The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed in its latest update that the COVID-19 situation has begun to improve.
Maps updated yesterday, on March 17, reveal that several EU/Schengen area countries – Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania and Malta – had lower infection rates compared to previous weeks.
According to the ECDC’s 14-day notification rate per 100,000 population likely to have uptake of the vaccine, the above countries have significantly lower numbers of cases than the countries currently classified as dark red.
After taking into account the low infection rates, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention decided to include all these eight countries in the red category. In addition, some specific areas have been colored orange, TheSchengen.com reports.
As the COVID-19 situation is improving in the majority of EU/Schengen area countries, most of them have already decided to relax their entry rules for incoming travelers. In addition, it has also relaxed its domestic restrictions.
Of all the countries listed above, Romania and Hungary apply the most relaxed procedures.
Romania currently applies some less strict entry rules. The country has already lifted all of its coronavirus-related restrictions. The Romanian Ministry of the Interior clarified that travelers are no longer required to provide vaccination, recovery or a valid test certificate.
On top of that, Romania has lifted local measures as well, meaning travelers do not need to wear a face mask, fill out a passenger locator form, or meet any other additional rules.
>> Romania removes passenger locator form requirements for travelers
Likewise, Hungary has also lifted all of its entry rules. Everyone can now enter Hungary without being required to present any of the passes that are part of the EU Digital COVID-19 Pass or other equivalent document.
The Hungarian authorities have noted that the only requirement that currently applies to arriving travelers is to carry a valid travel document, such as a passport or visa if necessary.
>> Hungary removes all COVID-19 entry requirements
Differently from Romania and Hungary, the other countries on the red list – Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Luxembourg, Poland and Malta – continue to maintain some of their restrictions.
In general, travelers arriving in these countries need to provide valid proof of vaccination or recovery. In some cases, negative COVID-19 tests are also accepted.