Which European countries are easing travel restrictions?

Published on

As some countries in Europe restart tourism, we round up lockdown-easing measures and restrictions country-by-country. Updated June 3rd, 2020.

The UK Foreign Office (FCO) is currently advising against all but essential international travel for an indefinite period. However, countries across Europe have begun to ease lockdown measures and border restrictions, and to prepare for the return of domestic and international tourists.

At the UK border, all arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days from 8 June, or face a £1,000 fine. Arrivals must also provide contact and accommodation information, and the authorities have said they will carry out spot checks. Failure to supply an address may result in a £100 fine. They will also be strongly advised to download and use the NHS contact tracing app.

A list of exemptions has still to be confirmed, but currently includes passengers arriving from Ireland. Travel and hospitality companies and airlines are calling for the scrapping of these quarantine measures, which they say will deter foreign visitors from coming here, deter UK visitors from traveling abroad and cause other countries to impose reciprocal quarantine requirements on Brits. They are instead urging the government to create “air bridges” allowing travel between the UK and countries where coronavirus has been controlled. Portugal’s foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva, has said that he was hopeful an air bridge between the UK and Portugal could be agreed by the end of June.

An elderly man wearing a protective facemask enters his house in the Greek island of Mykonos
 The Greek island of Mykonos is normally busy with tourists by this time of year. Messinis/AFP/ Getty Images


Land borders are open to international tourists, and domestic travel is also now permitted. Hotels, shops and restaurants have begun reopening. Beaches are due to open from 6 June. Night clubs, swimming pools, theatres, cinema may reopen by 23 June. Public transport may begin operating again gradually over the next month.


Initially, cross-border travel will be permitted for tourists from neighboring countries (that have a comparable decline in the virus) – borders are due to open with Germany, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein on 15 June. Talks with other countries are ongoing. A health certificate required on entry, stating that the traveler does not have coronavirus; those without a certificate must self-isolate for 14 days. Testing is available at Vienna airport for €190. Passenger train services between Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic are suspended. Vienna, Innsbruck and Salzburg airports are operational but with limited services until 31 May at the earliest. Restaurants, bars, and hotels are permitted to reopen. Face masks mandatory on public transport and in shops.


Belgium is aiming to reopen to international tourists by 15 June. Some indirect flights with the UK are operating for essential travel. Eurostar has a significantly reduced service; public transport is running (face masks mandatory). Shops are open, museums opened on 18 May, and from 8 June bars, restaurants and some tourist attractions will start to reopen and small open-air events will be permitted (major events prohibited until after August). Currently, all arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. Proof of residence and onward travel required for transit.


Borders are open to tourists from the UK, EU and Schengen countries. Currently, all arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. A reduced number of direct flights are operating with the UK, and transit is permitted. Some hotels and swimming pools are open and individual outdoor sports permitted. Some markets and the outside areas of bars and restaurants are open. Visiting mountains and national parks is also allowed. Museums, galleries and cinemas are open at limited capacity. Face masks mandatory on public transport and other enclosed public spaces.


Borders are open to tourists from Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany. No date announced for borders reopening to non-essential travel by UK nationals. Parks, beaches, shops, museums, hotels and outdoor restaurants and bars are open, and some public transport is operating. Some international and domestic flights operating and transit permitted. The majority of international airlines expected to resume operations in July.


Borders will from 9 June begin opening to tourists from European countries regarded as having dealt well with the pandemic (13 countries in category A face no restrictions; six in category B must provide a health certificate and negative test results on entry or pay for a test, probably €60). No date announced for borders reopening to non-essential travel by UK nationals. The government in Cyprus has said it will cover the cost of lodging, food, drink and medication for any traveler who tests positive while in Cyprus (they will need to pay for an airport transfer and repatriation flight). Until 9 June, the second phase of easing will include reopening outside seating areas at cafes and restaurants and unrestricted use of beaches. Some hotels and museums are open. Parks, outdoor play areas, squares and marinas are to open from 21 June (for no more than 10 people at a time), as well as archaeological and historical sites.

Czech Republic

Borders are due to open to tourists from the UK, EU,

and Schengen countries from 15 June – countries will assessed weekly and categorized according to risk, and some will be subject to testing on arrival. Countries considered medium or high risk (including the UK) must present a negative test result, take a test with a negative result within 72 hours of arrival, or self-isolate for 14 days. Prague airport is open, with limited indirect flights to the UK, for essential travel only.Transit is permitted with proof of residence and onward travel. Domestic travel permitted. Shops, outdoor restaurants, pubs, museums and other cultural institutions are open, and events with up to 500 people are permitted. Hotels, outdoor campsites, and other accommodation have also reopened. Rules on wearing face masks in public have also been relaxed, but they are still mandatory on public transport.


Borders due to open to tourists from Norway, Germany and Iceland from 15 June – they be required to book accommodation in advance, stay at least six nights in the country, and may visit Copenhagen for the day but cannot stay in the capital overnight. Travel between other Nordic countries is being reviewed, with a further announcement expected by 15 June. Copenhagen and Billund airports are open, with indirect flights to the UK. Transit is only currently permitted for those with a “worthy purpose”, such as people from neighboring countries returning home. Shops, parks and some hotels are open, and public transport is operating. Restaurants, bars, sports facilities, cinemas, and theatres are also permitted to open.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Currently, only tourists from within this “travel bubble” of Baltic countries are permitted entry.


No date announced for borders reopening to non-essential travel by international tourists. International flights are operating (arriving at Helsinki, Turku, and Mariehamn airports), for essential travel including with the UK. Transit is permitted. Shops are open and restaurants, bars and cultural institutions are to open from 1 June (with social distancing). Events of more than 50 people will be permitted from 1 June, and gatherings of more than 50 people from 31 July. Ski resorts and many hotels remain closed.


Borders due to reopen to tourists from EU and Schengen countries on 15 June. Currently, all arrivals coming from countries that have imposed quarantine measures, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, including all arrivals from the UK (from 8 June) and Spain (by air). Other arrivals must provide a health certificate stating that they do not have coronavirus until at least July (with an alternative of 14 days’ self-isolation). Public transport is starting to run more frequently, face masks are mandatory. Shops, restaurants, bars, museums, beaches and parks are permitted to reopen P&O and DFDS are operating reduced ferry services on cross-Channel routes. Some flights are operating. Eurostar is running a limited service between Paris and London (passengers are required to wear face masks). For vehicle crossings, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is operating a limited service.


Borders are open to tourists from Luxembourg, and are due to reopen to tourists from the UK, the Schengen Area and the EU from 15 June. Currently, arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days – but arrivals from the EU, the Schengen Area, and the UK will be exempt, unless entering from an area where there is a high rate of infection. Flight schedules are due to increase over the next month. Domestic train schedules have resumed, as have some cross border routes. Shops, restaurants, and some hotels now open. Large events, such as festivals may return after August. The 16 states have taken different paths out of lockdown, with types and timetable of amenities open varying.


Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared 15 June the official start of the tourist season in Greece. Athens and Thessaloniki airports will open on 15 June; direct flights to other mainland and island destinations restart on 1 July. A list has been released of destinations deemed high risk, which currently includes thirteen UK airports. Passengers arriving from these countries face testing on arrival – a negative result will mean self-isolation for seven days; a positive will result in mandatory government quarantine for 14 days. A list of countries deemed safe by Greece has also been released, and tourists from these destinations face random testing on arrival (including Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, and Switzerland). Some domestic flights and ferries operating (at 50% capacity), and travel to all the Aegean and Ionian islands is permitted. Face masks are mandatory in shops and on public transport. Some shops, bars and restaurants are open, and throughout June, malls, cinemas, amusement parks, playgrounds, and sports facilities will open gradually. Year-round hotels are permitted to open from 1 June, seasonal hotels from 15 June. Public transport and taxis operating (up to two passengers per taxi). Large gatherings, including festivals and sporting events, are unlikely to return this summer.


Borders are open to tourists from Romania; are due to open with Austria on 15 June. Limited flights are operating. In Budapest, shops, parks and the outside areas of bars and restaurants are open, and elsewhere hotels are also permitted to reopen. Face masks are mandatory in shops and when using public transport and taxis across the entire country.


The government expects to “start easing restrictions on international arrivals no later than 15 June”. (Borders have remained open to Schengen countries.) Testing will be required on entry or the traveler can provide a health certificate (four days old or less) – alternatively they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days (final details to be announced at the end of May). Arrivals are also likely to be asked to download the country’s tracing app. Some flights are operating, including Icelandair, as are some buses and taxis. Most hotels, attractions, restaurants, nightclubs, gym, and shops open; and public gatherings of up to 200 people permitted (with social distancing).


Some flights and ferry services continue to operate between Ireland and the UK – although all arrivals are subject to 14 days’ self-isolation and must provide details of accommodation while in Ireland. UK nationals will be exempt from self-isolation procedure on return home – a start and end date, and whether transit through Ireland is permitted, has not been confirmed. Public transport is limited; restaurants and some pubs will reopen on 29 June; hotels, museums and galleries to reopen 20 July.


Borders are due to reopen to international tourists, and self-isolation measures for arrivals have been relaxed. Parks are open and restaurants can sell takeaway food. Bars, restaurants, non-essential shops and museums are open. Some hotels will reopen in June, depending on bookings. Some flights are operating and one airport is open per region (Rome Ciampino and Terminal one at Rome Fiumicino airport are closed). Trains are operating reduced services, but no international services are running. Sicily has announced that it will subsidize travel for international and domestic tourists once it is safe to return.


Borders open to tourists from Germany. No date announced for borders reopening to non-essential travel by UK nationals, or passenger flights to start operating with the UK. Restaurants, shops, and hotels are permitted to reopen and outdoor non-contact sports are also be permitted. Face masks are mandatory in supermarkets and on public transport.


No date announced for borders reopening to non-essential travel or tourists. Currently, all arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. Face masks mandatory in shops and on public transport. Some restaurants and non-essential shops are open; and hotels may open by early June.


Borders are open; tourists from Schengen countries and essential travel only, with the possibility of non-essential travel permitted after 15 June. Some flights are operating with the UK – airlines require travelers (including those transiting) to complete a health declaration. Shops and some hotels are open. Face masks are mandatory on public transport from 1 June. Outdoor restaurants and bars are due to open from 1 June, as are theatres, music venues, museums and cinemas (with social distancing). Campsites and holiday parks are open, and their communal facilities are due to open on 1 July. Events, concerts and festivals with more than 100 people may be allowed after 1 September.


Borders due to open to tourists from Denmark from 15 June. Travel between other Nordic countries is being reviewed, with a further announcement expected by 15 June. No date announced for borders reopening to non-essential travel other tourists, although another announcement is expected by 20 July regarding entry for the remaining European countries. Some flights operating with the UK and transit permitted. Some hotels, shops, and restaurants open. Organized events with up to 50 people permitted, so some parks, music venues, galleries and other cultural institutions open, others likely to reopen from 15 June.


Borders are likely to be open to international tourists from 13 June. Restrictions have been lifting gradually since 4 May, and travel to cities, national parks and beaches is now permitted. Some international flights are operating. Currently, all non-essential arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. Hotels are permitted to reopen, and most shops, restaurants, bars, museums and galleries are also open. City bike schemes and some public transport operating. Face masks mandatory in public.


On 22 May, minister of foreign affairs Augusto Santos Silva told the Observador: “Tourists are welcome in Portugal,” this summer, and that arrivals by air would be subject to health checks but not a compulsory quarantine – although a date for borders to open to all tourists has not been announced by the national government. On 3 June, he told the BBC that he was hopeful an air bridge between the UK and Portugal could be agreed by the end of June. Some regional tourist boards have made announcements, including Madeira and Porto Santo, which are aiming to reopen to international tourists from 1 July (travelers must present negative test results from within 72 hours prior to departure or be tested on arrival, paid for by the local government). The Algarve tourist board has also said that it is “ready to restart its tourist activity” – many hotels are already open and its beaches are due to open on 6 June. Limited flights are operating between London and Lisbon, other international flights are likely to begin operating again after 15 June (including outside the EU). The lifting of measures varies depending on the region. Public transport across the country is running at a reduced capacity, though there are rail and bus links to Lisbon city center from most parts of the country, and taxis are still operating. Beaches and campsites are open and restaurants and bars in many regions are permitted to reopen at limited capacity.


Borders are open to tourists from Hungary. No date announced for borders reopening to non-essential travel by UK nationals. Hotels, some shops, museums and restaurants are open, and some direct flights with the UK have resumed. Face masks mandatory in enclosed public spaces and on public transport.


No date announced for borders reopening to non-essential travel by tourists. Some flights operating, and transit permitted with proof of onward travel. All arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days and register for entry 72 hours in advance. Some shops, outdoor markets, outdoor sports venues for non-contact sports, outdoor tourist attractions, outdoor areas of bars and restaurants, museums, galleries, and short and long-term accommodation (without catering) are open. Taxis and some public transport operating. Face masks in public are mandatory.


Borders are open to tourists with a confirmed reservation of an overnight stay in tourist accommodation. Flights are limited, and currently, all arrivals from outside the EU must self-isolate for seven days and provide proof of accommodation. Train connections with Austria are suspended. Shops, galleries, smaller hotels are open, and the outside areas of bars and restaurants. Nightclubs remain closed. Some public transport and taxis operating, and face masks mandatory. Gatherings of up to 200 people are permitted in public spaces.


Borders are due to gradually open to international tourists from July, and domestic travel will be permitted from 22 June. Entry could be dependant on whether the arrivals are coming from a country with low levels of the virus. A de-escalation process is gradually reopening the country in stages throughout June (some measures vary depending on region and throughout the islands). Very limited flights running and are for essential travel only. Currently, arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days, although this is likely to be relaxed from July. Many hotels were allowed to reopen from 11 May (minus communal spaces and catering) but not all are expected to do so until borders open to domestic and international tourism. In less-affected regions, outdoor spaces at restaurants and bars can open, although most will not be fully operational until June; and museums and beaches are open, but some are limiting capacity. The Canary Islands are now permitting beach access, with some hotels, shops, and cultural attractions open, and mandatory self-isolation measures due to be relaxed from 8 June. In partnership with the World Health Organization, the Canaries are also set to be the first destination in the world to trial digital health certificates when they open to international tourists in July. Inter-island travel is restricted to essential travel only, including in the Balearics.


Borders are open to UK tourists, those from EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland (but are closed to non-EU countries until 15 June at the earliest). However, some European countries, including neighboring Norway and Denmark are not permitting entry to people traveling from Sweden. Limited flights operating between London and Stockholm. As Sweden never went into full lockdown, hotels, shops, bars, restaurants, and some museums are open. Large gatherings of more than 50 are still prohibited.


Border crossings to and from Germany, France and Austria due to reopen to tourists from 15 June, followed by the remaining Schengen zone countries from 6 July. Travel from countries beyond this could resume from mid-July. Hotels, shops, markets, and restaurants are open. Outdoor sports with up to five people permitted. Theatres, museums, cinemas, swimming pools, ski resorts, spas, mountain services, and other leisure activities including summer camps are due to resume on 8 June. Large events with a thousand-plus people may resume from 31 August, although a decision is expected to be made on this at the end of June.


The government is aiming to have an international tourism return by mid-June. International flights are limited (more are likely to be scheduled for June onwards); domestic flights remain suspended and inter-city travel restricted. Hotels and restaurants are permitted to open from 27 May. Face masks are mandatory in public areas. Measures vary across provinces and may change at short notice. Nationwide curfews have been put in place in recent weeks – the latest is a four-day curfew from 23-26 May, with a few exceptions.

© 2022 Transam Travel. All rights reserved.

Contact Us

[salesforce form=3]