As European countries begin lifting COVID-19 restrictions, many people across the continent have begun thinking about whether they can have a holiday this summer.
But where can you access and what is still off-limits?
There is a mixed picture across Europe, with the usually easy travel across the Schengen Area restricted.
Almost every country has its own rules in place and its own timetable for reopening to tourists, both from its EU neighbours and further afield.
If you’re intending on coming to the EU for a holiday it’s worth knowing the bloc’s external borders are set to be closed until at least June 15. But that only applies if you’re a non-EU citizen coming from a non-EU country.
The EU Commission has called for the reopening of the bloc’s internal borders by the end of June.
But it’s all changing quickly, so here’s our updated guide to the border situation in Europe this summer.
Austria opened its land borders with Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and the Czech Republic on 4 June.
There will be no entry checks, except for on the Italian border.
For anyone else who does arrive in Austria, for example by air, a medical certificate must be produced 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’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 conditions for travel outside of Europe have yet to be defined in light of the evolution of discussions at European level”. the government said on June 3.
The country further eased lockdown on June 8, however many restrictions, in particular for the hospitality and culture industries, remain in place until July 1.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The border is only currently open to citizens of neighbouring nations – other foreign arrivals are not permitted. There are some exceptions to this, such as for freight driver, residents and diplomats.
Bulgaria has 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 has now opened its borders to nationals from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Germany and Slovakia.
On 11 May Croatia reopened its borders to visitors from the EU/EEA, and the UK, provided they held an accommodation reservation in the country.
Cyprus resumes tourism travel on June 9 and will do so in two different phases, after closing borders for almost three months.
The country will also cover health costs in case of coronavirus contamination occurring in the Mediterranean island.
A first reopening is scheduled for June 9 to passengers coming from Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania, but they will have to obtain a health certificate proving they are virus-free three days prior their departure.
On June 20, passengers from Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic will be allowed in too.
From June 20, passengers from the first group of countries won’t need health certificates, but those from the second group will still be required to obtain them.
These lists exclude the country’s two main tourism markets, former colonial ruler Britain and Russia.
However, flights from Britain could restart in mid-July, and a few weeks later from Russia.
US, France, Spain, and Italy remain excluded too until further notice.
Borders with Austria and Germany reopened on 5 June, 10 days earlier than expected. From May 27, the country opened its frontier with the Slovakia and Hungary, but with restrictions.
Residents of EU member states able to enter to perform economic activities, to visit relatives or to study at a university. Everyone will have to prove themselves with a negative test for COVID-19 upon entry.
Borders are closed for foreign travellers. Only citizens or residents of Denmark, Greenland or Faroe Islands can currently enter, or those with a “worthy purpose”.
From May 25 people with a permanent residence in one of the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) or Germany can re-enter if they are in a relationship with someone in Denmark, have grandparents there, or if they have a business trip.
From June 15, Copenhagen will open its borders to tourists from Germany, Iceland and Norway.
As of June 8, other EU nationals, as well as UK nationals, are not allowed to enter Denmark until the end of summer.
‘It’s time to open up’: EU Home Affairs Commissioner on coronavirus travel bans
Coronavirus: Denmark and Norway further relax COVID-19 restrictions
Coronavirus and travel: Could this idea from Spain save Europe’s summer holidays?
Neighbours Denmark and Sweden miles apart on coronavirus confinement
Opened borders to Baltic neighbours on May 15. Since June 1 borders are open to EU and UK travellers. Those coming from countries with a high infection rate will have to self-isolate for two weeks.
Finland’s land borders have been closed until at least June 14. They were reopened to workers from the Schengen Area in mid-May.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced plans to reopen France’s border to EU countries and the UK from June 15, following the plans of other EU countries.
For the time being travel into France is restricted with only essential travel allowed for those who don’t live in the country.
Travellers arriving from the UK or Spain will be subject to a voluntary quarantine. Those from outside the EU or UK will still not be able to travel to France except for in limited circumstances, while EU countries are still to decide when they will reopen external borders.
Germany will open its borders to the EU and UK on June 15.
Currently, travellers are expected to have a valid reason for entering Germany. However, restrictions at the borders have been loosened.
Checks at the frontier with Austria, Switzerland, France and Denmark and for passengers arriving by air from Italy and Spain remain in effect until 15 June.
EU citizens and citizens of the United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, and the family members of these citizens, are permitted to return to their home country or to their place of normal residence in Germany or to reach their country travelling through Germany if they need to.
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.
Borders are open with Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Serbia, albeit with restrictions. Those coming from Czech Republic can also enter, travelling through Slovakia.
Frontiers are also open with Croatia with a holiday reservation. The borders with Austria and Ukraine are closed.
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.
Authorities are yet to clear procedures for those who test positive.
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 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 won’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.
COVID-19 has ‘weakened’ the case for the EU, say Germans, French and Italians
Coronavirus lockdown: Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia re-open borders to each other
Coronavirus creativity – the Lithuanians making hand-free door handles
Opened its borders to Baltic neighbours Estonia and Lithuania on May 15. From June 1, there will be no border checks with Lithuania.
Opened its borders to Baltic neighbours Estonia and Latvia on May 15. From June 1, there will be no border checks with Latvia.
Lithuania is also allowing entry to citizens of Poland for business and studies.
Luxembourg’s border with Germany reopened on May 15.
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.
The country enforced restrictions on foreign travel on March 19.
Borders, however, are open for those travelling to the Netherlands from the Schengen Area, but they must “follow Dutch advice and rules to combat COVID-19”, like standing 1.5 metres away from each other, washing hands and avoiding to shake hands,
For those coming from outside the Schengen Area (i.e. US, Australian and Canadian citizens) tourism/non-essential travel is banned until June 15 included.
More information can be found on the Dutch Government website.
Norway has closed its borders. Foreign travellers will be turned away at the border. Those who live or work in Norway are able to enter and airports are open.
The country’s ministry of foreign affairs advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary until August 20th.
From June 15, people from Denmark will be able to enter. By July 20, exemptions for some nearby European countries will be considered.
Norway currently has a 10-day quarantine for those returning from international travel.
Poland has closed its borders with several countries, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.
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.
On June 8, Russia said it will partially reopen its borders as the country eases coronavirus restrictions.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that traveling 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 has reopened its border with Hungary.
The borders are open.
Slovenia reopened borders to EU citizens on May 15. Anyone suspected to have COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days.
Slovakia’s border has opened to Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Previous border restrictions with these countries were removed on June 5.
German, French and Scandinavian tourists could be allowed to come to Spain from June 22 as part of a “pilot” project to restart tourist activity, the Tourism Ministry told AFP on Saturday, May 30.
These tourists would not be subject to quarantine.
Citizens from other countries should be allowed to enter Spain from July 1.
Currently, only Spanish citizens, residents of Spain (who must prove their habitual residence), cross-border workers, health or elderly care professionals who are going to work and people who can prove force majeure or a situation of need, are allowed to enter via Spanish ports and airports. The exceptions also include diplomatic personnel and everything related to the transport of goods in order to avoid shortages.
Since March 17, the borders with France and Portugal have been closed, allowing access to Spanish citizens, people resident in Spain, cross-border workers and those who can provide documentary proof of force majeure or a situation of need.
None of the regulations are applicable to Andorra or Gibraltar.
Currently, people who enter the national territory from abroad must stay in quarantine for 14 days after their arrival, but this will end on July 1 according to officials.
Sweden has introduced border restrictions but it only applies to non-essential travel from countries outside the EU/EEA, except the UK and Switzerland.
That restriction came into effect on March 19 and has been extended until June 15.
Switzerland, who brought in border controls on March 13, will reopen borders to all EU countries, the UK, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein on June 15, instead of July 6 as previously planned.
Any foreign nationals who currently tries to enter Switzerland without a valid residence or work permit will be refused entry.
Air passengers from abroad are currently only able to enter the country through the airports at Zurich, Geneva and Basel.
The Swiss authorities have not imposed any quarantine measures on persons entering the country. However, you must comply with the government’s hygiene and social distancing rules.
No entry permitted for foreign travellers.
Borders are currently open. From June 8, visitors from abroad will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Those exempt from these measures include people travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
As in other countries, certain professions are exempt from these rules, such as healthcare workers travelling to deliver healthcare in the country. Upon arrival, those who are required to self-isolate need to provide their journey and contact details.
The government says these measures will be reviewed every three weeks.