Europe is opening for summer travel, but only for some, and only in some places. Travelers from outside of the EU, UK, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein, must look on for the time being, as news trickles in of a wider reopening to international visitors in the next week.
For now, travel within Europe is mostly restricted to travelers coming from EU member states, Schengen Area countries and the UK. Here’s the latest on each country’s current border status, and what future plans may bring. There are lots of options open, and many without any quarantine requirements on arrival.
Travel within Europe is indeed beginning to open again, and many internal border checks between neighboring states will soon be all but gone, and air routes resumed.
The news is caveated by a series of exceptions, which will see some travelers from hard hit countries, including the UK, being subject to additional scrutiny in many countries, and in some circumstances, barred from others.
For travelers hoping to enter the European Union from further abroad, such as the Americas or Asia, much remains to be seen but July 1st remains the expected date for entry into many EU nations largely dependent on tourism. News from EU ministers suggest the United States will be excluded from summer travel to Europe, but exceptions may exist with certain countries.
International Visitors: Bad News for Americans
American are officially being left out of visitor plans, as Europe reopens to international visitors from July 1st. The situation will be updated every two weeks, but initially, the only countries eligible to enter the EU from outside will include: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
Here’s a country by country list (below) on what the current, and planned state of reopening involves for major European travel hubs…
Austria dropped the requirement to produce a recent negative covid-19 test result, or be subject to one on arrival on June 16th, at least for most European countries inside the Schengen Zone. If you’re coming from one of these areas, you can enter without restriction.
The news is also bracketed by continuing the recent negative covid-19 test requirements for arrivals, or buying one on arrival, for those from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain and Portugal, with no date specified for when said testing requirement will be dropped for these areas.
Austria has a fantastic resource for checking up to date information, as it appears.
Belgium has reopened to EU, UK, Icelandic and Norwegian travelers. The country has no requirement to quarantine or provide negative test results at the moment. No specific time for which arrivals outside of the EU has been noted.
Belgium also offers a regularly updated page with information on entry requirements.
Bulgaria is open to UK, EU and visitors from San Marino, Andorra, The Vatican, North Macedonia and Monaco, and has been since June 1st, 2020. Travelers originating from Belgium, Portugal, UK or Sweden must isolate for 14 days, though the conditions are vague.
No date has been specified for when arrivals outside of the EU will be eligible for entry, but as a fantastic and under appreciated destination within Europe, it’s a top pick for summer getaways.
Croatia is open to most EU travelers without any conditions of quarantine or testing. EU and UK travelers may enter and flights have largely resumed. The country has initiated a 14 day quarantine only for those coming from Serbia, North Macedonia, Kosovo or Bosnia. Anyone else can come and enjoy Croatia right away.
Cyprus is opening in phases, with many key European and regional tourism markets excluded entirely.
Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland are all eligible for entry, but Spain, France and Italy are still not allowed in at all. Travelers from Israel, Poland or Romania are also allowed in, but only with a recent health certificate, taken within 72 hours.
The Czech Republic has a new resource for visitors hoping to take in the delights of Prague or any other areas this summer, which breaks them into groups of green, yellow or red. Travelers from “green” areas can enter without any stipulations, whereas those from “yellow” must present a recent health certificate and red means no go.
As of right now: France, Italy and Spain are yellow, the UK and Sweden are red, and a list of green countries with no entry restrictions can be found on the Czech Tourism website.
Denmark is taking a cautious approach to reopening, with visitors mostly exempted until further notice, through summer. On June 15th, visitors will be welcomed from Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Don’t make any near term plans if you’re not a permanent resident of these areas.
Finland, for all intensive purposes is closed – unless you’re traveling from Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania or Norway.
For everyone else, you’ll need to be on business with a specific work permit, though plans exist to open up to most low risk countries in Europe, including Austria, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Cyprus, Ireland, Croatia and Italy from mid July.
France is open to tourists from other EU countries and has been since June 15th, with a few caveats. The country notes that travelers from the UK or Spain will be ‘asked’ to voluntarily quarantine, until restrictions against French visitors to either country are dropped. For everyone else coming from Europe, including the Vatican, San Marino, Andorra, Lichtenstein, Norway and Monaco, there’s no need to quarantine.
With cafes, restaurants and most things open, it could be a great time to visit.
France has pointed to outside travel for those from beyond Europe, possibly being allowed from July onward, but remarks from President Macron suggest the timeline could be as late as September for some countries outside the EU.
Germany is mostly open for travel once again. Leisure travel is now allowed ifor travelers originating from within the European Union, UK, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein. Germany advises its citizens not to travel outside of the EU until at least August 31st.
Given recent statements, it’s unlikely that Americans will be let in to Germany before the end of 2020.
Greece opens to most of Europe June 15th, but initial testing and quarantine limit the initial appeal. From July 1st however, the country will enter full phased tourism, with dropped quarantine requirements and access even for those beyond the EU.
You can read up on all the latest details, including which countries outside the EU will be eligible here.
Austrian, Czech, Slovakian and Slovenian travelers are welcome to enter Hungary, but unless for the purpose of business, few others are. Exceptions for business are currently granted for Japanese, Korean, German and Polish business travelers, so long as they arrive from their home country. Croatian’s are now also allowed for tourism purposes, but the rest of Europe currently remains excluded. Expect this to change on June 15th.
IATA’s interactive guide offers the most up to date information.
Iceland opens June 15th for European and UK travelers, and will provide complimentary testing for at least the first month. All visitors will be subjected to a covid-19 test on arrival, but will be allowed to proceed to their hotel or place of residence, after downloading a mandatory app.
For travel after July 1st, a 15000 ISK covid-19 test fee will apply, which is about $100.
If test results come back positive, a mandatory quarantine will be enforced, but if not, it’s holidaying as usual. Here’s more info on the plans. US visitors and others are expected to be allowed from July 1st.
Ireland, much like the UK, does not have specific requirements banning certain nationalities from visiting at the moment. It does however mandate a 14 day quarantine for all arrivals with the exception of Northern Ireland.
Expect new news on changes to quarantine plans in the next week, as Europe continues talks of wider border openings and also those within Europe.
Italy has relaxed requirements for entry, with a variety of countries already welcome to visit once again, even for non essential travel. Travel from within Europe, including the UK, Sweden and Norway is already permitted.
Arrivals from Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are presently welcome, regardless of what passport they hold.
With European announcements for external borders expected in the coming days, expect that group to expand from June 15th, and potentially to include Americans and those from further afield from July 1st.
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are employing virtually identical border policies, which allow for travel from EEA member states, including: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain or Switzerland.
For Lithuania and Latvia, Arrivals from Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK are also allowed, but are forced to quarantine for 14 days, until further notice, but Estonia does not require quarantine.
Malta will reopen to select European countries and Israel from July 1st, with initial travelers welcomed from: Austria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg.
The Netherlands has an excellent web resource for keeping up to date on border plans, and plans to welcome travelers from European Union member states, the UK and Switzerland from July 1st without needing a reason. Technically, advice allows travelers from these areas to enter now, but the country requests essential travel only until July 1st.
For travelers coming from outside of Europe, there’s no time table as of yet.
IATA currently lists visitors arriving from the following countries eligible for entry: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Norway is taking an extremely cautious approach to travel from abroad, even within the European Union. At present, only those traveling from Denmark, Iceland or Finland may visit. Those hoping to visit from other parts of the EU aren’t allowed until at least July 20th, pending further consideration based on the current state of the virus.
If you’re coming from further abroad, this is likely a “no”, for now and the near future.
Portugal currently has few restrictions against travel, and even American are still currently technically able to enter from June 15th onward. During talks of Europe extending border closures, more fractured sentiment was expressed, stating that not all countries would delay the arrival of those outside of the EU beyond June 15th, only some.
The UK has excluded Portugal from a draft list of quarantine free countries, where returning visitors would not have to isolate, which further complicates summer holidays between these crucial links.
Poland opened to visitors traveling from Europe on June 13th, with no major entry restrictions. From June 16th, the country also welcomed international arrivals, though it’s unclear which international destinations outside of Europe will initially be served.
Another good news! #Slovakia opened its borders to 16 more countries. Visitors arriving from these areas will not be required to undergo quarantine nor take the COVID-19 test. Feel free to come again. pic.twitter.com/gd1S407o4R
— Slovakia Travel (@SlovakTB) June 11, 2020
Slovakia has opened to European visitors from 16 countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Lichtenstein, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia and Switzerland and is actively encouraging people to visit with specific mention of no quarantine or covid-19 testing requirements.
Slovenia has been on a chart topping rise in popularity, thanks to swoon worthy areas like Lake Bled. The country has mostly reopened its borders, and has an excellent resource on keeping up to date with who’s allowed in term and condition free, and which travelers must self quarantine for 14 days.
You can access the Slovenian resource for covid-19 related entry here.
Spain is open for European travel, with the exception of Portugal. All other European Union, Schengen Area and UK visitors are welcomed without quarantine, which means summer holidays are on. The country notes health checks may be done at the border, but there’s no quarantine requirement.
Details still remain to be seen on exactly who outside of Europe will be invited – aka Americans or not – and what steps will be required, but everything that’s known currently can be found here in this resource.
Sweden is still accepting visitors from the UK, European Union and Switzerland, but non-essential travel from other areas is off the table until June 15th, at the earliest. Expect an announcement in the coming days as to whether outside countries will be welcome from July 1st, or a later date. If you’re coming from inside the EU however, you’re good to travel, whenever you like…
Switzerland is already open to all visitors arriving from the EU, UK, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein, in a move which took place on June 15th, 2020. Switzerland has a helpful FAQ about exceptions and other considerations for entry. There’s no plan for a quarantine, or any other entry restrictions at this point.
Turkey has reopened to travelers as of June 12th, with the exception of the land border with Iran. This is great news for anyone hoping to soak up some culture (and sun) this summer. Health screenings may be conducted on arrival, but it’s great news indeed.
The UK is currently imposing a 14 day quarantine on all visitors, but at present there’s no restriction on who can visit, including US visitors. Plans to relax quarantine rules are in place, with a green, yellow, red system where travelers returning from countries in green or yellow would not need to quarantine, whereas those coming from red countries would.
Countries without plans or significant tourism have been omitted. We’ll update this page as information flows.