With their borders effectively closed since the early days of the pandemic, travelers are undoubtedly excited at the news that several European countries are easing their restrictions and opening up their borders to more travelers. In the last week alone, both Spain and Portugal have opened up for vaccinated travelers, providing new vacation options for millions of people.
However, with some borders between EU nations practically non-existent, question marks have been raised about whether or not travelers can hop between one country and another. Thankfully, the EU has clarified the situation – here’s the latest, plus an overview of EU travel restrictions for unvaccinated travelers.
Cross Border Travel – What Travelers Should Know
With Europe being such a far destination for many – and with tourists being travel starved for so long – those who take the long flight over to Europe are likely to want visit more than one destination. However, the fact that different EU countries has their own border policies meant that this could have been a problem – but it won’t be any more.
Just last night, countries from the EU agreed to ease their travel restrictions over summer and is set to broaden the number of EU countries that it is safe to travel from, making it possible for fully vaccinated tourists to avoid tests or quarantines should they wish to visit more than one country in the EU. Travelers must be fully vaccinated, and with their final dose coming more than 14 days ago, in order to be able to benefit from the new rule change.
What About Unvaccinated Travelers?
Whilst unvaccinated travelers may have a bit more difficulty entering the bloc, it is still possible for those from certain countries. Those from EU and Schengen countries can enter, as can travelers from safe third countries, providing they arrive with a recent negative PCR-test or proof of recovery from the virus.
Also for unvaccinated travelers, there is still the possibility of being able to travel from one EU country to another with relative ease – depending on the Covid-19 situation in the location that the traveler is coming from. This will be assessed according to the EU’s traffic light system that determines the safety of different EU regions.
Here’s a look at how a country’s color is determined:
- Green: 14-day notification rate is lower than 25 cases per 100,000, test positivity rate below 4%
- Orange: 14-day notification rate is lower than 50 cases per 100,000, test positivity rate is 4% or higher, or if the 14-day notification rate is between 25 and 150 cases per 100,000 and the test positivity rate is below 4%
- Red: 14-day cumulative Covid-19 case notification rate ranges from 50 to 150 and the test positivity rate of tests for Covid-19 infection is 4% or more, or if the 14-day cumulative COVID-19 case notification rate is more than 150 but less than 500
- Dark red: 14-day cumulative Covid-19 case notification rate is 500 or more
- Grey: If there is insufficient information or if the testing rate is lower than 300 cases per 100,000
Travelers coming from a green zone should face no restrictions. However, those coming from orange and red zones may face testing or quarantine requirements, whilst travel from a dark red zone is strongly discouraged. Children above the age of 12 may need to be tested, but will only need to quarantine if an accompanying adult had to.
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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