After the initial shock in early spring, international travel all around the world rose again, growing towards the numbers, at least somewhat reminiscent of the previous level. That was especially true in such regions as Europe or East Asia where epidemiological situation significantly improved just in a few months, allowing most of the holiday-hungry travelers to finally put their summer plans together.
However, at the end of the summer even these regions saw the rapidly growing number of new Covid-19 cases, so the scenario we all saw earlier this year seemed to recur – at least partially. Even the European Union states along with other countries belonging to the Schengen free movement area started to close their borders again resulting in cancelled flights, closure of air bridges and repeated suspension of some previously served routes on the behalf of air carriers.
Nevertheless, as the recession in tourism sector has a significant negative impact on the economy even of those countries that are not so largely dependent on it, the European Commission has just adopted a proposal for a Council recommendation to ensure that any measures taken by Member States that restrict free movement due to the coronavirus pandemic are coordinated and clearly communicated at the EU level. Such a step should ensure that much less uncertainty should accompany every travel taken to or within most of Europe. But, as the EU area does not cover the whole Old Continent, there still will be a bit of confusion when considering travelling to any other part of Europe. Not to mention the other regions where travel restrictions usually vary by country. That’s why we have decided to put all the information regarding this topic into one place.
Previous restrictions for entry into the country had already been lifted with no intentions of their re-implementation. However, health screenings may be in place at ports of entry.
The country currently allows the entry for travelers arriving from EU member states, the Schengen Area, the UK, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican. Even so, traveling from countries which are not part of the European Economic Area is subjected to much wider restrictions for those, who are not either citizens or permanent residents of an EU/Schengen/ country or the UK.
travel from outside of the EEA remains restricted for travelers who are not nationals of an EU/Schengen/ country or the UK, and flights remain suspended from certain areas. Austrian nationals, permanent residents, D-visa holders, immediate family members of EEA nationals, diplomats, humanitarian aid workers, people traveling on business, healthcare professionals, and members of emergency, rescue or ambulance crews may also enter the country and travelers with an immediate connecting flight may transit through the Austrian territory.
As of September, the country has not implemented any specific entry restrictions, related to the ongoing pandemic, but foreign nationals are subject to a 14-day self quarantine requirement unless they arrive from a certain list of countries.
The country has restricted the entry of all travelers who are not arriving from EEA countries, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom. Nationals of Belgium or those same countries may still enter, but may be required to quarantine.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
From the second week of September, all the travellers, regardless of their nationality, can enter the country, provided that they have a negative PCR test for coronavirus, which is not older than 48 hours. However, Entry into BiH without presenting such a test is allowed to citizens of Montenegro, the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Croatia when they enter Bosnia and Herzegovina directly from the state of which they are citizens, as well as their minor children and spouses, who are citizens of other countries. Also, aircraft and cabin crew, whose final destination is Bosnia and Herzegovina, crews of freight trains and ships in international traffic, diplomants, military personnel and so on.
Bulgaria has reopened its borders to travelers from most European countries.
The country has already opened its borders to visitors from the EU/EEA and the UK. Nationals from outside the EU may also apply online for an entry pass. More information with the latest updates can be found here.
The country is already allowing entry to travelers arriving from specific categories of countries, and is accepting online entries for the CyprusFlightPass. Such entries must be made within 24 hours before the commencement of the travel. You can visit a dedicated website for more information.
Another European country now allows travelers from states it considers to be of low risk (where the cumulative 14-day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100.000 inhabitants does not exceed 25) to enter without being required to quarantine. However, there are certain exceptions which include family members of EEA/UK nationals residing in Czechia (who must provide evidence of their relationship), as well as travelers with a D visa issued by Czechia or a C visa issued by Czechia after May 11, 2020. Details of how countries are classified, and the regulations in place for travelers from those countries, can be found on the website of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic.
Denmark has reopened its borders to travelers arriving from most European countries; restrictions remain in place for most travelers from outside the EU/Schengen area and UK.
The country is currently allowing visitors from states in which the cumulative 14-day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100.000 inhabitants does not exceed 25. Those arriving from European Economic area with higher infection rate are required to self-isolate for 14 days. All other foreigners travelling without valid purpose such as business, work, study or any emergency are not allowed to enter the country.
The Faroe Islands have restricted the entry of most non-resident foreign nationals traveling from countries other than EU Member States, Schengen countries and the United Kingdom.
As there are restrictions for travelling to Finland from outside the EU/EEA, no internal border controls are in place in traffic between Finland and Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Slovakia. Recreational boat traffic (travel by pleasure craft) between Schengen countries is also unrestricted by border control.
Travel between Finland and these countries would thus be possible without restrictions from the perspective of border control at all Finnish airports and in all seaports, provided that the traffic location is open to such traffic.
Recreational boat traffic between Schengen countries is unrestricted by border control, and recreational boats are not obliged to enter a border checkpoint. In addition to the sea areas, it is also possible to enter the country on a recreational boat at the river border between Finland and Sweden (the rivers Tornionjoki and Muonionjoki). Travel between Finland and Cyprus, Ireland, San Marino and the Vatican is unrestricted at all border crossing points, however taking into account the provisions on the entry of a foreign citizen.
France has updated its screening regulations. Arrivals by air routes will need to complete a ‘sworn statement’ certifying they are not suffering from COVID-19 symptoms and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding two weeks.
Germany has relaxed its entry restrictions for travelers arriving from the European Economic Area, the UK, and Australia, Georgia, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, and Uruguay. Testing and quarantine regulations may apply to travelers arriving from high-risk areas.
The Government of Gibraltar has lifted its travel restrictions. All incoming travelers with valid travel documents will be allowed entry into Gibraltar via the Gibraltar International Airport.
Greece is open to travelers arriving from the EU/Schengen countries, the UK, and Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and the UAE.
Hungary has restricted the entry to most foreign travelers starting from September 1, except Hungarian nationals, residents, military, diplomatic, humanitarian, transit flights and foreign nationals attending or participating in some sports events.
Iceland has restricted the entry of all travelers who are not nationals of EEA Member States, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City, or the United Kingdom.
As of September, all the travelers who are at least 16 years old must complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before arrival.
The country has implemented an entry ban for travellers who have stayed or transited through the following countries in the last 14 days: Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Kosovo, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Oman, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Serbia.
Kosovo has reopened its airport to international flights.
Latvia has restricted the entry of all travelers except for Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian nationals, and permanent residents and travelers who are EEA or UK nationals, and traveling from within the EEA or the UK, or other countries green-listed by the EU.
Lithuania has required travelers arriving from, or transiting through affected countries (the list can be found here), to self-isolate for 14 days, but such period can be shortened to 10 days if at this time the person will undergo COVID-19 PCR and the test result will come negative. The only exception is made regarding transit passengers who did not leave the airport transit zone while going through the country which is considered affected according to the list. In addition to that, every traveller returning to or arriving in Lithuania by regular, special or charter transport by air, sea, or land, will have to electronically submit their personal data to the National Public Health Centre. This means that before boarding a plane, ferry, bus, or train, a traveller will have to fill in a form on the website of the National Public Health Centre, and present the confirmation received, the QR code, at the time of boarding.
Everyone entering the country from abroad must present a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 72 hours before departure.
Travellers arriving from countries from so-called ‘amber list’ (the updated version of which can be found here) are required upon arrival in Malta to present a negative COVID-19 test taken not more than 72 hours before their flight to Malta.
From September 1 onwards, Moldova requires a 14-day self-isolation for new arrivals from certain countries, with exceptions including asymptomatic individuals delivering goods, crew members, students, people traveling for health care, work related travelers with visas, diplomatic corps accredited in Moldova, and passengers in transit. The list of countries, arrival from which is subject to abovementioned restrictions is updated every two weeks and can be found here.
Travellers who have spent the last 15 days in one of the following countries (the “Green List”) are permitted to enter Montenegro without a requirement for testing prior to entry or quarantine on entry:
The United Kingdom, EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) and Algeria, Andorra, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Cuba, Fiji, Georgia, Iceland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, Senegal, South Korea, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
All of those who have spent the last 15 days in one of the following countries (the “Yellow List”) over the age of 5 are only permitted to enter Montenegro if they present a negative PCR, ELISA or ECLIA test for SARS-CoV-2 performed by accredited laboratories within 72 hours before arrival: Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore and the USA.
Residents and nationals of Montenegro may return home from countries not on the aforementioned lists, but should expect to be subject to a self-isolation period of at least 14 days.
The Netherlands has begun to accept tourists arriving from countries in the EU/Schengen area. Travellers from most of the other countries are subjected to a number of restrictions which are subject to change. The full list of restricted countries and certain restrictions can be found here.
North Macedonia reopened its airports on July 1 for commercial traffic. Effective July 9, all citizens of Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro arriving from those countries will be required to submit a negative PCR test completed no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the border or port of entry. The measure is only valid for citizens of these countries, and if transiting, these travelers may cross the border without presenting a PCR test.
As of July 15, Norway is lifting restrictions on entry into Norway for people resident in countries in the Schengen or European Economic Area that have an acceptable level of infection. This means that residents of these counties will not be subject to quarantine when arriving to Norway. Nationals of these countries may still travel to Norway from other areas if they reside, work, or have property in Norway.
If they travel from high-risk countries to Norway, they will be subject to a 10-day quarantine. The list of high-risk areas is being updated here. However, Norway has reintroduced restrictions for travelers arriving from the UK.
Poland is now accepting travelers arriving from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Georgia, Japan, Canada, Thailand, New Zealand, South Korea, Tunisia, and Australia.
Portugal has opened its borders to travelers from the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, UK, Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
Romania has restricted the entry of all travelers who are not nationals of Romania, the EEA countries, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom.
The country has restricted the entry of all travelers who are not Russian nationals, permanent residents, residents with residence permits, airline crew members, diplomats, members of international organizations based in Russia, and travelers whose visit concerns the death of a direct relative. The Russian government allows entry of foreigners for medical treatment or in order to care for relatives in Russia. Travelers with a close family member who is a Russian national may enter the country, but must provide supporting documentation of their relationship. Travelers may transit through Russian airports, as long as they are not entering the country.
Serbia has reopened its borders. Travelers entering Serbia from Croatia, North Macedonia, Bulgaria or Romania, excluding Serbian nationals, must arrive with a negative PCR test taken in the 48 hours before arrival.
The country is beginning to relax its travel restrictions. While Slovak nationals, their family members, and residents of Slovakia may travel to Slovakia from anywhere, foreign travelers may now also enter the country if they are arriving from and have only been in a select list of countries for the last 14 days. The updated list may be found here.
Slovenia has reopened its borders to EU and Schengen nationals and those traveling within the Schengen zone; however special quarantine restrictions apply to travelers arriving from countries considered as red-listed. The updated list of countries subjected to such restrictions can be found here.
Spain has reopened its borders to travelers from the EU, the Schengen area, and the UK. Travelers arriving from the aforementioned areas are no longer required to present a residency certificate or to self-isolate upon entry into Spain; however they will need to complete an “FCS health control form” 48 hours before arrival at https://www.spth.gob.es/. A QR code generated from the completed form must be presented upon arrival. Travelers will also undergo a temperature check and visual health assessment.
Sweden has restricted the entry of foreign travelers arriving from outside the EEA and the UK.
The country has begun to ease its travel restrictions. As well as nationals/residents of Switzerland or Liechtenstein, as of June 15, travelers from countries in the EU, United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway may now enter Switzerland. Travelers from other countries who have the necessary visas and permits to enter, and authorized healthcare professionals may still enter the country.
Also, same-day transit is permitted; however, travelers who are not nationals, residents, or family members of nationals/residents of EEA Member States or the UK may not transit through Switzerland when arriving from a non-Schengen Member State en route to another Schengen Member State. Additional exemptions exist for some categories of business travelers who have received advance permission. Special allowances also exist in some cases for travelers arriving from Germany or Austria. Travelers who have been in certain countries in the past 14 days are subject to quarantine for 10 days on arrival. An updated list of these countries can be found on the website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.
The country has now lifted most of its COVID-19 travel restrictions, but travelers who are not Turkish residents or nationals may not enter Turkey if arriving from Afghanistan or Bangladesh.
All travelers are required to wear a face mask at all times whilst in an airport, and for the duration of all flights to and from Turkey. They are also required to complete a passenger locator form prior to arriving in Turkey. All arrivals into Turkey will be subject to a medical evaluation for symptoms of coronavirus, including temperature checks.
Ukraine has restricted the entry of most foreign travelers until at least September 28. Ukrainian residents, close family members of Ukrainian nationals, and transit passengers may enter.
Canada has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals. Travelers who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents or people registered under the Indian Act may only enter Canada for essential purposes. Entrance will be denied to people traveling for tourism, sightseeing, recreation, entertainment, social visits or religious functions.
Canadian citizens, permanent residents, their immediate family, diplomats, airline crews, and travelers arriving from the United States who are traveling for non-discretionary or non-optional purposes may still enter Canada. Only Toronto Pearson (YYZ), Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau (YUL), Calgary International Airport (YYC) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) are operating international flights. Domestic flights, as well as flights from the United States, some destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean, and from St. Pierre-et-Miquelon, are currently not affected by this measure.
Seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers, temporary foreign workers, international students with valid study permits or approvals for study permits valid from at least March 18, 2020, and permanent resident applicants who received approval before March 18, 2020 who had not yet traveled to Canada, may still enter the country. Other people with special dispensation to enter Canada include French citizens who reside in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, people registered under the Indian Act, visa-exempt refugees and their immediate families, and those with special authorisation from the Canadian government.
The United States has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals who have visited Brazil, China, Iran, the Schengen Area, Ireland, or the United Kingdom in the past 14 days.
Parents or guardians of US citizens and permanent residents may enter the country if their child is under 21 and unmarried, and spouses of a US citizen or resident may travel to join their partner in the US. Siblings of US citizens or residents may enter the US only if both they and their sibling are under 21 and unmarried. Children of US citizens and residents may also enter the country, as may certain other limited categories of visa holders (such as UN staff and diplomats) may also enter; however a Presidential Executive Order of June 22 means that further restrictions on certain visas (H1-B, H2-B, J and L) will be put in place from June 24. Students with an F-1 or M-1 visa and their F-2 and M-2 dependents may enter the country if they arrive from or have been in Ireland, the United Kingdom or Schengen Member States in the past 14 days. This information is subject to change, and travelers are advised to refer to the US Government’s travel page to see whether they are affected.
Travelers who are allowed to enter the United States but have passed through or have been in any of the countries named above must quarantine for 14 days once they reach their final destination.
Currently, Mexico does not have any entry restrictions, but travelers arriving from countries affected by COVID-19 will be screened and quarantined if necessary. Subsequently, those showing symptoms are subjected to quarantine. Also, a dedicated questionnaire must be presented to immigration upon arrival. The land border between Mexico and the US has been closed to non-essential traffic until at least September 21.
Argentina has restricted entry to most foreign travelers until at least September 20, except for nationals and residents, and repatriation, medical, and humanitarian flights.
Brazil has reopened its borders.
Chile has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals.
Cuba’s date for reopening of all international flights has been postponed until at least September 30. Cuba has suspended all flights into the country except for humanitarian aid flights and special categories of charter flights to Cayo Coco (CCC), Cayo Largo del Sur (CYO) and Santa Clara (SNU) which have restarted from July 1.
Travelers on these flights will be tested on arrival (a ‘PCR’ swab and a temperature test) and will be transferred directly to their resorts. Anyone that has a positive test result will be transferred to a hospital.
Peru has restricted the entry to most foreign travelers until at least August 31, except nationals and residents of Peru, repatriation and humanitarian flights.
The country now allows foreign travelers to enter for family reunification reasons.
Armenia has restricted entry to all travelers with the exception of Armenian nationals and residents and their immediate family members. Diplomats and their immediate family members, and airline crew may also still enter Armenia.
Other travelers wishing to enter Armenia may apply directly to the Commandant’s office, or send an email to [email protected] and wait for the decision before arriving in Armenia. All incoming travelers must fill out a health questionnaire and are subject to a 14-day quarantine, unless they receive a negative COVID-19 testing result after arrival in Armenia. The Armenian government is expecting to publish a list of specific countries from which travel is authorized based on their epidemiological situations. For more information, please check the Government of Armenia’s webpage.
Azerbaijan has extended the suspension of all commercial flights until at least September 30, except for special, private, and charter flights.
China has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals except Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan passport holders.
Georgia has restricted the entry of all travelers who are not nationals and residents of Georgia, or an immediate family member.
Hong Kong has restricted the entry of foreign nationals who have been in areas other than China, Taiwan, or Macau in the past 14 days.
India has restricted the entry to most foreign travelers, except relief, repatriation, humanitarian flights.
Japan has updated their “Denial of permission to entry” list and added the following 13 countries: Belize, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Gambia, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe. The updated list can be found here.
Kazakhstan has restricted the entry of most foreign nationals and suspended most flights except for state flights, ferry flights, sanitary flights, and technical landings for refueling purposes. From June 20, Kazakhstan had resumed flights from China, Georgia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Turkey; however, only certain categories of people will be allowed to enter on these flights. These include: diplomats, direct-family members of Kazakhstani citizens, residency permit holders, and some employees of designated companies in critical industries. Travelers arriving on flights originating from China, South Korea, Japan, Georgia, and Thailand will have their temperature taken and be required to complete a questionnaire.
Malaysia has limited entry to Malaysian citizens, residents, their family members, students, and certain categories of skilled workers.
Travelers must present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 on arrival to Maldives, effective from September 10.
Mongolia has restricted entry to all travelers except for citizens or residents who are direct family members of a citizen.
The Philippines has restricted the entry of all travelers who are not Philippines nationals and their spouses and children or certain categories of visa holders.
Singapore has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals except those with prior approval from the government. Travelers with approval from low-risk countries are issued with a 7-day SHN (Stay-Home-Notice), or no SHN from September 1.
South Korea has restricted the entry of travelers arriving from certain countries. Transit passengers at Seoul Incheon Airport require a ticket/boarding pass for their onward flight to their final destination.
Entry to Sri Lanka is currently prohibited for all non-nationals and residents.
Taiwan has begun to reopen its borders to foreign nationals – they must apply for a special entry permit before traveling.
Thailand has restricted the entry of most foreign nationals through August 31.
Vietnam has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals.
Iran has reopened its borders, but the process of issuing tourist visas is still suspended.
Israel has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals.
After lifting entry restrictions on September 10, all travelers are required to do the following: apply electronically to travel via the Visit Jordan website, take a COVID-19 PCR test and provide evidence of the result within 72 hours before departure, and pre-pay for a COVID-19 PCR test and be tested upon arrival at the airport in Jordan. Passengers arriving from the UK will be moved directly to government quarantine for a period of seven days and complete a further seven days of home quarantine. During this period, they will be monitored by a GPS bracelet and must install the Aman.jo application on their mobile device..
Qatar has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals.
Saudi Arabia has suspended all incoming flights and suspended issuing visas. Even expatriate residents currently outside the Kingdom will not be able to return until further notice.
United Arab Emirates
The country has restricted the entry of most non-residents. However, there is a separate set of regulations specifically for entering Dubai, which was announced on June 21 and is now in effect for Dubai residents and visitors. As of August 12, UAE residents no longer need to pre-register before returning to the country. However, all travelers (including citizens, residents, tourists, and transit passengers) entering the UAE must have a negative COVID-19 test result before flying to the country. This must be a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 96 hours of departure, and must be shown in order to board commercial flights to the UAE. More information on this is available here.
Children under the age of 12 and those with severe and moderate disabilities will be exempted from the test requirement. Those entering the country may also be asked to take a further PCR COVID-19 test on arrival and will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
For entry to Dubai, new procedures were set in place on June 21 for returning residents. Dubai residents overseas are now able to return to Dubai. Dubai Residents must apply for a permit to return on the Dubai Government General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website. Before they fly returning residents will also be required to complete a Health Declaration Form and a Quarantine Form. Both forms need to be printed, completed and handed over to Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival. Further information about how to book a flight for returning residents is available on the Emirates Airline website. On their return to Dubai, returning residents will have to undergo a PCR Covid-19 test at the airport and register their details on the Covid-19 DXB App.
Returning residents must isolate at home until their test results are available. Those who test positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate for at least 14 days and adhere to any rules issued by the Dubai authorities.
Algeria has closed its borders.
Egypt has resumed commercial flights into the country. Travelers must bring a negative PCR test issued within 72 hours of arriving in Egypt. Starting from September 1, travelers must present a negative PCR test certificate issued within the preceding 72 hours prior to flight departure.
Ethiopia’s airports are open, with medical screenings, testing and quarantine requirements for arriving travelers.
As of September 1, Accra Kotoka International Airport reopened for commercial flights. Travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test issued within 72 hours before departure and are subject to a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival.
The country reopened its airports to international flights on August 1. However, all incoming travelers must show a negative COVID-19 test result.
Liberia has reopened its airport to commercial flights. Travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test result.
The country has already restricted the entry of all foreign nationals except the citizens of New Zealand – and only those who reside in Australia – as well as nationals of other Oceania countries who are transiting through to their home countries. The exceptions also apply to the immediate relatives of persons who meet the criteria listed above.