We are all aching to travel, explore and enjoy life as before the coronavirus hurled the world into lockdown. Unfortunately, not everything is going as planned or expected this year.
Despite hopes of reopening borders everywhere and return of frequent international travellers, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic still prevents the lifting of restrictions, as well as our free movement.
There are now talks of “vaccine passports” or a Digital Green Certificate for everyone who wants to travel abroad.
However, it still might be possible to visit another European country right now. Even though most governments don’t recommend travelling, not all borders are strictly closed.
In this article, you will find the full list of European countries open for travel currently, as well as the exact restrictions in different destinations you should be aware of.
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Austria has tightened border controls with all neighboring countries. Everyone who wants to cross the border has to present proof of a negative coronavirus test.
Digital registration has been mandatory since January 15, with the exception of regular commuters and transit travellers.
Until at least April 1, those traveling to and from Belgium will be required to provide a valid reason to be allowed to cross the border - for example, family duties, work or studies.
Moreover, since the end of January, all Belgians returning from the UK, South America or South Africa have been required to quarantine for 10 days and take a PCR test on the first and seventh day after arrival.
In addition, non-residents who want to enter Belgium have to present two negative PCR tests, one before departure and one upon arrival.
Right now, citizens and residents returning to Belgium must take a COVID-19 test on arrival, to self-isolate for a week and take another test. All other arriving passengers need to show a negative test as well.
Citizens of EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries, as well as their family members, are allowed to enter if they present a negative result of a PCR test. It has to be done up to 72 hours before departure.
As of the end of January 2021, Bulgarian citizens and those with permanent or long-term residence in Bulgaria and their family members without a PCR test are required to self-isolate for 10 days. Quarantine may be revoked if they present a document proving a negative result of a PCR test performed within 24 hours from their entry.
All travellers from within the EU and EEA, plus some other countries around the world, are allowed to enter Croatia. Arrivals from the UK and South Africa must self-quarantine for 14 days.
Note that everyone needs to fill out a form to enter Croatia. In addition, you have to present a negative test result on arrival. The test must have been done in the past 48 hours.
Travellers from within the EU and Schengen area, as well as some other countries around the world, are allowed to enter. Visitors from three sets of countries do not have to quarantine on arrival.
‘Green’ countries are: Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.
‘Orange’ countries are: China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Republic of Korea, Macao, Portugal, Thailand.
The rest of the countries are either in the ‘red’ or in the ‘grey’ (special permission) category.
Visitors from ‘green’ countries will be tested on arrival; those from ‘orange’ ones have to provide a negative test result from within the past 72 hours; and those from ‘red’ countries have to provide a negative test result and take another test on arrival.
Israeli travellers will be able to skip testing by providing proof of a COVID-19 vaccine from April 1, as well as Brits from May 1.
As of January 30, no foreigner travellers are allowed to travel to the Czech Republic for inessential reasons.
Essential reasons include the following:
- Business meetings or other work performance;
- Obtaining basic needs;
- Journeys to medical facilities;
- Handling of urgent official matters;
It is possible to travel to and out of the country without necessity of filling a Public Health Passenger Locator form or submitting a PCR or antigen test result for the period of time not exceeding 12 hours. If it exceeds this time period, you have to present both.
Denmark has extended the existing entry restrictions and travel ban until April 20. Only essential travel is allowed, with an obligatory presentation of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.
Travel to Estonia is possible. However, a 10-day quarantine is required for those entering Estonia from a high-risk country in the European Union, European Economic Area and the Schengen area. High-risk means it has an infection rate above 150 persons per 100 000 inhabitants in the past 14 days.
Only residents and nationals of Finland are allowed to enter Finland.
France has banned all travel with countries outside the European Union. Exceptions are made only for a good reason. There will be border controls until at least the end of April 2021. Travellers from European countries over the age of 11 must provide proof of a negative PCR test, which is not older than 72 hours.
Germany is in a hard lockdown, which will be in force at least until April 18. Travel in the country is allowed only for essential reasons. Only those with a negative coronavirus test are allowed to enter.
Entry requirements to Greece include an online registration and a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old. All persons entering Greece by April 5 must undergo a seven-day domestic quarantine.
Hungary has closed its borders to most foreign nationals including those from the UK. Only travel for essential reasons is allowed.
From April 6, 2021, all travellers will be allowed to enter the country as long as they can show proof of vaccination or previous COVID infection.
If you do not have either of these, you could still be eligible, but will need a negative PCR test before entering, then 5-6 days of quarantine and a new test.
Ireland is currently under a national lockdown. Anyone entering the country must present a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old. In addition, all, including Irish citizens and residents, are required to self-isolate for 14 days after entry.
Travellers from EU countries and the Schengen travel zone, as well as visitors from Australia, Japan and some other countries outside Europe are allowed to enter Italy. However, flights from the UK and Brazil are suspended.
Anyone arriving from another Schengen-area country has to provide a negative test result from within the past 48 hours. Arrivals from Austria and from outside the Schengen area are required to self-isolate for 14 days. All travellers have to fill out a declaration form.
Until April 6, entry to Latvia from European Union Member States and the European Economic Area Member States, the Swiss Confederation is permitted only for "urgent and essential" reasons. These are work, training, studies, family reunion, receiving medical services, transit, accompanying a minor, return to one’s permanent place of residence, attending a funeral.
All arrivals need to have a negative COVID-19 test, done no more than 72 hours before arriving at the border or boarding the plane.
Currently, citizens of European Economic Area countries and those lawfully residing in these countries are allowed to enter Lithuania.
The entry of foreigners from countries mostly outside the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA) is limited to exceptional cases.
EU citizens and citizens of the countries associated with the Schengen area, as well as San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and the Vatican/Saint See, are free to enter Luxembourg, regardless of the purpose of the stay.
Most third-country nationals may not enter its territory until March 31, 2021 (including).
In addition, any person aged 6 years or over must present a negative COVID-19 test result (not older than 72 hours) before boarding any flight to Luxembourg.
Residents and citizens of EU and Schengen-area countries are allowed in, along with travellers from Australia, Canada, Japan and some other nations around the world. However, travel from the UK is banned.
Everyone arriving in Malta will be requested to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test, carried out not more than 72 hours before their arrival. Those who fail to produce this test may be submitted to testing in Malta and also subjected to a quarantine.
The Dutch government "strongly advises" against all travel to the country unless it is strictly necessary.
Those traveling to the Netherlands need a negative result of a PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, as well as a negative result of an antigen rapid test, or LAMP (loop mediated isothermal amplification) test taken within 4 hours before departure to the Netherlands. In addition, all travellers are expected to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. After five days of quarantine, you can choose to get tested for coronavirus. If you test negative, the quarantine is lifted.
Norwegian borders are currently closed. Anyone that returns to the country from an unnecessary leisure trip abroad must stay at a quarantine hotel, starting from 00.00 on March 29.
Only Norwegian nationals and foreign nationals that reside in Norway are allowed to enter the country, with a few exceptions.
There is a mandatory COVID-19 test. Requirements vary depending on the country you’re coming from.
Poland accepts travellers from EU countries and the Schengen area. However, travel is currently restricted from several European countries due to rising cases.
Visitors from Canada, Georgia, Japan and South Korea are also allowed in Poland.
All travellers must provide a negative test result from within 48 hours of arrival, or self-isolate for ten days. Those who can provide proof of vaccination can skip testing and quarantine.
Visitors from EU and Schengen travel zone countries are allowed in Portugal but with a negative test result. Citizens and residents of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand are also allowed in. The border with Spain is currently closed, and flights to and from the UK have been suspended.
All visitors must present a negative test result from within the past 72 hours on arrival and fill in the Passenger locator card.
Travellers from within the EU and Schengen travel zone, as well as those from some other countries around the world are allowed in Romania.
Anyone travelling from a country on the ‘yellow list’, which currently includes the UK, will have to quarantine for 14 days. This can be reduced to ten days, if you test negative on the eighth day of confinement.
The country is waiving all restrictions for travellers who have already received both doses of the vaccine.
UK travellers are not permitted to enter Slovakia unless it's for essential reasons.
Slovakia is open for its returning citizens but only partially for foreigners and tourism. See more details here.
It is possible to travel to Slovenia under certain conditions.
Travellers from countries that are NOT explicitly named on the ‘red’ list of Slovenia can enter without quarantine or negative test result requirements. A person is considered to be coming from a country if he/she has stayed in that country continuously for 14 days before arriving in Slovenia (which can be proven by a proper certificate).
If you are coming from a country on the red list, such as the UK, you will need to quarantine for 10 days or have a negative PCR test no older than 48 hours or a negative antigen test no older than 24 hours. Those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have had the virus and are immune from it are also exempt from quarantine.
Visitors from EU and Schengen member countries, plus several other countries around the world, are allowed in Spain. Travel from the UK is currently banned, except for returning citizens and residents. The land border with Portugal is shut.
All travellers from ‘high-risk’ areas must provide a negative test result from within the past 72 hours. They must also fill in a form.
There is a travel ban until May 31 on non-essential travel to Sweden from countries outside the EU.
The entry ban does not apply to citizens and their families from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland, and if you are a permanent resident or hold a residence permit in Sweden or another EU country, or if you have a national visa in Sweden.
Foreign nationals need to present a negative Covid-19 test result in order to travel into Sweden. There can be no more than 48 hours between the time of the test and crossing the border.
A temporary ban on entry to Sweden for nationals from the UK, Denmark and Norway is in effect until March 31. From this date on, Danish and Norwegian citizens can enter under the same requirements as other EU/EEA nationals. The entry ban from countries outside the EU will comprise UK nationals from March 31.
Liechtenstein and Switzerland citizens, as well as persons who obtain a residence permit and those who need to travel to Switzerland for work purposes or any emergency case, continue to be permitted to enter the country.
The United States and the United Kingdom have been removed from the compulsory quarantine list, as well as some other countries like Barbados, Ireland, Lithuania, Qatar, the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia.
The same applies for the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in France and the Apulia region in Italy.
Great Britain has tightened its entry requirements. Entrants from more than 33 countries on its "red list" of high-risk countries are obliged to quarantine in hotels for ten days. The countries affected are those classified by the UK as virus-variant areas, such as South Africa, all South American states, and the United Arab Emirates.
The arrivals must book a 10-day stay from an approved list of hotels where they have to remain in their room and are provided with three meals a day. Security teams at the hotels monitor compliance. Passengers have to pay for their own stay in isolation.
Travel for tourist purposes is not permitted in and to the UK and Northern Ireland.People travelling to the UK must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR, LAMP or antigen test) before setting off. This may be taken up to three days before their journey begins. This regulation applies to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
All travelers entering the UK, regardless of departure country or nationality, must complete a passenger locator form.
Now you know which European countries are open for travel and under what conditions.
Make sure to always stay updated and definitely check travel restrictions and warnings before you book a flight. Circumstances and rules change quickly - you should adhere to the information published on official government pages.
Most importantly, make sure to stay safe!
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