The picture across the EU (and the U.K.) in July is optimistic but becoming a little more complicated than in June. More and more countries are open, particularly to U.S. travelers, but the threat of the Delta variant looms.
This means that for the travel industry, it has once again become a race to get second vaccinations (and first) completed, before the Delta variant (B.1.167.2) becomes prevalent across the bloc–particularly as it is more transmissable and vaccine resistant than previous strains.
The European travel industry is currently in good shape:
- the EU has expanded its White List of countries, the third-party countries that can now visit Europe, including the U.S. This list had stayed very small for much of one whole year but now encompasses Albania, Australia, China (the EU travel ban applies until China lifts entry restrictions on European travellers), China’s Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and Macau, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.S. and Vatican City.
- every country in Europe is ready to use the EU Digital COVID Certificate from 1 July onwards as the way forward to ease travel across Europe this summer. This will be in the form of a QR code, either carried on a piece of paper or in a digital application, on someone’s phone. Every EU country is using a form of this as of July 1 and over one million European people have already downloaded Covid-19 certificates onto their phones.
- More EU countries are open to fully-vaccinated travelers in July; France, Austria, Norway and Belgium opened to everyone in June whilst Finland and Latvia opened to fully vaccinated Europeans.
However, the World Health Organization warned Thursday 1 July that the current reopening of EU countries is not such a great idea considering the Delta variant is increasing its hold on the region. Dr. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s European director said that not enough people had yet been vaccinated across the bloc to safeguard against the threat–63% of people still have to have their first shot.
Countries have been forced to bring in more travel bans–for example, in Belgium, Malta (from some U.S. states but not others) and Norway (for U.K. travelers), and Poland re-introduced a quarantine for non-EU arrivals.
As reported by The Telegraph, the Delta variant is rapidly surging across the EU. Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, the French government’s chief scientific advisor, stated that a fourth wave was likely in September or October (Delta currently accounts for 20% of Covid-19 cases). The German Health Minister, Jens Spahn, urged caution as Delta comprises 15% there and the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi doubted the wisdom of going ahead with the Euro 2020 soccer final with so many cases.
Austria—open to 39 countries and vaccinated
Austria announced that it is now open to travelers from the following countries: Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Vatican City. In addition, travelers from the EU White List countries can also enter.
Everyone on this list who enters must have pre-travel clearance, registered digitally and present one of three things:
- proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before departure for a PCR and 48 hours for an antigen test.
- a vaccination certificate–a person is considered vaccinated by the Austrian government 22 days after the first dose, for three months from the vaccination date. After the second dose, the validity of the certificate extends for another six months.
- proof of previously having Covid-19.
There is a current ‘landing ban’ from countries where variants are causing concern–Brazil, India, South Africa, and the U.K. and visitors can only enter for essential reasons and must quarantine for ten days, but they can ‘test out’ after a negative test on day five.
Anyone traveling from another country not on either list must also quarantine for ten days (with a day five ‘test out’), must arrive with a negative Covid-19 test, and must be traveling for essential reasons.
Anyone who has been vaccinated or can show they have previously had Covid-19 can enter without the need for quarantine.
Belgium—new travel ban for 26 countries
Belgium color-codes countries to determine travel restrictions and most of the EU and Schengen area are currently green, as well as some third-party countries: Albania, Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
The following EU areas are labelled orange at present: Cyprus, Denmark (Capital Region of Denmark, North Jutland), Greece (Attica, Western Macedonia), Italy (Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily), Spain (Asturias, Basque Country, Navarre, Aragon, Communidad de Madrid, Castilla y Leon, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Catalonia, Murcia, Melilla), France (Ile de France, Auvergne, Rhône-Alpes, Guadeloupe), Ireland, Latvia, Lichtenstein, The Netherlands (all with the exception of Groningen en Friesland which is green), Norway (Adger and South Eastern Norway), Portugal (all with the exception of Madeira, which is green), Slovenia (Western Slovenia), Sweden (all with the exception of Stockholm and Middle Norrland which are green), Monaco and Andorra.
Thailand and the U.S. are also currently labelled orange.
Travelers arriving from green or orange zones do not need to quarantine or take a further mandatory test for Covid-19.
The following parts of Europe are labelled red: Spain (Cantabria, La Rioja, Andalusia, Canary Islands) and France (French Guiana, Réunion) as are every other country not on any list. Anyone arriving from a red zone or country must quarantine.
If people must travel, they must fill in a a “Public Health Passenger Locator Form” 48 hours before arrival and take a PCR test before departure and it must be negative. Based on their answers to the Locator Form, visitors will receive a test message if they are high risk and need to quarantine for 10 days. If they do, they must take a Covid-19 test on days 1 and day 7. If visitors do not receive a text message, they do not need to quarantine. Answers are based on the ECDC’s traffic light system of risk.
On Saturday 26 June, Belgium introduced a travel ban against 24 countries with worrying rates of Covid-19 variants: Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Chile, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Georgia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Tunisia, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, the U.K., Uruguay and Zimbabwe.
Belgium joined its national Covid-19 vaccination passport to the EU-wide system in June and as of 1 July 2021, anyone who has been fully vaccinated for more than two weeks, can enter the country without quarantine or needing a negative Covid-19 test result.
Bulgaria—travelers from 97 countries allowed to enter
Anyone can arrive in Bulgaria if they can show they are fully vaccinated or have had Covid-19, regardless of nationality.
For everyone else, Bulgaria does not follow the ECDC’s traffic light system and is operating its own list of who is able to come into the country from overseas.
Travelers from 97 countries are allowed to enter Bulgaria with a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours prior (from 57 of these countries, an antigen test is also allowed). This includes the U.S., Israel, Russia, the U.K. and most of the EU.
Croatia—accommodation must be paid in full in advance
Croatia is open to international tourists for non-essential travel, providing arrivals have a negative Covid-19 test result, have recovered from Covid-19 or are fully vaccinated. Arrivals must also provide proof of having paid for hotel accommodation in advance or they will not be allowed to enter.
Cyprus—many more countries green and orange
Cyprus has opened its borders to anyone who has been vaccinated from 65 countries around the world. This includes the U.S. and Canada.
For all unvaccinated travelers, Cyprus has three categories of countries–green, orange and red–with distinct rules surrounding quarantine and testing requirements. All passengers must fill in a Cyprus Health Pass upon arrival.
There are now 19 countries on the green list, the most epidemiologically sound where no quarantine is needed nor a negative Covid-19 test: Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Slovakia.
The orange list, from which people must arrive with proof of a negative Covid-19 test result, has considerably opened up during June. It now includes many more countries–Belgium, China, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S.
Arrivals from the red list can only enter with a negative Covid-19 test result and they must take another upon arrival: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Bahrain, Belarus, Canada, Egypt, Georgia, Holy See (Vatican City State), Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, and the UAE.
Anyone else is on the grey list which is still mostly sealed off, except for specific special cases.
Czech Republic—many more countries on green list
Travel requirements follow the ECDC’s traffic light system, where arrivals are grouped into traffic light colours, with red being the most at risk. Only travelers arriving from anywhere in the EU or green zones are allowed to enter for non-essential reasons, i.e. as tourists.
Travelers from green areas (low risk) can enter the Czech Republic without restrictions: Albania, Australia, Austria, Balearic Islands and Madeira, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Malta, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.S. and Vatican City State. This list has been hugely expanded upon over June.
Anyone arriving from a yellow area (medium risk) must fill in the arrival form and be in possession of a negative Covid-19 test result (antigen or PCR): Andorra, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Monaco, the Netherlands, Portugal (including Azores), Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. (Anyone who has been vaccinated in an EU+ country and/or has had Covid-19 in the past 180 days is exempt from needed to show a test).
The criteria for arrivals from red zones is the same, but in addition, people must enter quarantine and take a second PCR test on arrival. There is currently only place in this category: the Canary Islands in Spain.
All other EU and non-EU countries are currently categorised as dark red, so they must follow rules for red zones, and would need to use PCR tests not antigen, before and after departure.
Denmark—most EU countries are green
Currently, most EU countries and regions are categorised as green and the following countries are classified as yellow: Albania, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the U.S. This classification runs until 3 July.
The following countries and regions are classified as red: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, India, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The following regions in the U.K. are also currently red: Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton and Rossendale.
Every other country and region is orange.
Only travelers from red regions/countries must take a Covid-19 test before arrival into Denmark, but only arrivals from green countries don’t have to take a Covid-19 test after arriving. Arrivals from orange and red areas must self-isolate upon arrival and non-Danish people from these countries must have a worthy reason for travel.
Anyone who can show proof of vaccination from a European Medecines Agency-approved vaccine or proof of having had Covid-19 can bypass all testing and quarantine requirements, unless they are coming from a red country/zone. This is in line with the EU Digital Covid Certificate requirements, put in place by every EU country.
Estonia—vaccinated welcome but not U.K.
As reported by Time Out, “travelers from anywhere in the world” can arrive in Estonia and bypass quarantine, if they have had one of the Covid-19 vaccination jabs. The vaccine must have been administered in the past six months (travelers are also exempt if they have had Covid-19).
Anyone from the EU/Schengen area is also welcome if the infection rate is higher than 150 people per 100,000 people in the last 14 days or they must quarantine for 10 days. They can shorten this period if they arrive with a negative test and also receive a negative test on day 6. The list is updated every week. By 27 June, this meant that arrivals from the U.K. would need to quarantine, as the country has 166,25 people currently being infected for every 100,000 people.
Estonia is currently complaining to the EU about its neighbor Finland, who is keeping its land borders shut to EU residents, and only allowing entry by plane, which the Estonian authorities believe is “disproportionate and unjustified” for the purposes of cross-border labor migration.
Finland—EU/Schengen arrivals now allowed
During June, rules on non-essential travel were extended and they will stay in place until 11 July (at least)–meaning that non-essential travel is not allowed from places with high incidence rates. All these arrivals must enter a 14-day quarantine, which they can shorten with a negative test on arrival and one five days later.
However, since 21 June, anyone from EU/Schengen who is vaccinated or who has had Covid-19 or needs to travel for work reasons can enter. What’s more, from 1 July internal border controls will be lifted for Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein and Slovakia.
On 22 June, Finland joined the EU-wide system to load its national Covid-19 data into the European mainframe that all other countries are using for Digital COVID Certificates.
France—out of lockdown from 1 July
On 1 July, France comes out of its lockdown entirely and there are very few restrictions on internal movement or events–restaurants are fully open and people can travel freely around the country.
Green countries–all the EU/Schengen area, plus the EU’s safe list, plus others: Albania, Australia, Bosnia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S. and Vanuatu.
Red countries–these are countries where the virus is circulating and where there are worrying variants: Afghanistan, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Uruguay; and from 25 June 2021, Namibia, Russia and the Seychelles.
Everyone else is categorised as an orange country.
There are different rules for arrivals from each color and whether someone has been vaccinated or not:
- Travelers who are vaccinated from green countries, do not need to test for Covid-19. If they are not vaccinated, they will need to arrive with proof of a negative PCR test, taken within the previous 72 hours.
- Fully vaccinated travelers from orange/amber countries will need to arrive with a negative PCR test, taken within the previous 72 hours. If people are not vaccinated from orange list countries, they cannot travel, except for essential reasons. If they are still allowed at this point, they need to arrive with a negative Covid-19 PCR test and quarantine for 7 days (with another test on day 7).
- Fully vaccinated travelers from red-list countries can arrive in France but only for essential reasons, must be in possession of a negative PCR Covid-19 test result (taken no more than 48 hours before departure) and quarantine for 7 days, with a negative test to leave self-isolation. Travel restrictions are the same for travelers from red-list countries who are not vaccinated, except they must quarantine for 10 days.
Germany—asking EU to quarantine U.K. arrivals
Arrivals can avoid the current ten-day quarantine if they can prove they are fully-vaccinated, have had Covid-19 or have tested negative via a PCR test in the 72 hours before arrival.
However, a ten-day quarantine is still in place for people coming from what the country deems a ‘high-risk’ area, regardless of vaccinations or negative tests–the latest list dated 29 June provides details on current areas of concern.
Germany added Portugal and Russia to this list on 29 June and has asked the EU to place all U.K. arrivals under quarantine, but this–so far–hasn’t happened.
Greece—open to many countries without quarantine
Greece has open borders, without the need to quarantine, to the following countries: EU & Schengen Area countries, the U.S., the U.K, Israel, Serbia, the UAE, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, the Russian Federation, North Macedonia, Canada, Belarus, Bahrein, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Saudi Arabia. Non-EU citizens are advised to travel on direct flights.
Travelers are not required to be fully vaccinated but it will “greatly facilitate the procedures upon arrival,” and Greece is accepting a wide variety of vaccines–Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson + Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics, and Sinopharm.
All passengers must fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and if they don’t have proof of vaccination, they must have taken a Covid-19 PCR test and received a negative result no more than 72 hours before departure. Arrivals may also be subject to random testing.
Thanks to its early opening (before other EU countries) the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that he believed Greece would meet its tourism targets for the year–the goal is to reach 50% of 2019 tourist revenue.
Hungary—opens land borders but air stays shut
Hungary opened its Schengen/EU land borders at the end of June to anyone coming from Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia or Slovenia. It has also invited people living in bordering regions to get vaccinated in the country if they so wish.
Arrivals from neighbor Ukraine are still subject to restrictions as are those people arriving by air.
People who can credibly attest that they are entering for legitimate business reasons, and have letters from their company to prove it, can do so without quarantine. Ticket holders of major sporting events during 30 July–1 August at the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix and during 21-22 August for the FIA World Touring Car Cup can enter with a negative Covid-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.
Hungary will start issuing its EU Digital Covid Certificates from 30 June onwards.
Iceland—restrictions further relaxed from 1 July
On Saturday 26 June, Iceland became the first EU country to lift all domestic Covid-19 restrictions, as reported by Lonely Planet. Over 87% of adults have had one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and over 60% have had two.
Since 18 March, travelers arriving from anywhere in the world have been allowed to enter if they can show proof of having been vaccinated (obviously twice, with a two-dose vaccine) or having had Covid-19. However, once inside Iceland, travel is not permitted to other Schengen area zones for non-Schengen residents.
Travelers–regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated–did have to test upon arrival but as of 1 July, Iceland is further relaxing its travel restrictions and vaccinated people do not need to. Children under 16 and travelers who can prove they have had Covid-19 do not also need to show a negative test upon arrival.
For the unvaccinated, travelers will still have to test and enter a five-day quarantine.
Ireland—fears over Delta variant grow
On June 29, Ireland announced it will limit eating and drinking indoors at restaurants and bars to only those people who have been vaccinated or who have had Covid-19, as reported by Reuters. This is over fears of the spread of the Delta variant.
The Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, announced that Irish borders will be open for international travel from 19 July using the EU Digital Covid Certificate. People from inside and outside the EU will be able to travel without quarantine if they can show evidence of having had Covid-19, be vaccinated against it or have a negative Covid-19 test result.
Currently, all arrivals into Ireland must complete a Passenger Locator Form and be in possession of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departure–even the vaccinated.
Everyone arriving in Ireland must quarantine (except from Northern Ireland) but people without a negative PCR test and/or arriving from a high-risk country, must quarantine in a government-mandated hotel.
Italy—open to U.S. and other third-party countries
Travelers are welcome from Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Canada, the U.S. and Schengen/EU countries–arrivals must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or a vaccination certificate. Travelers from high-risk countries cannot visit except for essential reasons and arrivals from the U.K. must quarantine for 5 days. These rules are currently in place until 30 July.
All of Italy is now categorised white, which is the lowest level of alert for Covid-19.
Latvia—now open to the EU vaccinated
On 16 June, Latvia opened its borders to anyone who has been vaccinated from the EU/Schengen area, without a need for testing.
For the unvaccinated, anyone arriving from the EU, EEA, Switzerland, and the U.K. must test before arrival and self-isolate.
For everyone else, anyone arriving from an EU country where the 14-day cumulative indicator is higher than 50, must go into a 10-day quarantine, which currently affects many EU countries, as per ECDC recommendations, and they must test upon arrival too. However, this figure will soon be raised to 75 cases per 100,000 people.
All arrivals must fill in an electronic form 48 hours before arriving in the country.
Lithuania—relaxing restrictions to 10 countries
On June 17, Lithuania announced that arrivals from ten countries and three islands will be allowed to arrive restriction-free: Austria, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Iceland, Poland, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Finland, Hungary, Thasos, Mallorca and Madeira.
For all other arrivals, the country has been following the ECDC traffic light map for allowing access. Anyone arriving from a green or orange country can enter with evidence of a negative Covid-19 test result and they must fill out a passenger form. Anyone having had Covid-19 or vaccinated can enter.
Anyone arriving from a red, dark red or gray country can enter with evidence of a negative Covid-19 test result, having filled out a passenger form and they must enter a 10-day mandatory quarantine, regardless of the result, although people can ‘test out’ with a negative result on day seven. An updated list of countries can be found online.
Lithuania joined the EU-wide passport scheme on 8 June and will begin using the EU Digital Covid Certificate on 1 July.
Luxembourg—third party nationals restricted again
Luxembourg is restricting access to third-party nationals until 30 September 2021, with the exception of the EU’s safe list countries: Albania, Australia, China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity at EU level), Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S. and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
EU/EEA nationals are allowed to visit too, for whatever reason. All arrivals must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result to enter the country, a vaccination certificate or proof of having had Covid-19–in line with the EU Digital Covid Certificate.
Malta—only some U.S. states on amber list
Malta is operating a system of green, amber and red lists irrespective of whether someone has been vaccinated or not. Travelers arriving from countries on the green list don’t have any restrictions and will not be subject to a swab test upon arrival, although as of July 1, there are no green list countries.
Many EU and other countries are on an ‘amber’ list where all arrivals must show negative Covid-19 tests taken within 72 hours prior to boarding flights to Malta and will be subject to random swab tests upon arrival. Otherwise they must enter a 14-day quarantine. These countries are currently Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, including the territories of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.S. (but only the following states Washington, Oregon, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, Maine, SouthDakota, Michigan, Illinois, Delaware, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, New Jersey, Minnesota, Connecticut, Alaska, New Hampshire, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Idaho, Kentucky), the UAE and Vatican City.
All other countries (and U.S. states) are on the red list and arrivals from these must have spent at least the 14 days prior in a safe corridor country before reaching Malta and not just been in transit–proof of a long stay will be required. It is also recommended that they take a PCR test 72 hours before they arrive.
The Netherlands—pickled herring incentives for jabs
The government has extended its list of safe countries from which there is no need for a negative Covid-19 test result or quarantine–if arriving by air, travelers must fill out a Health Declaration Form. Inside the EU, this includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy (including Sicily), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira (apart from Area Metropolitana de Lisboa), Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands only), Sweden and Switzerland.
Outside the EU, this includes Albania, Australia, China (the EU travel ban applies until China lifts entry restrictions on European travellers), China’s Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and Macau, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.S. and Vatican City.
Very high-risk countries are considered to be: Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Suriname, the U.K., Uruguay and Venezuela. From these countries, where variants are a cause for concern, there is an EU-entry ban (with few exceptions), a mandatory quarantine, and the need for a negative Covid-19 test result and Health Declaration Form.
Countries that are not on the very high-risk list nor on the safe list are considered to be high risk and whilst the EU entry ban still applies, vaccinated people can travel from these countries from 1 July, as per the rules of the EU Digital Covid Certificate.
The Guardian reported that vaccination centres around the country have been trying to increase vaccination rates by offering early batches of Hollandse nieuwe, or new-season Dutch herring, a traditional delicacy to participants.
Norway—vaccinated travelers don’t quarantine
Norway opened its borders to vaccinated travelers worldwide on 11 June and won’t now be required to test at the border. Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 can travel with their parents and won’t need to quarantine on their own.
Norway is operating a color-coded travel restriction map for everyone else–red and dark red countries must go into quarantine (dark red arrivals must quarantine in a hotel). From 21 June, arrivals from the U.K. must enter a three-day quarantine. This travel advice is currently in place until 10 August.
On June 24, Norway launched into the EU’s gateway to use the EU Digital Covid Certificate, meaning that travelers who meet the requirements can enter, restriction-free.
Poland—new quarantine for non-EU arrivals
Borders are open for EU and EFTA nationals and anyone arriving won’t need to self-isolate for 10 days if they have a negative Covid-19 test result with them, taken no more than 48 hours before (either antigen or PCR).
Everyone arriving from outside the EU/Schengen area must quarantine for ten days but they can ‘test out’ after day seven of self-isolation–this move was put in place to limit the risk of the Delta variant.
Anyone who can prove vaccination by a European-approved vaccine, can also enter freely without quarantine. Children under the age of 12, arriving with vaccinated adults can also enter freely.
Portugal—open to EU non-essential travel
Until 11 July, flights from EU/Schengen areas and the EU’s safe list of countries are allowed to enter. As per the government’s instructions, all passengers, excluding children under 24 months, must be in possession of a negative RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 test taken within 72 hours of boarding.
Anyone arriving from South Africa, Brazil, India, Nepal and the U.K. must enter a 14-day quarantine, although U.K. travelers that are fully vaccinated are exempt (that is to say, fourteen days after the second jab).
Romania—vaccinated don’t need to quarantine
If travelers have been vaccinated at least ten days before arrival, they do not need to quarantine, nor if they have had Covid-19 during the past 90 days.
People coming from red countries are allowed to enter but must quarantine for 14 days if they are not vaccinated, even with proof of a negative Covid-19 test result: Argentina, Bahrain, Bolivia, Bostwana, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Kuwait, Maldives, Mongolia, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Paraguay, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay and the U.K. A negative Covid-19 test result will allow travelers to be released from self-isolation after day ten.
There is another list of yellow countries, from which travelers can arrive with a negative Covid-19 test and not have to quarantine: Brisitsh Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Cuba, Georgia, Guyana, Irak, Malaysia, Panama, Sin Maarten, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, the UAE and Zambia.
For travelers coming from countries not mentioned on either the red or yellow list, there are no restrictions to entry.
Slovakia—quarantine slashed for 47 countries
From June 21, arrivals from 47 EU and non-EU countries no longer have to quarantine–they do need to arrive with a negative Covid-19 test result, taken no more than 72 hours before. Every traveler needs to register using an online form.
The 47 countries are: Andorra, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Greece, Greenland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Monaco, Germany, Norway, Poland, Austria, Romania, San Marino, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Vatican City State, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, and Italy. Outside the EU, they are: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Macau, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan.
There is also a red list from which arrivals must quarantine, unless they have been vaccinated: Albania, Belarus, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Jordan, Canada, Cuba, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, the U.S. and Tunisia.
Everyone else is on a black list, where they must enter a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, regardless of vaccination.
Slovakia has made anyone exempt of the quarantine or Covid-19 testing measure if they have a permanent or temporary home within 100 km of an open border.
Slovenia—rules relaxed for EU travelers
Many countries around the world are still on the red list (or the dark red list), where arrivals must possess a negative Covid-19 PCR test or quarantine for ten days.
In June, the Slovenian government lifted the quarantine requirement for anyone not on the red lists, needing only a negative PCR test result to enter the country–this now is the case for most EU countries. This also applies to people who have been vaccinated or can prove they have had Covid-19.
Spain—updates high-risk areas weekly
From 7 June, according the EU Digital Covid Certificate, travelers have been allowed in if they can prove vaccination, that they have had the virus or that they have had a recent Covid-19 negative test result. This does not apply to children under 12.
Vaccinated tourists will be allowed entry from the U.S. and elsewhere provided they have used one of the vaccines currently approved by the EMA (European Medicine Agency).
If travelers are arriving from a high-risk area (updated weekly), they must also have a negative Covid-19 test result taken before departure.
Sweden—travel ban to 31 August but U.S. allowed
Sweden extended a ban on all non-essential travel from outside the EU/EEA area until August 31, as reported by The Local but on June 24, it allowed a few further exceptions. Notably that non-essential travel is now allowed between Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, the U.S., Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. For these safe countries, such as the U.S., both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers can arrive in Sweden with a negative Covid-19 test result, as reported by USA Today.
People from within the EU/EEA are allowed to travel to Sweden for non-essential travel but they must do so with proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken in the 48 hours prior to arrival. This rule has been extended to 1 September.
Travel restrictions have also been relaxed between Sweden and other Nordic countries–travelers from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland can now arrive in Sweden without having to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result.
Switzerland—open to vaccinated and EU travelers
As of 28 June, all travelers arriving from Schengen area countries are allowed to enter Switzerland without the need for quarantine. Additionally, vaccinated people are not also subject to entry restrictions.
Only people who haven’t yet been vaccinated or who have had a vaccine not authorised by the EMA (European Medecines Agency) need to arrive with a negative PCR Covid-19 test result. There are also restrictions from countries with worrying variants of Covid-19–as of 23 June, this involves arrivals from Brazil, Canada, India, South Africa, Nepal, and the U.K. (unless these arrivals are also vaccinated).
It is still obligatory to fill in a passenger locator form if arriving by air.
U.K.–travel allowed between a handful of countries
Since 17 May, people have been allowed to travel for non-essential reasons without a quarantine between the U.K. and a handful of other countries–but many of them are not major holiday destinations. Portugal was taken off in early June and on 24 June, Malta was added and Israel/Jerusalem was taken off.
There is now an additional green ‘watch list’ of countries that are a bit more risky, in that the U.K. government might add quarantine to these arrivals if the epidemiological situation gets worse. These are mostly islands and again (with the exception of the Spanish islands), not major tourist hubs for normal families: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Balearic Islands, Barbados, British Antarctic territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Madeira, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Turks and Caicos, Israel and Jerusalem. The threat of being placed back on the quarantine list also makes these outside the reach of most people so far this summer.
People can travel to and from green list and green watchlist countries with a negative PCR test before travel and another one on day two inside the U.K.
There is a wider ‘amber’ list of countries where people can travel, but they also need a negative Covid-19 test before departure and they will need to self-isolate for ten days upon arriving/return to the U.K. These people need to take a PCR test on days 2 and 8. They can still use the test and release scheme to ‘test out’ of quarantine on day 5, as reported by The Guardian. This list currently includes most of the traditional EU holiday destinations and the U.S.
All other countries are on the red, high-risk list, where all arrivals must quarantine in government-appointed hotels for ten days.
The lists were seen as a huge disappointment for airlines carriers, which had been pushing for a resumption of international travel between the U.S. and the U.K.
The rise of the Delta (Indian) variant of Covid-19 is a cause for concern in many countries–German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been calling on the EU to form a robust defence against the Delta variant by imposing an EU-wide quarantine on U.K. arrivals–this hasn’t yet happened.
And whilst there are reports that Boris Johnson is considering allowing in vaccinated travelers from August onwards, U.K. Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said “normal” holidays were “never going to be the case” this year, as reported by Bloomberg.