Europe travel is increasingly possible for Europeans, and non-Europeans, as 30 countries reopen for holidays for the first time in three months. Firstly in June comes the lifting of land border checks between European countries. Then in July, a gradual lifting of the EU travel ban.
Border controls dividing European neighbors started to tumble over the past month. Today a whole lot more did too. Italy has called June 15 a “D-Day for European tourism” as a raft of land borders reopen across the continent.
Europe-Wide Travel Possible For Europeans
The removal of border controls in the usual passport-free Schengen zone is happening in a patchwork manner. Yet leisure travel between many countries became increasingly possible today. A host of countries are lifting all or most controls on fellow EU and Schengen countries. This means holidays can begin for both citizens and permanent residents.Most Popular In: Travel
The EU wants full freedom of movement for its some 445 million citizens to return by late June. As President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, rejoiced in a tweet.
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Europe Holidays For Others Begins July As EU Travel Ban Eases
From July 1, holidays to Europe will be possible for many third country nationals too. This after the EU announced a “partial” end to the travel ban from July 1. High-risk countries such as the U.S. may be banned entry from many countries until a later date.
Here’s a snapshot of the current situation Europe-wide, in the 30 countries where the Europe travel ban has applied since March. The EU+ countries as Brussels calls them, include all EU members (bar Ireland) shown here in olive green. Plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein in pale green.
EU APP: The EU has produced a map app “Re-Open EU” which is incredibly handy for travelers wanting to navigate their way around the reopened Europe, and know precisely who’s welcome where.
Austria ends quarantine requirements for 31 European countries on June 16. At the same time as reopening the land border with Italy. For all other countries, Austrian tourism says, “cross-border travel is still strongly discouraged or impossible.”
Quarantine Those arriving from Portugal, Sweden, Spain or the U.K. must still submit a negative Covid-19 test taken in the four days prior to entry, or face quarantine for a fortnight. Transit is permitted.
Non-European Travelers: Foreign nationals are prohibited from flying into the country from outside the Schengen zone until July 1. “The Austrian government is currently in talks with additional countries concerning a border reopening,” Austria Info says.
From June 15, the borders reopen to all EU+ arrivals as well as Brits. From July 1, international holidaymakers will increasingly be welcome.
Quarantine: A 2-week quarantine applies to overseas arrivals from outside the EU/Schengen.
Non European Travelers: “The conditions for travel from outside of Europe have yet to be defined in light of the evolution of discussions at European level”, the government said on June 3. Other countries may be increasingly welcome from July 1.
Bulgaria has lifted its travel ban on citizens of the EU, non EU Schengen members, the U.K., San Marino, Andorra, Monaco, Serbia and North Macedonia. There are exemptions for various people including medical workers and family members of Bulgarian citizens.
Quarantine: Mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from most EU countries ended June 1. Except for those with the biggest Covid-19 outbreaks: Sweden, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Malta and the U.K.
Non European Travelers: A ban on the entry of visitors from outside the EU remains in place, but should fade in July as Europe’s external borders reopen.
“Croatia is open to tourism,” says the national tourism board. “The requirements may slightly differ depending on your country of origin.” From May 16, Croatia reopened to citizens of 10 European countries without any restrictions. These are Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The borders are also open to visitors from other EU and Schengen countries, and the U.K., with proof of pre-booked accommodation. All those outside the 10 unrestricted countries must fill out the Enter Croatia form to show border officials. The government form includes your address in the country and formal confirmation of tourist accommodation. 92,000 tourists are already vacationing in Croatia–two thirds of them foreign nationals.
Quarantine: No mandatory quarantine or negative tests required.
Non European Travelers: There are some exceptions given to travelers from other countries who own a house in Croatia, or on business trips. See details here. More travelers will be welcome from July 1.
“Cyprus is now ready to welcome travelers from various countries,” says Visit Cyprus. The two phased comeback started June 9, with arrivals sorted into two groups. Category A countries include 19 EU and Schengen members, who can travel unrestricted. Category B countries–Israel, Poland and Romania–must show a negative Covid test from the previous three days. From June 20, that will no longer be necessary. European countries notably omitted from both lists include Belgium, the U.K., Italy, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal. Travelers are urged to fill in a Cyprus Flight Pass prior to boarding.
Quarantine: None. For category B countries, if you can’t show a negative test, you can take one on arrival and self-isolate while awaiting the results.
Non European Travelers: Only Israel for now, but both lists are to be expanded.
From June 15, the country is introducing a traffic light system. Color-coding European arrivals into green, orange and red: low, medium and high risk. 19 European states fall into the green category, and are the only ones free to travel there.
Quarantine: Swedes and Portuguese–red countries–are banned, while Czech citizens returning from trips need to take a Covid test or self quarantine. Brits and Belgians lie in an orange zone: Also blocked from travel. Czechs and residents returning are exempt from quarantine and tests.
Border reopening with neighbours has been unfurling since May 27, starting with the Slovakia and Hungary frontiers, then Austria and German. Since May 11, EU citizens arriving on business trips of up to three days can enter, as can university students and seasonal workers. Those exemptions still apply.
Non European Travelers: Not possible yet. The traffic light map will be continuously updated over coming weeks.
From June 15, holidays are possible for tourists from Germany, Iceland and Norway. Travelers should be prepared to show proof of at least 6 nights accommodation, outside of the capital Copenhagen. (Which is excluded from the easing up).
Permanent residents of Nordic neighbors (including Finland and Sweden too), and of Germany, are also allowed in for business, family or personal relationship reasons. But for most other Europeans, Denmark remains closed.
Non European Travelers:No.
From June 1, the Estonian borders flung open to European arrivals, on strict conditions. EU, Schengen and U.K. arrivals are permitted as long as the traveler is showing no Covid symptoms. And they are coming from a country where the infection rate is no more than 15 people per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous fortnight.
Quarantine: Only if you fall into a country with above the required infection rate.
Non European Travelers: No.
From June 15, internal border controls are to be abolished. This will permit travel by land between Norway, and air travel or ferry services to Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. For now other restrictions on leisure travelers from Schengen countries including Sweden remain until July 14. The government says it wants the travel ban on Sweden to be lifted as soon as the health situation allows.
Quarantine 14 days “recommended” for arrivals from countries including Sweden, Germany and Russia. That is for those with essential reasons to travel.
Non European Travelers: Not yet.
All Europeans are welcome from June 15, as French cafés and restaurants reopen fully–not just the outdoor terraces.
Quarantine: In a kind of tit-for-tat, voluntary quarantine is being applied to travelers (of any nationality) arriving by plane from the U.K. and Spain.
Non European Travelers: Not yet, from July 1 highly probable starting with low-risk countries.
Germany as of June 15 reopens to all EU/Schengen countries, and the U.K. Warnings for its citizens are still in place for travel to Spain, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Greece is a frontrunner in reopening to tourists from all nations. That’s happening in two phases: On June 15 and July 1. Travelers from high-risk countries including the U.S. now face quarantine measures beyond July 1.
- Today flights to the two main airports–Athens and Thessaloniki–have begun between low-risk countries in Europe and beyond says Visit Greece. These are: Albania, Australia, Austria, Northern Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Romania, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland. See details here. Land borders also reopened June 15.
- On July 1, international travel will take off pretty much in full, as tourism starts on the islands, and all Greek airports operating.
- Cruise ships are still banned. Private vessels can dock at Greece ports.
Quarantine: Some arrivals including those coming from the U.S. or France currently face quarantine. Those measures will end July 1 along with blanket Covid-19 testing, except for high-risk countries. This means Americans, Brazilians and others are likely to face mandatory quarantine beyond July 1, in line with the EU’s wish to start up international tourism with low-risk countries first.
For others from July 1, there will be spot tests only. Travelers arriving now, who can skip quarantine, may face sampling tests “for epidemiological monitoring” too.
Non European Travelers: Increasingly possible from July 1 when quarantine ends for all nationalities and flights resume in full.
All travel restrictions have been lifted for citizens of seven countries: Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Serbia, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Quarantine:All other European citizens face quarantine. This includes Hungarians and permanent residents returning from those countries.
Non European Travelers: Not yet, bar a few exceptions. Business travelers from Japan and South Korea can enter without restrictions.
Iceland never closed its borders to the EU and Schengen states but imposed a 14-day quarantine.
Quarantine: From June 15, it’s offering travelers a coronavirus test, in order to avoid quarantine. Free at the outset, from July 1 travelers will foot the bill (ISK 15, 000; $112). Travelers do not have to self-isolate while awaiting test results “but should take preventive measures to protect themselves and others from infection,” the government says. Results will be available within 24 hours, via an app (Rakning C-19), or through text message. See more details on the government website.
Non European Travelers: Not yet.
Quarantine: Travelers arriving from all EU+ nations, as well as the U.K., Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days says the U.S. Embassy in Rome.
Non EU Travelers: Travel bans on other nations remain in place until July 1, when the EU border restrictions ease. Until then, even third country nationals who are traveling for essential travel reasons, must still self-isolate for 14 days.
Latvia has lifted entry restrictions on the EU+ countries though with strict conditions.
Quarantine: European travelers dodge 14-days quarantine if they arrive from a country where new confirmed cases, in the previous fortnight, are at 15 per 100,000 people says Latvia Tourism. This rules out travel from Sweden, Portugal and the U.K. for the time being.
Yet according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control some 28 countries have a current 14-day incidence rate below 20 cases per 100,000. Check the ECDC charts to be sure your country falls within those. A waiver applies to anyone who has spent the previous fortnight in Lithuania or Estonia.
Non European Travelers: No entry yet.
As for Switzerland. For as the British Foreign Office notes: “Switzerland handles immigration and customs matters for Liechtenstein. Entry requirements are the same as for Switzerland.”
Lithuania tourism says the government on June 15, “approved that travellers coming from 27 European countries will not be subject to 14 days of self-isolation upon arrival.” The current “safe list” of countries it says includes Ireland, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Finland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Malta, Austria, Norway, Bulgaria, Latvia, Cyprus, Hungary, Switzerland, Iceland, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Liechtenstein. Arrivals from Sweden, the U.K. and Portugal are still banned the government says. Masks are no longer required in public spaces.
Quarantine: Arrivals from countries where the coronavirus-incidence rate exceeds 15 cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days must self-isolate for a fortnight. That includes Belgium.
Non European Travelers: Not possible yet.
The country never closed borders with neighbors, and is fully open to EU+ travel.
Non European Travelers: From July 1, details to emerge as EU makes further announcements on the timetable. Safe countries are expected to get the go ahead first.
Malta’s Tourism Ministry says it will reopen to tourists on July 1. Starting with Europeans. This as passenger flights resume. Those who get the green light first include travelers from Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (bar Greater Paris arrivals), Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, most of Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, most of Poland, Slovakia, most of Spain. See details here. The list will be monitored and expanded if necessary says the government.
Quarantine: Only for those traveling for urgent reasons from other than the permitted countries.
Non European Travelers: Increasingly possible from July 1. The government says “Restrictions on all other flight destinations will be lifted on July 15.”
- Tourists from similar-risk countries in Europe can enter from June 15, providing they respect the country’s social-distancing (1.5 metres) and other health rules.
- Vacationers must also book accommodation ahead of a trip. “Without a valid reservation you can be refused entry at the border,” the tourism body warns.
- For now Brits and Swedes are still banned entry due to their Covid infection levels. Dutch people are also prohibited from visiting those two European nations until the situation improves.
Quarantine: For Swedish and U.K. residents or any other travelers arriving from high-risk countries “in or outside of Europe”, who insist on traveling right now. The self-isolation is recommended not enforced. The government indicates the current ban applies until June 30. Such travelers must also have a health certificate.
Non European Travelers: Not before the EU external border restrictions end, from July 1 says the government.
From 15 June, Norway and Denmark reopen their borders to each other. Quarantine on arrival and entry restrictions end for Danes arriving directly by ferry or plane. By July 20 says Visit Norway, the government will decide if travelers from other European countries can visit this summer.
Quarantine: Danes arriving from Sweden still face quarantine.
Non European Travelers: The foreign affairs ministry is for now advising against all non-essential international travel into the country until August 20. The EU border reopening may fastrack this decision. For now Norway entry restrictions remain stringent.
Borders are open to EU nationals as of June 13, while international flights resume within Schengen from June 16.
Non European Travelers: Poland will fall in line with the EU’s opening to foreign travelers from July 1.
Air travel from many European countries resumes in earnest from June 15 for leisure travelers. Travelers must respect the social distancing and mask rules. The government has requested the land border with Spain remain closed until July 1.
Quarantine: Passengers flying to the Madeira archipelago must show a negative Covid-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival to dodge a two week quarantine. The measure is expected to be eliminated on July 1 says Visit Portugal.
Non European Travelers: Possible when the EU opens to the world, from July 1.
Romania is open to travelers from the 30 EU+ countries.
Quarantine: The catch is all travelers bar some who are exempt face quarantine. Either in a government centre or self-isolation. See exemptions here. The situation should change by late June.
Non European Travelers: No. But should restart from July 1 as EU welcomes back low-risk travelers.
Slovakia reopened its borders to arrivals from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland on June 10.
Quarantine: A negative test is required to dodge self-isolation.
Non European Travelers: Not yet.
Slovenia reopened borders to EU citizens on May 15, and to the world on June 13. Non Europeans can also fly into the country, but many face quarantine.
Quarantine: Mandatory 14-day quarantine for Brits, Swedes and Russians. Also applies to returning citizens and residents who’ve tripped beyond the bloc to high-risk countries.
Non European Travelers: Possible for those from outside the EU, but with a fortnight quarantine for many including Brazilians, Singaporeans, Qatar and UAE arrivals. See the full list here. Only U.S. citizens with residency in an EU country can enter Slovenia says the country’s American embassy.
Spain is opening to holidaymakers from the EU on June 21 as it fastracks its ambitious tourism comeback. “We will soon be able to welcome you with open arms,” says the national tourism office. At Portugal’s request, the land border between the two remains closed to July 1. 11,000 Germans are already being welcomed back in droves to the Balearic Islands, from June 15. Under a pilot reopening project, quarantine rules are waived.
Quarantine: From June 21, the current quarantine measures end.
Non European Travelers: Spain will reopen for international travel from July 1, though details are to come.
“Welcome to Sweden – when the time is right” is still Visit Sweden’s Covid catchcry. “Take care and see you soon!” That despite the fact that travel from the EU+ countries and the U.K. is possible it says.
Non European Travelers: Not for non-essential travel. In a positive sign of things to come, the Swedish government says “The entry ban has been extended up to and including 30 June.”
From June 15, the alpine nation is allowing entry of all travelers from the 30 EU+ countries, and the U.K. Initially it planned to maintain border controls with Italy, but that’s been scrapped much to Italians’ joy.
Non European Travelers: Not yet.Photo source: Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Unsplash.com