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Which countries in Europe have opened their borders?

Posted by: Mark Burslem
15/07/20

Across the world, countries have begun opening their borders after weeks of closure during the Coronavirus pandemic. In Europe, the situation is still uncertain, and each country is imposing its own timetable and rules for re-opening its borders.

From the start of July, the EU has advised that the bloc opens its external borders to 15 countries. These are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity).

However, member states are not legally obliged to follow these recommendations. According to the EU, the list will be updated every two weeks.

Due to the pace of change, WRS has created this helpful guide:

Albania

Commercial flights started in Albania on June 15th. All European residents and nationals are allowed to enter Albania. You can fly to Albania from Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Serbia, UK and Turkey.

Austria

Opened its borders on June 4th to Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, and Italy on June 16. Travellers from Portugal, Sweden and the UK must self-isolate for two weeks. If you’re travelling from any other country into Austria you must produce a medical certificate proving you have a negative COVID-19 test (cert cannot be more than 4 days old).

Belgium

Belgium has opened its borders with the EU as well as the UK as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway. There is no quarantine or health certificate condition.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Is only open to people from Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Exceptions include freight drivers, residents, and diplomats.

Bulgaria

On June 1st Bulgaria’s borders opened to Andorra, Monaco, the UK, San Marino, Service and North Macedonia as well as Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. However, exemptions remain for Belgium, Portugal, Sweden and the UK who must self-isolate for 14 days.

Croatia

Opened its borders in the middle of May without restrictions to nationals from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Germany and Slovakia. However, on June 25 Croatia imposed quarantine for travellers from North Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia. Borders remain open to the UK and EU citizens with no requirement to quarantine.

Denmark

Most of Denmark’s borders have reopened to EU countries. However, Denmark remains closed to Sweden and Portugal, but a list of open and closed countries is updated on a weekly basis.

Finland

From June 15th Finland allowed travellers from Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia and Lithuania to enter with no need to quarantine. On July 13, travel restrictions for Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Ireland, Cyprus and Croatia will stop.

France

Travellers from EU member states have been allowed to visit France since June 15 without needing to quarantine on arrival. However, travellers from Spain and the UK are being asked to voluntarily quarantine for 14 days.

Germany

On the 15th June Germany’s border restrictions were lifted for those travelling from the EU, Norway, Iceland, the UK, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. Germany has chosen to extend its warnings on travelling out of the EU until August 31st.

Italy

Following a nationwide lockdown which came into effect on March 9th, Italy opened its borders on June 3rd to the EU, UK, Schengen area, Andorra, and Monaco as well as the Vatican City and San Marino. Those travellers coming from these countries do not have to forego quarantine unless they’ve been in a different country 14 days before reaching Italy.

The Netherlands

EU citizens including British nationals can now enter the Netherlands. Those entering from the UK and Sweden are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days. There are still strict requirements around social distancing, hand shaking and hand washing.

Norway

Travellers from EEA/Schengen countries with acceptable levels of infection will be able to visit the country from July 15. Norway’s Institute of Public Health will update a map showing areas with exemptions of quarantine duty on July 10, the list will be updated every two weeks. Those leaving Norway for international travel have to quarantine for 10 days.

Russia

On June 8th Russia partially reopened its borders. The government said that travelling overseas for work, medical or studying purposes is allowed, as well as taking care of relatives. There is no set date for restarting international flights which were stopped in late March.

Spain

On June 21st Spain opened its borders to the UK, EU member states and Schengen area countries, none of these travellers need to self-isolate. Portugal was the only exception to the rule, but the border between the two countries was reopened on July 1st.

Sweden

Sweden imposed border restrictions but this only applied to non-essential travel from countries outside the EU/EEA, with the exception of the UK and Switzerland.

United Kingdom

From the 8th June, visitors from overseas were required to quarantine for 14 days. The countries exempt from this measure included those travelling from the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, and Ireland. From the 3rd July, the UK announced plans to remove its quarantine rule for several countries that it deemed low-risk, including France, Spain, Germany and Italy. On July 10th this came into effect which means that people travelling from these countries will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

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