What are the COVID entry rules for travelers to European countries? | DW Travel | DW | 12.05.2022

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What are the COVID entry rules for travelers to European countries?

Most European countries have lifted travel restrictions — despite ongoing high infection numbers. DW Travel has compiled this overview of EU rules.

Italy tourists with protective masks on the Rialto bridge in Venice

Vacations are possible in Europe — but certain rules, like wearing masks, are still in place in many countires.

Tourism in Europe is slowly moving back to pre-pandemic levels. Since the omicron variant predominantly causes moderate symptoms, most countries have relaxed their restrictions. Here is an overview of the latest rules for traveling in and around Europe.

The European Union

An overview of EU travel measures, including information on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, is available via the European Commission website.

Detailed information regarding quarantine rules, testing requirements and more in the EU's 27 member states — along with non-EU Schengen countries Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland — can be accessed through the Reopen EU platform. You can also download the Reopen EU smartphone app for up-to-date information on the go.

Please note that every member state maintains its own rules for granting entry to third country travelers already within the EU or Schengen zone. Member states may require a negative COVID test upon arrival, or mandate a quarantine period after entry. In addition, some EU countries have implemented social distancing rules, curfews and mask-wearing mandates.

An EU road sign, next to a traffic light

The EU has agreed on a traffic light system to make understanding travel restrictions easier

The European Union COVID traffic light system

The EU has introduced a traffic light system for a better overview of the epidemiological situation in individual member states. Three colors — red, orange and green — denote high-, medium- and low-risk areas in the bloc. Grey regions signify areas where insufficient data is available.

Please note: The information listed here is not exhaustive. It serves as a reference and is subject to change at any time. All travelers to and within Europe, the EU and the Schengen Area are strongly advised to consult the official guidance and regulations of local, state and national authorities in the relevant countries.

EU Digital COVID certificate

To ease EU travel, the European Parliament approved a digital COVID certificate that has been rolled out across the entire bloc. It shows that individuals have either been fully vaccinated, tested negative for the virus or recovered from the disease. 

The document is issued by test centers and health authorities, and has been available in all EU member states since July 1, 2021. At this stage, however, only COVID-19 vaccination records performed by an official, government-mandated body within the European Union can be logged on the certificate. Vaccinations from outside the EU are not accepted yet.

For more information, visit the COVID Certificate platform.

These COVID rules are currently in place in different European countries (listed in alphabetical order):

Austria

Croatia

Czech Republic

Denmark

France

Germany

Greece

Italy

Netherlands

Portugal 

Spain

Switzerland 

United Kingdom

 

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