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Every American (or non-EU traveler) is wondering if they can transit, transfer and connect through European airports, even if they are not technically allowed in the country at this time.

The answer is = Yes. Well, mostly yes.

There are some very important details about transiting through EU airports right now, especially if you are coming from a country with a travel ban.

EU Tourism Reopening Approved Country List

Below I have the busiest airports in Europe that MOST non-EU travelers will find themselves needing to transit through, along with their rules for transiting.

The airports I have transit rules for below include: Heathrow, Gatwick, Charles de Gaulle, Schiphol, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dublin, etc.

Spoiler Alert: Most of the airports are saying that US citizens and other non-EU travelers can transit through the airport IF they do not have to go through customs.

UK Will Lift 14 Day Self Isolation For Returning Travelers

European Airports Allowing American Transits

Heathrow Airport, London

Can I still transit/connect through Heathrow?

YES

Many passengers are taking flights that connect through Heathrow to their onward destination. We would like to reassure you that you are still welcome to transit through Heathrow; but will need to bear a few things in mind when preparing for your flight.

If your departing flight is on the same calendar date as your arriving flight and you have been issued a boarding pass for your onward flight, you will be free to transit/connect through Heathrow without having to clear Immigration.

Read more detailed information about transiting at Heathrow, along with additional FAQ’s.

transit at heathrow during covid

Heathrow Terminal Note:

All flights at Heathrow are now operating from Terminals 2 and 5 following the temporary relocation of airlines from Terminals 3 and 4. Rail operations will continue to serve Terminals 2 and 5.

Please note American Airlines has temporarily relocated from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5.

Masks:

It is mandatory to wear a mask at Heathrow Airport

Gatwick Airport, London

Can I still transit/connect through Gatwick?

YES

We contacted Gatwick for their official stance on NON-EU travelers connecting through the airport, and this was their response:

“Yes non-EU citizens are allowed to transit through Gatwick. If you transfer through our flight connections facility then this will be ok”

They did not go into detail about length of time, or any customs details.

Read more detailed information about transiting at Gatwick, along with additional FAQ’s.

gatwick covid transit rules

Gatwick Terminal Note: 

All flights to and from Gatwick are operating from the North Terminal only as a temporary measure.

Masks:

Masks are mandatory at Gatwick airport. Masks should not be used by children under the age of three or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. All staff will also be wearing face masks in passengers areas of the airport.

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris

Can I still transit/connect through CDG?

Maybe

Currently French borders are closed to US passengers, but they may be able to transit through CDG staying the international area within 24h maximum.

You will only be allowed to make your connection at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport only if you stay in the transit area, that means your baggage must be checked-in to your final destination and that you already have your boarding pass for the next flight.
Please contact your airline to make sure that they can check your baggage in until your final destination and issue the boarding pass.

Update August 12:
With the increased rules against Americans travelling to France, even in transit, we have been hearing reports of a 72 hour PCR test being required. Please be aware of this if you plan to transfer through France. 

Read more about transiting through CDG airport

CDG Terminal Note:

From June 26th terminals 1, 2C, 2D, 2G and 3 are temporally closed, with flights assigned to different terminals. Terminal 2A, 2E, 2F are operational.

Masks:

Since May 11, 2020 it is mandatory to wear a mask in the airport and on all flights arriving and departing CDG

Temperature Checks on Arrival:

“For your protection, Paris Aéroport is setting up temperature screenings with thermal cameras at your arrival in Paris, in the luggage delivery area. If your temperature is above 38°C, you will be invited to proceed to a second temperature check with a contact-less thermometer. If your temperature is confirmed above the indicated level, we will suggest you a medical visit with a doctor who will, if required, offer you to be tested with a COVID-19 PCR test.”

Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

Can I still transit/connect through AMS?

YES

It is possible to make a direct transfer at Schiphol. It is important to know that you must stay in the transit zone if the entry ban applies to you. If you have booked tickets with two different airlines, we recommend that you contact them. They can arrange the transportation of your luggage. If this is not possible, it is best to travel without checked-in baggage. You cannot pick up your baggage yourself and check it in again if the entry restrictions apply to you.

Read more about transiting through AMS airport

transit at AMS airport in Amsterdam

Health Declaration for AMS Airport

It is important to carry a health declaration with you when you fly. Please complete it before you leave home. You must be able to show the health declaration upon request whether you’re at Schiphol, on the plane or at the destination airport. Keep it in a convenient place with your passport, boarding pass or be prepared to display it on your mobile.

Masks:

Masks are required in different areas of the AMS airport. Watch the signs for when to have them on.

Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt

Can I still transit/connect through FRA?

Yes

We have had over a dozen readers mention they have transferred successfully at Frankfurt, however their website doesn't clearly mention if transits are allowed or not.

FRA customer service told us: “Non EU travelers should still be able to transit through Frankfurt Airport. You are welcome to contact our colleagues of the German Federal Police via [email protected] to make sure. They will be able to provide you with the latest regulations”

One reader recently shared his email correspondence with the Federal Police Directorate Frankfurt Airport (on August 15) that clearly states “Transiting through Frankfurt is allowed for US- citizens.”

You can also look through the FRA FAQ page to get more basic information.

transit at frankfurt airport

Frankfurt Terminal Note:

All flight arrivals and departures are currently taking place in Terminal 1

Masks:

As of June 9th, it is mandatory for anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask in Frankfurt Airport

Madrid Barajas Airport, Spain

Can I still transit/connect through MAD?

YES

Madrid airport did not have a large FAQ or covid information page like many other European airports, so we had to reach out to their customer service directly. They replied:

“Only passengers leaving the boarding area must fulfill and follow the requirements established by the Spanish government. Transits that do not leave the boarding area are permitted.”

MAD Terminal Note:

All flight arrivals and departures are only operating out of terminal 1 and terminal 4 at this time.

Masks:

We could not find the information on masks, so please assume they are mandatory. 

Dublin Airport, Ireland

Can I transit/connect through DUB?

YES

Dublin Airport states on their covid information page that the 14-day quarantine rule and other rules set out by the HSE do not apply for arriving passengers if they are briefly stopping over at the airport on their way to another country.

We also reached out to their customer service team who answered: “Yes, passengers from outside the EU can still transit through Dublin Airport, but before they travel they should check the guidance in place for their onward / final destination.”

DUB Terminal Note:

We could not find any terminal change or disruption notices at this time. 

Masks:

  • Passengers are strongly recommended to wear face masks or face coverings at all times when inside airport buildings or in car park shuttle buses. 
  • Children under the age of 13 will not be asked to wear face masks and passengers who have a valid medical reason for not wearing a face mask will also be exempt.
  • Passengers should bring their own face mask from home, but if they forget to do so, masks will be available for purchase at the airport

We have also reached out to airports in Munich, Zurich, Copenhagen, Iceland and more. We will update once they respond. 

Vienna Airport, Austria

Can I transit/connect through VIE?

YES

Vienna Airport has stated that transit passengers are not affected by current testing and quarantine requirements, providing the passenger remains in the transit area. Read more about all their current covid restrictions and advice on their official site.

VIE Terminal Note:

All arrivals and departures at VIE are now taking place at terminal 3.

Masks:

The wearing of masks in the airport is mandatory for all passengers and staff. 

We have also reached out to airports in Munich, Zurich, Copenhagen, Iceland and more. We will update once they respond. 

UPDATE for transiting in Zurich or Geneva:

As of August 31, Switzerland is not allowing transits from high-risk countries like the USA. American travelers may no longer be able to use Zurich or Geneva as a transit hub for onward travel. 

Istanbul Airport (IST)

Istanbul airport is a BREEZE to transit in as an American traveler. 

You are permitted into Turkey without testing or quarantines AND they have a PCR testing facility in the airport if your next destination requires negative test results! 

Here is how to get a PCR test at Instanbul Airport on a Layover

Other Airports in Europe Where American’s Can Transit/Transfer Easily

Here are some other airports that you can easily transit through because they are currently accepting American travelers into the country.

The above countries are accepting tourists from ALL nations, so they are great for other non-EU residents to also transit through. 

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

All travelers, coming from the USA or any non-EU country, should check if they are permitted to transit before booking any airline ticket. 

Travelers should call both the airline and the airport to ensure they will be able to complete the transit/transfer with the current travel bans and entry restrictions.

Read More: See our complete guide of countries now reopen for international tourism, which countries are open for British, Canadian and American tourists, and which cruise ships have reopened for sailings. 

Disclaimer: The ability to transit through EU airports is ever-changing and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but 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.

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Originally published July 9, 2020 with updates 



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