As professionals predict a hyper-busy travel season fraught with high fares and substandard service, major destinations in Europe such as Spain, Greece, Turkiye (Turkey), and Cypress are lifting COVID restrictions. But not for all.
As COVID restrictions are still changing frequently, travelers should stay up to date on the lingering COVID restrictions. They have to make sure there are not unpleasant surprises at check points during their travel.
Spanish authorities announced last week that the country would no longer apply COVID-19 entry rules for travelers from the EU but will not make any exemptions for those travelling from the United Kingdom and outside the EU.
Spain was one of the last EU countries to keep in place COVID-19 entry rules for EU members. In its most recent decision, the Spanish Ministry of Health stated the following:
“People who arrive in Spain by air or sea from countries that do not belong to the European Union or are not considered Schengen associated countries may be subjected to a health control at the first point of entry that will include, at least, the taking temperature, a documentary control, and a visual check on their physical condition,” the decision reads regarding travel from third countries.
As part of the effort to ease the travel process, the government in Greece confirmed that COVID rules are lifted. The mandatory mask requirements in airplanes and public venues are no longer required from the beginning of June.
“Face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky pointed out in this regard.
However, the Greek Minister of Health, Thanos Plevris, has highlighted that Greece might reintroduce its entry restrictions again in September, once the summer season is over.
Travelers no longer need to show negative COVID test or proof of vaccination if they are planning to visit the country for a holiday from this month.
In addition, local restrictions in the country have also been lifted. Face masks are no longer required either indoors or outdoors.
Turkish Airlines have also updated passengers to say the previous requirements “have been cancelled” and that “Wearing a mask on international flights to Türkiye (Turkey) is at the passenger’s discretion.”
The Foreign Office has changed its travel advice for Türkiye to reflect the changes. However, it does note that “as COVID-19 entry requirements may change at short notice, you should check the specifics with your airline before you travel”.
The popular tourist destination scrapped all COVID rules since the beginning of June.
Regardless of their country of origin all travelers can enter Cyprus. No need to provide COVID-19 proof such as vaccination, recovery, or test certificate upon their arrival.
The only remaining COVID restriction in the country is face masks in any sort of medical facilities.
Other EU members such as Bulgaria, Lithuania, and 12 other EU/Schengen Area countries have also already lifted their entry rules. Czechia, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland allow restriction-free entry to all travelers.