EU COVID travel restrictions: are there any left?

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With the overall COVID-19 situation improving as well as increasing vaccination rates, almost all countries in the European Union/European Economic Area have decided to drop all their entry and exit rules. allow unrestricted entry for all travellers.

Nevertheless, there are still two countries that continue to require travelers to follow entry rules, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

The list of European Union and European Economic Area countries that have dropped all their coronavirus entry rules and are allowing entry to all travelers, regardless of country of origin and vaccination status , is the following :

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Swiss

All travelers can enter the countries mentioned above even if they do not have a vaccination, recovery or test certificate.

Although these 27 EU/EEA countries no longer have entry rules in place, the Netherlands and Spain continue to require certain categories of travelers to meet COVID entry rules.

Below are the entry rules each of these three countries currently apply.

Netherlands

© Denis Van De Water | Dreamstime.com

The Netherlands continues to maintain COVID entry restrictions only for travelers from third countries.

Dutch authorities explain that the country currently has an entry ban in place for anyone traveling from a country outside the EU/Schengen area.

“An entry ban is in place for people coming from countries outside the EU/Schengen area. There are exemptions to the entry ban. For example, if you come from a safe country, or if you have proof of vaccination or proof of recovery that meets the requirements,” indicates the statement of the Dutch authorities.

This means that non-European travelers must present a vaccination or recovery certificate to be allowed to enter the Netherlands. All travelers who do not hold either of these two certificates are currently banned, meaning they are not allowed to enter the Netherlands.

Conversely, EU/EEA travelers can enter the Netherlands without restriction even if they do not hold any of the certificates.

Spain

Barcelona - Parc Guell, Spain
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Even though Spain has lifted all of its COVID entry rules for EU/Schengen travellers, the country continues to require those from third countries to meet certain entry rules.

According to the Spanish Ministry of Health, all travelers over the age of 12 from non-EU countries must present a vaccination, recovery or test certificate upon arrival.

Travelers who are able to present one of these passes are allowed to enter Spain for all kinds of purposes.

“Passengers (except children under 12 and those in international transit) arriving from countries that do NOT belong to the European Union or are NOT considered Schengen associated countries must present a certificate EU COVID digital or EU equivalent or SpTH QR, in order to pass health checks upon arrival in Spain”, indicates the ministry.

On the other hand, travelers who do not hold a European digital certificate or another equivalent European document must follow additional rules. The authorities emphasize that this group of travelers must complete the health control form.

“Who should complete the health check form? People arriving from countries that are NOT members of the European Union or that do NOT have the status of Schengen Associated countries, who do not have an EU COVID digital certificate or EU equivalent », added the ministry.

Just like other countries, Spain also applies validity rules on vaccination, recovery or test certificates. A vaccination certificate is considered valid as long as it proves that the holder has completed vaccination with two doses of vaccine within the last nine months or received a first or second booster.

A recovery certificate, on the other hand, is only valid for six months, which means that the document must prove that the holder has recovered from the virus within the last 180 days.

As for negative tests, Spain accepts PCR and rapid antigen tests. The PCR test must be carried out within 72 hours before arrival, while the rapid antigen test must be carried out within 24 hours before arrival.

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