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Which European countries have opened their borders ahead of the summer holiday season?

Euronews – Across Europe, governments have started to open their borders after weeks of closure during the coronavirus pandemic.

With the summer holiday season fast approaching, people across Europe have started to wonder whether they will be able to get away this summer – and how far they will be able to go.

The border situation remains a mixed picture across Europe, with each country imposing its own rules and its own timetable for re-opening.

Given the pace of change, Euronews has compiled a handy guide to the situation in each European country.

Austria

Austria opened its land borders with Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and the Czech Republic on 4 June.

The country will reopen its border with Italy from 16 June, but a travel warning will be issued for the region of Lombardy. There will be no restrictions with most European Union countries.

People arriving in Austria “from any other country” however must produce a medical certificate proving a negative COVID-19 test. The certificate cannot be more than four days’ old.

Entry by air is prohibited to citizens coming from countries outside the Schengen Area.

Belgium

Belgium’s borders are closed and the country has banned non-essential travel abroad.

The government has announced plans to reopen the border to citizens from the EU, the UK and the four other Schengen countries (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway) from June 15.

The country eased its lockdown on June 8, however many restrictions, in particular for the hospitality and culture industries, remain in place until July 1.

AP Photo/Peter Dejong
FILE – In this Monday, March 23, 2020 file photo, a container and barriers block a road on the Netherlands border with Belgium.AP Photo/Peter Dejong

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The border is only currently open to citizens of neighbouring Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia – other foreign arrivals are not permitted.

There are some exceptions, including freight drivers, residents and diplomats.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria opened borders on June 1 to EU, UK, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco, Vatican, Serbia and North Macedonia citizens, as well as to medical workers and family members of Bulgarian citizens, as listed on the government website.

Croatia

Croatia will reopen its borders to all EU citizens, including from the UK, on June 15, with no obligation to quarantine.

Croatia opened its borders in mid-May without restriction to nationals from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Germany and Slovakia.

Cyprus

Cyprus resumed tourist travel on June 9 after closing its borders for almost three months.

The country will also cover health costs in case of coronavirus contamination occurring on the Mediterranean island.

Citizens from Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania, are currently allowed to visit as long as they have a health certificate proving they are virus-free. This document will have to be no older than three days.

On June 20, passengers from Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic will be allowed in.

The passengers from this group of countries will have to obtain health certificates while those from the first group will no longer have to.

These lists exclude the country’s two main tourism markets, Britain and Russia.

However, flights from Britain could restart in mid-July, and a few weeks later from Russia.

Citizens of the US, France, Spain, and Italy remain excluded until further notice.

Czech Republic

Borders with Austria and Germany reopened on June 5, 10 days earlier than expected. From May 27, the country opened its frontier with Slovakia and Hungary, but with restrictions.

The other EU countries have been divided into coloured groups dependent on risk: green, orange, and red.

From June 15, Czech residents and EU citizens from green countries — eastern and Baltic member states, Finland and Norway — will be able to travel to and from the country without any requirements.

Those from the yellow group, which includes France, Italy, and Spain, must have a valid health certificate to enter.

Test and quarantine conditions will apply for people entering from the UK and Sweden — the two red nations in Europe.

Denmark

From June 15, tourists from Germany, Norway and Iceland are allowed to travel to Denmark but must show documentation of a valid hotel booking on their arrival.

Citizens of other nations are still not permitted to enter Denmark, which imposed one of the earliest and strictest lockdowns in Europe.

Estonia

Opened borders to Baltic neighbours on May 15 and to the rest of the EU, the Schengen area, and the UK on June 1.

“Travel documents and medical symptoms are checked” at points of entry, the Foreign Ministry has said.

Those coming from countries with a high infection rate will have to self-isolate for two weeks.

Finland

Finland plans to allow travellers from Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from June 15 and recommends against unnecessary travel to other countries. People travelling from these countries also will not need to quarantine.

Finland will continue to have border checks with Sweden though the “the aim is to enable unrestricted travel from Sweden to Finland as quickly as the disease situation allows,” Finland’s interior ministry said in a statement.

Travel for work purposes is possible from EU countries as well as for residents or family purposes.

The interior ministry said borders with non-EU countries will remain closed until at least July 14.

France

Travellers from EU member states as well as Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican will be allowed to visit the county from June 15 without a health certificate or any form of quarantine upon arrival.

But passengers from Spain and the UK will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, “in reciprocity” to current regulations in place in both countries, France’ Foreign Affairs Ministry has explained.

President Emmanuel Macron has also announced that international borders with countries outside the EU “where the epidemic has been controlled” will reopen on July 1.

Germany

On June 15, Germany will lift border restrictions for travellers coming from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and the United Kingdom.

Germany, however, decided to extend until August 31 its warnings on travelling outside the EU.

More information here.

German police officers prevent a woman from entering Germany at the German-France border in Kehl, Monday March 16, 2020.Jean-Francois Badias/AP Photo

Greece

The Foreign Affairs Ministry published on Sunday, May 31, its plan for reopening borders, which entails three different phases.

Phase 1 (present-June 15)

Only a limited number of international flights are allowed to land in Athens.

All arriving passengers must be tested and stay overnight at a designated hotel.

In case of a negative test, passengers have to quarantine for 7 days.

If the test is positive, they need to quarantine “under supervision” for 14 days.

Phase 2 (June 15-June 30)

From June 15, tourism travel resumes, and international flights will land not just in Athens but in Thessaloniki too.

However, some passengers will have to undergo mandatory testing upon arrival.

Those coming from any of these airports listed by the European Aviation Safety Agency, will have to get tested on arrival, then go to to a designated hotel and quarantine for 7 days if the test is negative, and for 14 days if the test is positive.

All other passengers, including all travellers coming from Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland – will be subject to random tests and no further restrictions.

In addition, land arrivals from Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria will be allowed in the country.

Those travellers will be subject to random tests upon arrival.

Phase 3 (July 1-onwards)

International flights will be allowed into all airports in Greece and all travellers subject to random tests upon arrival.

“Additional restrictions regarding certain countries will be announced at a later date”, the Foreign Ministry says.

Arrivals by sea will also be allowed on July 1, with travellers subject to random testing.

Hungary

Hungary opened its border with Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Serbia on June 12 without the need for going into quarantine.

Iceland

Iceland is set to reopen to EU and UK travellers on June 15.

Tourists will be tested upon arrival. A few hours later, they will get the result on their phone, after downloading a tracking app.

The test, free for a period of two weeks, will cost 15,000 Icelandic Krona (€100) from July 1. Children born in or after 2005 will be exempt.

Authorities are yet to clear procedures for those who test positive.

Ireland

The Irish health authorities currently require anyone coming into Ireland, except from Northern Ireland, to self-isolate for 14 days, upon arrival, including Irish residents.

Arrivals have to complete a passenger locator form, although exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.

Italy

Italy opened its borders on June 3 to EU, UK, Schengen area, Andorra and Monaco citizens, following the nationwide lockdown which came into force on March 9. Borders also opened with Vatican City and San Marino on this date.

Travellers coming from the above countries don’t have to undergo quarantine unless they have been in any other country in the 14 days before reaching Italy.

The government dismissed any possible attempt to apply different confinement rules in different regions as “unconstitutional” following spats between local governors.

Therefore, the same confinement rules will apply in the same way to all regions.

The country entered lockdown “phase 2” on May 18, allowing restaurants, bars, hotels and cafe to reopen, however, restrictions could be restored at any time if the epidemiological situation worsens.

Cruises on Italian ships are currently suspended.

Latvia

Opened its borders to Baltic neighbours Estonia and Lithuania on May 15. Since June 1, there have been no border checks with Lithuania.

From June 3, residents of EU and EEA countries, as well as Switzerland, have also been able to enter the country without being submitted to a 14-day quarantine if the country they travelled from has a 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases not exceeding 15 per 100,000 population.

Lithuania

Lithuania has opened its borders to citizens from the following countries: France, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Finland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Malta, Austria, Norway, Bulgaria, Latvia, Cyprus, Hungary, Switzerland, Iceland, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Liechtenstein.

Travellers from Ireland and Belgium have to self-isolate for 14 days, while citizens of the UK, Portugal and Sweden are banned.

GINTS IVUSKANS/AFP
Trucks wait in a queue at the Latvia-Lithuania border crossing in Grenctale, Latvia on May 14, 2020, ahead of border reopening.GINTS IVUSKANS/AFP

Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s border with Germany reopened on May 15 and travel has not been restricted with other European nations, although travel from outside Europe is banned.

Malta

Malta’s Tourism Ministry announced on May 31, that it will reopen tourism travel on July 1.

Borders will reopen to travellers from Germany, Austria, Cyprus, Switzerland, the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Israel, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic.

More countries “will be announced in due course, once clearance from the health authorities is received.”

Malta was the first country in Europe to ban flights from Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Switzerland, on March 10.

More information here.

Montenegro

Entry to Montenegro is allowed without quarantine, so long as you are coming from a country with a rate of transmission less than 25 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The Montenegro government is keeping an up to date list of countries where people are allowed to enter from.

Click here to see the list.

The Netherlands

The Dutch government is restricting non-essential travel from people from third countries until July 1, but EU citizens – including British nationals – can now enter the country.

Like many other nations, there are strict requirements around shaking hands, maintaining social distancing and hand-washing.

Norway

Norway has closed its borders and only travellers for fellow Nordic countries — Denmark, Iceland, and Finland — will be able to return on June 15.

Sweden was excluded from the measure.

The government is to decide by July 20 whether travellers from other nearby countries can visit but the ministry of foreign affairs is, for now, advising against all non-essential international travel into the country until August 20.

Norway currently has a 10-day quarantine for those returning from international travel.

More information here.

Poland

Borders reopened for EU nationals on June 13 with no quarantine condition. Restrictions on international flights from the bloc are to be lifted on June 16.

Portugal

Workers and supplies are being allowed across Portugal’s land border with Spain, but it is closed to tourists until at least June 15.

Border controls have been in place since March 16. There is currently no requirement for arrivals to go into quarantine, except in The Azores.

Eduardo Cabrita, Portugal’s minister for internal administration, said no decision had been made on when to lift the restrictions.

Russia

On June 8, Russia said it will partially reopen its borders as the country eases coronavirus restrictions.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that travelling abroad for work, medical or studying purposes will be allowed, as well as for taking care of relatives.

He also said Russia will let in foreigners seeking medical treatment or taking care of family members.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters there is “no set date” yet for resuming international flights, which were halted in late March.

Romania

Romania’s borders are open to EU citizens but currently closed to those from outside Europe.

Serbia

Serbia’s borders are open.

Slovakia

Slovakia reopened its borders to Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland on June 10.

For the complete list of European countries opening their borders ahead of the summer holiday season, visit euronews website.

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