Schengen Visa News

March 2022: COVID-19 Travel Rules of EU/Schengen Area Countries Explained

After considering the increased vaccination rates and concluding that strict travel measures no longer have a significant role when it comes to halting the spread of the COVID-19, European Union and Schengen Area countries have decided to relax their entry rules.

While some countries decided to abolish all COVID-19 measures altogether, others decided just to impose less stringent rules, TheSchengen.com reports.

Below you may find the entry rules that each EU/Schengen Area country currently applies.

Austria
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Austria currently permits entry to the country for all persons who hold a valid vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative COVID-19 test result.

A vaccination certificate permits restriction-free entry to Austria as long as it proves that the last vaccine dose within the context of primary vaccination has been received within the last nine months or if the holder has already received a booster shot.

Recovery certificates are accepted only if the holder has tested positive with the virus within the last 180 days. As for COVID-19 tests, Austria accepts both rapid antigen and PCR tests. The rapid antigen test is valid for 48 hours, and the PCR test is valid for 72 hours.

In addition, the Austrian authorities require everyone to present one of the above-mentioned certificates in order to be permitted access to the majority of public spaces and events.

Nonetheless, such a rule remains in force only until this Saturday. Austria will lift all its domestic COVID-19 measures on March 5. This means that travellers will no longer be required to present valid proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test result when entering all types of accommodation, restaurants, cafes, cultural institutions, and leisure centres.

Belgium
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The Belgian authorities previously announced that since February 18, the country would apply entry rules based on travellers’ status rather than the country they are travelling from.

Travellers who have been fully vaccinated or recovered from the COVID-19 disease can enter Belgium without having to follow additional entry rules. All they have to do is present a valid vaccination or recovery pass.

A vaccination pass is accepted if it has been issued within the last 270 days, and a recovery pass is accepted if it has been issued within the last 180 days. Vaccination passes indicating that the holder has received a booster shot are also accepted.

In contrast, the Belgian authorities have explained that stricter rules apply to unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers.

Unvaccinated and unrecovered EU/Schengen Area and third country travellers need to take a PCR or rapid antigen before arrival in Belgium. The PCR test must be taken 72 hours before entry, and the rapid antigen test must be taken within 24 hours before entry.

Belgium has already lifted some of its national COVID-19 restrictions.

Bulgaria
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Bulgaria permits entry to all persons who have been vaccinated or recovered from the virus. However, different rules apply depending on the country of origin a person is travelling from.

Travellers who reach Bulgaria from green, orange or red-listed countries are permitted restriction-free entry only if they present one of the documents that fall under the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate (a vaccination, recovery, or test certificate) or another equivalent document containing the same data as the EU DCC.

On the other hand, travellers from a dark red zone need to present a negative COVID-19 test, too, in addition to a vaccination or recovery certificate.

Persons who fail to present one of the above-mentioned certificates are obliged to follow additional entry rules, including here the quarantine requirement.

Czech Republic
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The latest update made by the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Health shows that all EU/Schengen Area countries and other non-EU countries, with the exception of the Vatican City State, Indonesia, Colombia, Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Macao, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Peru, the United Arab Emirates, Rwanda, and Taiwan are part of the red list.

Travellers can enter Czechia without following additional entry rules if they hold a valid vaccination or recovery certificate.

Czechia accepts recovery certificates that prove that the holder tested positive with the virus within the last 180 days and vaccination certificates that indicate that the holder has received its last vaccine dose within the last 270 days.

Those who have already received an additional vaccine dose have an indefinite vaccination pass validity.

The requirement to present proof upon entry applies to everyone over the age of 12.

Croatia

The Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains that all travellers from an EU/EEA can enter Croatia for all types of purposes provided that they hold one of the valid passes that are part of the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate (a vaccination, recovery, or test certificate).

Croatia applies the same validity period to the vaccination and recovery passes as the countries mentioned above.

As for travellers from non-EU/EEA countries, the Ministry explains that they can also enter Croatia by presenting a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate. Those who do not hold an EU DCC can present another equivalent document.

Cyprus
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The Cypriot authorities have just recently updated their entry rules. They revealed that the country will now apply entry rules based on travellers’ vaccination and recovery status.

Vaccinated and recovered travellers can enter Cyprus provided that they hold an EU Digital COVID Vaccination or Recovery Certificate issued by an EU/Schengen Area country or any other third country that is already officially connected to the EU DCC.

This means that only vaccination and recovery passes issued by specific third country authorities are recognised upon arrival in Cyprus.

As for unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers, the authorities have explained that they will continue to be subject to entry rules. The entry rules that currently apply to unvaccinated/unrecovered travellers depend on the country they are travelling from.

>> Cyprus Lifts Entry Rules for Fully Vaccinated & Recovered Travellers

Denmark
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Denmark is one of the first EU countries to ease its COVID-19 restrictions. Travellers who have been fully vaccinated or recovered from the virus are permitted restriction-free entry to Denmark, even if they are travelling from a non-EU/Schengen Area country.

However, everyone should keep in mind that Denmark recognises only vaccination passes that indicate that the holder has completed the vaccination status with one of the accepted vaccine doses

>> Denmark Now Applies New Entry Rules

Apart from facilitating the entry rules, Denmark now also applies less stringent domestic COVID-19 restrictions.

Travellers are no longer obliged to wear face masks or use the Covid vaccination certificate in order to enter bars, restaurants, and other indoor venues.

>> Denmark Lifts Several COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Estonia
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Estonian authorities introduced facilitated entry rules for all EU/Schengen Area arrivals earlier in February.

Travellers from the 27-nation-bloc who provide a valid vaccination or recovery certificate are permitted to enter Estonia without being subject to additional rules.

Those who are unable to meet such a requirement must present a negative COVID-19 test that has been taken before arrival or undergo a test upon entering Estonia.

>> Estonia Removes Additional Requirements for Vaccinated EU/Schengen Arrivals

Finland
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All travellers, including non-EU nationals, can enter Finland by presenting a vaccination or recovery certificate.

However, different rules apply to unvaccinated and unrecovered persons. EU/Schengen Area travellers who do not hold a vaccination or recovery pass can enter Finland by presenting a negative COVID-19 test result.

On the other hand, unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers from third countries that are not connected to the EU DCC can not enter Finland for travel purposes if they do not hold one of the two certificates.

>> Finland: Entry Rules for EU & Third Countries’ Nationals Explained

France
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Similar to the other countries mentioned above, France permits restriction-free entry to all travellers who provide a valid vaccination or recovery certificate.

In addition, entry to France is also permitted to unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers. Travellers who have not been vaccinated/recovered from the virus and who are travelling from a green country can enter France as long as they present a negative test result.

Unvaccinated/unrecovered travellers from orange-listed countries can also enter France. Apart from presenting a negative test, they also need to provide a sworn statement attesting to the absence of COVID-19 symptoms.

France continues to keep in place domestic COVID-19 restrictions. Everyone who has been vaccinated more than four months ago needs to receive a booster shot in order to be permitted access to public and cultural spaces.

Nonetheless, the country is planning to ease the rules.

>> France to Partially Abolish COVID Vaccine Passport Requirement on March 14

Germany
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All EU/Schengen Area travellers, as well as those from a third country that is placed on Germany’s safe list, can enter the latter’s territory without having to follow additional entry rules.

All they have to do is present a valid recovery, vaccination, or test certificate.

On the other hand, different rules apply to non-EU travellers. The German authorities have explained that only fully vaccinated third country travellers can enter Germany for travel purposes.

>> Official: New Rules for Travel to Germany to Be Applied From March 3

Greece
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Greece currently permits restriction-free entry to all EU/Schengen Area travellers as well as to nationals of Australia, Canada, and the United States who present a valid vaccination, recovery, or a test certificate.

As for travellers from other countries, the Greek authorities have explained that they can only enter the country if they have been vaccinated or recovered from the virus and if they take an additional pre-entry test.

>> Travel Rules for Internationals planning to enter Greece

Hungary
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Hungary permits entry to the country to all EU/Schengen Area and third country travellers who hold a valid COVID-19 Certificate that is mutually recognised.

Those who meet the entry rules are not required to follow additional measures. On the other hand, travellers who are unable to present the required documents are not permitted entry to the country for travel purposes.

Iceland
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Iceland has already removed all its entry rules. Travellers from all over the world, regardless of their vaccination status, can enter Iceland without having to follow any COVID-19 measures.

“All COVID-19 measures at the Icelandic border have now ended. Thereby no COVID-19 prevention measures will be in place at the border, regardless of whether individuals are vaccinated or unvaccinated. Please note that visa requirements have not changed,” the Icelandic Directorate of Health said in February.

Italy
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Italy now applies the same rules to all travellers, regardless of their country of origin. All persons are permitted entry to Italy as long as they present a valid vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative COVID-19 test result.

“With effect from March 1, the same rules for arrivals to Italy from all non-European countries as those already in force for European countries. For entry to the national territory, one of the conditions of the Green Pass will be sufficient: certificate of vaccination, certificate of recovery or negative test result,” the statement of the Italian Ministry of Health reads.

>> Non-EU Travellers Now Permitted to Enter Italy for Non-Essential Travel Purposes

Latvia

Similar to Italy, Latvia also permits entry to all travellers who hold a vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative COVID-19 test result.

Latvia accepts vaccination certificates provided that the document proves that the vaccination process has been completed with one of the EMA-approved vaccine doses within the last nine months.

Recovery certificates are accepted as long as they have been issued within the last 180 days. As for test results, the authorities have explained that they recognise both PCR and rapid antigen tests.

>> Latvia Facilitates Its Entry Rules

Lithuania
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Taking into account the low infection rates, Lithuania has also decided to relax its entry rules. All travellers, whether they are nationals of an EU/Schengen Area or this country, can enter Lithuania restriction-free if they have been fully vaccinated or recovered from the virus.

On the other hand, different rules apply to unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers.

Unvaccinated/unrecovered travellers from the EU/Schengen Area are recommended to take a PCR or a rapid antigen test on the third day of arrival at the latest.

As for unvaccinated/unrecovered travellers from third countries, the Lithuanian authorities have explained that they need to take a COVID-19 test before entry. In addition, they are also recommended to take another test within three days after arrival.

>> Lithuania Scraps Colour-Coded Categorisation – Permits Entry for All Vaccinated Arrivals

Luxembourg

Authorities in Luxembourg have followed the example of other EU/Schengen Area countries and have decided to ease their entry rules.

Travellers from the EU/Schengen Area countries are permitted to enter Luxembourg without having to follow additional measures if they hold one of the passes that is part of the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate.

In contrast, the authorities have highlighted that different rules apply to third-country travellers. Travellers who reach Luxembourg from a third country can only enter if they present a valid vaccination or recovery certificate.

“The validity of the vaccination certificate is nine months from the date when the vaccination pattern is considered complete. The validity of the certificate for the booster vaccination is unlimited,” the authorities noted.

On the other hand, recovery certificates remain valid for 180 days.

Malta
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Malta continues to keep in place the colour-coded system. Currently, travellers from all countries are required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form and provide the QR code upon their arrival.

In addition, everyone has to present a valid vaccination certificate in order to be permitted entry into the country.

A vaccination certificate is considered valid when reaching Malta only if the primary vaccination has been completed within the last three months. Those who have been vaccinated more than 90 days ago need to receive a booster shot in order for their pass to remain valid when entering Malta.

Malta does not recognise other documents for entry, such as recovery certificates or negative test results.

Even though Malta keeps strict entry rules in place, the country has decided to lift some of its domestic COVID-19 measures. Starting from March 7, different establishments within the country, including restaurants, bars, theatres, museums, and other places, will no longer have limitations to their operating hours.

>> Malta to Apply New Entry & Domestic Rules From March 7

Netherlands

The Dutch authorities have just recently updated their entry rules. In line with the new measures, travellers from the EU/Schengen Area countries are required to fill in a health declaration form as well as present a vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative test result.

On the other hand, stricter rules apply to arrivals from third countries. Non-EU travellers need to present a valid vaccination recovery certificate as well as e negative test result taken before entry.

The Netherlands does not recognise recovery certificates issued by third countries, which means that they can enter by only presenting a vaccination pass.

>> Netherlands Now Applies New Entry Rules

Norway
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Just like Iceland, Norway has also lifted all of its COVID-19 entry rules. Travellers from all over the world can enter Norway without having to worry about holding a vaccination or recovery certificate.

“No testing, no quarantining, no registration! As of February 12, 2022, all COVID-19 entry requirements have been lifted for all travellers to Norway,” the Norwegian authorities emphasise.

In addition, the country has also lifted all the national COVID-19 measures.

“Other restrictions have also been lifted. You do not need to wear a face mask anywhere in the country, and social distancing rules have also been lifted. Social and cultural life is now back to normal: all bars, restaurants, and museums are open, and you can attend all kinds of events, such as concerts and conferences,” the authorities added.

Poland

The Polish authorities continue to keep in place entry rules based on the country of origin a person is travelling from.

Travellers from the EU/Schengen Area as well as those from Turkey are permitted entry to Poland if they present a vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative COVID-19 test result.

In contrast, stricter rules apply to non-EU travellers. Travellers from third countries need to present a COVID-19 test result taken before entry even if they have completed their vaccination process or have recovered from the virus.

Portugal
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EU/EEA travellers are allowed to travel to Portugal without having to follow additional entry rules provided that they present one of the passes that is part of the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

Non-essential travel to Portugal is also allowed from these third countries: Brazil, Canada, US, UK, as well as to these ones Bahrain, Childe, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Taiwan (subject to reciprocal confirmation).

Persons from one of the above-mentioned third countries who reach Portugal by air are required to present a pre-entry test if they do not hold an EU DCC. Such a requirement applies to everyone over 12.

On the other hand, those who arrive by air or sea are only required to present a vaccination or recovery pass.

Travellers from countries that recognise Portugal’s COVID-19 travel documents under reciprocal conditions are also permitted entry to the country by only presenting the EU DCC.

>> Portugal to Lift Most of Its COVID-19 Restrictions

Slovakia

The Slovak authorities announced earlier last month that the country would abolish the traffic-light system. This means that travellers can enter Slovakia provided that they hold a valid vaccination certificate.

In addition, the authorities announced that they will now recognise recovery passes too.

“After arriving in Slovakia, those who overcame COVID-19 more than 180 days ago will have the same conditions as the vaccinated,” the Ministry of Interior of Slovakia noted.

As for unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers, the authorities have explained that they are subject to the self-isolation rule.

>> Slovakia Begins Its Full Release From COVID-19 Restrictions

Slovenia

Slovenia has lifted all of its COVID-19 entry rules. Travellers can now enter the latter’s territory without having to provide a vaccination, recovery, or test certificate upon their arrival.

“As of February 19, 2022, restrictions due to Covid-19 no longer apply when entering Slovenia. This means that the RVT (recovered/vaccinated/tested) condition no longer has to be met at the border,” the statement of the Slovenian authorities reads.

>> Slovenia Lifts COVID-19 Certificate, Testing & Quarantine Requirement for All Travellers

Spain
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Spain permits entry to the country to all EU/Schengen Area travellers who present a valid EU Digital COVID Pass.

In addition, travellers from countries that are part of the EU’s safe list – Bahrain, Chile, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the UAE and Uruguay, China (including Hong Kong and Macao) can also enter Spain for travel purposes as long as they meet the entry rules.

The entry rules apply to everyone over the age of 18. Those under 12 are exempt from the entry requirements, whereas those between 12 and 18 are required to present a negative test result taken within 72 hours before arrival.

>> Spain Permits Entry for Travellers From Third Countries With COVID-19 Recovery Certificates

Sweden
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Sweden has already lifted its entry ban and now permits restriction-free entry to all EU/EEA citizens. Travellers from EU/EEA can enter Sweden without having to follow any entry rules.

“In general, there is no border control, and no entry ban, when entering Sweden from or via another EU/EEA country, like Poland or Denmark, meaning no covid certificate is required even if you do not apply for asylum upon entry,” the statement of the Swedish Police reads.

On the other hand, Sweden continues to keep in place an entry ban for arrivals from third countries. The entry ban will remain effective until March 31. Only travellers who fall under the exemption list can enter Sweden without having to meet any entry rules.

Switzerland

Similar to the other countries, Switzerland also decided to relax its entry rules. Nonetheless, the country still requires everyone to meet COVID-19 entry rules.

Travellers, regardless of their country of origin, can enter Switzerland as long as they provide a valid vaccination pass.

“There is no test or quarantine requirement at present for entering Switzerland, and also that people entering do not have to fill out an entry (passenger locator) form,” the Swiss authorities noted.

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Source: schengenvisainfo.com

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