Travel restrictions now history in more parts of Europe

The classic, multi-country European holiday is almost a possibility again.

By Matt Lennon, May 17 2022
Travel restrictions now history in more parts of Europe

Travellers can now roam even further across Europe, with a flurry of popular destinations including Croatia, Switzerland and Greece dropping all entry requirements earlier this month.

The latest to return to pre-pandemic policies is Austria, which this week removed its vaccination, recovery, and testing conditions.

It joins a small but enticing list that counts Bulgaria, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia and Slovakia among its ranks.

From 16 May, passengers flying within the EU also no longer need to wear masks in airports or on flights, though some countries, such as Germany and Italy, are keeping the rule in place.

The latest developments mean it’s easier for Australians hoping to visit in time for the European summer. However, popular countries such as France, Finland and Spain remain notable exceptions. In fact, Spain has just extended its restrictions a further month to June 15.

Of course, restrictions and entry requirements do change quickly, so it’s important to check Smartraveller for the latest information specific to your circumstances.

Many European nations are removing restrictions on travellers.
Many European nations are removing restrictions on travellers.

Unvaccinated visitors to France must still provide a “compelling reason” for their visit, with a test-on-arrival a likely outcome, in addition to presenting evidence of another test taken prior to departure. Travellers who have received at least two doses simply need to obtain a Vaccination Pass from the French Government website.

Further south, Spanish authorities still consider Australia an ‘at risk’ country and as such, unvaccinated travellers are unable to enter. If you’ve had at least two jabs, with the second coming less than 270 days ago, you can enter freely and enjoy Spain without restrictions, but you’ll need to complete an online health form within 48 hours of arrival.

In Germany, travellers are required to provide either proof of vaccination status, a negative PCR or rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours, or evidence of having recovered from COVID-19 on entry. 

Finland stands apart from its Scandinavian neighbours, with its border measures in place until 30 June. Until then, travellers are required to present proof of vaccination prior to entry.

The Netherlands opened its doors to all EU residents back in March, however Australian travellers must still be fully vaccinated and show proof at the border.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 348

Time for Australia to follow this path also in the very near future. 

31 May 2018

Total posts 12

Is that advice in your article re Germany correct? Smart traveller suggests there is no need for a negative covid test to enter germany if you’re vaccinated. As do German government websites. However this article seems to suggest a negative test is also required irrespective of your vaccination status?

26 Sep 2020

Total posts 14

You are correct. Germany does not require a test if you are double vax from Australia. Their website can be confusing but the German Consulate in Sydney confirmed that if you are double vaxed, you can just walk off the plane in Frankfurt as I will at the end of April after a two year delay.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 527

A better option would be to fly to Denmark (no entry requirements) then enter Germany from there. That way you can avoid doing any testing. However, I suppose if you're sure Germany doesn't require testing from vaccinated travellers AND you've been vaccinated already, then there is no reason not to fly directly into Germany.

12 Oct 2017

Total posts 7

I flew from Australia to Germany last week and no one checked anything not even the vaccination certificate. Took a train to France from Stuttgart to Paris and there were no issues there either. 

26 Sep 2020

Total posts 14

They would have checked your certificate when you checked in at the airport.

31 May 2018

Total posts 12

It seems the advice regarding Germany in this article is if you’ve been in a high risk area. It’s the case at the moment that no region/country is considered high risk. 

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 780

Hopefully by July when we are booked for Europe every country will be open and accessible to double and triple jabbed people the only downside will be where the war is up to and also our flight being down graded from SQ A380 to SQ 777er300.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 527

Switzerland and Belgium both allow unrestricted entry for EU/Schengen nationals arriving from anywhere in the world. I've received numerous emails from various European embassies including these ones recently, which confirms this.

So an Australian who is also a dual national of any European country, can freely enter Switzerland or Belgium from Australia, with no vaccination or testing proof required. Australian citizens who are not dual nationals may still require such proof, for now.

However, given that EU borders have mostly been reopened to one another and to the best of my understanding, most, if not all checkpoints that were set-up initially in late March 2020 between member states have now been removed, any Australian wishing to travel to any country in Europe simply needs to first arrive in a hassle-free country such as Denmark, Sweden or Norway, then travel to their intended destination.

For example, an unvaccinated Australian wishing to travel to Spain can do so after first arriving in Sweden or Denmark and then spending a bit of time there, then travelling to Spain as a "domestic" (EU/Schengen) person. I don't think Spain is making checks of arrivals from Sweden or any Schengen country anymore. Of course, this would need to be confirmed.

However, unlike Asian countries, which all have strict border controls between one another, in Europe crossing borders is like crossing between states or provinces. Whatever checks are conducted, will be at the external border, such as when arriving by air from outside the zone.

26 Sep 2020

Total posts 14

Or you could do the right thing by your community and get vaccinated.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 527

Not everyone wants to be vaccinated or can be vaccinated.

15 Jun 2018

Total posts 6

It would be great to have an over view of what the green pass is still being used for and if there is any need for Australians to have it in most countries? 

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 780

It's all a moving feast at the moment from what I can see, like price increases don't blink the price goes up.

22 Sep 2021

Total posts 2

We are now living in New Zealand so it would be good to hear any comments about travel to/from Europe for New Zealand, regarding travel restrictions. 

Unfortunately we always have to transit at-least one stop on the way to or from Europe.  ie; Malaysia, Qatar, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi. Singapore, Los Angeles, and now New York.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 527

Very easy now - most European countries are fully open including the UK and Ireland. Some, such as Germany, Italy and I believe France, still require testing and/or vaccination proof for those arriving from outside the EU who are not citizens of member states. This will probably change soon.

If you're unvaccinated and/or don't want to get tested, don't fly via the USA, because they will demand vaccination and testing proof even if you're a transit passenger. You'll want to transit via Singapore as they don't require anything except masks on board the flight and in the transit lounge of the airport. Other options include Dubai (Emirates), Doha (Qatar) and Malaysian, assuming they've resumed services from Auckland.

You can probably fly maskless on the Europe bound flight sector, especially if it's operated by a European airline.

I will be visiting Hungary in July Lax-Fra (transit)-Bud and then Bud-Fra (transit)- Sin (transit)- Syd. I am fully vaccinated do I need a covid test for Fra? as I believe all other destinations do not require a test.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2016

Total posts 53

I am flying to the UK on the 28th May via Japan and a few days later travelling by Eurostar to Paris and according to the Eurostar website all I need as triple vaccinated is my international covid certificate from the Australian government. Also from what I understand it is now pretty easy to move about the EU countries and Switzerland if you come by land, I will be driving from another EU country. I think some of the restrictions may apply if you are flying from Australia to an EU country.

So my understanding is that you are free to drive from France to Belgium to Netherlands then Germany, Austria and Switzerland and back to France and the only thing I need is proof of the triple vaccination and even that doesn't seem to be required by all countries.

Luckily my plans are very flexible as when I booked back in February I only booked hotels that could be cancelled without any penalty a day or two before the check in date.

After two years of no travel I am eager to get away.

26 Sep 2020

Total posts 14

I read this article whilst waiting at Frankfurt Airport to return home after 3 weeks in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. The advice for Germany is incorrect as it was when first published in March. If you are fully vaccinated you don't need to do anything other than present your vaccination certificate when you check in for you flight to Germany. This took a few seconds on check in and when arriving in Germany, I exited the airport in minutes without anything other than a quick stamp in my Passport. The only thing I noticed at borders was a stricter enforcement of the mask requirement as I entered Austria from Germany on the train. The only hassle on return was the debacle that is the Australian Government's PDP App. After completing it, I received an email hours before the flight saying that it was not completed (it was) without any contact details whatsoever or information on what was not completed. I received an email to say it was completed and I was OK to enter Australia 24 hours after I got home. On top of all that, the App logs you out when not in uses and every time I reopened it, I had to reset the password. In the end, no harm was done, but it would create unnecessary anxiety for some travellers and it makes the Australian Government look like fools. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

Travel restrictions should be a thing of the past. Why did each government decide they had to 'look' good and restrict human movement? Criminal. If we hear any politician complain about how the Pandemic has caused the many problems around the world currently, they must be reminded that the virus did nothing apart from make a few people ill. Only governments and human intervention caused the mayhem we now have. 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 527

Well said. Even Asian countries are now following suit. Vietnam has scrapped all entry restrictions for all, since May 15. Thailand has scrapped all entry restrictions for Thai nationals effective June 1. Only a passport will be needed for them.

Foreign nationals will need proof of insurance and proof of vaccination or for unvaccinated individuals, a PCR or RAT test. Reportedly this can also be done on arrival in case it can't be taken in advance. Foreign nationals will probably need to wait until July 1 before these restrictions are totally lifted. European countries have largely done the same - for the first month or two they removed all restrictions from nationals and EU/Schengen member state citizens, but kept them in place for third country foreign nationals until they were too scrapped.

The countries that continue to impose restrictions are simply dragging out this nonsense longer. It's time to end this madness and get back to normally globally, including in China.

26 Sep 2020

Total posts 14

The confirmed death toll is over 100 million and would have been many times worse if not for restricting movement. The amount of restriction required is up for debate but to say that it only made a few people ill is somewhat callous, 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

People died. Humans die each day. The level of suffering which has and will continue to be inflicted on billions of people due to the over reaching government restrictions will last for decades and be many, many times worse than this simple virus. 

26 Sep 2020

Total posts 14

Yes, people die every day but these are excess deaths. If you look at excess deaths over and above normal mortality, it is well over 100 million people who have died that would not have died if not for Covid. The idea that you would have done nothing at the start would have been criminal. Based on what governments and health authorities understood of the virus, it could have killed billions and changed human history. How anybody could be flippant about the pandemic as just making a few people a bit ill is beyond me. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

The devastation being caused by the irresponsible restrictions will be far worse than any virus. Excess deaths are tiny. Look at Sweden who followed an agreed pandemic plan of only introducing limited controls and treating its citizens as adults. They were called science deniers but their results are incredibly impressive. 

26 Sep 2020

Total posts 14

If you read my post, I said that the amount of restrictions is a legitimate topic for discussion. Twenty twenty hid sight is a wonderful thing but Sweden did change their plan after sometime and introduced harsher measures when they saw deaths soaring which is why they had 8 times the death rate of Australia. My original point remains valid, your statement "that the virus did nothing apart from make a few people ill" was absurd and callous to the over 100 million who have died and their families and friends. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

My statement is just realistic. The death rates from smoking, heart disease, cancer, malnutrition and even worse a lack of clean water, all individually dwarf anything that this virus causes, which is less even than the flu (US don’t bother reporting flu). No government introduces restrictions for these other issues so Covid is merely political. Callous is not part of this, we all die, it’s just that many who were going to die also happened to have a virus. It did not kill them on its own. 

26 Sep 2020

Total posts 14

No, it's far from realistic. Apart from the flu, none of those other diseases are contagious so the comparison is nonsensical. In the case of the flu, we have well developed vaccines and the rate of spread is a fraction of all forms of Covid. If governments let Covid run rampart without a vaccine in place, the deaths would have run into the billions worldwide. To brush it off as just a few people feeling ill is rubbish. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

I think you are likely to get this thread closed with your responses. Keep on topic. The title is Travel restrictions now history in many parts of Europe. Thank goodness, about time. The restrictions were useless and completely political. Let’s never see them again. 

26 Sep 2020

Total posts 14

Says the man who started off with a rant about pandemic restrictions and said that it just caused a few people to get ill and they carried on with other outrageous claims. I just went to Europe and it took nothing more than presenting my vaccination certificate at check in. If you are not vaccinated, you might be waiting a while yet.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

I travelled extensively over the last 2 Years by getting travel exemptions to leave Australia from the government. Restrictions were a waste of time. They did not stop the virus from spreading and just caused misery and economic turmoil which will last decades. Most travel restrictions have now gone. Putting them in was politically motivated, they did not stop the virus but caused many other associated health, social and economic woes. They were wrong at the start and they are still wrong now. 


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