On October 21, the council of the European Union removed Canada from its ‘safe list’, recommending to all countries in the EU to consider banning entry for Canadians, but which European countries are actually doing it? We have the list below.
Now that Canada has been removed from the EU's ‘safe' list, Canadian travellers must remember that ALL nations within the EU are permitted to follow the suggestion made by the EU council, or decline to make the changes.
Essentially, that means that some countries will immediately ban Canadians, some might take a week or so to update their rules, and others may never enact the ban.
Since this is an ultra-confusing time for Canadian travelers, especially since they’ve been granted access to most of the EU since July, we have complied a list of which EU nations have already banned Canadians, which one’s plan on it, and which ones just might stay open.
Before we get into the full list of EU nations and their individual decisions, please note, this information came directly from consulates, embassies, ministries, or other official sources – however – ALL travellers should be doing their own due diligence and contacting local authorities to confirm their plans before traveling. Despite our tireless research, rules can change faster than we can publish updates, so every traveler is responsible for their own inquires.
EU Countries That Have Banned / Are Banning Canadian Tourists
Here is a list of the EU nations that have already removed Canada from their ‘safe list’, or have a date of removal issued. (This list will grow as we receive more information, so check back often.)
Removed/Banned Canada as of October 27
Germany updated their Canadian embassy site with the following statement:
“The German Federal Government has reintroduced entry restrictions for residents of Canada taking effect on Tuesday, October 27, 12:00 a.m. to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. From that date on, entry from Canada to Germany with or without a visa can only take place in case of an urgent need/an essential reason.”
Czech Republic –
Removed/Banned Canada as of October 22
Czechia re-closed their borders for all tourism on October 22, not just from Canada but from every nation, due to an extreme spike in cases throughout the nation. It is unknown how long the border will stay closed, but if/when it reopens Canada will likely still be banned from entering.
Removed/Banned Canada as of October 26
Estonia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs page was updated on October 23rd, showing Canada removed from the entry list of third-party nations effective October 26th.
Removed/Banned Canada as of October 25
Demark’s official Covid page reflects the update to the EU’s third-party ‘safe list’ with Canada clearly removed, and also states below “Changes in relation to week 43 (19-25 October)
New banned countries: Canada, Georgia and Tunisia”
Removed/Banned Canada as of October 24
Belgium’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs page was updated on October 23rd to reflect the removal of Canada from the approved third-party list. Canadian tourists are no longer permitted to enter Belgium.
Removed/Banned Canada as of October 31
The consulate of Portugal responded to our email stating that entry for Canadians will still be permitted until October 31st. Here is a direct copy/paste from that email:
“However if you still decide to travel to Portugal, Canadians with non-essential travel are being allowed entry, coming from Canada,at the moment until October 31, 2020, according to Portuguese Border and Immigration authorities (SEF), and as legislated by Portuguese authorities.”
Removed/Banned Canada as of ‘soon’
The Italian consulate responded to us with this statement:
“As an EU member state, Italy will follow the decisions that are approved by the EU at large.
The official website of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs will soon be updated to reflect this change and to report the new rules that apply to people travelling from Canada to Italy.”
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs page has not been updated since October 17th, so the change/decision is not showing yet on any government site. We don’t know when the removal/ban will come into effect.
Finland removed Canada in mid-October, before the suggestion of the EU.
Canada has not been able to enter Hungary since September 1, 2020. Hungary re-closed their borders to ALL tourists worldwide, not just from Canada, on September 1st for 30 days, and then renewed for another 30 days on October 1st. It is unknown when they might reopen borders again.
Removed/Banned Canada October 29
Sweden still had Canada on their list until a last-minute same-day removal on October 29. The update states the ban will stay in place until at least December 22, 2020.
Removed/Banned Canada October 30
Spain was looking like it was going to keep Canada on for a little while longer, but finally updated rules for entry, clarifying that Canadians are no longer permitted entry for tourism or any other non-essential reason, effective October 30.
Removed/Banned Canada November 13
Lithuania has now removed Canada from its list of nations that can enter.
EU Countries That Have Not Yet Answered / Updated Their Decision
Many of the EU nations on this list have not yet updated their official Ministry of Health or Ministry of Foreign Affairs pages, declined to respond to our emails or calls, or have issued a statement saying they do not yet know.
Until official government pages are updated, entry MAY still be possible. Any traveler going to one of the below countries within the next week should contact border police and/or consulates to confirm entry.
The consulate of Bulgaria told us they do not have the information. Their Ministry of Tourism page has not been updated since September 30th.
Austria last updated their official pages on October 17. Canada is still showing on the list for entry.
Poland last updated their official pages on October 18. Canada is still showing on the list for entry.
on October 26th, Romania updated their ‘yellow’ list of nations now expected to quarantine upon arrival due to high cases, and Canada did not show up on it. Currently, they still have Canada listed as a ‘green’ nation, however we are unsure when/if this might change.
Iceland last updated their official pages on October 18
Ireland is currently allowing Canadians entry, but with a 14-day quarantine. With tightening restrictions, this is expected to soon be removed.
Liechtenstein has not yet updated its decision.
EU Countries That May Still Allow Canadian Tourists
This is a list of the EU nations we expect to still allow Canadians, despite the suggestion by the EU council. Please note: This list is our professional opinion, based on how they reacted during previous bans, who they currently allow in, and any signals/signs they have sent out after the suggestion. This list can and likely will change.
Croatia has been beating to its own drum this entire pandemic. While other EU nations have been very closed off to the third-party nations, Croatia has an open-door policy, as long as the tourist brings a negative PCR test and proof of accommodation.
If I had to bet on any EU nation keeping Canada on the list, it would be Croatia.
They are currently welcoming tourists from high-risk areas like the USA, among dozens of others, so it would be incomprehensible for them to remove a lower-risk nation like Canada. Since Croatia did not listen to the EU’s first suggestion in July and made their own entry rules, we expect them to stay on the same path of independence.
Malta is another EU nation that has been going by its own rules. They currently allow in many third-party nations not approved by the EU, like Turkey, Jordan, UAE, Indonesia, etc. Canada is still showing on their list after they updated on October 23rd, and since they already make exceptions outside the EU’s suggestion, might keep entry from Canada possible.
Why don’t all EU nations update at once?
Like we mentioned at the start of this article, the third-party ‘safe list’ is just a suggestion made by the council of the EU, and each EU nation is free to make their own decisions.
Back in July, when the EU first created the ‘safe-list’, it took weeks (in some cases months) for each nation to respond. Croatia, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Netherland and Portugal all updated within a few days to a week. Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, all took weeks to update their decisions. Slovakia, Austria and Belgium didn’t finally respond until September, over 2 months after the suggestion was first made in July.
The same principle will be applied to the removal of Canada. Eager tourists should expect updates to come in the following days/weeks on if they will be permitted entry or not.
Is essential travel still permitted into EU countries that have removed Canada?
In some cases, yes. If you are reuniting with family, partners, or have an essential reason for travelling (other than tourism!), entry still may be possible. Only the consulate will be able to advise on any exceptions to the ban.
How long will the ban last?
Europe is in the middle of an over-whelming second wave. ICU’s are filling up, curfews are in effect, and many non-essential businesses are closing once again. Each day we read reports of new rules, movement restrictions and increased border regulations.
It in unknown how long the ban will last, but it is a very worrying time for Europe in general.
What if you have travel already booked?
If you have travel to an EU nation within the next few weeks, you should
- Call your airline to see if they have any updates and if your ticket is refundable
- Call/Email the closest consulate to you with direct questions about your entry
- Call/Email border police for the country you are visiting with direct questions about your entry
- Comment below on any official information you gather to help others that might be in the same situation
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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
Article originally published October 26, 2020 with updates