With the summer over and the higher tourist season now over for many countries, in particular, for those with popular beaches, the authorities of many countries brought back stricter entry restrictions in September, also after increasing cases throughout the summer.
The coronavirus situation in most countries of the European Union and the Schengen area has improved slightly compared to August. While most EU countries imposed stricter entry restrictions in September, these restrictions are expected to be eased soon, just in time for Christmas.
October found that many of these countries have strict entry restrictions. However, others, such as Norway, are finally starting to reopen their travel doors.
Next, we presented the major changes to entry restrictions that occurred at the beginning of October.
Germany’s list of high-risk areas expands
Germany’s list of countries and regions considered affected by the coronavirus pandemic has expanded, with four new countries added to the list and only one removed.
Since Sunday, October 3, Belarus, El Salvador, Lithuania and Romania have become part of the list of high-risk countries in Germany, while Mozambique has been removed from the same list.
Travelers from these four countries will have to register with einreiseanmeldung.de before their trip to Germany. They must also carry a confirmation of registration with them upon arrival at the German port of entry, as well as proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus.
They are also subject to a commitment to self-isolation until evidence of vaccination, recovery or a negative test result is submitted through the entry gate.
Norway is finally starting to reopen its doors to travel
Known as a member of the Schengen area with the strictest entry restrictions in place, Norway has finally decided to follow the lead of other European countries and reopen its borders for travel.
On September 25, TheSchengen.com reported that Norwegian authorities have decided to phase out the entry ban for travelers from other countries. The decision took effect on the same day and saw the country welcome the first travelers under the concessional entry rules after more than a year and a half.
The reopening will take place in phases, and the first phase, which began on September 25, will allow entry to travelers from the European Union, the Schengen area, the United Kingdom and countries on the purple list of Norway.
Under the facilitated entry rules, vaccinated travelers from these countries are now fully exempted from testing and quarantine requirements. Those who have not been vaccinated coming from the red zones are no longer subject to the hotel quarantine obligation. Alternatively, they can quarantine at a place of residence of their choice.
From October 6, Wednesday, the country also plans to open all border crossings.
In an effort to make travel for its citizens as well, the government has rescinded the advice not to travel abroad. Now, Norwegians are no longer encouraged to travel to other countries as long as they hold a valid COVID-19 passport and follow the restrictions and requirements to enter their destination country.
Sweden reimposes entry bans on two third countries
Swedish authorities have reinstated entry bans on non-essential travel from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova after both countries were removed from the EU Council’s list of epidemiologically safe third countries.
Those eligible to enter Sweden from these three countries remain those who fall into the categories exempt from the entry ban, including those with a Swedish residence permit, those traveling on humanitarian grounds, transporting goods, medical staff on duty, etc.
The Swedish government announced the decision on October 1, and the same order took effect the following Monday. By the same decision, the entry ban for tourists from Chile, Rwanda and Kuwait was lifted.
Vaccinated Britons can now enter Croatia without pre-departure test results
Vaccinated British citizens can now enter Croatia without having to present negative COVID-19 test results upon arrival in the country.
The decision was announced by the Croatian authorities, and the same indicated that Britons who received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks before their trip to Croatia can now enter without such a test.
However, those who have not been vaccinated remain subject to pre-departure testing requirements.
Czech Republic and Lithuania tighten entry restrictions on many EU countries
Estonians who have been traveling to the Czech Republic since last Monday are subject to stricter entry restrictions, as the country has been placed in the Czech Republic’s list of regions in dark red, where countries and territories severely affected by the spread of the coronavirus are placed. Lithuania and Slovenia are already part of this list.
At the same time, Slovakia and Luxembourg were moved to the red category, to which the same rules apply to travelers from regions with a dark red color.
According to the rules, travelers from countries in these two categories are required to fill out an arrival form before traveling to the Czech Republic to undergo an antigen test or a PCR test if they are using public transportation to travel.
The same is also obliged to take a PCR test after returning to the Czech Republic, no later than the fifth and not later than 14 days after entering the country. Until then, they must remain isolated.
The Lithuanian authorities have also tightened entry restrictions to many countries. With the new update of the listings, Poland has been moved from the green category in Lithuania to the red category. Since Monday, Poles traveling to Lithuania are required to submit pre-departure test results as well as a ten-day quarantine.
Greece extends existing entry restrictions for another week
Greece has extended existing entry restrictions on travel from third countries for another week. This means that unprotected travelers from abroad can only enter if they belong to one of the categories that are exempt from the entry ban.
Unvaccinated travelers from the following third countries remain eligible for entry for non-essential purposes: North Macedonia, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Azerbaijan, Armenia, San Marino, Andorra, Vatican, Monaco, Turkey, and Kosovo.