europe

Banned from the EU for more than a year, tourists may visit, with conditions



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Thanks to a global vaccination campaign, the European Union has promised to ease travel restrictions on non-EU residents and citizens. FRANCE 24 takes a look at the top five European travel destinations to tell you who can come when and under what conditions.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last month that American tourists who had been fully vaccinated would be allowed to visit the bloc this summer, though she did not specify when. The European Union is working on a coordinated response, including the rollout of a Digital Green Certificate, which will provide proof via a QR code that a person has been vaccinated with an EU-approved shot (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca), has had a recent negative test result, or has recovered from the virus. The pass is expected to be in place by the end of June, possibly earlier.

In the meantime, countries have been setting their own rules, each with its own testing and documentation requirements. 

The European Union’s Re-Open EU online tool allows would-be travellers to indicate their country of origin and their desired destination and see what Covid containment measures are in place, if any. The information, like that on government websites, is limited to restrictions currently in effect and does not account for announced plans to ease controls.

The situation remains fluid everywhere and with the appearance of new variants, restrictions may be reimposed. Check government websites regularly to stay up to date on the most recent requirements.


FRANCE

Before the pandemic, France was the most-visited country in the world, and French President Emmanuel Macron is eager to recoup the lost tourism revenue.

Last month, Macron told CBS’s Face the Nation that vaccinated Americans and those with negative PCR tests would be allowed to visit France this summer. In local French newspapers he marked June 9 as the date when foreign tourists with a “health pass” showing they are vaccinated, had Covid or have a recent negative PCR test, would be allowed into France.

Currently, only essential travel is allowed for travellers from outside of the EU.

To learn more about the situation in France and current restrictions, visit this website, where you can also find links to all the required documents. For information specific to citizens of the US, look here.

SPAIN

Spain plans to open its borders to non-European travellers in June. That country, too, is working on a digital health certificate to facilitate access. Currently, travellers must fill out a health control form, which can be found on the Spain Travel Health portal.

More information can be found here and that specific to travellers from the US can be found here. This interactive map shows the specific requirements based on country of origin.

ITALY

Italy plans to open to non-EU tourists before much of the rest of the bloc. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced that Italy will re-open to foreign tourists in mid-May. Anyone who has had an EU-approved vaccine, recovered from the disease or received a negative test result 48 hours prior to travel will be allowed into the country without restrictions.

That does not apply to those coming from countries on Italy’s blacklist, which includes Brazil, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.  

Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said quarantine requirements may be lifted for travellers arriving from the US in June; the shorter quarantine period that those coming from the UK and within the EU must observe will be dropped as of May 15.

For the most recent information about travel restrictions and requirements, look here. Information specific to American tourists is available here. Details about the Covid situation in each region can be found here.

GREECE

Last month, Greece lifted quarantine requirements for travellers from the EU, the US, the UK, Serbia, Israel and the UAE. As of Friday, the country will be open to travellers who are vaccinated, have antibodies, or have tested negative for the virus. A step-by-step guide on travelling to Greece can be found here. All travellers must provide proof of having filled out a passenger locator form to be allowed to board their planes.

UNITED KINGDOM

Who can enter the UK depends on where they’re coming from. The country has devised a traffic-signal system, with countries designated green, amber or red. All travellers face testing requirements, and those coming from countries on the amber or red lists must test and quarantine. Travel from red list countries is permitted only for Irish and British nationals, or UK residents.

The list, which can be found here, is updated regularly. The US is on the amber list, which means US citizens must test before they enter the UK, do so again on their second and eight days in the country (the tests must be booked in advance of travel) and observe a 10-day quarantine. A passenger locator form is also required for entry.

OPEN NATIONS

Vaccinated travellers from the US and the UK may visit Iceland without quarantining or being tested (see here for more on quarantine requirements for those who are unvaccinated) and citizens of any country who have received the jab or a negative PCR test within 48 hours of travel may go to Croatia (more for US citizens here). Malta plans to open on June 1 and is offering to pay tourists to come (there’s more on their travel rules here).





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