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 foll