Although the epidemiological situation remains alarming across the continent, many countries of the European Union and the Schengen area have already relaxed some of the COVID-19 restrictions.
With its latest update, which was published today, on February 10, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed that all EU/Schengen area countries have recorded increasing infection rates over the past two weeks.
For this reason, all countries are currently classified as dark red, TheSchengen.com reports.
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that among all EU/Schengen area countries, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland have the highest infection rates.
France has recorded 1,441,292 new cases of COVID-19 in the past seven days. During the same period, Italy recorded 649,345 new cases, Germany recorded 1,335,034 new cases, Spain recorded 297,166 new cases, the Netherlands recorded 824,304 new cases, and Poland recorded 277,464 new cases.
With these numbers in mind, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) has advised that unvaccinated and unwell travelers avoid taking non-essential trips because the risk of contracting the virus is higher.
Travelers who have been fully vaccinated and recovered are strongly not advised not to travel. However, it is advised to follow basic hygiene procedures.
Although the continent is currently dealing with increasing infection rates, many EU/Schengen area countries have already lifted some COVID-19 restrictions, making travel easier and more convenient.
Denmark was the first country to lift all of its domestic restrictions related to the coronavirus. Since the beginning of this month, travelers, as well as citizens of Denmark, have been able to enter restaurants, bars and other indoor venues without having to present a valid vaccination or recovery certificate. The state has also abolished the requirement to wear face masks.
Sweden has also ended all of its restrictions related to the coronavirus. Since February 9, travelers from the EU/Schengen area have been able to enter Sweden without having to submit a COVID-19 test before departure or after arrival. However, the decision does not affect travelers from third countries.
Apart from the two countries mentioned above, Greece has also made changes to its entry rules. Travelers with a valid EU COVID certificate are no longer required to submit a pre-arrival test when entering Greece.
>> Greece clarifies new travel rules amid COVID-19
Similar to Greece, Portugal has also scrapped testing requirements, while France and Switzerland will soon announce relaxed new rules.