As the situation of COVID-19 within the European continent begins to deteriorate, many EU/Schengen area countries have decided to review their entry rules, especially for non-immunized and non-exempt travelers as well as for third-country nationals.
Spain continues to adhere to strict rules
Spain currently imposes strict entry restrictions on most EU/Schengen area countries listed as high risk. Spanish authorities have announced that all those planning to arrive in the country are required to have a COVID-19 digital certificate from the European Union.
This means that travelers with a valid vaccination certificate indicating that its holder has been fully immunized against the virus with one of the recognized vaccines and that those with a certificate of recovery can enter Spain without having to follow quarantine and testing rules.
On the other hand, non-vaccinated and non-exempt travelers must undergo testing in order to be allowed into the country. In addition, everyone, regardless of vaccination and recovery status, is required to fill out an entry form.
Excluding travelers from the European Union, Spain also allows entry to several third countries on its list of epidemiologically safe third countries, under the same restrictions, provided they present a document equivalent to an EU COVID-19 card.
>>Spain extends ban on entry for arrivals from third countries until end of November
Norway and Sweden extend entry bans
Shortly after Norway decided to relax entry rules, its authorities announced that entry restrictions in the country would be extended until further notice. In line with the new update, travelers arriving in Norway from red, dark red, purple and gray need to follow self-isolation rules.
In addition, travelers are required to register online and take a PCR test upon arrival.
Children under the age of 18 are exempt from the quarantine requirements, but they still need to be tested once they enter Norway.
The above requirements apply only to unvaccinated and recovered travelers, which means those who have been vaccinated or have fully recovered do not need to follow quarantine or testing rules.
Regarding travelers from outside the European Union, Norway has proposed a bill to extend entry restrictions until May 2022.
As for Sweden, the country’s government has decided to extend its ban on arrivals from EU/EEA countries for another month until November 30.
The extension of the ban means that all European travelers must present a digital EU COVID-19 certificate or other equivalent document indicating that they have been immunized, recovered or tested negative in order to be allowed to enter Sweden.
People from other Nordic countries, such as Norway, Denmark, Finland or Iceland, are not affected by these entry rules.
In addition, Sweden also maintains a ban on entry for arrivals from third countries. The ban was scheduled to remain in force until October 31, but after taking into account the current epidemiological situation, it was extended until January 31, 2022.
Denmark removes dual test requirements
Unlike the countries mentioned above, Denmark has eased its entry rules for travelers from the European Union. As part of the new agreement on simplifying and normalizing COVID-19 travel rules, Danish authorities have revealed that non-immunized and non-exempt EU travelers now have to submit only one COVID-19 test result, prior to departure or within 24 hours prior to arrival.
On the other hand, permanent residents of the EU/Schengen area who can present a valid vaccination or refund certificate through an EU COVID-19 digital certificate or any other equivalent platform can enter Denmark without undergoing testing or quarantine requirements.
Similar rules for entering France
Similar to other countries, France allows entry to all EU citizens with a EU Digital COVID-19 certificate. Those who cannot present a certificate are required to take the test within 72 hours prior to arrival.
For third-country nationals, entry rules depend on the country of departure and vaccination status. In most cases, those who have recovered or have been vaccinated with an acceptable dose of vaccine can enter France without being subject to additional restrictions. In contrast, third-country nationals who are unvaccinated and non-exempt are subject to pre-departure testing and self-isolation measures.
Regardless of the entry rules, all those planning to travel to France should keep in mind that the country currently requires everyone to provide a health permit in order to be able to access certain places, including cafes, restaurants and museums, among other things. The pass is expected to be extended until July 2022.
Czech and Estonia impose testing and quarantine rules on unvaccinated/unrecovered EU citizens
Since November 1, entry rules for non-immunized and non-exempt EU citizens traveling to the Czech Republic have been tightened as more than half of EU member states have been added to the unsafe travel list.
While fully vaccinated and previously infected travelers are eligible to enter the country without restrictions, unvaccinated, non-exempt travelers from red and dark red countries must register before entering Czech Republic and undergo PCR or antigen testing prior to arrival.
In addition, they are also required to take a second test no later than the fifth day of arrival and no later than the fourteenth day.
Similarly, the Estonian authorities revealed that stricter rules will be applied against travelers from the 18 EU countries that were recently added to the red list.
Unvaccinated and non-exempt travelers arriving in Estonia from several EU countries, including Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Greece, among others, must follow testing and quarantine requirements.
In order to facilitate travel within the block and allow free movement of those who have already been vaccinated, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) previously proposed abolishing the traffic light system. The agency suggested that member states base their entry rules on vaccination status rather than on the country a person is traveling from.
>> The COVID-19 situation in Europe is worsening just as the majority of countries are relaxing entry rules, European Center for Disease Control and Prevention reveals