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EU COVID Travel Restrictions: Are There Any Left?

With the improvement of the overall COVID-19 situation as well as with the increase in vaccination rates, almost all European Union/European Economic Area countries decided to drop all of their entry rules and permit restriction-free entry for all travellers.

Nonetheless, there are still three countries that continue to require travelers to meet entry rules, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The list of the European Union and European Economic Area countries that have dropped all of their Coronavirus entry rules and permit entry to all travelers regardless of their country of origin and their vaccination status is as follows:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • croatian
  • Cyprus
  • denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • latvia
  • Lithuanian
  • malt
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romanian
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenian
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

All travelers can enter the countries mentioned above even if they do not hold a vaccination, recovery, or test certificate.

While these 26 EU/EEA countries no longer have any entry rules in place, France, the Netherlands, and Spain still continue to require some categories of travelers to meet COVID entry rules.

Below you may find the entry rules that each of these three countries currently applies.

France

©Pixattitude | dreamtime.com

France continues to apply COVID-related entry rules to all travelers despite the increasing travel demand.

Currently, France has different entry rules depending on the country of origin a person is traveling from.

Travelers who reach France from a country placed on the green list are permitted restriction-free entry as long as they present a vaccination certificate.

On the other hand, those who are unable to present such a vaccination certificate must show a negative test result or a recovery certificate in order to be permitted entry.

“Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative result of a PCR test less than 72 hours or an antigen test less than 48 hours before departure, or a certificate of recovery (a positive result of a PCR or antigen test carried out more than eleven days and less than six months previously),” the Ministry states.

Similar rules apply to travelers reaching France for a country that is placed on the orange list. Fully vaccinated travelers as well as those who have recovered from the virus, can enter France without having to meet any additional rules.

In contrast, travelers who have not been vaccinated or recovered from the virus must hold a negative test result in addition to a compelling reason justifying the need to enter the territory of France.

“If you are not vaccinated: you must have a sworn statement attesting to the absence of symptoms of covid-19 infection and contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 to enter the metropolitan territory and your commitment to accept a possible screening on arrival, ” the Ministry added.

The requirement to present one of the above-mentioned documents applies only to persons over the age of 12.

netherlands

Amsterdam summer sunrise, Netherlands
© Dennis Van DeWater | dreamtime.com

While France applies entry rules to all travellers, regardless of their country of origin, the Netherlands keeps COVID entry restrictions in place only for travelers from third countries.

The Dutch authorities explain that the country currently has an entry ban in place for all those traveling from a country outside the EU/Schengen Area.

“An entry ban is in effect for people from countries outside the EU/Schengen Area. There are exemptions to the entry ban. For example, if you come from a safe country, or you have a proof of vaccination or proof of recovery that meets the requirements,” the statement of the Dutch authorities reads.

This means that non-EU travelers must present a vaccination or a recovery certificate in order to be allowed entry to the Netherlands. All travelers who do not hold any of these two certificates are currently banned, meaning that they are not permitted entry to the Netherlands.

Conversely, EU/EEA travelers can enter the Netherlands restriction-free even if they do not hold any of the certificates.

Spain

Barcelona - Park Guell, Spain
© Tomas1111 | dreamtime.com

Even though Spain lifted all of its COVID entry rules for travelers from the EU/Schengen Area, the country still continues to require those from third countries to meet certain entry rules.

According to the Ministry of Health of Spain, all travelers over the age of 12 arriving from non-EU countries must show a vaccination, recovery, or test certificate upon their arrival.

Travelers who are able to present one of these passes are permitted entry to Spain for all kinds of purposes.

“Passengers (except for children under the age of 12 and those in international transit) arriving from countries that do NOT belong to the European Union or are NOT considered Schengen associated countries must show an EU Digital COVID Certificate or EU equivalent or the SpTH QR, in order to pass the health controls on arrival in Spain,” the Ministry states.

On the other hand, travelers who do not hold an EU Digital Certificate or another EU equivalent document must follow additional rules. The authorities emphasize that this group of travelers needs to fill out the Health Control Form.

“Who has to fill out the Health Control Form? Persons arriving from countries that are NOT members of the European Union or do NOT have the status of Schengen associated countries, who do not have an EU Digital COVID Certificate or EU equivalent,” the Ministry added.

Just like the other countries, Spain also applies validity rules on vaccination, recovery, or test certificates. A vaccination certificate is considered valid as long as it proves that the holder has completed vaccination with two vaccine doses in the last nine months or has received a first or second booster shot.

On the other hand, a recovery certificate remains valid only for six months, meaning that the document must prove that the holder recovered from the virus within the last 180 days.

As for negative tests, Spain accepts PCR and rapid antigen tests. The PCR test must be taken within 72 hours before arrival, whereas the rapid antigen test must be taken within 24 hours before arrival.

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