Travel to Europe: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country

France Eases Coronavirus Lockdown
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Europe was one of the regions hardest hit by the novel coronavirus at the beginning of the pandemic, but after strict lockdowns, many countries saw steep declines in death and infection rates in the summer of 2020. However, many European countries struggled to bring down the second wave in December, which was followed by a third wave in March 2021.

Many countries are now allowing Americans to enter on the condition they can show proof of vaccination. Some will also accept a negative test result from a non-vaccinated traveler, and others are still keeping borders closed regardless of vaccination status. Every European country is handling the crisis differently, so read on to learn the latest travel requirements and lockdown conditions in each.

Austria

U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Austria as long as they can show proof of vaccination or a certificate of recovery confirming that the traveler has recovered from COVID-19 in the past few months. This could be in the form of a positive test result from months prior or a positive antibody test. Alternatively, travelers can present a negative test result taken within 72 hours of arriving. In this case, the traveler must agree to a 10-day quarantine.

The Baltics

U.S. citizens are not allowed to enter any of the Baltic nations of Estonia or Latvia, but they can enter Lithuania if they are fully vaccinated. In all three countries, vaccinated travelers allowed to enter do not have to quarantine.

Belgium

The Belgium government has banned all leisure travel to and from Belgium, with few exceptions. Anyone allowed to travel will also be required to fill out a Public Health Passenger Locator Form. Belgium's government introduced a new requirement for all travelers arriving from a red zone to be PCR tested on their first and seventh day in Belgium and to quarantine until the second test returns negative. Travelers from India, the UK, South Africa, and South America must quarantine for 10 days with the option to test out on the seventh day.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria is allowing citizens of the European countries to enter in addition to 10 countries on the EU's list, plus the United Arab Emirates and Israel. Proof of vaccination, antibodies, or a negative PCR test will be necessary for entry. U.S. citizens are not allowed to enter Bulgaria unless they qualify for an exception.

Croatia

Tourists are once again allowed to enter Croatia, but they will need proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of entering. Tourists must show proof of paid accommodation upon entry, but it's not necessary to quarantine.

Czech Republic

In late January, the Czech Republic closed its borders to all foreign citizens, except for those traveling for essential purposes. Anybody who has spent more than 12 hours in the UK within 14 days prior to entering the Czech Republic must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. U.S. citizens are not permitted to enter the Czech Republic for tourism.

Denmark

U.S. citizens are only allowed to enter Denmark if they are fully vaccinated or if they are not vaccinated and qualify for "a worthy purpose," which could mean anything from having a job interview or business meeting in Denmark. If a traveler qualifies for one of these exceptions, they will be required to show a negative test taken within 48 hours before arriving, get tested again upon arrival, isolate for 10 days.

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Finland

Finland has prohibited all entry of non-resident foreigners, with a few exceptions, and requires a 10-day quarantine for anyone eligible to enter if their origin country has infection rates above 25 per 100,000 people, travelers will have to get tested before leaving and upon arrival in Finland. Travelers from the UK will need to isolate for 14 days, but this can be shortened if they produce two negative tests during the quarantine. U.S. citizens are not allowed to enter Finland unless they qualify for an exception.

France

U.S. citizens with proof of vaccination are allowed to enter, but they will also need to show a negative test. Travel from the UK for any reason is allowed, as long as the traveler provides a negative PCR test and isolates for seven days. They must also sign a sworn statement that they are not experiencing symptoms and have not been in contact with anyone with a confirmed case.

Germany

Germany is in a lockdown that prevents, overnight stays for tourists will not be allowed and travelers arriving from any high-risk area will be required to quarantine for 10 or 14 days, depending on if you arrive from a "virus variant area." Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to show a test or quarantine unless they are arriving from a virus variant area. U.S. citizens are not allowed to enter Germany at this time unless they qualify for an exception.

Greece

Greece has opened its doors to U.S. citizens in addition to citizens and residents of the EU, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates. All travelers must show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, but do not have to quarantine.

All international travelers are subject to random testing upon arrival in Greece. If you are selected for random testing, you must quarantine at your destination for 24 hours or until you received a negative test result.

Hungary

Most foreigners are banned from entering Hungary, but hotels are allowed to accept tourists who can show proof of immunization. In general, U.S. citizens are barred from entering, but some exceptions may be granted. Those travelers will still need to self-quarantine for 10 days.

Iceland

U.S. citizens who can prove they have been fully vaccinated or already contracted and recovered from COVID-19, with an antibody test conducted in Europe, will be allowed to skip quarantine and testing procedures. Unless they have been fully vaccinated, British citizens are not allowed to enter Iceland for non-essential reasons and all travelers, regardless of nationality, coming from the UK must self-isolate on arrival without the option to test out.

Ireland

All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, entering Ireland will need a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure and quarantine for 14 days. If you're arriving from Northern Ireland, the mandatory quarantine does not apply. Anyone who arrives without a test may be subject to a large fine.

Travelers from some high-risk countries, including the U.S., will have to quarantine upon arrival in Ireland's hotel quarantine system. Proof of vaccination only exempts you from the hotel quarantine and you will need to complete 14 days of isolation at a location of your choice. Ireland plans to open to vaccinated travelers on July 19.

Italy

A negative test taken within 72 hours will be required to fly to Italy and travelers must submit to another test upon arrival. All travelers must self-isolate for 10 days and take another test at the end of the fifth day of isolation. U.S. citizens are now allowed to enter Italy with proof of vaccination and negative test taken within 48 hours. They will have to self-isolate regardless of vaccination status.

The Netherlands

All travelers who are allowed to enter the Netherlands will need a negative PCR test taken with 72 hours and must also present a negative rapid test taken within 24 hours of arrival. Anyone entering the Netherlands flying from the UK will also need to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status. U.S. citizens are not allowed to enter the Netherlands.

Norway

Norway has closed its borders to all non-essential travel from any country. Anyone traveling to Norway will be required to quarantine for 10 days, except for some European countries and regions that have been deemed low-risk. All travelers must be tested upon arrival and those coming from high-risk countries must also show a negative test before departing for Norway. For travelers arriving from the UK, South Africa, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, and Brazil, the test must be a PCR test. Norway is still closed to travelers outside of Europe, including U.S. citizens.

Poland

Poland restricts entry of all foreign nationals except for citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, and Australia. U.S. citizens may be allowed to enter if they qualify for an exception, but they will need a test taken within 48 hours or will be required to self-quarantine for 10 days. Vaccinated travelers will also be exempt from quarantine if they have been vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in the European Union.

Portugal Impacted By Coronavirus
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Portugal

Travelers allowed to enter Portugal will be required to show a test taken within 72 hours. Only essential travel is allowed from countries with more than 500 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and travelers from these countries must supply a negative test and quarantine for 14 days. Anyone traveling to Madeira or the Azores must show proof of vaccination or immunity. U.S. citizens are not allowed to travel directly to Portugal from the United States, but they will be allowed to enter if they arrive from an approved EU member state or an epidemiologically safe country that they are a resident of.

Romania

Romania reopened for tourism for EU and Schengen Area countries in July but still restricts entry from high-risk countries like the U.S. Travelers may be exempted from any quarantine requirements if they have been fully vaccinated.

Russia

Russia has kept its borders closed to all non-Russian citizens, except for those who are traveling to Russia for medical treatment or to care for a relative. Only travelers that have a valid Russian visa or can demonstrate citizenship are allowed to enter. Everyone traveling to Russia will be required to present a negative PCR test taken within the previous three days of their arrival with no requirement to quarantine.

Serbia

After reopening for tourism in June with few limitations, the Serbian government introduced new restrictions in the fall requiring all foreigners, including U.S. citizens, arriving in Serbia to show a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours of arrival, but there's no need to quarantine. Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to show a negative test.

Spain

Vaccinated U.S. citizens can now enter Spain without showing a negative test. All travelers coming from approved countries are asked to complete a health control form online, which will give them the QR code they will need to show upon entry in Spain in addition to undergoing a health check.

Sweden

Despite Sweden's controversial decision to stay open at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the government has now banned non-essential travel from visitors outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Any exempt traveler must provide a negative test taken within 48 hours before flying into Sweden.

Switzerland

Anyone traveling from a high-risk country will be refused entry, but borders are open to citizens and residents of Schengen Area countries, plus the epidemiologically approved third countries. All travelers arriving by air will need a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. Switzerland will require travelers from the UK to produce a negative test result and complete an online contact tracing form in addition to 10 days of self-isolation, regardless of the traveler's vaccination status or nationality. U.S. citizens may be allowed to enter Switzerland if they are traveling for essential purposes, without needing to quarantine. The Swiss government plans to lift restrictions on U.S. travelers by the end of June.

Turkey

Turkey has reopened its borders to travelers from many countries, including the U.S. All passengers traveling to Turkey will undergo a health exam upon arrival and must provide a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departure. U.S. citizens will need to show a negative test to enter unless they can show proof of vaccination or other proof of immunization.

Anyone who has visited a high-risk country like Brazil, India, or South Africa within 14 days before entering Turkey will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Foreign tourists are exempt from curfews and do not need travel permits.

Ukraine

U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Ukraine if they can show proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours, plus proof of health insurance. Travelers are not required to quarantine.

United Kingdom

Each country within the United Kingdom—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—is operating independently to mitigate the spread of the virus and have different guidelines in place to manage the reopening. Upon the discovery of a more contagious strain of the virus circulating in the UK, more areas have moved into the highest tier of restrictions and anyone living in a fourth tier region will not be allowed to travel abroad unless they qualify for one of the government's limited exceptions On its website, the BBC offers a tool to look up the latest COVID-19 restrictions by city.

Anyone entering the UK from a red list country will need to quarantine in a government-run hotel for 10 days, which must be pre-booked before they travel. They will need two negative tests before they can be released and must sign the travel declaration form. Everyone else, unless they are traveling from Ireland, must self-isolate at home and will be required to test negative twice before being allowed to leave quarantine. Before flying, everyone will need one negative test.

U.S. citizens may be eligible to travel to the UK so long as they fill out the Passenger Locator Form, get tested, and commit to self-isolating for 10 days.

Article Sources
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