Updated: Aug 16, 2020
Eight European nations have recently updated their entry requirements this week, imposing additional rules and entry requirements, like mandatory PCR tests. The tightening of restrictions is not just for high-risk visitors from third-party countries like the USA, these are also for neighboring countries that had previously been allowed unrestricted access since borders started reopening.
Italy announced on August 12th that effective immediately it will be imposing new testing requirements for 4 nations. For the purpose of containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, to people who have stayed or transited through Croatia, Greece, Malta, or Spain in the previous fourteen days, will be required to bring a negative PCR test within 72 hours of entry, or undergo a test upon arrival and isolate to await results. This is in addition to the new 14-day quarantine requirement Italy slapped on visitors from Romania and Bulgaria on July 28th.
Greece is also joining the list of European countries tightening restrictions. Effective August 17th, 2020 until at least August 31st, 2020, all passengers arriving from Belgium, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Spain, or Sweden must have a medical certificate with a negative PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before arrival. The certificate must be in English. Greece also imposed PCR testing requirements on travelers from Romania and Bulgaria on July 28th, as well as Malta on August 12th.
Earlier this month Norway had a list of ‘Green’ countries on its travel advisory for citizens leaving the country, however, the government has just removed all ‘Green’ countries and replaced them all with a ‘Yellow’ advisory. As of Aug 13th, Norway is now requiring a 10-day quarantine for any arrivals (nationals or tourists) coming from Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Iceland, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic.
U.K. On July 10th, the United Kingdom created a list of 60 ‘safe’ travel destinations where arrivals did not have to quarantine upon entering the UK, as long as they were coming from those countries. Since creating the list, the UK has had to remove many countries, with the biggest elimination being Spain on July 26th. The UK has also removed Luxembourg on July 31st, and Andorra, Bahamas, and Belgium on August 8th. A recent post on the Guardian suggests that France, Malta, and The Netherlands might be the next removals from the list. The UK just updated they WILL, in fact, be removing 6 more countries as of August 15th: Aruba, France, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Turks and Caicos Islands.
France is currently seeing its highest daily cases since the lockdown in March, which has measured at the border under pressure. While non-essential travel from countries outside the EU is still banned, France has now doubled its list of “high-risk” countries which require travelers to take a PCR coronavirus test to cross into its borders. The list of countries now sits at 32 nations that require testing, even if it is French nationals returning home, and in some cases even in transit.
Germany. On August 8, Germany added areas of Romania, Spain, and Bulgaria to their list of high-risk countries, meaning any traveler entering from these regions must bring a negative PCR test with them, or face mandatory testing on arrival.
Although Ireland already has a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place for most arrivals, they’re looking to restrict border control even further as reports of travelers from high-risk areas, like the USA, are not abiding by the rules.
Reports out of Serbia on August 13 suggest they will be soon implementing a required PCR test and/or 14-day quarantine measures for arrivals. Since reopening on May 22, Serbia has been allowing ALL nations in with no restrictions whatsoever.
With restrictions starting to tighten all across Europe, any traveler should be ultra-careful when making travel plans, including contacting local consulates, checking with airlines, and reviewing all entry requirements multiple times before embarking.