The picture across the EU (plus the U.K.) in June hasn’t looked as promising for the travel industry for months, with tourist activity increasing in line with vaccination rates and confidence levels. June is definitely the month that Europe reopens:
- compared with other regions around the world, Europe saw the largest decline in new Covid-19 infections and deaths during the last week of May–and about 44% of EU adults have now received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the WHO and ECDC.
- a recent report by SiteMinder found that booking momentum has increased by 60% compared to pre-pandemic levels for the first time since March 2020, and that European bookings are responsible for this rise. The report states that “across the European continent, the relationship between reopening announcements and booking activity, as we saw last summer, is again clear, with travellers looking to lock in their plans as soon as they possibly can.”
- the increase in European demand is showing in airline schedules–Jet Blue will start two new flights to London, and United Airlines has added 400 more flights in July, as reported on Good Morning America.
- air traffic saw a 16% increase in flights taking off in the third week of May with an average of 8,132 flights operating every day across the region (a 277% increase on the same period in 2020 but still a 68% decline compared to 2019 numbers)–according to Daniel Baker, CEO of Flight Aware, a tracking company, as reported by The Telegraph.
- airfares are rising in return–and might increase by as much as 16% this summer. Whilst Memorial Day travel will be the biggest weekend since the pandemic began (with 1.5 million air travelers per day at the moment), experts say that the best EU deals are to be had now.
- many EU countries are expected to make announcements soon on when they might open, if they haven’t already. Virginia Messina, interim leader of the World Travel & Tourism Council said that “summer is a strong season for most markets, particularly Europe and the U.K. We really hope to see restrictions ease.”
- however, there is still a little too much uncertainty for customers to be certain and too much volatility in border regulations to mean that summer is booked out–that means it’s a good time to book before the picture becomes clear and tour operators ramp up prices, expected by late June.
- many EU/Schengen area countries are now open for tourism–some without quarantine, some only to the fully vaccinated, some only to other EU countries and some to anyone with a negative Covid-19 test result. Many more are expected to announce reopening throughout June (e.g. France) and July (Ireland).
- the EU Digital COVID Certificate has now been firmly established 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, such as France’s TousAntiCovid app, on someone’s phone. Every EU country will be using a form of this by July 1.
The only possible cloud on the travel horizon for Europe and the U.K. (and the hope that the U.S. might soon revoke the EU/U.K. travel ban) is the rampant rise of the variant B.1.167.2 (the so-called Indian variant, now renamed Delta) in several parts of Britain. Whilst low at present, it is rising and the fear would be that it is transported to the EU before vaccination rates are high enough to fend it off.
Austria—relaxed travel restrictions from 19 May
As of 31 May, 5 million Austrians had received one dose of vaccine, meaning that more than half of the eligible population has not had a jab.
However, the country is reopening; the curfew will be extended from 10pm to 12am on 10 June and by July 1, full occupancy will be possible at sporting and cultural events. Nightclubs are also expected to open again on this date.
Anyone arriving into the country must have applied for pre-travel clearance before departure and then show one of three documents to enter: proof of vaccination or past infection or a negative Covid-19 test result (PCR, no more than 72 hours old or an antigen, no more than 48 hours old).
Beyond that, Austria loosened its travel restrictions on 19 May from a selection of low-risk countries, where travelers can now holiday without the need for quarantine. As of 25 May these EU countries are: Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Vatican City. Outside the EU, people can travel without quarantine from: Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea.
In addition, travelers from Croatia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Cyprus are allowed to visit Austria for tourist purposes and if they can show proof of vaccination or past infection, they don’t need to self-isolate. Otherwise, travelers from these countries must show negative Covid-19 test results and quarantine for ten days (they can ‘test out’ at day five with another negative result).
Travelers arriving from Brazil, India, South Africa, and the U.K. must only visit for essential purposes, must have a negative Covid-19 test result and must still quarantine for 10 days.
Anyone else must have an essential reason for travel but won’t need to self-isolate if they can show proof of vaccination or past infection.
Belgium—countries color-coded for entry
Arrivals from EU, Schengen area and the EU’s safe list are technically allowed entry to Belgium but all countries have been color-coded to determine travel restrictions.
The EU’s safe country list are currently labelled green–Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Israel and Thailand. Additionally, Iceland, Malta and two areas of Finland are labelled green (West Finland and Aland).
Some parts of some EU countries (but not all of the country) are currently labelled orange: Austria, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Spain, Finland, France, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Romania. Everywhere else is currently classified as a red country.
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.
Bulgaria—negative test or 10-day quarantine
Anyone can arrive in Bulgaria if they can show they are fully vaccinated or have had Covid-19.
As of 28 May, 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. 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, China, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, UAE, the U.K., Israel, Belarus, Kuwait, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Moldova, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
Croatia—international borders open
Croatia opened to international tourists in May for non-essential travel, providing arrivals have a negative Covid-19 test result, have recovered from Covid-19 or are fully vaccinated. Arrivals should also provide proof of having paid for hotel accommodation in advance.
As reported by AP, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are starting direct flights from New York to Dubrovnik from July to accommodate the growing demand. The country’s 80,000 tourist workers have also had priority in the line for Covid-19 vaccinations.
Cyprus—borders open through traffic light system
On May 10, Cyprus 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 8 countries on the green list, the most epidemiologically sound where no quarantine is needed nor a negative Covid-19 test: Australia, Iceland, Israel, Korea, Malta, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
The orange list, from which people must arrive with proof of a negative Covid-19 test result, has considerably opened up during May. It now includes many more countries–China, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Macao, Norway, Portugal, Romania, 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: Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Holy See (Vatican City State), Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, 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—quarantine for high-risk arrivals
Travel requirements follow the ECDC’s traffic light system, where arrivals have been grouped into grey, dark red, red, yellow, and green categories, with grey being the most at risk.
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 (antigen or PCR).
The criteria for arrivals from red zones is the same, but in addition, people must enter quarantine and take a second PCR test on day 5, which must come out negative for people to move about freely again. Arrivals from dark red countries must take PCR tests for entry and again on day 5 of quarantine (rather than antigen).
Green countries, as of 31 May, are Australia, Iceland, Israel, Korea, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and the Vatican City.
Medium-risk countries, as of 31 May, are Bulgaria, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Lichtenstein, Hungary, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Austria, San Marino, Romania, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.
High-risk countries are Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Denmark—reopening to international travelers
Travelers can currently enter Denmark with a negative Covid-19 test result but there is still a ten-day quarantine in place for most arrivals. There are some exceptions for countries on its yellow list, where no quarantine is required, nor is a reason to travel although travelers still need to test negative before and after travel.
This safe list currently includes several EU countries–Bulgaria, Finland, Iceland, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Romania–as well as some EU regions: Austria (Burgenland, Niederösterreich, Salzburg), France (Corse, Martinique, Mayotte), Germany (Schleswig-Holstein), Italy (Liguria, Abruzzo, Molise , Sardegna, Trento Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Umbria), Norway (Rogaland, Møre og Romsdal, Norland, Vestland, Trøndelag, Troms og Finnmark), Spain (Galicia, Principado de Asturias, Cantabria, Extremadura, Comunitat Valenciana, Illes Balears, Región de Murcia, Ciudad de Ceuta, Canarias).
The list also includes some non-EU safe “yellow” countries: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Israel.
Some countries are classified as red–Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, India and Nepal. Travelers from these countries must have an essential reason for their trip, get tested before and after travel, and enter quarantine. Any other country is orange–an essential reason isn’t required for travel but testing and quarantine are.
This is part of a phased reopening of the country to international tourism. The final phase is planned for 26 June, to coincide with the launch of an EU digital vaccine certificate, when vaccinated passengers will be allowed in.
Estonia—U.K. and EU travelers welcome
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 (or travelers are also exempt if they have had Covid-19).
Anyone from the EU/Schengen area, plus the U.K. is welcome if they do not have symptoms but anyone arriving from a place where the infection rate is higher than 150 people per 100,000 people in the last 14 days, 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.
Finland—restrictions extended to 15 June
Restrictions for entry into Finland were extended to 15 June 2021 meaning that non-essential travel is still not allowed from places with high incidence rates (which includes most countries, including much of the EU)–all these arrivals must enter a 14-day quarantine, which they can shorten with a negative test on arrival and one five days later.
All allowed travelers must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test, taken in the 72 hours prior to arrival and be traveling for an essential reason. There are no restrictions on entry for residents of Australia, South Korea, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand, nor from Iceland nor the Vatican.
France—hopes to reopen to tourism on June 7
Whilst a curfew is still in place after 9pm, on 9 June, this will be extended until 11pm and on 30 June, it will be retired completely. It is expected that the country will open up to international travel on 9 June using a traffic light system and its version of the EU Digital Covid Certificate.
Within the EU, people are allowed in, but discouraged, and must be in possession of a negative Covid-19 test result, taken not less than 72 hours before departure. All travel to/from non-EU countries is currently banned, although it is hoped the country will be ready to open to non-EU visitors from June onwards, using its Digital Green Certificate.
France has recently placed a quarantine upon all arrivals coming from the U.K. because of fears over the spread of the Delta (Indian) variant of Covid-19.
Germany—high-risk arrivals must quarantine
41% of Germans have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 15% are fully vaccinated and from 7 June, Angela Merkel’s government will begin vaccinating 12-16 year-olds. The German Health Minister has said that 90% of Germans who want a vaccine will have one by mid-July and Germany’s schools are gradually reopening to in-person classes at full-capacity.
The Health Minister Jens Spahn said that it will be possible to travel using Germany’s version of the EU Digital Covid Certificate by the end of June–either on its own, called CovPass, or as part of the existing Covid-19 app called Warning.
Since 13 May, 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 28 May provides details on current areas of concern.
Greece—open to many countries without quarantine
Greece opened its borders on 14 May, 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.
Hungary—first two cases of Indian Covid-19 variant
According to John Hopkins data, Hungary is the country that has experienced the most Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 people, as reported in The Telegraph. “The Indian variant is present in Hungary, according to experts we cannot exclude the possibility of a new wave of the pandemic,” said Istvan Gyorgy, deputy minister and head of the government’s vaccination task force. Neither of the two patients with the Indian variant of Covid-19 have spent time abroad recently, causing concern that this variant of the virus is already spreading.
Hungary closed its borders on September 1 2020 to all foreign nationals, after spiking rates of infection–and this order still stands. People can now enter if they are to perform at sporting events or other similar exemptions but they must undergo two tests (one before arrival and one after) and quarantine.
People who can credibly attest that they are entering for legitimate business reasons and have the right to reside in one of these countries, can also enter the country, but will need to undergo the same two tests and quarantine: the U.S., China, Russia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Turkey, the Ukraine, Singapore, Bahrain and the UAE.
Iceland—visitors banned from high risk countries
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.
For the unvaccinated, people arriving from low-risk countries can visit the country with a negative Covid-19 test result, taken no longer than 72 hours before the journey and quarantine is still required for up to five days and then take another test, as reported by The New York Times. Children and vaccinated passengers will still be asked to test upon arrival.
Ireland—will reopen borders on 19 July to U.S., U.K. and EU
The Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, announced that Irish borders will be open for international travel from 19 July using the EU Digital Covid Certificate and bars and restaurants will be able to serve outdoors by 5 July, as reported by The Guardian. 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.
Ireland is currently using the ECDC’s traffic light map of travel restrictions, meaning it adheres to the same guidelines as most other EU countries. 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. 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.
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar expressed concern about the Delta (Indian) variant of Covid-19 circulating in the U.K. and said that Ireland would keep its 14-day quarantine in place for British holidaymakers until then. “It’s now the dominant variant in Britain – over 50% of cases appear to be this B1617 variant. That’s something we’re concerned about, and, for that reason, we’re not in a position to restore the Common Travel Area just yet,” Varadkar said.
Ireland has been the 66th most affected country worldwide with Covid-19.
Italy—open to U.S. and other third-party countries
Fresh on its success in the Eurovision Song Contest, amongst packed crowds of tested partygoers, Italy is continuing its relaxation of travel restrictions. Several regions in Italy were downgraded from yellow to white (the lowest level) on 31 May. This means that the curfew can be ended and restaurants can open normally.
In May, Italy opened to U.S. travelers if they arrive on a Delta Covid-tested flight but all other Americans must still quarantine for ten days. At the same time, it abolished the need for quarantine for travelers arriving from Israel, the U.K. and Schengen/EU countries–arrivals must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test. Travelers from high-risk countries cannot visit except for essential reasons.
Latvia—still only essential travel possible
The country is still urging everyone “to refrain from travelling unless it is absolutely necessary.” However, if travel is urgent and essential, it is possible from an EU country, providing travelers meet the requirements.
In this context, 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. These conditions are in place until 9 June.
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.
Lithuania—negative tests and quarantine in place
The country has been following the ECDC traffic light map for allowing access and travel is very restricted.
Lithuania is allowing access from most 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, although people can ‘test out’ with a negative result on day seven. An updated list of countries can be found online.
Lithuania is in the top 20 for countries which have the highest new cases per 100,000 people.
Luxembourg—third party nationals restricted
Luxembourg is restricting access to third-party nationals until 30 June 2021, with the exception of the EU’s safe list countries–Australia, China, Hong Kong and Macao (subject to reciprocity at European Union level), New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.
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.
Malta—herd immunity reached
The government announced on 24 May that it was the first country in the EU to achieve herd immunity with 72% of adults vaccinated with one dose and 42% fully vaccinated.
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 29 May, 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 (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan included), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the UAE, the U.K., 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.
The Netherlands—safe countries now allowed to travel
The government is now allowing travel from a list of safe countries. Inside the EU, this includes Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Malta, Ireland, Spain (only the Balearic and Canary Islands), Greece (the North Aegean Region, the South Aegean Region and the Ionian Islands Region only), Norway (excluding Oslo and the county of Agder) and Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira).
Outside the EU, this includes Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Israel and China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and only if China lifts entry restrictions on European travellers).
There is an updated 5-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 India, South Africa and Central and South American countries.
3) travelers arriving by aircraft, ship, train or coach must have proof of a negative molecular NAAT test (PCR, RT PCR, LAMP, TMA or mPOCT) taken 72 hours before arrival. There are some exemptions, e.g. lorry drivers.
4) if you are traveling by air, you must fill in a health declaration form.
5) all travelers must quarantine for 10 days and can test out after day 5 with a negative test result.
Norway—opening borders to yellow-list countries
Norway has a yellow list of low-risk countries, from which people can now travel freely into Norway–otherwise all other travelers are currently required to enter a 10-day quarantine. This requirement does not change for vaccinated passengers.
Currently, the only countries who are on the yellow list are Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and parts of Finland. Most of the EU is still classified as red/high risk.
As of 19 April, because of the rise in new Covid-19 variants, children under the age of 12 are also required to get tested for Covid-19 at the border.
Norway’s infection rates are continuing to decline with 24 cases reported in one day in the capital Oslo, the lowest since February, as reported by The Local.
Poland—borders are open to vaccinated travelers
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.
Poland is also allowing vaccinated travelers to visit without quarantine if they are from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, and Australia.
The country is experiencing much lower infection rates–now numbering a few hundred per day compared to the 35,000 daily infections reported in March and April. Amongst its population of 38 million people, 19 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been given out.
Portugal—open to EU non-essential travel
Portugal is open for non-essential travel between other EU/Schengen area countries plus the U.K.–the policy will be reviewed on 13 June when it is hoped that U.S. and other third-party visitors with high vaccination rates might be allowed in too, as reported by Condé Nast Traveler.
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.
Romania—newly open to some countries
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, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Georgia, India, Kuweit, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Nepal, The Netherlands, Paraguay, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, and Uruguay. 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: Andorra, Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bostwana, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Guyana, Iran, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Mongolia, Oman, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sin Maarten, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, the UAE, the U.K., East Timor and Turkey.
For travelers coming from countries not mentioned on either the red or yellow list, there are no restrictions to entry as of 1 June.
Slovakia—new quarantine rule for U.S. arrivals
From Monday 31 May, Slovakia will be classifying all travelers on the traffic light system used by the ECDC, into green, orange and red countries with different travel restrictions for each. Arrivals from green countries will not need to quarantine but will still need proof of a negative Covid-19 test. Every traveler needs to register using an online form.
Green countries are: EU Member States, China, Australia, Greenland, Iceland, Israel, South Korea, Macao, Norway, and New Zealand.
Solvakia has classified 25 countries as high risk, from which travelers must immediately enter into a 14-day quarantine upon arrival into the country: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Jordan, Georgia, Canada, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Cuba, Malaysia, Mongolia, Russia, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, the U.S., Thailand, Tajikistan, Turkey, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. People can ‘test out’ after day eight of quarantine with a negative test result. There is also a list of black list countries, from which travel is not allowed under any circumstances at present.
Slovakia has recently 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—most countries still on red lists
Whilst the borders are technically open, many countries around the world are still on the red list (or the dark 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—country opens on June 7 to vaccinated people
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Friday 28 May, as reported by AP, that Spain will let U.K. and Japanese visitors enter from 31 May if they have been vaccinated. Other vaccinated tourists will be allowed entry from the U.S. and elsewhere on 7 June provided they have used one of the vaccines currently approved by the EMA (European Medicine Agency).
Everyone, vaccinated or not, will still have to submit proof of a negative Covid-19 test result upon arrival–children can travel with vaccinated parents but still need to present a negative test result.
Following the announcement, both United and American airlines announced plans to increase the number of direct flights to Spain from the U.S. from June onwards.
Sweden—travel ban to 31 August for non-EU residents
Sweden extended a ban on all non-essential travel from outside the EU/EEA area until August 31, as reported by The Local.
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 from 31 May to 30 June.
However, from 31 May, travel restrictions have 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.
Minister for the Interior Mikael Damberg told a news conference that “we have decided to go ahead with the Nordics first, it’s a priority for us,” as reported in The Telegraph.
Switzerland—vaccinated can avoid quarantine soon
Due to a combination of ‘seasonality’–the fact that more people are spending time outdoors in the warmer weather, and the speed at which second doses are being administered (the fastest across the EU/Schengen area in giving second doses), rates are coming down and Switzerland is planning for summer openings. The country will hold pilot openings of venues from 1 June with plans to be fully reopen by mid-August.
The country plans to abolish travel restrictions for fully-vaccinated travelers and those who have had Covid-19, for the next six months, but not for travelers coming from countries which are still considered high risk.
Travelers from EU and Schengen area countries are allowed to enter Switzerland but quarantine will still be required if one of these countries are currently on Switzerland’s high-risk list (updated every two weeks). Restriction is still prohibited from third-party countries outside the EU except a handful of ‘safe’ countries. Everyone arriving needs to present a negative Covid-19 test (antigen or PCR) and fill in a questionnaire which will guide people on measures to take.
U.K.–travel allowed between 12 countries
Since 17 May, people are allowed to travel for non-essential reasons between the U.K. and 12 other countries–the next update is due on 7 June, when the list is expected to be widened to include some European islands in places like Greece and Italy, but the mainland countries are not expected to be included. The Telegraph believes Malta and Ibiza will make the cut.
People can travel to and from green list 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. on 17 May. The rise of the Delta (Indian) variant of Covid-19 is a cause for concern in many countries–France and Germany have placed U.K. arrivals back into quarantine upon arrival and U.K. government advisors on Covid-19 are suggesting that the country should stay under restrictions a few more weeks longer than planned to negate the arrival of a new wave of infections.