What’s the latest on European travel restrictions?

Updated: Jan 25

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 and beyond.


Albania

The country reopened for all international tourists for the second time on 9th December.

Since 24th December, the country has operated a curfew system which includes restaurants and bars, except for delivery.

Andorra

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.

Most travellers will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result to enter Andorra.

Austria

Travel for leisure and tourism in Austria is on hold due to a national lockdown.

The lockdown is expected to be in place until at least 7th February and only essential travel is allowed.

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, Belarus is only allowing for essential travel at this time.

Belgium

Authorities in Belgium have recently extended coronavirus restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. Only essential shops are open and curfews are in place across major towns and cities.

Belgium has adopted the traffic light system to determine travel restrictions, which is based on the COVID-19 threat level of the country you’re travelling from.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Although Bosnia and Herzegovina are open to tourists, a recent rise in COVID-19 cases has seen tighter measures introduced.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and cafes are open, along with most other businesses, but a curfew is in place between 11 pm and 5 am.

A negative PCR test is required for entry.

People must wear masks in outdoor and indoor public spaces and on public transport.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina border police are publishing regular updates about foreign travel.


Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, an emergency epidemic status is in place until the end of January.

There are no restrictions on travel between cities, and police operated checkpoints have ceased. The leisure and entertainment sector is either on lockdown or operating at reduced capacity.

International flights continue as normal for most essential travellers.

Croatia

On 30th November last year, Croatia introduced new measures temporarily restricting border crossing. However, some exemptions have been made.

Croatia is following a traffic light system for travel restrictions and anybody coming from an EU country on the ‘green list’ can enter the country without any restrictions. 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 categories.

There is a curfew in place which restricts movement between 9 pm and 5 am.

Czech Republic

As of 5th January, anyone entering the Czech Republic is subject to a medical examination to check for COVID-19 infection.

The country remains open to those travelling from low-risk areas.


Denmark

Denmark has entered a national lockdown with tight restrictions until at least 7thh February. This includes the closure of all non-essential shops.

As of 9th January, only essential travel has been allowed to Denmark and only if you can provide a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 24 hours before boarding.

Special exemptions for entering Denmark have also been tightened.

The country will be introducing an exemption for travellers who hold a COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

Estonia

Estonia admits people with no COVID-19 symptoms arriving from the EU.

Travel documents and medical symptoms are checked at the borders.

The government is also looking to waver restrictions for travellers who have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

Finland

Tight travel restrictions remain in place in Finland until 9th February 2021.

Travellers from 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 now has tight restrictions in place to help control the virus as cases are on the rise.

Internal borders remain open, but most external borders remain closed – with some exceptions.

The border between France and the UK is closed «until further notice» due to the new COVID-19 variant in the UK.

Anybody entering France from outside the EU/Schengen Area now has to complete two PCR tests: one before departure and one at the end of a seven-day quarantine upon arrival.


Germany

German and EU citizens are permitted to 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.

All travellers will be required to self-isolate for 7 days upon arrival until 21st January.

Hungary As a general rule, only Hungarian citizens have been allowed to enter Hungary since 1st 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 22nd December after the new variant of COVID-19 was discovered in the southeast of the UK. This ban is in place until 8th February and travel is only allowed for exceptional circumstances. Iceland Iceland is open to tourists from EU/EEA countries only. Travel between the UK and Iceland was banned from 1st 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. Exceptions to applying to those who: are transiting the country, have a certificate to show they have had COVID-19; have a certificate to prove they have been vaccinated against the virus, or those who for medical reasons cannot have the COVID-19 test. 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. The government has recently tightened restrictions in the country and extended the state of emergency until April. Movement between regions is limited to essential journeys only until 15th February. Tourists arriving in Italy will have to self-isolate for 14 days upon the arrival. Kosovo Kosovo is currently under a tiered system of three COVID-19 alert levels. All but essential travel to and from Kosovo is generally advised against. Shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels are all allowed to be open during the day but are subject to evening curfews between 8 pm and 5 am. A negative PCR test less than 72 hours old is required by all foreign travellers entering Kosovo from countries with a high number of COVID-19 cases. These countries are marked as red or orange on the official ECDC map.

Latvia A state of emergency has been declared in Latvia until 7th February. A 10-day self-isolation must be observed upon arrival in Latvia from countries with more than 50 new cases of COVID-19 per 100.000 inhabitants in the last 14 days. From 15th January, all arrivals will have to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test performed no more than 72 hours before flying to be allowed to enter Latvia. Liechtenstein Anybody travelling to Liechtenstein from a ‘high risk’ country must quarantine for 10 days upon the 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. Liechtenstein follows Switzerland’s travel advice.

Lithuania Lithuania is under a nationwide lockdown until 31st January. The borders remain open, but a movement within the country is extremely restricted. Luxembourg Luxembourg is welcoming tourists from EU/Schengen Area countries without the need to present a negative COVID-19 test before entry. Non-essential travel from most third countries to Luxembourg is banned until 31st March. All non-essential shops, hairdressers, beauty salons and cinemas are closed in Luxembourg until 15th January and there is a curfew in place between 9 pm and 6 am. North Macedonia The borders are open in North Macedonia and on 30th 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 are in place. Other businesses including shops and hairdressers are open. Malta Commercial flights to and from Malta resumed from 1st July 2020. Malta is operated by a traffic light system which will determine which restrictions you will be subject to when you arrive. Moldova Moldova is under a state of emergency, during which time bars, restaurants and cafes must close between 10 pm and 7 am. 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 10 pm and 5 am is in place. Netherlands The Netherlands is currently responding to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. All but essential travel to the Netherlands is advised against. 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 will now have 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 1st January, travellers from non-EU/EEA countries are only allowed to enter Poland for essential travel. The borders are open to travellers from the majority of EU/EEA countries. All arrivals to Poland must self-isolate for 10 days with some exceptions related to work or residency in Poland. Poland now allows travellers with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate to enter without the need to quarantine. Portugal 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 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 11 pm and 5 am, 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 4th 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 30th 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. You can check the Re-open EU website for updates.

Serbia The first case of COVID-19 in Serbia was reported on 6th March 2020. The Government website reports that the situation is currently stable. All arrivals to Serbia must provide a negative PCR test performed no more than 48 hours before departure 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 a second PCR test. Slovenia The Slovenian borders are open and health checks may be carried out upon your arrival. If you’re coming 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 categorised based on a traffic light system. 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 depend on where you’re travelling from. The tourism minister announced on 19 January that Spain could soon be introducing exemptions for those who hold a COVID-19 vaccine certificate. 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 21st January. Essential workers or those travelling under exceptional circumstances 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 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 10 am to 8 pm throughout the week, with restaurants only providing takeaway services. Smoking in public is banned for the time being. Turkish Airlines have published a country-by-country breakdown of flight restrictions to Turkey.

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. Vatican City While Italy is open for some, Vatican City remains closed to tourists. Beyond Europe

UK The United Kingdom entered a full national lockdown for at least seven weeks from 5 January as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines continues. 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. If you’re coming to the UK, you’ll now be required to take a COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before your departure. USA The USA has banned non-essential travel from the UK, Ireland, the Schengen Area, Iran, Brazil and China due to COVID-19. If you are travelling to the USA, you’ll need to show evidence of a negative PCR test before departure and be prepared to self-isolate for up to 14 days. COVID-19 restrictions and penalties for not following government guidelines vary from state to state, so the best thing to do is check the CDC website before you travel.

Canada To travel to Canada you need to have a negative COVID-19 test before departing. International arrivals to Toronto Pearson Airport will now also be offered a free COVID-19 test as part of a pilot scheme to add an extra layer of protection. You’ll still need to self-isolate for 14 days even if you take the test in Toronto, but the government says it’s working on this. Australia Australia’s borders are, for the most part, closed. You can only enter Australia if you are an Australian citizen, have permanent residence or have an exceptional reason. If you are allowed to enter Australia, you’ll need to take a mandatory 14-day quarantine when you arrive. . New Zealand New Zealand’s borders are closed and you can only enter if you have citizenship, permanent residence or an exceptional circumstance. If you are entering New Zealand, you need to undergo quarantine or managed isolation in an approved facility for a minimum of 14 days.

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