COVID-19: Europe’s travel restrictions explained (Portugal is the highest risk Country)

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Brussels asked EU governments to reboot free travel from Monday — but that doesn’t mean Schengen is fully revived.

The bloc’s free-travel zone came to a screeching halt in March when countries chaotically imposed border restrictions to lock out the coronavirus. The European Commission wanted the reopening to be a much more orderly affair, but that’s not happening.

Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson on Thursday told capitals they must drop Europe’s internal-border restrictions to be ready to figure out a joint approach to restarting travel from outside the bloc, targeted for July 1. Brussels is desperate to avoid a messy global opening that results in a new round of border closures.

Johansson said that the coronavirus has retreated in Europe and that the EU’s own health agency advised that border restrictions inside the EU and the Schengen area are “not an effective way to deal with the pandemic right now.”

But she admitted that member countries may have trouble meeting the Monday deadline.

Despite prodding from Brussels, POLITICO’s guide shows a patchwork of policies across the bloc.


Austria | Belgium | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | United Kingdom


 

🇦🇹 Austria

Are the borders open? Yes, since June 4, but only travelers who’ve stayed in Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary for two weeks prior to arrival can currently enter freely. Austria will extend that to cover 31 countries (but not Portugal, Sweden, Spain or the U.K.) as of Tuesday.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Yes, depending on where people are coming from: From Tuesday, travelers from Portugal, Sweden, Spain and the U.K. still have to quarantine for two weeks or take a test.

Guests of Zeitgeist Hotel listen from their rooms during a window concert in Vienna | Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? Entry is only allowed for special categories like diplomats,  travelers in transit, and workers for international organizations, health care or freight.

Status: Cautious

Find out more: Here

⏫ Select another country

 


 

🇧🇪 Belgium

Are the borders open? Yes. As of Monday Belgium is dropping its restrictions for travel within the European Union and from the U.K., Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? They can’t visit for the time being.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇧🇬 Bulgaria

Are the borders open? From Monday through to June 30, Bulgaria is open to EU citizens, Britons, Bosnians, Serbs and Montenegrins, and there are other exemptions for groups such as seasonal workers, medical staff and people, including investors, working on core infrastructure projects.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? People arriving from Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands, the U.K. and any third country face a 14-day quarantine. Transiting lorry and bus drivers are exempt. Arrivals across the border with North Macedonia are also subject to quarantine.

Are there any other entry requirements? People transiting the country or exempted from quarantine have to sign this declaration that they understand the rules.

What about travelers from outside Europe? Banned, apart from some exceptions like diplomats, transport staff and medical specialists.

Status: Cautious

Find out more: Here

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🇭🇷 Croatia

Are the borders open? Yes. In an effort to get the tourism sector moving again, travelers from Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia are allowed in without conditions, though the government says it will collect contact data. Nationals of other EU countries will have to show they have a good reason, although an accommodation booking will be sufficient.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No, unless they have symptoms.

The old town walls in Dubrovnik | Denis Lovrovic/AFP via Getty Images

Are there any other entry requirements? No; unlike some other countries, Croatia is not requiring a negative test.

What about travelers from outside Europe? Not allowed.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇨🇾 Cyprus

Are the borders open? Most European countries fall into two groups that have to follow different rules. Flights from 19 countries have been allowed since June 9, on condition that passengers show a negative coronavirus test from the past 72 hours. From June 20, travel restrictions are lifted entirely for these travelers, while those from a second group of countries — currently only Israel, Poland and Romania — need a health certificate. Both lists are constantly reviewed. Belgium, the U.K., Sweden and the Netherlands are currently excluded.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? If visitors from permitted countries aren’t able to take a test before boarding, they can have the test in Cyprus (roughly €60) and self-isolate at their pre-booked accommodation until the result is available.

Are there any other entry requirements? A COVID-19 traveler declaration, which can be filled in online or at airport check-in counters, is requested prior to boarding. The government has set up an online portal in English with all the info.

What about travelers from outside Europe? Norway, Switzerland and Israel are the only non-EU countries on either list. Travel from elsewhere is allowed only in exceptional circumstances and after receiving approval, including for transit.

Status: Cautious

Find out more: Here

⏫ Select another country

 


 

🇨🇿 Czech Republic

Are the borders open? Under new rules taking effect Monday, the Czech Republic will enforce a traffic-light system. People from safe countries, marked green, will be able to travel to the country, but tourists from orange (medium-risk) and red (high-risk) countries will be denied entry, barring a few exemptions. Czech citizens returning from green or orange countries can travel back without restrictions.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No, if coming from lower-risk countries.

Are there any other entry requirements? Czechs returning from Sweden or Portugal (the red zone) must take a test or quarantine; that also applies to exempted foreigners from orange or red countries.

What about travelers from outside Europe? No.

Status: Cautious

Find out more: Here

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🇩🇰 Denmark

Are the borders open? No. The border will remain closed until at least September 1 except for tourists from Germany, Norway and Iceland.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No.

Are there any other entry requirements? There are many exceptions to the travel ban. Partners of Danes from all EU countries are allowed to visit (provided they fill in a police form), as well as Finns and Swedes who own a summer home in Denmark.

What about travelers from outside Europe? No, the borders are closed to them too.

Status: Closed

Find out more: Here

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🇪🇪 Estonia

Are the borders open? Yes. Estonia restarted travel from EU and Schengen countries, as well as the U.K. from June 1, on the condition that travelers don’t display any COVID-19 symptoms.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Travelers who’ve spent at least 14 days before their departure in a country with more than 15 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days are required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. The list is updated every Friday and enters into effect the following Monday.

Are there any other entry requirements? People who aren’t exempted can file a request to cross the border in exceptional circumstances.

What about travelers from outside Europe? No, travel remains restricted.

Status: Cautious

Find out more: Here

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🇫🇮 Finland

Are the borders open? Partially. Finland on Thursday decided to drop border checks with Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as of Monday, but restrictions for other countries, including Sweden, are extended until July 14 (although they could be reviewed before then). The government says unrestricted travel with Sweden will be allowed “as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.”

Do arrivals have to quarantine? A two-week quarantine is recommended for arrivals from countries for which Finland hasn’t lifted restrictions — meaning they can’t travel for leisure.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? They can’t visit for the time being.

Status: Closed

Find out moreHere

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🇫🇷 France

Are the borders open? Yes. France is lifting restrictions at European borders as of Monday.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No. Travelers from most EU countries, EFTA nations (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), as well as Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican and Andorra, will be free to travel to France by land, air or sea without having to quarantine or needing to show certificates proving they are COVID-free. The measures for passengers from Spain will be lifted on June 21, the date Spanish authorities have said they will retract their own restrictions. Travelers from the U.K. will be allowed to enter France but will have to submit to a 14-day quarantine, in response to the U.K.’s quarantine mandate.

A worker cleans the Queen bedroom at the Chateau de Versailles | Stephane de Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? The interior ministry said it would begin relaxing restrictions on travel from countries outside the EU on July 1, in accordance with the European Commission’s recommendations. University students will be given priority for entry, regardless of their country of origin.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇩🇪 Germany

Are the borders open? Yes. After closing most of its borders in March, Germany has slowly moved to reopen frontiers on a case-by-case basis. From Monday, all nine of the country’s borders will be open again.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No — but Germany’s 16 federal states have the final say on lockdown measures and have at times implemented different policies.

A housekeeper at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski, facing the the Brandenburg gate in Berlin | Maja Hitij/Getty Images

What about travelers from outside Europe? Not allowed for the time being.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇬🇷 Greece

Are the borders open? From Monday, Greece resumes flights to most countries, except those listed as having a high risk of transmission by the EU’s aviation safety agency, EASA. International flights will arrive in Athens and Thessaloniki, while direct flights to regional airports resume July 1.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Travelers from airports on the EASA list — including in France, the U.K., the U.S. and Belgium — face mandatory tests and quarantines. For others there’s no requirements, although random testing will be carried out.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Santorini | Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

Are there any other entry requirements? Land-border arrivals from Bulgaria will be open as of Monday and visitors subject to random testing. Land-border arrivals from North Macedonia and Albania will resume on July 1, while re-evaluation with regards to Turkey will be made by June 30. Arrivals by sea will be allowed as of July 1.

What about travelers from outside Europe? It’s variable, since Greece’s restrictions are based on the EASA list. Some countries are welcomed and others restricted.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇭🇺 Hungary

Are the borders open? Not fully. Only citizens of Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia may enter the country, alongside Hungarians.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? People coming from those seven countries don’t face quarantine, but Hungarians or permanent residents returning from elsewhere — as well as those who get special permits — must quarantine for 14 days.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? Hungary’s external borders are closed, with some exemptions such as business travelers from South Korea and Japan. Ukrainian citizens may enter for agricultural work purposes.

Status: Cautious

Find out more: Here

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🇮🇸 Iceland

Are the borders open? Yes.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Iceland requires travelers to self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. But as of Monday, travelers can opt for a test instead. Caution: Test results from other countries are not accepted. The requirements don’t apply to children born in 2005 or later.

A bar in Reykjavik on May 31 | Haraldur Gudjonsson/AFP via Getty Images

Are there any other entry requirements? Travelers have to fill out a pre-registration form before departure. They’re also encouraged to download the contact tracing app Rakning C-19.

What about travelers from outside Europe? No.

Status: Cautious

Find out more: Here

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🇮🇪 Ireland

Are the borders open? Yes — they’ve never closed.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Yes, unless you’re coming from Northern Ireland or you’re an essential worker or diplomat. Everyone else must fill in a Passenger Locator Form and quarantine for 14 days, with fines up to €2,500 for non-compliance.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? Ireland is outside Schengen and never implemented the EU’s external travel ban, meaning it isn’t distinguishing between European and worldwide arrivals.

Status: Cautious

Find out more: Here

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🇮🇹 Italy

Are the borders open? Yes, since June 3, for everyone coming from the EU, the U.K. and the Schengen area.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No.

Are there any other entry requirements? Travelers who come from a permitted country but were outside the bloc in the two weeks prior to entering Italy must quarantine for 14 days.

Travelers at Rome’s Fiumicino airport | Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty Images

What about travelers from outside Europe? Not for the time being. Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said, “There are still no guarantees for openings to non-Schengen countries.”

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇱🇻 Latvia

Are the borders open? Yes.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Latvia has waived a two-week quarantine for travelers arriving from a country where the infection rate has kept below a cumulative 14-day number of 15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. People who spent at least 14 days in Latvia or Lithuania before their arrival are also exempt. The list is updated every Friday.

Are there any other entry requirements? Latvia isn’t restarting connections yet with countries with a cumulative infection rate above 25 per 100,000; travelers who nonetheless make it to Latvia are required to isolate.

What about travelers from outside Europe? No. Travel restrictions remain.

Status: Cautious

Find out more: Here

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🇱🇹 Lithuania

Are the borders open? Yes, but only for European countries in which the coronavirus-incidence rate hasn’t exceeded 25 cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days. That excludes Sweden, the United Kingdom and Portugal. The list is here.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Travelers from countries with an incidence rate above 15 per 100,000 are required to isolate for two weeks — that covers Belgium.

Are there any other entry requirements? Travelers arriving on a ferry from Sweden face a two-week quarantine, even if Sweden was not their point of departure.

What about travelers from outside Europe? No, travel remains restricted.

Status: Cautious

Find out more: Here

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🇱🇺 Luxembourg

Are the borders open? Yes. Luxembourg never closed its frontiers with neighboring countries, and throughout the crisis has called for open borders and a well functioning Schengen zone — essential to the country’s economy.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? That’s banned, in line with the EU’s recommendation that external borders remain closed. The government wants a coordinated EU strategy for lifting restrictions on external border travel.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇲🇹 Malta

Are the borders open? No. The border opens on July 1 for Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Slovakia as well as the islands of Sardinia and Sicily.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No, unless you have to travel to Malta urgently from outside its “safe list,” in which case there’s a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Are there any other entry requirements? Travelers have to sign a declaration that they have spent the past 30 days in a country on the “safe list.”

What about travelers from outside Europe? Iceland, Israel, Norway and Switzerland are on the list of countries allowed to travel to Malta. Otherwise it’s a no.

Status: Closed

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🇳🇱 Netherlands

Are the borders open? Yes, the Netherlands never closed its borders with neighboring countries (although Belgium closed its border to the Netherlands). Tourists from the EU and the Schengen countries, except Sweden and the United Kingdom, can visit.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No.

Are there any other entry requirements? Tourists must prove that they have a reservation to stay somewhere.

A room of the Hermitage museum in Amsterdam | Jeroen Jumelet/AFP via Getty Images

What about travelers from outside Europe? They’re not allowed in for the time being.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇳🇴 Norway

Are the borders open? Only very partially. Travel to Norway remains heavily restricted, as the country limits cross-border traffic from the EU to specific categories, such as work or family reasons. From Monday, it will allow unrestricted travel from Nordic countries on the condition that infections there remain low: Denmark, Iceland, Finland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland meet those criteria, but most of Sweden — with the exception of the island of Gotland — doesn’t. Travel from other European countries may be allowed from July 20.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Yes, arrivals are required to quarantine for 10 days. As of Monday, that no longer applies to arrivals from the Nordics (except for Sweden).

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? Not possible for the time being.

Status: Closed

Find out more: Here

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🇵🇱 Poland

Are the borders open? Yes. On Saturday June 13, Poland opened its borders to EU citizens. As of Tuesday, international air travel restarts.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? No.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇵🇹 Portugal

Are the borders open? The land border with Spain remains closed until July 1, but air travel is allowed from Monday onward.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No.

Are there any other entry requirements? Not on the mainland, but travelers to the Azores or Madeira islands will be tested upon arrival.

Parede beach in Cascais, in the outskirts of Lisbon | Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images

What about travelers from outside Europe? Portugal has maintained flight connections with the U.K., the U.S., the Lusophone Community, Canada, Venezuela and South Africa. It will follow the EU’s lead on reopening to the rest of the world.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇷🇴 Romania

Are the borders open? Yes: Travelers from the EU, as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway can enter Romania.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Yes. The government asks new arrivals to self-isolate or quarantine in a government center. As of Monday, that no longer applies to travelers arriving from Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? They are not allowed for the time being, but there are exemptions for specific travelers such as diplomats or workers.

Status: Cautious.

Find out more: Here

⏫ Select another country

 


 

🇸🇰 Slovakia

Are the borders open? Generally yes. Citizens of Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Malta, Germany, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland can enter. The border with Poland over the Tatra Mountains is partially closed.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Yes, for two weeks unless they show a negative test.

Are there any other entry requirements? Arrivals who have been to a country deemed to be unsafe in the preceding 14 days can also show a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 96 hours. Otherwise, tests can also be done while in quarantine.

What about travelers from outside Europe? No, that’s prohibited.

Status: Cautious.

Find out more: Here

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🇸🇮 Slovenia

Are the borders open? Yes; Slovenia dropped border restrictions on May 15.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Not for most EU citizens, unless they have symptoms. But since June 13, a two-week quarantine is required for those arriving from Sweden and the U.K. among a raft of other non-EU countries including Russia, Andorra and Gibraltar.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? People coming from outside the bloc face a mandatory 14-day quarantine, including residents who have been outside the EU for a two week period.

Status: Open.

Find out more: Here

⏫ Select another country

 


 

🇪🇸 Spain

Are the borders open? No. Spain will reopen its borders with most other EU countries on June 21, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Sunday. The exception is the country’s border with Portugal, which will reopen on July 1, at Lisbon’s request.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Since May 15 everyone arriving in Spain has been legally obliged to quarantine for two weeks, but authorities have done little to enforce that, and they aren’t being applied to German travelers being welcomed back to the Balearic Islands as part of a pilot reopening scheme that launches on Monday, June 15. Madrid indicates no quarantines will be imposed on travelers arriving after June 21.

Employees disinfect the loungers at a swimming pool area | Jaime Reina/AFP via Getty Images

Are there any other entry requirements? Not on the mainland, but travelers to the Canary Islands who cannot demonstrate their COVID status will be tested upon arrival.

What about travelers from outside Europe? Spain expects to open borders with non-EU countries on July 1, although Sánchez on Sunday expressed concern about rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Russia.

Status: Closed.

Find out more: Here

⏫ Select another country

 


 

🇸🇪 Sweden

Are the borders open? Yes; there are no entry restrictions for travelers from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and the U.K. That’s been part of Sweden’s unconventional strategy toward the virus.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

What about travelers from outside Europe? Non-essential travel from other countries is not allowed.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

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🇨🇭 Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Are the borders open? Yes. As of Monday Switzerland is lifting remaining travel restrictions for EU countries, as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the U.K. Liechtenstein is in a customs and currency union with Switzerland so is following Bern’s approach on borders.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? No.

Are there any other entry requirements? No.

Tourists stand at the Swiss-Italian closed border | Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

What about travelers from outside Europe? Not possible for the time being.

Status: Open

Find out more: Here

⏫ Select another country

 


 

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

Are the borders open? Yes — they’ve never closed.

Do arrivals have to quarantine? Yes. After public pressure to introduce some form of controls (Britain was for weeks a stark outlier), the government eventually laid out plans to quarantine arrivals from June 8, barring essential workers, transit passengers or people coming from Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. (Exemptions.)

Tourists enjoy the hot weather at Bournemouth beach on May 25 | Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

Are there any other entry requirements? The quarantine means people have to give their journey and contact details, and could be fined up to £3,200 if they break the rules. Heathrow airport is trialing temperature checks at some terminals.

What about travelers from outside Europe? The U.K isn’t distinguishing between European and worldwide arrivals.

Status: Cautious

Continue at:  https://www.politico.eu/article/coronavirus-travel-europe-country-by-country-travel-restrictions-explained-summer-2020/

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