Although the COVID-19 situation has greatly improved and vaccination rates continue to increase, the majority of EU countries continue to impose travel restrictions.
Compared to last year and the early stages of the epidemic, the restrictions are currently more relaxed. However, some countries still continue to maintain a system of color coding and differentiation for people traveling from EU/Schengen area countries or a non-EU country, TheSchengen.com reports.
The list of countries that still require all travelers to present a vaccination, recovery or test certificate upon entry includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. Switzerland, a Schengen-linked country, also applies entry procedures.
Germany, Portugal and Poland are among the countries that apply different rules to non-EU travelers. On the other hand, other countries, such as Austria, Switzerland, Denmark and Finland, apply the same rules for all travelers.
>> March 2022: Explanation of COVID-19 travel rules for EU/Schengen countries
In general, all EU/Schengen area countries allow unrestricted entry to all travelers who present a valid certificate of vaccination.
Each Member State has the right to impose its own rules on the validity of vaccination cards. However, the majority of them accept all vaccination certificates that prove that the holder has completed the initial vaccination with one of the approved vaccine doses within the last 270 days.
Those who have received a booster dose are also allowed unrestricted entry into the EU/Schengen area.
European Union countries are also allowing entry to travelers who have recovered from the virus in the past 180 days. However, the situation is not the same when it comes to negative COVID-19 test results. When traveling in the European Union, negative COVID-19 tests are generally accepted if issued by a member state only.
This means that, in most cases, third-country nationals need to have a vaccination or recovery certificate in order to be exempt from additional entry rules.
However, some exceptions apply. Italy is among the countries that apply the same rules to all travelers, which means that everyone can enter by presenting just one of the certificates, including a negative test result, regardless of their country of origin.
>> Travel to Italy this Spring: Explanation of vaccination, testing and other entry rules
Austria also allows entry to all travelers who present a certificate of vaccination, recovery or testing. Thus, just like EU citizens, travelers from other countries can also enter Austria by submitting a negative COVID-19 test result only if they do not have a valid vaccination or recovery permit.
In contrast to the above countries, Iceland, Norway, Slovenia, Romania, Hungary and Ireland have dropped their COVID-19 restrictions. Travelers can now enter these countries without having to go through any entry procedures. In addition, they are also exempt from local procedures when visiting these countries.