As Omicron cases surge across Europe, more countries are adding travel restrictions and re-implementing testing requirements.
This post will look at the latest travel restrictions across Europe impacting travelers.
France Is Banning UK Travelers
Today, France announced they will ban non-essential travel to and from the United Kingdom from the weekend to slow the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant causing record numbers of cases in the UK.
From midnight Saturday (2300 GMT Friday), there will be:
“a requirement to have an essential reason to travel to, or come from, the UK, both for the unvaccinated and vaccinated… People cannot travel for touristic or professional reasons,” the government said.
Greece Shortens The Time Frame For Entry With Recovery And Adds Testing Requirements
Up until now, travelers who entered Greece on the basis of a recovery certificate could do so if they had proof they got Covid-19 between the last 180 days, but not in the previous 30 days.
On December 9th, The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority announced that recovery certificates will now be valid for entry into Greece for a shorter period of 90 days instead of 180.
“Travellers to Greece must bring a certificate of illness issued thirty (30) days after the first positive test, and its validity lasts up to ninety (90) days after that,” the CAA notes in a press release.
Greece also said Wednesday it will require all visitors, including those from fellow EU countries, to present a Covid test taken within 48 hours of arrival.
Malta Is Making Masks Mandatory Outdoors
As of December 11th, Malta has returned to mandatory mask-wearing in outdoor and indoor spaces.
The measure is being taken as a precaution to prevent any significant increase in Covid-19 cases. The island has not yet detected cases of the Omicron variant.
“It has been shown that masks, as well as booster doses, are effective to ward off the virus, including the new Omicron variant,” the minister told media.
He added that people will be eligible for the vaccine four months after having had their second vaccine instead of six months.
Italy Imposes Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Requirement for All EU Travellers
European Union nationals traveling to Italy will now have to test for Covid-19 before their trip and present negative test results upon arrival in Italy, regardless of their vaccination and recovery status.
Additionally, unvaccinated travelers coming from EU countries will be subject to quarantine.
“For those who also come from EU countries but are not vaccinated, it will not be enough to show the negative swab to circulate in Italy, but they will incur the obligation of quarantine. Not only. The vaccinated will also be asked to show a negative swab result,” the Ministers agreed.
The requirement to carry a super green pass has also been extended until March 31st. This prevents those non-vaccinated in Italy from attending areas as indoor restaurants, cinemas, discos, and stadiums, for another over three months.
Finland Is Imposing Mandatory Pre-Entry Testing For Non-EU Nationals
Due to increased Covid-19 cases and the detection of the new Omicron variant, the Finnish authorities have announced that third-country travelers will soon be required to undergo mandatory pre-entry testing. Up until now, travelers have been able to enter with a vaccination certificate.
“According to the new decision, passengers arriving from outside the EU and the Schengen area who have received a full vaccination series would continue to be required to have a negative covid-19 test result less than 48 hours old in addition to the vaccination certificate,” the statement of Finland’s Ministry of Interior reads.
The new rules go into effect on December 21st.
Europe’s Travel Pass At Risk Of Breaking Down
The EU Digital Vaccine Passport, which allows hassle-free travel for people vaccinated against Covid-19, is at risk of breaking down following these new restrictions.
Leaders are planning to call for European nations to coordinate their travel moves and avoid steps that would “disproportionately hamper free movement” within or into the EU.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories