights continue to operate as normal.

Belgium

  • Authorities in Belgium have recently extended coronavirus restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, with only essential shops open and curfews in place across major towns and cities.
  • Over the festive period, this included the closure of Christmas markets.
  • Currently, non-essential travel is prohibited into and out of the country.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Although Bosnia and Herzegovina is open to tourists, a recent rise in COVID-19 cases has seen tighter measures introduced.
  • A negative PCR test is required for entry.
  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and cafes are open, along with most other businesses, but a curfew is in place between 11pm and 5am.
  • People must wear masks in outdoor and indoor public spaces and on public transport.

Bulgaria

  • In Bulgaria, an emergency epidemic status is in place until the end of January 2021.
  • There are no restrictions on travel between cities, and police operated checkpoints have ceased.
  • International flights continue as normal for most essential travellers.

Croatia

  • On 30 November last year, Croatia introduced new measures temporarily restricting border crossing. However, some exemptions have been made.
  • Travellers coming from EU countries, and are on the ‘green list’ will be able to enter the country under the same conditions as before the COVID-19 outbreak. That’s providing they show no symptoms and haven’t been in close proximity to an infected person.

Cyprus

  • Cyprus is operating a category list which outlines the measures travellers must take depending on their country of origin.
  • Generally, the island is back open for international travellers from the A and B category.

Czech Republic

  • As of January 5th 2021, anyone entering the Czech Republic must be subject to medical examination.
  • The country remains open to those travelling from low-risk areas.

Denmark

  • Entry to Denmark depends on whether you’re travelling from an ‘open’ country or from a ‘banned’ country. This is updated on a weekly basis.
  • If you’re a visitor from an ‘open’ country, there are safety measures in place across Denmark including social distancing, hygiene measures and restricted social gatherings.

Estonia

  • Estonia admits people with no COVID-19 symptoms arriving from the EU.
  • Travel documents and medical symptoms are checked at the borders.

Finland

  • Tight travel restrictions remain in place in Finland until 12 January 2021.
  • Some countries, including Australia and New Zealand, are able to travel to Finland without restrictions.
  • Finnish health authorities may enforce mandatory COVID-19 testing upon arrival from restricted states.

France

  • France was the first European country to report a case of COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic.
  • France is operating a curfew system between 8pm and 6am, with bars and restaurants remaining closed.
  • Internal European borders remain open, but some external borders are closed.

Germany

  • From the New Year, German and EU citizens are permitted travel, with each journey approved by the federal border police.
  • Travellers from the UK and South Africa must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entering the country. Entrants from some countries are required to self-isolate for 10 days.

Greece

  • Greece was one of the first countries to open back up to tourism last summer, but since November, anyone travelling to Greece is required to present a negative PCR test ahead of arrival.
  • Only those displaying negative results will be able to enter the country.

Hungary

  • As a general rule, only Hungarian citizens have been allowed to enter Hungary since 1 September 2020.
  • Foreigners travelling on business or to take part in sport or cultural events are allowed to enter Hungary providing they have two negative COVID-19 tests or quarantine on their arrival.
  • All travel between the UK and Hungary was banned from 22 December after the new variant of COVID-19 was discovered in the southeast of the UK. This ban is in place until 8 February and travel is only allowed for exceptional circumstances.

Iceland

  • Iceland is open to tourists from the EU/EEA countries only. Travel between the UK and Iceland was banned from 1 January.
  • Arrivals to Iceland will need to have two PCR tests: one immediately upon arrival and another five days later. Until both tests come back negative, arrivals must stay in quarantine for up to 14 days.

Ireland

  • Ireland is currently under a national lockdown which will last until at least the end of January.
  • The Irish government advises against all but essential travel and it has adopted the EU traffic light system for travel restrictions in relation to COVID-19.
  • Arrivals from green zones will not be subject to any entry restrictions. Passengers from red, orange or grey zones or from countries outside the EU/EEA will be subject to tighter restrictions – including a 14 day quarantine on arrival.

Italy

  • Italy was one of the first EU countries to report a case of COVID-19 in January 2020. Regions are now classified under three COVID-19 alert levels.
  • Italy’s borders are open, but restrictions will apply depending on where you’re travelling from.
  • Travel between the UK and Italy is for essential reasons only until 6 January.

Kosovo

  • Similarly to Italy, Kosovo is currently under a tiered system of three COVID-19 alert levels.
  • All but essential travel to and from Kosovo is generally advised.
  • Shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels are all allowed to be open during the day, but are subject to evening curfews between 8pm and 5am.

Latvia

  • A 10-day self-isolation must be observed upon arrival in Latvia from countries with more than 50 new cases of Covid-19 infection per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.
  • UK travellers can visit Latvia, providing they take a COVID-19 test upon arrival.

Lietchenstein

  • Anybody travelling to Liechtenstein from a ‘high risk’ country must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.
  • For the most part, the tourism industry is operating and the usual COVID-19 measures such as wearing face masks and social distancing apply in public spaces.

Lithuania

  • Lithuania is under a nationwide lockdown from 16 December until 31 January.
  • The borders remain open, but movement within the country is extremely restricted.

Luxembourg

  • Luxembourg is welcoming tourists from EU/Schengen Area countries, except for those travelling from the UK, where only essential travel is permitted.
  • All non-essential shops, hairdressers, beauty salons and cinemas are closed in Luxembourg until 15 January and there is a curfew in place between 9pm and 6am.

North Macedonia

  • The borders are open in North Macedonia and on 30 December, the government cancelled its travel ban on people coming from the UK.
  • Bars, restaurants and cafes are open for business with social distancing and extra hygiene measures in place.
  • Other businesses including shops and hairdressers are open.

Malta

  • Commercial flights to and from Malta resumed from 1 July 2020.
  • Malta is operating by a traffic light system which will determine which restrictions you will be subject to when you arrive in Malta.
  • On 21 December, Malta banned flights to and from the UK following the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant.

Moldova

  • Moldova is under a state of emergency until 15 January, during which time bars, restaurants and cafes must close between 10pm and 7am.
  • Public events with less than 50 people are allowed, but not near areas with a high risk of infection.

Monaco

  • Monaco is open for tourists and is following the EU traffic light system to determine restrictions for arrivals.
  • If you’re travelling from an EU country with more than 60 cases per 100,000 in the last two weeks OR a non-EU country, you’ll need to give your details to the COVID-19 call centre and quarantine when you arrive.

Montenegro

  • Ski resorts are open in Montenegro as long as the 2m social distancing rule is followed.
  • In most cases, arrivals to Montenegro will need to isolate for 14 days.
  • An evening curfew between 10pm and 5am is in place.

Netherlands

  • The Netherlands is currently under a strict lockdown following a rapid rise in the number of cases of COVID-19. The lockdown is in force until at least 19 January.
  • Non-essential travel from countries outside the EU/Schengen areas is banned and all travellers are subject to restrictions upon arrival.

Norway

  • All arrivals to Norway need to take a free COVID-19 test upon arrival.
  • If you’re travelling to Norway from a red zone country, you’ll need to have a negative test before you travel in addition to the one upon arrival.
  • Unless you’re travelling from a yellow zone country, you’ll also need to quarantine for 10 days.

Poland

  • From 1 January, travellers from non EU/EEA countries are only allowed to enter Poland for essential travel.
  • All arrivals to Poland must self-isolate for 10 days with some exceptions related to work or residency in Poland.
  • The borders are open and travellers from the majority of EU/EEA countries.

Portugal

  • Portugal is under a state of emergency until 7 January.
  • Travel to Portugal for non-essential reasons is limited to EU/EEA citizens only.
  • All arrivals from age 2 and above must provide a negative result from a PCR test when they arrive and will be subject to health screening when they land in Portugal.
  • Face masks must be worn in public and social distancing and extra hygiene measures are in force in all public settings.

Romania

  • Hotels, guest houses and other tourist accommodations are open and subject to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • A curfew is in place between 11pm and 5am, during which time you will need to prove your reason for travelling.
  • Only essential travel is allowed for people coming from non EU/EEA countries, which includes the UK. From 4 January, UK passengers must provide a negative PCR test result upon arrival.

Russia

  • From 18 March 2020 the Russian government introduced restrictions on entry into the whole country for almost all foreign citizens. And from 30 March, temporary restrictions on entry and exit via Russia’s land borders were enforced.
  • All arrivals into Russia will be temperature checked and will be required to provide a negative PCR test result upon arrival.

San Marino

  • San Marino is open to tourists and has virtually no entry restrictions in place.
  • If you are accessing San Marino through Italy, you’ll need to check Italy’s travel advice before you set off.
  • Restaurants, bars, cafes and other leisure facilities are open with social distancing measures and face mask requirements in place.

Serbia

  • The first case of COVID-19 in Serbia was reported on 6 March 2020. The Government website reports that the situation is currently stable.
  • Until 10 January, all arrivals to Serbia must provide a negative PCR test result to be allowed entry. You may also be subject to a 10-day quarantine.
  • The usual COVID-19 safety measures apply once you’re there.

Slovakia

  • Most travellers are subject to entry restrictions in Slovakia as the virus continues to spread.
  • Travellers from the EU/EEA or Switzerland will need to provide a negative PCR test result upon arrival, but they won’t need to self-isolate.
  • Arrivals from other countries including the UK will need to self-isolate upon arrival and take another PCR test.

Slovenia

  • The Slovenian borders are open and health checks may be carried out upon your arrival.
  • If you’re arriving from a ‘red list’ country, you’ll be asked to quarantine for 10 days when you arrive.
  • COVID-19 restrictions vary between municipalities, which have been categorized using a traffic light system in terms of COVID-19 risk and infections.

Spain

  • Spain has been one of the worst hit countries by COVID-19 and continues to battle the virus with several social distancing and hygiene measures in place.
  • Spain’s borders are open to tourists and the restrictions you’re subject to depend on where you’re travelling from.

Sweden

  • International flights to and from Sweden remain limited and you may be subject to entry restrictions.
  • Most of the economy remains open with social distancing, face masks and extra hygiene measures in force.
  • A travel ban between Sweden and the UK is in place until 21 January. Only essential workers or other essential reasons for travel are exempt.
  • The government has advised Swedish citizens to avoid all but essential travel outside the EU/EEA and Schengen Area until 31 January.

Switzerland

  • Switzerland started to roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in December.
  • If you’re travelling from a country deemed to be ‘high risk’, you might be asked to quarantine upon arrival.
  • There is currently a ban on non-essential travel from the UK and South Africa due to the new COVID-19 variant.

Turkey

  • All travellers to Turkey aged 6 years and above will be required to show a negative PCR test result before they can enter the country and may be subject to health screening when they arrive.
  • Turkey has currently banned flights from the UK due to the new COVID-19 variant.
  • Shopping centres, markets, restaurants and hairdressers are open from 10am to 8pm throughout the week, with restaurants only providing takeaway services.
  • Smoking in public is banned for the time being.

Ukraine

  • Between 8-24 January, stricter COVID-19 measures are in place to curb the spread of the virus. This includes the closure of bars, restaurants and cafes and non-essential shops. All events during this period are banned.
  • Hotels remain open between 8-24 January with additional measures in place.
  • Entry restrictions depend on whether you’re travelling from a ‘green’ or ‘red’ zone country.

UK

  • The United Kingdom entered a full national lockdown for at least seven weeks from 5 January as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines continue.
  • All but essential travel to and from the UK is advised against and many countries have banned flights from the UK due to the new COVID-19 variant.

Vatican City

  • While Italy is open for some, Vatican City remains closed to tourists until at least 15 January.



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