Europe’s travel restrictions map becomes a soothing sea of ​​green

The 25 European nations without travel restrictions

  1. Albania
  2. Bulgaria
  3. Croatia
  4. Czech republic
  5. Denmark
  6. Estonia
  7. Greece
  8. Hungary
  9. Iceland
  10. Ireland
  11. Kosovo
  12. Latvia
  13. Liechtenstein
  14. Lithuania
  15. Moldova
  16. Montenegro
  17. North Macedonia
  18. Norway
  19. Poland
  20. Romania
  21. Serbia
  22. Slovenia
  23. Sweden
  24. Swiss
  25. UK

The list above confirms the experts Telegraph Travel spoke to in January. “Many countries will follow the UK and drop travel rules in the coming weeks as they learn to live with Covid. For once the industry has plenty to be positive about,” said Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, at the time.

Professor Francois Balloux, director of UCL’s Institute of Genetics, said “more liberal governments like Sweden and Switzerland” would be among the first to “turn the page”, adding: “In some countries in the southern Europe, like Italy and Spain, I think they’ve been so traumatized in the last two years that it may take them longer to get back to normal. Covid debate is not as open in these countries; there has been little general support for extreme restrictions, especially in the media.”

David Livermore, professor of medical microbiology at UEA, predicted: “Europe will be uneven, not least because of how far some countries have come – even unnecessarily – down the road to internal vaccine mandates and passports. . Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, as well as Portugal, will open early, but France, Italy and Austria will be late.

With very few exceptions, all turned out to be correct.

Beyond Europe, a few countries have removed all travel barriers, including Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Cuba and the Maldivesbut the rest of the world is largely catching up.

Which European countries still have travel rules?

Unvaccinated arrivals prohibited:

  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Slovakia (although entry is allowed via neighboring countries)
  • Spain

Surprisingly – given its reliance on foreign visitors – Spain remains one of the strictest countries in terms of entry requirements, all unvaccinated or (if their second dose is more than 270 days ago) unboosted adults being prohibited. This cohort is certainly not insignificant and probably includes more than 10 million Britons. Last month it looked like that rule had been lifted, when the Spanish Tourist Board issued a press release saying proof of a negative test would be accepted in lieu of vaccination, but that was reversed a few hours later.

Tests for unvaccinated arrivals:

  • Austria
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Cyprus
  • France
  • Italy
  • Luxemburg
  • Malta
  • Portugal
  • Turkey

No country in Europe asks vaccinated travelers to take a Covid test. However, several are demanding proof of a recent negative test from flawless visitors, including holiday favorites France, Italy, Portugal and Turkey.

As with the rest of the world, restrictions remain the rule rather than the exception. Indeed, 10 countries – China, Japan, Taiwan, Myanmar, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Samoa (until August or September), Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu – are still closed to all tourists, regardless of their vaccination status. .

Elsewhere, testing is widespread, whether for unvaccinated arrivals (e.g. Dubai, Egypt, India, Tunisia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Brazil) or for all (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Morocco, United States States, South Africa, Tanzania, Vietnam). Additionally, many (eg Australia, New Zealand, Morocco, US, Canada) prohibit uninformed visitors entirely.

The mask slips

If testing for unvaccinated arrivals is the last bastion of border rules, then domestically it looks like the face mask will be the last relic of the Covid era. Yet after two years of hidden faces and muffled conversations, the rules around face coverings are also being dropped across Europe.

No masks at all*

  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden

What about the Nordic nations? All have been reluctant to restrict their citizens’ freedoms for the duration of the pandemic – Sweden avoiding lockdowns altogether and its neighbors shutting down society for only a brief period – and all five have now ditched masks.

Beyond Europe, only a few destinations have ditched the divisive garment, including Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Maldives and the United States.

*With the possible exception of hospitals and nursing homes.

Masks only on public transport**

Beyond healthcare facilities, it looks like trains, planes and buses will be the last settings where masks still roam. France and Spain are among the countries that retain their use of public transport.

  • Belgium
  • France
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Montenegro
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Swiss

**As well as hospitals and nursing homes.