Coronavirus travel rules: European countries' border restrictions and travel measures explained
Across Europe, governments have opened their borders after months of closure during the coronavirus pandemic.
But, despite the holiday season now being in full swing, some are now shutting down again to head off a COVID-19 resurgence.
For countries outside of the bloc, the EU has opened its external borders to a select group of countries, based on their coronavirus outbreak. The list is updated every fortnight.
As of August 8, citizens of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China can enter. The US, Montenegro, Morocco and Serbia are among the countries on the banned list. But member states are not, however, legally obliged, to follow the EU's recommendation.
Given the pace of change, below has compiled a handy guide to the situation in each European country.
Austria — no restrictions for Austrian green list's countries
Entry from EU+ countries (including UK, Vatican City, Andorra, Monaco, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and San Marino) is allowed with no restrictions except for arrivals from Croatia, parts of Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria and Romania. In this case, travelers should either self-isolate for 10 days - at their own expenses - or present a negative PCR test which is not older than 72 hours.
Entry from third countries is prohibited though seasonal workers in the agricultural, forestry and tourism sectors may be exempt from this ban.
Belgium — quarantine/PCR test required for travelers from many European regions
If travelers visit certain parts of several countries in Europe, they must quarantine or take a COVID-19 test upon returning to Belgium.
These include areas of Bulgaria, Cyprus, certain regions in Germany, several French departments, Greece, several areas in Croatia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, some provinces in the Netherlands, large swathes of Spain and the United Kingdom, among others.
All air travelers to Belgium must fill a "Public Health Passenger Locator Form" and hand it over to the border authorities.
Non-essential travel to and from outside the EU and Schengen countries remains prohibited.
Croatia — Citizens of EU+ countries can travel without restrictions
Borders remain open to EU, UK, Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and Holy See citizens. This also includes the families of the mentioned nationals.
However, entry from third countries may also be permitted for business, study and even tourism reasons, providing relevant documentation, listed here. In these cases, it is obligatory to present a negative PCR test that is not older than 48-hours upon arrival. Travelers who fail to present a test that fulfills these criteria must undergo a 14-day quarantine.
The government has advised all travelers to fill an online form in order to shorten border checks.
Cyprus — many countries removed from safe list
Cyprus resumed tourist travel on June 9 after closing its borders for almost three months.
Authorities have created three lists based on countries' epidemiological situation, which detail if passengers from these destinations are allowed to enter and under what conditions.
The lists are updated weekly by the Ministry of Health and can be found here.
All passengers, regardless of their nationality, need to fill out a form called Cyprus Flight Pass within 24 hours before their flight departure.
List A: "Low-risk countries" (no restrictions)
These countries include: Australia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Korea, Latvia, New Zealand and Thailand.
List B: "Possibly low risk but greater uncertainty" (entry permitted with negative COVID-19 test)
Passengers coming from these countries need to test negative for the virus no later than 72 hours prior to their arrival and include: Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Holy See (Vatican City State), Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Sweden, United Kingdom and Uruguay.
List C: "Greater risk" (entry not permitted unless the traveller is Cyprus resident or is included in this list).
These countries are all those not listed above, including Portugal, Luxembourg, Romania and Montenegro.
Czech Republic — Another country added to the red list
EU countries have been divided into groups dependent on risk.
All EU member states except Spain are now in the low-risk green group, meaning travelers can enter the Czech Republic with no restrictions. They are joined by Andorra, Australia, Iceland, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Federal Republic of Germany, Norway, New Zealand, San Marino, Thailand, Tunisia, Switzerland, Vatican City State and UK.
Spain is currently classified as "red" and tourists need to present a negative coronavirus test upon arrival.
Entry is prohibited to all other third-country nationals, except for cases listed here.
France — suggested voluntary quarantine for Spaniards and Britons
Travelers from EU member states as well as Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, the Holy See, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, San Marino, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and Uruguay have been allowed to visit the county since June 15 without a health certificate or any form of quarantine upon arrival.
But passengers from Spain and the UK are asked to submit to a voluntary quarantine, "in reciprocity" to current regulations in place in both countries, France' Foreign Affairs Ministry has explained.
Per the EU Council's recommendation, France reopened its borders to 15 non-member states on July 1.
Austrian quota immigration requirements:
1. Non-criminal record;
2. College degree or above or German A1 level;
3. 45,000 euros of bank deposit;
4. Bank statement for six months;
Belgium business immigration
1. Non-criminal record;
2. Start a business
Belgium asset management
Program contains documents: Belgium passport, overseas account and company
1. Non-criminal record;
Croatia Residence Permit
1. Non-criminal record;
2. Have domestic property related information certificate.
Cyprus application conditions
1. Non-criminal record. Bringing a child under the age of 28 (18-28 years old must provide proof of study)
2. Donate 200,000 euros
3. Purchase a property (choose one)
a. Purchase 2 million euros of one or more properties (1.5 million euros properties can be sold after 5 years)
b. Invest 2 million euros to purchase multiple houses (residential add commercial real estate combination, or all commercial real estate), and purchase an additional house with a value of not less than 500,000 euros
Czech Residence Permit
Two ways to apply for residence permit:
Method 1: Application conditions:
1. Need to set up a company in the Czech Republic (can be handled for you);
2. Set up and maintain 10,000 euros per year, one more person up 20%
Processing advantages: low total cost, no stay requirements; the cost includes the applicant's basic insurance fee, address fee.
Method 2: Application conditions:
1. Bachelor degree;
2. Real estate certificate;
3. 100,000 euros deposit certificate, increasing 25% for per person;
4. Resume, work certificate;
Paris quota residence permit program
Documents required for the application:
2. ID card
3. Marriage certificate
4. Real estate certificate
5. Non-criminal record
1. More than one property in your own country (real estate certificate)
2. Non-criminal record;
3. Birth certificate;
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