The country-by-country picture across the EU (plus the U.K.) in mid February is still bleak for the travel sector, but it is improving. Roll out of the vaccination is a mixed bag across the continent/U.K. but it is happening, giving millions of people–while still under lockdown or under curfew–hope (many countries have internal restrictions such as school and restaurant closures programmed to run into April). What’s more, whilst the cold weather has helped to fuel the spread of the virus, temperatures are increasing in southern Europe at least, and people have their eyes on measures being relaxed in spring–it’s still too early to make plans for summer.
The EU uses a traffic light map from the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) as a guideline to the high risk countries. EU members agreed on 28 January to add a darker red color to the map, to show areas where the 14-day cumulative Covid-19 case notification rate is 500 cases per 100,000 people or more.
- Many EU countries have tried to avoid placing residents back into a full lockdown but it hasn’t been entirely possible. As reported by The Local, the U.K., Ireland, Denmark and Italy have been forced to, and Sweden and Germany have stricter measures in place than in the first wave in March 2020.
- Many countries closed their borders in January and by early February, the requirement across most regions and states is for proof of a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival and some require further quarantine too, regardless of results.
- Many countries have banned U.K. travelers, to try to limit the reach of the newer B.1.1.7. variant identified in England. What’s more, with Brexit terms negotiated, the U.K. now falls under a third party country and is disallowed unlimited entry into the EU in the same way as before.
There is a list of EU-approved, third-party countries where travelers can arrive without any restrictions. In mid-February, this list is the smallest it has ever been since the Covid-19 pandemic began and now just includes Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity (i.e. that China accepts EU arrivals).
This country-by-country guide shows the different measures put in place by EU countries to try to curb alarming rises in infection and death rates. Many countries are due to review policies at the end of February, in line with the effectiveness too of vaccination efforts, which varies greatly from one country to the next.
There is also a new twist to the movements during Covid-19 in that many EU countries are launching immunity or vaccination passports and there is a widespread call for an EU-wide passport to be made available to get the travel economy going.
Austria—Tyrol region locked down due to South African variant
Austria is only allowing entry across its borders to anyone other than Austrian nationals if they come from an EU or Schengen area country plus the agreed small list of safe countries allowed into the EU (Australia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and the Vatican).
All arrivals must be in possession of a negative PCR or antigen test result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival into Austria. If they cannot provide a certificate, travelers must take one within 24 hours. Everyone must then go into a ten-day quarantine and can test out after 5 days with another negative test result.
The country has been easing itself out of lockdown measures which it has been in a version of since 3 November 2020. Schools and museums, for instance, are slowly reopening and people can visit the hairdresser if they have proof of a negative Covid-19 test. The country opened its ski resorts on 24 December but only locals have really been able to access them. The country is still under a nighttime curfew.
Due to rising cases in the Tyrol region (a western Austrian state), the German government imposed a ban on all arrivals from this region beginning 14 February. The Austrian government has imposed a ban on all people leaving the region without proof of a negative test result. The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told press that the outbreak of the South African Covid-19 variant in Tyrol is the largest outbreak for this variant currently across the EU area.
Belgium—all non-essential travel forbidden
All non-essential travel is forbidden for Belgian citizens into other countries (compelling reasons are family emergencies or work, and people must download a form to carry with them to explain why they can travel).
If residents must travel, they must fill in a a “Public Health Passenger Locator Form” 48 hours before arrival. Based on their answers, 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.
Belgian residents returning from United Kingdom, South Africa or South America must follow all the steps but the quarantine is longer–10 days.
Arrivals from EU, Schengen area and the EU’s safe list are technically allowed entry to Belgium at present provided they can prove the trip is essential. It becomes much harder to gain entry if travelers are arriving from outside the EU/Schengen area, from which currently all non-essential travel is banned.
Belgium is still under lockdown with many regions having closed non-essential shops and curfews are in place. The government is working on a roadmap for a gradual easing of certain restrictions and will report on 26 February.
Bulgaria—ban on all U.K. travelers until end of April
Bulgaria was put into a severe lockdown on 27 November 2020 which was eased on 1 February and now gyms, cinemas and malls have reopened with shorter opening hours and capacity restrictions. Restaurants can only offer takeaway until March.
From 2 February to 30 April, Bulgarians and residents of EU/Schengen area countries who arrive in the country (and their families) must take a PCR test before entry or they must go into a ten-day quarantine.
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. As of 21 January, travelers from the following countries are allowed to enter–if they are in possession of a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours prior: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Belarus, Kuwait, Turkey, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Moldova, Ukraine and North Macedonia.
There is currently an emergency travel ban on all arrivals from the U.K. and Northern Ireland which was put in place on 23 December and will stay in place until 30 April.
Croatia—7 m2 needed per person in public
Croatia profited throughout the summer from being one of the only EU countries allowing U.S. travelers to enter but on January 13 2021 it closed its borders “prohibiting and restricting the crossing of persons across all border crossing points of the Republic of Croatia.”
One exception are travelers coming from the EU/Schengen area countries (regardless of citizenship). If they are arriving from a ‘green’ country, they are allowed to enter unrestricted so long as they have no symptoms of Covid-19. Any other EU/Schengen arrivals must present a negative PCR test result for SARS-CoV-2 that is not older than 48 hours (counting from the time of taking the swab to arriving at the border crossing point) or have the PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 done immediately upon arrival in the Republic of Croatia.
Third country nationals who are resident are also allowed in with a test but no other third party nationals can enter unless they fall under a very specific list of criteria, such as medical workers and seafarers. Since the U.K. is no longer part of the EU area, this now means that U.K. travelers are no longer permitted. Travelers from the EU’s safe list are exempt from quarantine or Covid-19 testing requirements.
Everyone must also fill in an online form to hand in at the border.
Regardless of nationality, anyone arriving from the U.K., South Africa and Brazil would need a negative PCR test and to self-isolate for 14 days.
There are social restrictions in place until the end of February, such as making sure that public events finish at 10pm, that churches and cinemas secure at least 7 m2 of space per person. Weddings are not allowed but as of 15 February, places serving food are allowed to serve takeaway–casinos and betting shops also opened on the same date and alcohol cannot be sold between 10pm and 6am.
Cyprus—no entry requirements for the vaccinated
Cyprus was the first member state to announce that it doesn’t require a negative Covid-19 test to enter the country if the traveler has been vaccinated. At first, it plans just to allow unrestricted access to vaccinated EU residents before it opens the policy up to travelers arriving from outside of Europe.
At its borders, Cyprus has three categories (A, B, and C) based on a country’s epidemiological situation, and updates the list to announce who can enter and how. Every passenger must fill in a Cyprus Health Pass upon arrival.
There are currently only 5 countries on list A, the most epidemiologically sound, where no restrictions are in place: Australia, Cyprus, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.
List B–passengers coming from these countries can ask for a Covid-19 test upon arrival, for a fee of €60 ($73) and enter quarantine until they have a negative result: China, Finland, Germany, Greece, Holy See (Vatican City State), Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Norway, Rwanda and San Marino.
All other countries are in category C, and people can only enter if they are Cypriot residents or cleared under the Vienna Convention. (This has changed from December, where Category C countries were allowed to enter with a negative Covid-19 test).
Cyprus is currently under curfew between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., which was extended on 29 January 2021. People are currently allowed to leave their homes twice per day and must send an SMS to 8998 (people over 65 can use a printed form). Exceptions are made for dog-walking, taking children to school, and employment.
Czech Republic—considering vaccination passports
The government has extended the state of emergency until February 28, 2021, which involves the restriction of free movement and retail sales.
As for international travel, the Health Minister Jan Blatný talked about the idea of an immunity passport saying that whilst the country would not make vaccination a requirement for entry, “it is certainly easier to go out with a card in your pocket than to have an examination performed before each border crossing.”
Since November 9, arrivals have been grouped into red, yellow, and green categories, with red being the most at risk as per the ECDC’s traffic light system.
Travelers from green areas can enter without restrictions whilst those arriving from yellow areas must fill in the arrival form and be in possession of a negative Covid-19 test result. The criteria for arrivals from red zones is the same, but in addition, people must enter quarantine and take a second test on day 5, which must come out negative for people to release themselves.
For all arrivals into the Czech Republic from yellow or any red zone, for a period of 10 days, it is obligatory to wear respirators with a protection class of at least FFP2, KN95, N95, P2, DS, or at least a disposable medical mask, everywhere away from home.
Denmark—will launch vaccination passports
Denmark plans to launch vaccination passports for its citizens who wish to travel to countries who require them for entry. Finance Minister Morten Boedskov explained that the passport will be digital and ready in three to four months, like “the extra passport that you will be able to have on your mobile phone that documents that you have been vaccinated.”
The government recently announced a three-week extension to its current lockdown, taking it to 28 February, citing the much more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant of Covid-19 as the primary reason. As reported by The Local, the current rules include the closure of schools, universities, restaurants, cafes and non-essential stores as well as requiring most people to work from home where possible. No more than 5 people are allowed in public places together. Denmark announced a twice-weekly testing policy to leave lockdown.
All foreign travel is ill-advised and the border is effectively closed for all arrivals until at least 28 February, except for essential travel. A flight ban exists on anyone arriving who isn’t in possession of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours. In addition, anyone arriving after 7 February will be subject to mandatory testing and a 10-day isolation.
Estonia—a 10-day quarantine for most arrivals
Estonia’s borders are open to arrivals from the EU safe list countries which are considered to have low infection rates if they are showing no symptoms of Covid-19. Its borders are also open to EU and Schengen nationals but they must quarantine for 10 days if they are listed as red on the updated list.
Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have signed an agreement to start working on a digital immunisation certificate.
Finland—restrictions extended to February
Restrictions for entry into Finland were extended on January 11 until 25 February–travelers arriving from all EU and Schengen countries will be allowed in (even with high rates) but they must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test, taken in the 72 hours prior to arrival. They will then have to quarantine until a second negative test, which will give them the freedom to travel Finland without restrictions.
There are no restrictions on entry for residents of Australia, South Korea, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand nor from the Vatican.
Since the departure of the U.K. from Europe on December 31, it is now considered a third country and subject to third country restrictions.
Finland currently has internal restrictions on operating hours for some businesses, restaurants and bars and home working is encouraged at all times; these will stay in place until February 28, 2021. The government is recommending remote working until at least June 30.
France—still under nationwide 6pm curfew
Residents can move about freely during the day, although remote working is advised, and must be at home between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. There are situations where people can leave the house during curfew but they must have an attestation, a form filled in and signed by an employer, for instance. Shops are open but cafes, restaurants, gyms, cinemas and theatres have been closed since October 2020. It has, however, managed to avoid heading into a third lockdown so far and keep its schools open.
France has banned all travel from outside the EU/Schengen areas and within the EU, arrivals must be in possession of a negative Covid-19 test result, taken not less than 72 hours before departure.
Germany—in lockdown and quarantine back for high risk areas
Germany is in lockdown until 7 March, closing non-essential shops. Hotels are not allowed to offer overnight stays to tourists, and schools are mostly closed, as well as cinemas, theatres and other public venues.
Currently, entry is possible for EU members, Schengen states and the countries approved by the EU with low infection rates: Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. Journeys must be approved the German border police.
Since January 24, states that exceed an incidence value of 200 per 100,000 people have been considered high-incidence areas and arrivals from these EU or Schengen areas must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before they can board an aircraft, ferry, bus or train. Regardless of the result, arrivals from these high-risk areas must quarantine for ten days.
Entry from other countries is only possible at present for urgent reasons.
Greece—tougher lockdown in Athens as cases spike
It was the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who officially called for the introduction of immunity or vaccination passports to be introduced at an EU level, rather than at a country-wide level, although Mitsotakis acknowledged that this might take some time. On January 26, Greece signed an understanding with Serbia to get tourism flowing between the two countries through digital vaccination passports.
Until February 22 (although it may be extended) all non-EU citizens are not allowed to enter, except those from the EU’s safe list, plus the U.K. the UAE and Israel.
All passengers must fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and have taken a Covid-19 PCR test and received a negative result no more than 72 hours before departure. They will also be subject to random testing. All arrivals will still have to self-isolate at the address on their PLF for 7 days but U.K. arrivals will have to take another test upon arrival as well as after 7 days. If any of these results are positive, the quarantine will be extended to 14 days.
A maximum of 500 Russian residents are permitted to enter Greece at the airports of Athens, Thessaloniki, and Heraklion, Crete every week, subject to the same controls.
Greece has been seeing surges in Covid-19 infection rates, particularly around Athens and Thessaloniki. A travel warning has been in effect for the regions of Thessaly, western and central Macedonia, Attica and central Greece. On 9 February, the government imposed a tougher lockdown on the Athens area, as reported by Bloomberg.
In order to pass through land borders (a certain number of people, such as truck drivers, are allowed to), people must have proof of a negative PCR test, not older than 72 hours.
Hungary—vaccinated could stay out after curfew
The Prime Minister office’s spokesperson Gergely Gulyas announced that Hungary would be issuing a vaccination passport to its residents who have received the second shot of the vaccine against the virus, “indicating the date on which the second jab was administered” in the hope that it would help to get things “back to normal.”
Hungary has already vaccinated about 250,000 people using both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and, unlike other EU countries, it has signed deals to buy large quantities of Russia’s Sputnik Covid-19 vaccine and the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.
There is still a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. and all public events are banned and family and private gatherings are capped at 10 people. Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced he will hold a national consultation to see how the lockdown could and should be lifted, with results expected 1 March–for a countrywide easing in April. It is likely, as reported by Reuters that vaccinated people will soon be allowed to stay out past the 8pm curfew.
The country had opened its borders without restrictions to citizens of the EU, the European Economic Area (excluding the U.K.) and Switzerland on June 21. However, it closed its borders on September 1 to all foreign nationals, after spiking rates of infection–and this order still stands.
Iceland—PCR tests before and after quarantine
On 21 January, Iceland started issuing vaccination certificates to anyone who has completed all required doses of the vaccine–it was the first Schengen area country to do so. The Ministry of Health press release states, “the aim is to facilitate the movement of people between countries so that individuals can present a vaccine certificate at the border and are then exempt from Covid-19 disease control measures in accordance with the rules of the country concerned.”
It has also issued an electronic vaccination certificate–heilsuvera.is–but crucially, it has said that it will accept any other certificate issued by any other EU and Schengen area country.
From 19 February all passengers heading to Iceland must show a negative PCR result upon boarding the aircraft and upon arrival.
This is in addition to the policy of double screening which is currently in operation: international arrivals must take two tests; one when they arrive and one after 5 or 6 days of quarantine, after which they are free to travel without restrictions around the country if they are negative. It is no longer possible to avoid testing by going into a 14-day quarantine.
There are no entry restrictions for visitors holding passports (or valid residency) from EU/EFTA countries but this no longer includes the U.K.
Ireland—lockdown extended to 1 April 2021
At the beginning of February things were perilous in Ireland and it had the highest number of new infections per capita in the world, fuelled by the fast moving B.1.1.7 variant of Covid-19 discovered in England.
The country is currently under a national lockdown. Under the government’s ‘Plan for living with COVID-19′ there are five tiers of restrictions and Ireland is currently under tier 5, the highest level of restrictions. This means that everyone who can, must stay at home and exercise within 5 km of the house and only essential retail is open. Powers were recently granted to extend the lockdown from 5 March to 1 April 2021.
Ireland is using the ECDC’s traffic light map of travel restrictions, meaning it adheres to the same guidelines as most other EU countries. Passengers from green regions are not required to restrict their movements for 14 days on arrival but passengers arriving from an orange, red or gray region are requested to restrict their movements for 14 days.
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. Arrivals from South Africa, South American countries or the U.K. must self-isolate for 14 days.
Italy—new PM under pressure to tighten lockdown
Italy uses a three-tier regional restriction system–red, orange, yellow–to control the spread of the virus and how it will control the movement of its residents inside the country. Italy has 20 regions and many are currently in yellow, with light restrictions, where cafes and bars are allowed to open and schools and businesses are allowed to operate but at limited capacity. Rome’s Coliseum and Florence’s Uffizi are open, for instance. The entire country is under a curfew from 10pm to 5am. Italy’s newly elected prime minister Mario Draghi, however, is under pressure to bring in tougher lockdown measures to fight the B.1.1.7 variant which is currently causing concern in many areas.
All arriving passengers from the EU and Schengen area must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within the past 48 hours. If they cannot do so, they must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. U.K. arrivals are currently banned until at least 5 March and for the rest of the world, travelers can only enter from the agreed EU safe countries. Flights to and from Brazil have been banned.
Latvia—state of emergency extended to 6 April 2021
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 most EU countries plus the U.K., as per ECDC recommendations. All arrivals must fill in an electronic form 48 hours before arriving in the country and all arrivals must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
There is currently a state of emergency in place until 6 April 2021 and only essential shops are open. Public gatherings are banned and households are not allowed to mix.
Lithuania—lockdown extended until 28 February
On November 7, the country went into a three-week lockdown and this has been extended until 28 February. The government statement reads “some businesses will have to halt or reduce their operations, tighter infection control measures will be enforced, and work and education will be arranged with a minimum of contacts.”
The country has been following the ECDC traffic light map for allowing access. Lithuania is allowing access from EEA countries but all arrivals must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken up to 48 hours before entry and a 10-day mandatory quarantine is required regardless of the result.
Luxembourg—under 11pm curfew and tests needed
Luxembourg has not restricted its border from other European visitors, although travel from outside Europe is banned except for those visitors from the countries deemed low risk by the EU. However, from 29 January 2021, anyone boarding an aircraft to Luxembourg must have had a negative Covid-19 test result in the 72 hours beforehand.
Malta—new random swab tests upon arrival
Travelers arriving from countries on the green list don’t have any restrictions and will not be subject to a swab test upon arrival: Australia, China (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan included), Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy (Sicily and Sardegna), New Zealand, Norway, Portugal (Madeira, Azores), Rwanda, South Korea, Spain (Canarias) and United Arab Emirates.
Other countries are on an ‘amber list’ where visitors need to 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. As of February 17, amber list countries are: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy (all airports except Sicily and Sardinia), Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal (all airports except Madeira, Azores), Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (all airports except Canarias), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay and Vatican City.
All other countries 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. It is also recommended that they take a PCR test 72 hours before they arrive. Malta has suspended flights to and from the U.K.
The Netherlands—cannabis cafés are pick up only
The Netherlands is currently under its strictest lockdown yet. There is a nighttime curfew until 3 March, only one visitor is allowed into one household per day, most communal places are closed, primary schools are open but secondary schools are operating remotely. Cannabis cafés are only open for pick-up.
The government is strongly advising that no one travels to the Netherlands. There is a 7-point check list for anyone looking to travel to the Netherlands, namely:
1) you must be resident in the EU/Schengen area but there are exemptions.
2) there is a current flight ban for U.K., South Africa and South America flights. There is also a docking ban on U.K. ferries.
3) travelers arriving by aircraft, ship, train or coach must have proof of a negative PCR Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before arrival. There are some exemptions, e.g. lorry drivers.
4) anyone arriving by air or sea from a high-risk country must also take a rapid nasal swab test four hours before departure.
5) if you are coming outside the EU or Schengen area, you must fill in a negative test declaration.
6) if you are traveling by air, you must fill in a health declaration form.
7) all travelers must quarantine for 10 days and can test out after day 5 with a negative test result.
Travel is also allowed for nationals or residents of the EU-wide safe list.
Norway—borders completely closed
On Friday 29 January, Norway closed its borders until the end of February to everyone except Norwegian nationals and residents. Of these travelers, anyone arriving from a red high-risk region must have a negative Covid-19 test result with them. A ten-day quarantine is also required.
Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg announced new stay-at-home measures to reduce social contact as much as possible and businesses are operating under tight restrictions. Measures were updated on 29 January to continue to operate higher educate as distance learning and maintain small capacities on all public gatherings.
Poland—launching health e-passport for vaccinated
Anna Golawska, Poland’s Deputy Minister of Health announced plans to launch an e-vaccination passport, in the form of a QR code downloaded from the person’s health account online, which would give vaccinated people more rights to mobility than those who were not vaccinated. It is not clear if this would also apply to border crossings.
Poland started to lift restrictions internally on 14 February 2021: hotels, art galleries and museums are all open at 50% capacity and restaurants are able to offer takeaway service. Public gatherings are limited to five people.
Borders are open for EU and EFTA nationals but anyone arriving by public transport must self-isolate for 10 days, unless they have a negative Covid-19 test result with them.
Portugal—borders closed until 1 March
Portugal has closed its air, sea and land borders until 1 March except to a few exceptions, such as seasonal workers and freight drivers. It has been badly affected by rising rates of Covid-19–so much so, that it extended its state of emergency until 1 March where people are still confined to their homes and most things are closed.
The Portuguese government are very keen on using an EU-wide vaccination document to allow free-passage to restart across European countries. Minister of the Interior Eduardo Cabrita said it “should act as proof of security and do away with certain requirements at borders, in particular, the requirement for PCR tests.”
Romania—14-day quarantine unless vaccinated
The country is under mild lockdown restrictions, where social gatherings are limited but shops are open under limited conditions and restaurants, cafés and museums are all open.
From 15 February, people coming from the following countries must quarantine for 14 days: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Aruba, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bolivia, Botswana, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic,, Estonia, Eswatini, Falkland Islands, France, French Polynesia, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Quatar, Republic of Moldova, Russia, San Marino, Saint Vincent & Grenadine, Serbia, Seychelles, Sin Marteen, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turks & Caicos, United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and Uruguay.
A negative Covid-19 test will allow travelers to be released from self-isolation after day ten. If travelers have been vaccinated at least ten days before arrival, they do not need to quarantine.
Slovakia—vaccination passports will “relieve unnecessary bureaucracy”
Slovakia is in support of using vaccination passports. State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Martin Klus said that during the current travel restrictions, such a document “might help to relieve unnecessary bureaucracy.”
People arriving from low-risk countries (Australia, China, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan) can enter unimpeded. All other arrivals from EU areas must arrive with proof of a negative Covid-19 test but won’t need to quarantine. All arrivals from other countries, including the U.K. must quarantine and take a second PCR test.
Slovakia has extended its state of emergency from 8 February to 9 March and is allowing businesses to operate under strict conditions–a takeaway-only service for restaurants, public places are closed and the over-65s have dedicated opening times to shop for groceries (9 to 11 a.m., Monday to Friday). There is also a nighttime curfew from 1am to 5am every day.
Slovenia—most EU countries now on red list
Many countries around the world are now on the red list, including most of the EU, where arrivals must possess a negative Covid-19 PCR test or quarantine for ten days. Arrivals from any country not on the red list can enter unimpeded.
Spain—still operating regional lockdowns
Spain’s Tourism Minister, Reyes Maroto, announced that the country is working on a version of a vaccination passport for its citizens, to help the tourist sector recover.
Only arrivals from the Schengen area or EU approved non-member states are allowed to enter and as of 8 February, the EU countries on this list were Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark (except the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Midtjyllar), Estonia, France (except Gaudeloupe, La Reunion and Martinique Islands), Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway (except the Agder, Innlandet, Møre og Romsdal, Nordland, Rogaland, Troms og Finnmark, Trondelag, Vestfold og Telemark, Vestland and Viken regions), Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden. Everyone on this list must be tested before arrival with a PCR test and receive a negative result to travel. A small list of third party countries can also enter with a negative Covid-19 result.
U.K. travelers have been banned from entering Spain since 22 December and there are restrictions on flights to and from Brazil and South Africa.
Spain is under a state of emergency with regional variations in restrictions until at least 9 May. Some areas have essential shops open at the weekends and most people barred from leaving the municipality. In others, bars and restaurants can open for breakfast and lunch but must be closed for dinner, except for takeout.
Sweden—government prepares people for new shutdown
Social minister Lena Hallengren announced that Sweden would be launching Covid-19 immunity passports by the summer adding that “for certificates to work internationally, they must be recognised by countries around the world.”
The Local reported that Sweden is preparing people for a shutdown, saying that whilst it isn’t shutting the country down today, it might be necessary soon to close retail venues, gyms, leisure centres, restaurants and venues for private gatherings. Any measures would likely come into place on 11 March 2021.
Switzerland—quarantine even with negative tests
Switzerland’s regions are responsible for implementing local lockdowns as appropriate and many have implemented procedures, such as limiting gatherings. Masks in enclosed public spaces are mandatory.
Anyone arriving from a high-risk country must go into quarantine or face a fine and crucially, a negative PCR test does not exempt travelers. All travelers need to fill in a questionnaire which will guide people on measures to take.
U.K.–hotel quarantine mandatory from high-risk places
Travel and tourism to and inside the U.K. is not currently permitted. Additionally, from 15 February, all arrivals from 30 high-risk countries must quarantine in government-appointed hotels for ten days (essentially, these would be returning U.K. citizens who probably left before lockdown began).
All arrivals must complete a travel locator form and Wales and Scotland have followed similar rules for entry. Anyone now arriving in the U.K. will also need to have proof of a negative Covid-19 test, taken not more than 72 hours before departure.
The U.K. is currently in a lockdown until 22 February with the closure of all non-essential services. That means that “56 million Britons are now only allowed to leave their homes in justifiable cases, for example to go to work, go shopping or for medical appointments,” and there is a £10,000 fine for non-compliance.