AFTER the coronavirus pandemic began to spread to Europe, many countries in the area introduced strict restrictive measures to curb the spread of covida-19.
Now, months later, Europe is slowly starting to reopen its borders to tourists. The European Union announced on June 15 that countries within the Schengen area (26 countries that do not normally have border controls) could begin lifting restrictions on border crossings.
The following is an overview of the reopening of borders and the easing of restrictive measures for each European country.
Albania has restarted commercial flights to Vienna, Belgrade and Athens since June 15th, with only EU residents boarding them. The hotel’s beaches opened on June 1st and public ones on June 10th.
Albania has so far reopened outdoor seating restaurants, gyms, swimming pools, cultural centers and shops.
To come to Andorra, visitors must pass through France or Spain and therefore follow the rules and regulations of those countries. On June 15, Andorra announced that tourists from the Schengen area could enter the country from France. Andorra does not currently require its residents to be quarantined upon return to the country.
Restaurants and hotels have been open in the country since June 1.
On 16 June, Austria allowed EU residents, with the exception of the UK, Sweden and Portugal, to enter without medical certificates or quarantine. Prior to that, it opened its borders with Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary on June 4th.
At present, foreign nationals are not allowed to enter by aircraft from non-Schengen countries. Those who land at Vienna International Airport upon arrival can take a covid-19 test if they want to circumvent the mandatory two-week quarantine.
Austria reopened restaurants and museums on May 15, and hotels on May 29.
Belarus requires that any foreign national who enters the country or has a negative test for covid-19 be issued within 48 hours of arrival or to spend 14 days in quarantine.
At Minsk National Airport, passengers have their temperature measured and the local population must inform officials if it has been in a country where coronavirus outbreaks currently exist.
Belgium opened its borders on 15 June to travelers to and from the European Union, the United Kingdom and these Schengen countries – Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. Belgium requires passengers coming from outside Schengen to remain in self-isolation for 14 days.
Restaurants and cafes have been open since June 8, but waiters must wear masks and gloves. Nightclubs remain closed until the end of August.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina has lifted entry restrictions for citizens of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro.
Restaurants are open in that country, but measures of social distancing must be respected. Masks should be worn when social distance implementation is not possible.
The EU has recommended that travel restrictions for visitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina be lifted on 1 July.
On June 15th, the Bulgarian Ministry of Health asked most foreign nationals to remain in quarantine after entering the country. But after a while, it lifted the restriction for several countries, including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Belgium.
Most U.S. citizens are still barred from entering.
Bulgaria opened restaurants and cafes on June 1st, and nightclubs on June 15th. As of June 23, masks are mandatory in all enclosed public spaces in that country.
Croatia does not allow entry to citizens who do not come from the European Union until 1 July. It lifted travel restrictions for residents of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Germany and Slovakia. Residents of Spain and France are still not allowed to enter.
On June 9, Cyprus allowed travelers from certain European countries, including Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Switzerland. Passengers from Israel, Poland and Romania must show a negative test for covid-19 which was performed within 72 hours of departure.
Travelers from the United States and the United Kingdom are not allowed to enter the country.
Airports, markets, restaurants and beaches are open in Cyprus. In addition, Cyprus has announced that it will cover all costs for those travelers who are positive for coronavirus during the visit.
The Czech Republic has introduced a color system for European countries. Countries considered “green” or “low risk” include France, Italy, Germany and Spain, among others. Passengers from these countries can enter the Czech Republic from June 15 without restrictions. Passengers coming from “orange” countries (Belgium and the UK) or “reds” (like Portugal and Sweden) must show a negative test for covid-19 at the border.
Restaurants, cafes, hotels, swimming pools and other tourist destinations have been open in the Czech Republic since 25 May.
Denmark closed its borders on March 14, reopening them on June 15 for tourists from Germany, Norway and Iceland with a reservation of six or more nights.
Restaurants and cafes are now open in the country, and amusement parks have been open since June 8th.
On June 1, Estonia opened its borders to travelers from the European Union, the Schengen area and the United Kingdom who have no symptoms of coronavirus infection. Although most of them do not have to go through quarantine, those coming from several countries, including Sweden, the UK and Portugal, will have to spend some time in self-isolation after entering.
Estonia follows the “2 + 2” rule, allowing up to two people together in a public space, not including families, and people must abide by the 2 meter distance rule. The country has opened shopping malls and restaurants.
On June 15, Finland lifted border restrictions on the land border between Finland and Norway, for flights and ferry lines between Finland and Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. There are still restrictions between that country and other countries in the Schengen area.
That country has allowed gatherings of up to 50 people since June 1st. From that date, museums and theaters were reopened. Restaurants are only open during certain hours during the day.
On June 15, France lifted restrictions on passengers from the European zone for which it no longer requires quarantine upon arrival. Visitors from the UK and those coming from Spain by plane can also enter France, but after that they must be in self-isolation for 14 days.
Travelers from the US are still not allowed to go to France.
France set out to ease restrictions in May, and on June 2 opened many restaurants and bars, as well as swimming pools, beaches and museums.
Germany has restricted entry to EU citizens, while passengers from outside the EU, including the US, are still not allowed to enter.
The country has begun easing restrictions on shops and restaurants, but the rules on social distance will remain in force until at least June 29th.
Greece restricts entry to EU citizens from June 15th to 30th. Travelers from certain European countries, including Italy, Spain and Sweden, will be tested upon arrival and will have to stay overnight in Athens.
From July 1, international flights to all airports will be allowed. Greek authorities have the right to conduct random testing on covid-19 on all visitors who come to the country.
The beaches have reopened, as has the Acropolis of Athens.
The airport in Budapest is open, but only for citizens of Hungary and the EU. Most passengers arriving for non-business reasons must be quarantined for 14 days; except from several countries, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Austria, and the Czech Republic.
In Hungary, restaurants, cafes and museums have reopened on 15 June, and theaters on 16 June.
Iceland never closed its borders to EU travelers, but demanded a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. On June 15, the country allowed EU passengers to be tested for covid-19 instead of quarantining, with the proviso that they must remain in self-isolation until the test results arrive.
Although testing was initially free, Iceland will charge passengers about $ 109 per test after July 1st.
Iceland has reopened swimming pools and bars.
Anyone entering Ireland is required to be quarantined for 14 days. Stores are reopened, but retailers must take certain measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Italy reopened its borders to European citizens on 3 June.
Restaurants, most shops and famous museums have been opened.
Kosovo opened several of its land borders on June 1st, and there are currently no quarantine measures upon entry.
Latvia opened its borders to passengers from Lithuania and Estonia on May 15, later extending its entry permit to other EU countries and Switzerland.
Anyone coming from a country with more than 15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants will have to spend two weeks in quarantine.
In Latvia, the tables must be two meters apart. A maximum of four people can sit at a table indoors and eight outdoors.
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Liechtenstein has no closed borders.
On June 17, Lithuania opened its borders to EU and Swiss citizens until the number of infected people in those countries exceeds 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.
Restaurants and bars have reopened in that country, but the rules of social distance and hygiene need to be respected.
Luxembourg does not allow citizens of non-EU countries to enter until at least 24 June.
On June 10, Luxembourg allowed groups of up to 10 people a meal in restaurants and events of up to 20 people.
On July 1, Malta reopens the international airport for countries belonging to the “safe corridor”. Countries marked as “safe” include Germany, Austria, Cyprus, Switzerland, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Italy (except some regions), France (except some regions), Spain (except some regions), Poland, Greece and Croatia.
Malta intends to lift restrictions on flights to all other destinations on 15 July.
Malta is allowed to gather up to 75 people, and bars, restaurants, hotels and outdoor swimming pools have reopened. China is still closed.
Moldova has blocked entry for most foreign nationals until June 30, and those who are allowed to come must spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival.
The restaurants reopened on June 15, but the pools and theaters are still closed.
Monaco borders France and can currently move between the two countries.
Restaurants in Monaco open on 2 June, and staff are required to wear masks. The beaches are open, but the measure of social distance must be respected. Casinos have reopened.
Montenegro is continuously updating its list of countries from which visitors are allowed to enter. Visitors from several countries, including Italy and Israel, can enter if they show a negative test for covid-19.
Beaches in Montenegro are open, but attention must be paid to measures of social distance.
Travelers coming from outside the EU are not allowed to enter the Netherlands for non-essential trips until at least 1 July.
From June 1, restaurants, cafes, cinemas and museums are open. The camps are scheduled to open on July 1st.
All airports in northern Macedonia have been closed to commercial flights, and the government has not announced a reopening date. Authorities also did not announce when land borders would be fully opened to foreign nationals.
From 15 June, foreign nationals are allowed to enter and stay in Northern Macedonia for up to five hours for the purpose of passing through the country.
On May 28, the government allowed the opening of restaurants and bars with outdoor tables. In northern Macedonia, people must practice social distancing and wear a protective mask in all enclosed public spaces.
The Norwegian government opened its borders to other Nordic countries on June 15, except for some regions of Sweden.
So far, Norway has opened some restaurants and bars.
On June 13, Poland opened its borders to the European Union, and on June 17, it resumed some international flights.
Protective masks are mandatory in many public spaces in the country. Bars, restaurants, hotels, museums, theaters and swimming pools are open.
Portugal allows entry to citizens of the European Union and the Schengen area, as well as those from the Portuguese-speaking area, South Africa, Canada, the USA, the United Kingdom and Venezuela as long as there is mutual treatment for Portuguese citizens.
In the Azores, visitors must show a negative test for covid-19 no older than 72 hours before arrival or take a test and be isolated until the results arrive. Anyone who stays longer than seven days will have to go for testing again.
Portugal has opened shops as well as restaurants, cafes and beaches.
Romania has lifted mandatory quarantine for visitors from several European countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Italy.
In that country, protective masks are mandatory in all enclosed public spaces and shops. As of June 1st, Romania is again allowed to stay in cafes and restaurants with outdoor tables.
Russia has canceled many international flights and closed its land borders until further notice.
From June 16, museums and restaurants with outdoor tables are open.
Serbia has lifted all restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic for Serbian and foreign citizens.
Shops, restaurants, cafes and parks have reopened.
Travelers from countries considered safe, including Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Germany and Norway, can enter Slovakia without quarantine. Those coming from countries not on the safe list must spend at least five days in self-isolation and be tested for covid-19.
Most shops and restaurants have been opened.
Travelers from several European countries, including France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Slovakia and Spain, are allowed to enter Slovenia without restrictions.
It is mandatory to wear protective masks in public places. Nightclubs are still closed.
On 21 June, Spain lifted border restrictions for all European Union countries and visitors no longer need to be quarantined upon arrival.
On July 1, Spain will consider allowing passengers from other countries to enter.
In Spain, beaches and some tourist attractions are open.
Sweden has extended a temporary entry ban for non-EU citizens until at least June 30th. This does not apply to travelers from the EU, the UK, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
Restaurants, shops and other catering facilities have been opened.
Turkey began opening some international air, land and sea borders on June 11th, which does not include borders with Iran or Syria.
At Istanbul airport, passengers are measured for temperature.
From June 17, it is mandatory to wear masks in public places in Istanbul, Ankara and Bursa. Some markets and shops have opened.
U.S. citizens are currently allowed to enter Ukraine if they prove they have health insurance that could cover all potential costs associated with covid-19.
Most regions of Ukraine have reopened hotels, restaurants, cafes and cultural institutions.
The UK introduced a mandatory two-week quarantine on June 8 for anyone arriving in the country.
Restaurants and pubs will open on July 4, as will hotels.
The Vatican is the smallest country in the world and is surrounded by the Italian city of Rome. On May 31, Pope Francis continued his Sunday service in St. Peter’s Square.