Thanks to a global vaccination campaign, the European Union has pledged to relax travel restrictions for non-EU residents and citizens. Jowhartakes a look at the top five European travel destinations to tell you who can come when and under what conditions.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last month that American tourists who were fully vaccinated would be allowed to visit the block this summer, although she did not specify when.
The European Union is working on a coordinated response, including the rollout of a digital green certificate, which provides proof via QR code that a person has been vaccinated with an EU-approved shot (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca), has had a recent negative test result, or has recovered from the virus. The pass is expected at the end of June, possibly earlier.
Countries have now drawn up their own rules, each with their own testing and documentation requirements.
With the European Union’s Re-Open EU online tool, potential travelers can indicate their country of origin and desired destination and see what Covid containment measures are in place, if applicable. The information, such as that on government websites, is limited to currently applicable restrictions and does not take into account announced plans to facilitate controls.
The situation remains changeable everywhere and with the appearance of new variants restrictions can be imposed again. Check government websites regularly to keep up to date with the latest requirements.
Time to revitalize the tourism industry and rekindle cross-border friendships – safely.
We propose to welcome re-vaccinated visitors & visitors from countries with a good health situation.
But if variants emerge, we have to act quickly: we propose an EU emergency braking mechanism.
Before the pandemic, France was the most visited country in the world and French President Emmanuel Macron is eager to recoup the lost tourism revenue.
Last month, Macron told CBS’s Face the Nation that vaccinated Americans and those with negative PCR tests would be allowed to visit France this summer. In local French newspapers, he marked June 9 as the date on which foreign tourists with a ‘health pass’ showing that they have been vaccinated, had Covid or have undergone a recent negative PCR test would be allowed to enter France.
Currently only essential journeys are allowed for travelers from outside the EU.
For more information on the situation in France and the current restrictions, visit this website, where you can also find links to all required documents. See here for information specific to US citizens.
Spain plans to open its borders to non-European travelers in June. That country is also working on a digital health certificate to facilitate access. Currently, travelers must complete a health check-up form, which can be found on the Spain Travel Health portal.
More information can be found here and specifically for US travelers can be found here. This interactive map shows the specific requirements based on country of origin.
Italy plans to open much of the rest of the block to tourists from outside the EU. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced that Italy will reopen to foreign tourists in mid-May. Anyone who has received an EU-approved vaccine, has recovered from the disease or has received a negative test result 48 hours before departure will be allowed into the country without restrictions.
This does not apply to countries that come from countries that are blacklisted by Italy, including Brazil, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Secretary of State Luigi Di Maio said quarantine requirements may be lifted for travelers arriving from the US in June; the shorter quarantine period to be observed by those coming from the UK and within the EU will expire on 15 May.
Check here for the latest information on travel restrictions and requirements. Specific information for American tourists is available here. Details on the Covid situation in each region can be found here.
Last month, Greece lifted quarantine requirements for travelers from the EU, US, UK, Serbia, Israel and UAE. From Friday, the country will be open to travelers who have been vaccinated, have antibodies or have tested negative for the virus. A step-by-step guide on traveling to Greece can be found here. All travelers must be able to show that they have completed a Passenger Locator Form to board their aircraft.
Who can enter the UK depends on where they come from. The country has devised a traffic light system, in which the countries are indicated in green, orange or red. All travelers are faced with testing requirements, and travelers coming from orange or red listed countries must test and quarantine. Travel from Red List countries is only permitted for Irish and British citizens or residents of the UK.
The list, which can be found here, is regularly updated. The US is on the amber list, which means that US citizens must test before entering the UK, do it again on their second and eight days in the country (the tests must be booked prior to travel) and quarantine of 10 days. A passenger locator form is also required for entry.
Vaccinated travelers from the US and UK may visit Iceland without being quarantined or tested (see here for more information on quarantine requirements for unvaccinated individuals) and citizens of any country who have received the shot or negative PCR test within 48 hours of the trip can go to Croatia (more for US citizens here). Malta plans to open on June 1 and offers to pay tourists to come (learn more about their travel rules here).