Covid: New travel rules for vaccinated travelers to Europe – News

Paris – Here is an overview of the current entry rules in some popular European tourist destinations.


Published: Fri, June 25, 2021, 2:49 PM

Europe is opening up to Americans and other visitors after more than a year of Covid-induced restrictions. But travelers will need patience to figure out who is allowed to enter which country, how and when.

Meanwhile, the welcoming vibe isn’t always mutual. US borders, for example, remain largely closed to non-Americans.

Here is an overview of the current entry rules in some popular European tourist destinations. A caveat: While these are the regulations as they are written by governments, travelers may run into problems when airlines or railway officials try to make sense of them.

Read also : No PCR test, quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers from UAE to Switzerland


If you are vaccinated, come to France. But only if you have received one of the four EU-approved vaccines: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. It works for Americans — as long as they can produce official proof of vaccination — but not for large swaths of the world like China and Russia where other vaccines are used.

The French borders are officially reopened. Vaccinated visitors outside Europe and a few “green” countries will still be asked for a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old, or a negative antigen test less than 48 hours old. Unvaccinated children will be admitted with vaccinated adults, but must present a negative test from the age of 11.

Tourists are banned from 16 countries on a red list which includes India, South Africa and Brazil.

Unvaccinated visitors from ‘orange list’ countries – including the United States and Britain – also cannot come for tourism, only for specific and imperative reasons.


Italy is now allowing tourists from the United States, Canada and Japan to enter if they meet the prerequisites for a European Union travel certificate. These include full vaccination, documented recovery from Covid-19 within the last six months or a negative swab test taken 48 hours before arrival in Italy.

American travelers had already been allowed entry for a few weeks if they were flying on Covid-tested flights, which require a negative swab test within 48 hours before boarding.

Alitalia and at least two US airlines have operated these flights, which also require an additional swab test for passengers at the airport where they land in Italy. These passengers, under an American-Italian agreement, do not have to be quarantined in Italy or the United States upon their return. But so far it seems that very few American tourists have come to Italy.

Demonstrating how quickly things can change, Italy was welcoming British tourists without quarantine, but since Monday they must quarantine for five days on arrival. This reflects growing concern in Italy over the delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

Tourists coming from or having stayed in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the last 14 days are prohibited.


Greece, which depends on tourism, began opening up to American travelers in April, and now visitors from China, Britain and more than 20 other countries are also allowed to visit for non-essential travel.

All must provide a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test and complete a passenger locator form on their plans in Greece. This directive expires on June 14, but could be extended.

Athens has long called for a common EU approach, but has not waited for it to materialize. On June 1, Greece, Germany and five other members of the bloc introduced a Covid certificate system for travellers, weeks before the scheme was rolled out on July 1 in the 27-nation bloc.


Spain kicked off its summer tourist season by welcoming vaccinated visitors from the United States and most countries, as well as European visitors who can prove they are not infected.

Americans and most other non-Europeans need an official vaccination certificate issued by a health authority. Spain accepts those who have been inoculated with all four vaccines approved by the EU as well as two Chinese vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization – provided that visitors are fully vaccinated at least two weeks before travel.

Arrivals from Brazil, South Africa and India are prohibited at this time due to high infection rates there, and unvaccinated Americans and many other non-European nationalities cannot come to Spain for tourism at the moment.

But there are exemptions for countries considered low risk, such as British citizens, who can arrive without any health documents. EU citizens must provide proof of vaccination, a certificate showing they have recently recovered from Covid-19, or a negative antigen or PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival.


There are few or no American tourists in the UK at present. Britain has a traffic light system to assess countries by risk, and the United States, along with most European countries, is on the ‘amber’ list, which means anyone arriving must self-isolate at home or where they are staying for 10 days.

People arriving from “red list” countries, including India and Brazil, must quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

Airlines and airport operators are pushing for European tourist destinations to be added to Britain’s short ‘green list’ of quarantine-free destinations and to open a travel corridor between the UK and US, but the UK government is cautious about the spread of the more contagious delta variant of the virus.

Meanwhile, anyone traveling between Britain and mainland Europe, be warned: In addition to the isolation requirement for those arriving or returning to UK shores, growing concern over the delta variant of the virus has prompted some other countries to introduce special restrictions for those arriving from Brittany.

European Union

The European Union has recommended that its 27 member countries start lifting restrictions on tourists from the United States, along with a handful of other countries, including North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia , Lebanon and Taiwan.

But the recommendation is not binding and national governments have the power to require test results or vaccination records and set other entry conditions.

The EU has been working for months on a common digital travel certificate for people vaccinated, freshly tested or recently recovered from the virus.

The free certificates, which will contain a QR code with advanced security features, will allow people to travel between European countries without having to quarantine or undergo additional coronavirus tests upon arrival.

Several EU countries have already started using the system, including Spain, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark and Poland. The others are expected to start using it on July 1.

It is primarily aimed at EU citizens, but Americans and others can also obtain the certificate – if they can convince the authorities of an EU country they are entering that they are entitled to it. And the lack of an official vaccination certification system in the United States can complicate matters.

Travelers walk through Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport, amid the coronavirus outbreak in London. Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters