With the recent rise of the highly contagious Omicron variant sweeping across the globe — countries have begun to radically alter their entry requirements for foreign travelers. The European countries Denmark and Czech Republic, are two of the latest to tighten up on their rules and create challenges for travelers this winter.
Denmark’s New Rules
Prior to December 27th, the small and picturesque Scandinavian country of Denmark with a relatively high vaccination rate had once required no Covid test before departure with little to no restrictions. But now due to the sudden spike in cases throughout the country, they are now requiring a Pre-departure Covid-19 test regardless of vaccination status. This test must be administered a maximum of 48 hours before entry into the country if it’s a rapid antigen test or 72 hours before entry if it’s a PCR-test. The timing of the test is something to take into account, especially with the recent flight cancellations and delays that countries such as the United States have been experiencing as of late.
There are some exceptions to the mandatory pre-departure Covid-19 test, these are:
- Children under the age of 15.
- People who are transiting through Denmark within 24 hours of their time of entry.
- People who for medical reasons or mental disability cannot take a Covid-19 test. To see the full list of exemptions follow this link.
Denmark is not the only country that has enacted new entry requirements this week. The Czech Republic, the Eastern European country that is well known for the beautiful and bustling city of Prague, has also made significant alterations to their process as well.
Czech Republic Changes Entry Requirements
Beginning on December 27th, foreign travelers to the Czech Republic are required to present a negative Covid-19 test PRIOR to travel. If it is a PCR test it should be taken 72 hours before departure. If it is an antigen test it should be taken 48 hours prior to departure. This requirement also applies to vaccinated individuals or those that have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months.
The exceptions to this rule are:
- Anyone who has received a Covid-19 booster
- Children under 12
- Those between 12-18 years of age who are fully vaccinated (booster not required)
- Those that have recently recovered more than 14 days ago from Covid-19.
Also note, there has been a change to the rules that were implemented months ago regarding unvaccinated travelers. Now, those travelers that have not been vaccinated ARE allowed to travel to the Czech Republic. But these travelers who have not received the vaccine or who have not recovered from Covid-19 within the last six months, must take the pre-departure Covid-19 test AND also a PCR test between the 5th and 7th day after arrival into the Czech Republic.
The Future of Travel
With the threat of the spread of Omicron looming, there is a great likelihood that these entry requirements may expand to even more countries within the European area. The Czech government has already announced that as of February 22nd, 2022 they will not accept a vaccination card if it is over nine months from the second dose. A booster shot, however, will extend the validity indefinitely.
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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