ith the COVID-19 situation starting to deteriorate within the European continent, several EU/Schengen Area countries have decided to review their entry rules, especially for unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers as well as for third-country nationals.
Spain Continues to Keep Strict Rules
Spain is currently keeping strict entry restrictions against most EU/Schengen Area countries that are placed on its high-risk list. The Spanish authorities have announced that all those who plan on reaching the country are required to hold an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate.
This means that travellers who possess a valid vaccination certificate that indicates that the holder has been fully immunised against the virus with one of the recognised vaccines and those who hold a recovery certificate can enter Spain without having to follow quarantine and testing rules.
On the other hand, unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers must undergo testing in order to be permitted to enter the country. In addition, everyone, regardless of their vaccination and recovery status, is required to fill in an entry form.
Except for the EU travellers, Spain also allows entry to several third countries that are placed on its list of epidemiologically safe third countries, under the same restrictions, provided that they present an equivalent document to the EU COVID-19 Pass.
Norway & Sweden Extend Their Entry Ban
Soon after Norway decided to relax the entry rules, its authorities announced that the country’s entry restrictions would be extended until further notice. In line with the new update, travellers reaching Norway from red, dark red, purple, and grey, countries need to follow self-isolation rules.
In addition, travellers are required to register online and take a PCR test upon arrival.
Children under the age of 18 are exempt from the quarantine requirement, but they still need to get tested as soon as they enter Norway.
The above-mentioned requirements apply only to unvaccinated and recovered travellers, meaning that those who have been fully vaccinated or recovered don’t need to follow quarantine or testing rules.
Regarding non-EU travellers, Norway has proposed a bill to extend its entry restrictions until May 2022.
As for Sweden, the country’s government has decided to extend its ban against arrivals from EU/EEA countries for another month until November 30.
The extension of the ban means that all European travellers must present an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate or another equivalent document that indicates that they have been immunised, recovered, or tested negative in order to be allowed entry to Sweden.
Persons from other Nordic countries, such as those from Norway, Denmark, Finland or Iceland, are not affected by such entry rules.
In addition, Sweden also keeps an entry ban against arrivals from third countries. The ban was planned to remain effective only until October 31, but after taking into account the current epidemiologic situation, it has been extended until January 31, 2022.
Denmark Removes Double Testing Requirement
In contrast to the countries mentioned above, Denmark has facilitated its entry rules for EU travellers. As part of the new agreement on simplification and normalisation of COVID-19 travel rules, the Danish authorities disclosed that unvaccinated and unrecovered EU travellers now have to present only one COVID-19 test result, taken before departure or within 24 hours before their arrival.
On the other hand, permanent EU/Schengen Area residents who are able to present a valid vaccination or recovery certificate through the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate or another equivalent platform can enter Denmark without being subject to testing or quarantine requirements.
Similar Rules to Enter France
Similar to the other countries, France allows entry to all EU nationals who hold the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate. Those who are unable to present one of the certificates are required to undergo testing within 72 hours prior to arrival.
As for third-country nationals, entry rules depend on the country of departure and the vaccination status. In most cases, those recovered or vaccinated with an accepted vaccine dose can enter France without being subject to additional restrictions. In contrast, unvaccinated and unrecovered third-country nationals are subject to pre-departure testing and self-isolation measures.
Apart from the entry rules, all those planning to travel to France should keep in mind that the country currently requires everyone to present a health pass in order to be able to access certain places, including cafes, restaurants, and museums, among others. The pass is expected to get extended until July 2022.
Czechia & Estonia Impose Testing & Quarantine Rules for Unvaccinated/Unrecovered EU Nationals
Since November 1, the entry rules for unvaccinated and unrecovered EU nationals travelling to Czechia have been tightened as more than half of the EU Member States have been added to its unsafe travel list.
While fully vaccinated and previously infected travellers are eligible to enter the country restriction-free, unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers from red and dark red countries need to register before entering Czechia and undergo a PCR or antigen test before arrival.
In addition, they are also required to undergo a second test no earlier than the fifth day of arrival and no later than the 14th day.
Similarly, the Estonian authorities have revealed that stricter rules will apply against travellers from 18 EU countries that have been recently added to the red list.
Unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers reaching Estonia from several EU countries, including Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Greece, among others, are obliged to follow testing and quarantine requirements.
In order to facilitate travel within the bloc and allow free movement of those who have already been vaccinated, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) previously suggested that the traffic light system be dropped. The agency suggested that the Member States base their entry rules on vaccination status rather than the country from which a person is travelling.