Travel rules in Europe as the Covid-19 pandemic continues

posted in: Blog | 0


A second wave of COVID-19 cases sweeps across Europe. European governments try to put new travel restrictions, set lock downs, and reinstate stricter measures to help contain the spread of the virus. These measures affected air travel. Moreover, the movement of people across borders is only by necessity. Tourism is practically dead .

In Europe “the weekly average flight arrivals have dropped to nearly 67% below last year’s level.” It is mainly due to the current stricter travel restrictions in the UK, France, Germany, and other destination in the European Union (EU), shows data from CIRIUM. As a result airlines had to scale down its operations and return many aircraft back to storage.

This is a summary of the most essential information to help you make the best travel decision for all European countries. This article is for your information only. It is intended to serve as a starting point for your travel research.

As the situation with COVID-19 is rapidly evolving in Europe your best source of information are government websites where the information appears to be most current.

This travel COVID-19 guide focuses on basic country entry requirements amid the pandemic. Many countries are still advising against nonessential international travel. Local governments and airlines websites often contain the most up-to-date information. Check them out before before traveling.

Albania | Andora | Austria | Belarus | Belgium | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus | Check Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Italy | Kosovo | Latvia | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Moldova | Monaco | Montenegro | Netherlands | Norway | North Macedonia | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Russia | San Marrino | Serbia | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Ukraine | The United Kingdom


As of November 13, British Airways has canceled their flights from Tirana to London through early December. Lufthansa Airlines and Austrian Airlines have reduced their number of weekly flights to/from Tirana until December 18. A negative COVID-19 certification is not required to enter Albania. As of October 15 it is mandatory to wear a mask in public areas, indoors and outdoors, for any individual 11 years old and above. For more information visit the U.S. Embassy in Albania website


Andora is a sovereign landlocked state on the Iberian Peninsula bordered by France to the north and Spain to the South. For travel and flights to and from Andora you have to apply the travel restrictions for France and Spain. If you travel from Andora to France, you need to complete an online travel certificate.
If you travel from Andora to Spain, since Andora borders with the Spanish region of Catalonia, you also need to complete an online travel certificate. For more information visit the following government websites of Andora, Spain, and France:


Depending on what country you come from to enter Austria you’re either required or not required to show a negative COVID-19 test, or commit to quarantine. Austria has suspended the entry by most third-country nationals, including U.S. residents, from outside the EU and the Schengen area. To find out how to visit Austria during the pandemic visit this official travel portal website.


Belarus temporarily have closed borders to foreigners on November 1 due to increase of COVID-19 cases in the country. Travelers from certain countries going to Belarus have to self-quarantine upon arrival. For more information visit the official website of Republic of Belarus.


There is mandatory form for travel to Belgium. As of August 1 all travelers going to Belgium and passing through Belgium, and who are staying at least 48 hours in the country must fill out an identification form called Passenger Locator Form. For most up-to-date information visit the Belgium Foreign Affairs website.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

To enter Bosnia and Herzegovina as a foreign traveler you’ll need a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test done in the last 48 hours prior to entry. For more information visit the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina website.


As Bulgaria follows WHO and European Center for Disease Control guidelines on threat reduction there are multiple rules and exceptions to the rules of who can and cannot enter the country. For the most part you’ll need a negative PCR test performed in the last 72 hours. Good source of information in English is the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria.


To enter Croatia travelers need to have a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) not older then 48 hours. Travelers whose test is older than 48 hours will be allowed to enter Croatia, but they will be issued a self-isolation order and will have to be tested again locally at their own expense. Having an expired PCR test upon arrival will allow for a shortened period of time in self-isolation pending a negative result of a local PCR test. 

Those who do not provide a negative PCR test upon arrival will be ordered to quarantine/self-isolate for at least 7 days prior to taking a local PCR test. Travelers who fail to present a PCR test upon arrival and refuse to take a test locally will be ordered to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days. A local test cost ranges from $130 to $300 or more, depending upon the location, and the result can be expected between 24-48 hours. 

Travelers also need to present completed “Enter Croatia” form upon arrival. The form can be submitted online before departure at

For more information visit the U.S. Embassy in Croatia website.


If traveling to the Republic of Cyprus you are not able to obtain a PCR test within 72 hours prior to boarding your flight, you will be tested upon arrival at your own expense (85 euro / 100 US dollars). Some passengers may be randomly selected for COVID testing upon entry, regardless of which countries they traveled from. Those testing positive will be in mandatory quarantine at a designated facility.

Those testing negative must self-isolate at their residence for 14 days and complete a negative PCR test after the twelfth day, prior to release following the Cyprus Ministry of Health protocol. Isolated individuals should only leave their house for emergency after contacting a doctor or dialing 1420. If other passengers on your flight subsequently test positive on arrival to Cyprus, you may be subject to further mandatory quarantine or self-isolation measures.

For more information visit the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus website.

Check Republic

Due to the the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases and the enforced State of Emergency, the government of the Czech Republic doesn’t allow U.S. citizens to travel to the Czech Republic for the purpose of tourism or visiting friends. All other travelers arriving to the Czech Republic are subjected to classification based on level of risk country they come from. Visit the Check Republic Ministry of Health website for further details.  For additional information visit the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic website.


Passengers must have a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test taken at least 72 hours before arrival. If you are not a Danish national or a resident of Denmark, different rules apply for entering Denmark depending on whether your country or region of residence is classified as open, banned, or high-risk. Visit this government website established by the Danish authorities for more information.


Estonia admits people with no Covid-19 symptoms arriving from the European Union, the members of the Schengen area, or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as from a small number of countries outside this area but quarantine requirements may apply. Visitestonia website appears to have most up-to-date information.


TUI Airways cancels all flights to Lapland this year because of COVID-19. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland contuses to advice to avoid non-essential travel. However, the Government has decided to lift border restrictions between Finland and certain countries. Visit the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland to learn more.


Currently, you may not travel between different parts of France. As internal European borders remain open, external borders are closed except for essential travel. All travelers arriving in France will be tested at airports and ports. Masks must be worn at all times in public transport. Visit this French government website for more information:

There are different rule that apply to foreign nationals wishing to enter France. It very much depends if you are European Union national or come form a country part of the different list categories set by the french government. To find out more visit


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are in place for entry into Germany from a large number of countries. Moreover, persons arriving from many countries are obligated to self-quarantine for a period of 10 days. Details are available at this German diplomatic website


According to information from the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Greece “Greek authorities have reimposed a lockdown through November 30, 2020 to combat the spread of COVID-19. Authorities announced 24-hour movement restrictions, an expanded nighttime curfew, suspension of many business and entertainment operations, prohibition of gatherings, restrictions of restaurant operations to delivery/carry-out only, and restrictions on travel between regions in Greece. Masks are required everywhere, indoors and outdoors.” For additional information visit the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Greece website.


Entering Hungary is heavily restricted at this time. As of July 15 the Government of Hungary began imposing entry restrictions. Countries are classified into “red”, “yellow” and “green” categories, based on the severity of the COVID situation in each country. Even though commercial flights and transportation are currently operating a10-day quarantine is required for all international arrivals from “red” or “yellow” countries. Visit the U.S Embassy in Hungary website for the most up-to-date information.


A Government of Island website alerts that “For travelers going to Iceland [ … ] Iceland takes part in the Schengen and EU measures to close external borders to non-EFTA/EU nationals in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Until the 17th of April, non-EFTA/EU citizens will not be able to enter the country. The restriction does not apply to transit passengers, relatives of EFTA/EU citizens, or people with work or residence permits in the region.” Visit the U.S. Embassy in Iceland website for full and up-to-date COVID-19 information.


“On 7 of October 2020, the Council of Ministers decided to extend the nationwide state of emergency until 31 January 2021, due to the health risk posed by the spread of communicable diseases, especially COVID-19 caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 corona-virus”, says Italian Foreign Ministry on its website. If you are an Italian national returning to Italy or foreigner wanting to travel to Italy visit the Italian Foreign Ministry website for full and complete details on all you need to know about traveling to Italy.


A negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) is required to enter Kosovo. Foreigners entering the Republic of Kosovo who come from high risk countries according to the official list of European Center for Disease Control have to prove a RT-PCR negative test. No test is needed if you transit the country and if you leave within 3 hours. In this case you need to present a plane ticket and sign a declaration that within 3 hours you will leave the territory of Republic of Kosovo. For more information visit the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo website.


Before entering Latvia, all passengers are requested to fill out a electronic questionnaire confirming that they will observe the established epidemiological safety measures upon arrival. There are no special health checks for arriving passengers at Riga Airport. U.S. citizens residing in the United States are banned from entering Latvia for non-essential travel, which includes tourism, unless you have an EU passport or meet the very specific exceptions. The EU Commission determines who may enter the EU based on epidemiological data.  At this time, there is no projected date when travelers from the United States will be permitted to enter Latvia. Visit the U.S. Embassy in Latvia website for more information.


Switzerland handles immigration and customs matters for Liechtenstein. Entry requirements are the same as for Switzerland.


Lithuania is under quarantine of its entire territory as of November 7 until November 29, according to KORONA STOP Lithuania has a new list of COVID-19 affected countries designated red, yellow, and green. Lithuania currently allows citizens of European Economic Area countries and persons lawfully residing in these countries to enter Lithuania. To find more information visit


If you enter Luxembourg by air from a non EU country you are required to show a COVID-19 test results. There are new measures concerning the entry into Luxembourg of third-country nationals. Luxembourg currently only allows EU citizens, EU residents, and residents of certain other specific countries to enter. Read this official website for further details:

North Macedonia

U.S. citizens are permitted to enter the Republic of North Macedonia with no COVID-19 restrictions or testing requirements. Read the U.S. Embassy in North Macedonia website for further details.


No COVID-19 test is required for entry into Malta at this time. Malta, similarly to other European countries uses red, green, and amber lists of countries. Each color represent different set of rules to enter Malta. If your country is part of the amber list of countries you will require a proof of negative PCR COVID-19 swab test done within the last 72 hours. More important information can be found at this website: An additional source of information is the U.S. Embassy in Malta.


As of September 1, Moldova requires a 14-day self-quarantine for travelers arriving from “red zone” countries, including the United States. Every two weeks the Moldovan Ministry of Health updates the list of countries on the “red” zone. The U.S. Embassy in Moldova has good information including links to Moldovan government websites. Note that many of these website are not translated in English.


All travelers going to Monaco regardless of nationality (except those coming from France) and traveling from outside of Europe, including the EU member states, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, San Marino, Andorra, the Vatican must report their arrival to the health authorities in Monaco by contacting a Covid-19 Call Center and may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. For further details on all you need to know about how to enter Monaco refer to the website of the Embassy of Monaco in Washington, DC.


In general foreign nationals are allowed to enter Montenegro under very specific conditions. Similarity to other European countries, Montenegro has separated countries into Green and Yellow lists. Visit this official government website for full and complete details


Even though the Dutch borders remain open, official government information strongly advises travelers not to travel to the Netherlands unless it is strictly necessary. Self-quarantine is in place if you travel from certain countries. Visit this Dutch government website to learn information about traveling to the Netherlands from abroad.


The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published the following statement on its website:

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is maintaining its global advice against all non-essential travel to all countries. This advice currently applies until 15 January 2021. Exceptions have been made for countries and regions in the Nordic region and in the Schengen area/EEA that meet the criteria for infection levels set by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The infection situation and local restrictions can change very quickly. Anyone considering a trip abroad should think carefully about whether it is necessary to travel.”

Visit the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on traveling to Norway amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


According to information by the U.S. Embassy of Poland U.S. citizens are not permitted to enter the country. Furthermore, Poland has restricted entry to all foreigners at all external borders (land, air, and sea), including for transit purposes. Only foreigners who qualify for certain exception will be allowed to enter. Visit this website of the Republic of Poland for details about COVID-19 measures in place.


There is currently a State of Emergency in Portugal. The U.S. Embassy in Portugal reported that on “November 6, the Government of Portugal announced a country-wide State of Emergency. Beginning November 9, more than 100 Municipalities (mainly located in in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto) will be in partial confinement with new restrictions.” A negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours presented prior to boarding on all flights to Portugal is needed. For latest measures in Portugal visit this government website:


No negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry in Romania. However, the government of Romania has established strict rules on movement. The U.S Embassy in Romania reported that “On July 18, the Government of Romania passed a law authorizing the government to direct individuals into quarantine or home isolation. Quarantine applies to individuals who are returning travelers from areas with a high epidemiological risk or suspected contacts of confirmed cases. Isolation applies to confirmed cases, including for asymptomatic individuals and patients exhibiting symptoms. Travelers arriving from EEA or other countries with per capita case growth equal to or less than Romania’s will be exempt from 14 days of quarantine.”


Due to the current high number of COVID-19 infections, the U.S. Department of State advises against any travel to the Russian Federation.

All foreigners traveling to Russia are required to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test result upon arrival. The test has to be taken within three days prior to arrival in Russia. The U.S. Embassy in Russia is a comprehensive source of information.The national carrier of Russia Aeroflot also has COVID-19 Travel Updates web page explaining what restrictions exist for passengers on international flights.

San Marrino

Entry into San Marino is through Italy. Review travel information for Italy before you travel to San Marino.


On August 14 of this year the government of Serbia placed COVID-19 requirements that still remain in place. Based on these requirements all foreigners, U.S. citizens included, seeking to enter Serbia from North Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, or Romania, will need to provide a negative PCR test, taken within the previous 48 hours. If you enter Serbia from other countries currently no PCR test is required. The Government of Serbia set up a website with additional information that may be helpful. However, the U.S. Embassy in Serbia website outlines the most important facts you need to know before traveling to Serbia amid the pandemic.


Only if you have family members of a Slovak citizenship, received an entry exception from the Slovak authorities, or otherwise qualify for entry as outlined on the European Commission website, you may travel to Slovakia. Traveling for tourism or regular business from the United States to the Schengen zone, including Slovakia, is not allowed. If arrived in Slovakia from a high-risk country you’ll be subjected to COVID-19 registration. For more information refer to this Slovakian government website.


With the resurgence of coronavirus cases the government of Slovenia once again declared an epidemic in the entire territory of Slovenia as of October 19, according to information from the Slovenian Ministry of Interior. Entry to Slovenia is based on green, orange, and red lists . Information about crossing the Slovenian border during the coronavirus pandemic is available at this Slovenian Ministry of Interior website.


As of July 1 if you travel to Spain you must fill out and sign a special Health Control Form called FCS regardless of your nationality, age, or any other consideration. The form must be completed by each passenger. If the passenger is a minor or a dependent/disabled person, the form can be filled in by their legal guardian. Passengers arriving from the United States or any other country with a high COVID-19 infection rate are required to present a negative PCR test to enter Spain. For more information refer to this Spanish Travel Health website or to the U.S. Embassy of Spain and Andora website.


“The Swedish Government has decided to stop non-essential travel to Sweden from countries outside the European Union. This ban will be in effect until December 22.” states information by the Swedish government. At this time there is no quarantine requirement for travelers arriving in Sweden.

Switzerland (and Lichtenstein)

A negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) is not required for entry to Switzerland. If you come from designated by Switzerland a high-risk country your entry is subjected to certain restrictions. Comprehensive information on current measures is available on the State Secretariat for Migration website.


As of September 28 foreigners are allowed to enter Ukraine. However, foreigners have to have an insurance policy that will covers the cost of eventual treatment for COVID-19. At this Ukrainian government website you can learn all you need for your travel to Ukraine.

The United Kindom (UK)

The UK is highly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. As of November 5 there are new national restrictions that you can find information about at Since the situation in UK is rapidly changing follow the website for most up-to-date information on traveling to the UK.

Follow Ian Powers:

Travel Blogger

Ian Powers is a travel blogger and nature enthusiast. Ian has over 20 years of aviation travel experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *