Following the effect of the dreadful coronavirus, international travel restrictions were issued worldwide. The situation is taking a downturn as more countries are gradually easing the restrictions. Europe has opened up to tourist and business travellers alike since July 1st 2020. While this is good news for some, others anticipate delays and cancellations while the commercial travel industry presses the reset button.
Exactly what can we expect, and when can we expect it? Who are the winners and losers in the rush to catch the remainder of the summer season in Europe; while the rest of the world is still in lockdown?
International Travel Restrictions: Austria and Belgium
There are no international travel restrictions into Austria and Belgium from most European countries except the UK, Sweden, Spain and Portugal – restricted countries must present medical certificates and self-isolate.
Travellers arriving from outside the EU must produce a certificate proving they are coronavirus- free, and this medical certificate must be under four days old to comply.
All restrictions currently in place will be lifted on the 1st of July
International Travel Restrictions: Bosnia and Herzegovina
The border is open to close neighbours Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. No other arrivals are permitted at the present time except for freight drivers and diplomats and for residents in exceptional circumstances.
International Travel Restrictions: Bulgaria and Croatia
Both Bulgaria and Croatia opened their borders on the 1st and 15th of June respectively. Tourists from Belgium, Portugal and the UK are currently required to self isolate for 14 days on arrival.
Currently, all international travel restrictions have been lifted since 1st of July.
International Travel Restrictions: Cyprus
Most of Europe is welcome to travel without restrictions. However, citizens from the US, France and Spain are excluded with no date for these restrictions will be lifted.
Travellers from the UK and Russia will be allowed access to Cyprus from August. The UK and Russia make up the main tourist markets for this Mediterranean country.
Denmark, Germany, Norway and Iceland
These four countries have adopted their own ‘bubble’. Citizens from any other country are not permitted into Denmark at all at the moment, and only with restrictions into Norway and Iceland.
Germany has just extended restrictions until the 31st of August. The other three countries may follow suit.
International Travel Restrictions: France
France is open for business and suggested voluntary quarantine is recommended but not enforced. President Macron announced that international borders will re-open. However, international travel restrictions may be reimposed at any time if a country suffers a second wave.
All current international travel restrictions were lifted by the 1st of July, with the exception of travellers from northern Macedonia, Turkey, the UK and Albania, where visitors are subject to sample testing and self-isolation.
Ireland and Northern Ireland
Travellers to Ireland and Northern Ireland are expected to self isolate for 14 days – however free passage between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic is permitted without quarantine.
Italy, Spain and Portugal
Both Italy and Spain suffered catastrophic consequences to both industry and tourism in the last three months; both countries shut down early and now are ready to reopen.
Italy has open borders apart from cruise ships, who are not permitted to enter. Spain is also open to everyone apart from travellers from Portugal, and the border opens with Portugal on 1st July.
Portugal is ready for travel and tourism as long as you don’t arrive from the Azores and Madeiras islands, where there are international travel restrictions on arrival in Portugal and quarantine is required.
Malta announced that tourism will commence from the 15th of July, with no other international travel restrictions.
Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Serbia
Borders are open and freedom of travel is permitted. Anyone from outside of Europe is required to self-isolate for 14 days but this is only a recommendation and is not monitored.
All borders are open but any foreign national who enters Switzerland must have a valid place of residence or work permit to be admitted, no exceptions.
Russia is allowing visitors in from Europe, but not from the rest of the world is not permitted, and there is no talk of lifting these restrictions at the moment.
Turkey has opened its borders to European travellers, and health checks are required regardless of which European country the visitor comes from. The Border with Iran remains closed with no date available for re-opening.
The United Kingdom
Borders are open and no international travel restrictions. Visitors are required to isolate for 14 days, at the moment. Travellers are required to prove where they have travelled from, and checks are in place to ensure isolation rules are being adhered too.