In Europe, travel restrictions are rapidly fading, with new declarations coming every week — and, more lately, every day.
As a wave of omicron-related infections swept the continent in January, efforts to repeal Covid-related travel restrictions gathered traction.
Parts of Europe, on the other hand, did not wait. Nations moved to eliminate laws judged no longer helpful in the worldwide fight against Covid-19, citing high vaccination rates and the mildness of most omicron illnesses.
No More Testing Maybe
Before the peak of Covid infections in Travel Rules In Europe Fall in late January, the United Kingdom and Switzerland declared the discontinuation of pre-departure Covid tests for vaccinated travelers. Other European countries, however, have reduced self-isolation times and eliminated color-coded national travel restrictions.
On Jan 25, the Council of the European Union recommended that member countries use a “person-based approach” rather than a “country-based approach.” This allows free travel for those with an EU digital Covid certificate demonstrating proof of vaccination with an EU-approved vaccine. Also, a recent negative Covid test, or recovery from infection.
On Feb. 22, the Council suggested that member countries open their borders to non-EU passengers. Under the condition of their complete vaccination or recovery. Outsiders with solely negative Covid test results were not let in, according to the recommendation.
Because unvaccinated people are more at risk of serious disease, this makes sense for countries, especially those with overburdened healthcare systems, according to Cyrille Cohen, head of the immunotherapy laboratory at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University.
Today’s Travel Rules In Europe Fall
Indeed, numerous European countries, including France, Finland, and Lithuania, are removing some mandated testing requirements.
Some countries, including Greece, Portugal, Croatia, and Denmark, are easing vaccination restrictions. However, some only apply to travelers from the EU or Schengen countries who test negative or have recently recovered.
Iceland and Norway, on the other hand, have abolished practically all Covid-related travel restrictions this month. They are allowing visitors to enter without having to take tests. While some limitations remain to the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Both countries are removing internal constraints such as mask-wearing, social distancing rules, and event limits, similar to Denmark.
Even though the EU Council is attempting to coordinate Covid restrictions across Travel Rules In Europe Fall, its proposals are not legally enforceable on EU member states. As a result, the continent is currently governed by a jumble of travel restrictions.
However, the rules are typically going in the same direction – toward a more travel-friendly atmosphere with fewer, if not no, Covid limitations.