- Europe’s COVID-19 travel rules previously emphasised pre-arrival coronavirus testing, although more and more states are lifting regulations.
- Some EU Member States still require specific COVID-19 documentation to enter: learn more in the article below.
Europe is slowly reopening its borders and inviting international visitors.
Certain European Union member nations, however, maintain laws and limits that must be observed by all visitors.
To keep safe while travelling to Europe, follow this short guide to COVID exams.
PANDEMIC EU GUIDELINES FOR MEMBER STATES UPDATED
During the epidemic, the European Union encourages a coordinated strategy to travel: EU entrance restrictions have served as the foundation for measures implemented by individual Member States. Member states, however, have the authority to impose their own limitations on international tourists.
This article outlines Europe’s new COVID-19 travel restrictions, with an emphasis on testing requirements for third-country visitors to Europe.
COVID-19 TESTING FOR TRAVEL TO EUROPE
A global method of stopping the virus from spreading across borders has been requiring persons to get a negative coronavirus test before travelling to Europe.
One of the remedies proposed by the EU is mandatory COVID-19 testing for travel to specified European countries.
Travellers should verify the particular regulations of the EU Member State they intend to visit to see whether a test is required and which types are accepted.
In addition to preserving public health in Europe, stringent testing standards lower the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 when travelling.
WHICH EUROPEAN COUNTRIES REQUIRE A COVID-19 TEST BEFORE ARRIVAL?
The European Union intends to standardise coronavirus entrance restrictions across the union. However, Member States are allowed to adopt their own laws, which means that travellers will encounter some disparities in the standards imposed by each nation.
In other situations, only travellers travelling from high-risk zones or who have spent the previous 14 days in high-risk nations are needed to take a test. Individuals wishing to travel Europe from a third nation should check the testing criteria for the country from which they are departing.
Passengers arriving without a test certificate are frequently subjected to COVID-19 airport testing and must pay a fee.
Austria currently has no COVID-19 restrictions for visitors.
Belgium will eliminate all COVID-19 entrance criteria on May 23, 2022.
All testing requirements for visitors entering France have been eliminated from the beginning of August.
To enter Germany, there are no COVID-19 requirements.
Greece will abolish all COVID-19 limitations on May 1, 2022.
To go to Italy, there are no COVID-19 entrance restrictions.
For arriving travellers to Portugal, all COVID limitations have been abolished.
Passengers coming from the EU and EEA, including residents and nationalities, are not required to present any COVID-19 paperwork.
All other guests must provide one of the following proofs:
- Full vaccination against COVID-19
- Recovery from the virus within the last 180 days
- Negative COVID-19 test result
Before departure, any travellers who do not have an EU COVID Certificate or equivalent must fill out a Health Control Form.
OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES THAT REQUIRE A COVID-19 TEST TO ENTER
There may be exceptions and special instances. Coronavirus testing standards may be established or amended at any time; travellers must ensure that they are fully informed on entry procedures before to departure.
WHICH TYPE OF COVID-19 TEST IS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE?
COVID-19 tests are classified into two types:
- Viral test: detects whether an individual is infected at the time of the test
- Antibody test: detects whether an individual has been infected in the past
A viral test is required for travel since it is crucial to know whether someone is actively carrying the virus. There are two types of tests within the viral category:
- Nucleic Acid Amplification Test(NAAT): detect genetic material and are usually more accurate but results can take longer
- Antigen test: detect viral proteins and are generally less sensitive, but results are available more quickly.
Varying European nations have different testing regulations, and not all authorities accept antibody tests.
Because of their greater sensitivity and capacity to detect even minute levels of the virus, PCR tests for travel to Europe are the most frequently approved.
HOW TO GET A CORONAVIRUS TEST TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE
Travellers who require a negative COVID-19 result to enter a European country must schedule a test no more than three days before departure.
In general, persons must pay to have a Covid test performed at a private clinic before travelling to Europe. Some nations, like as France, will, nevertheless, offer free PCR testing to travellers.
EUROPOL WARNS MEMBER STATES ABOUT FAKE CERTIFICATES
Europol has issued a warning to Member States concerning the sale of counterfeit COVID-19 certifications across Europe. Criminals are creating and selling high-quality counterfeit and forged credentials at airports, train stations, and online.
Arrests have been made in France and Spain, with people suspected of selling forged documents.
DO I NEED A COVID-19 TEST TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE IF I’M VACCINATED?
With the widespread availability of coronavirus vaccinations, immunised travellers may be asking if they require a Covid test to go to Europe.
Vaccinated persons are usually subject to the same requirements as non-vaccinated people. Vaccination certificates are now accepted in several European nations instead of negative test findings.
The implementation of a European Digital COVID Certificate may result in an easing of admission restrictions, such as testing, for vaccinated EU nationals.
There are no uniform vaccine requirements for travelling to Europe at the moment; nevertheless, immunisation certificates may be used in conjunction with other measures in the near future.
COVID-19 TESTING AND QUARANTINE OF AIR TRAVELLERS
A negative COVID-19 test certificate normally does not exempt a passenger from quarantine procedures. Unless otherwise noted, if a traveller is liable to quarantine depending on the nation from which they have travelled, they must self-isolate in Europe despite possessing a negative test certificate.
A second negative PCR test can be performed around day 5 of the quarantine period in some situations; if the findings are negative, the length of the isolation period may be decreased.
When feasible, the EU prefers testing before to departure over quarantine. The European Union, on the other hand, emphasises the importance of travellers from dark red, high-risk zones presenting a negative test result and undergoing quarantine.
All travellers should research the most recent rules for the European country they are going.
PASSENGER LOCATOR FORMS FOR EUROPE
Another method employed by the EU is Passenger Locator Forms (PLFs). Their significance was emphasised in Europe’s new COVID-19 travel restrictions. PLFs allow authorities to track down those who have come into touch with an infected passenger while utilising public transit.
The EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action has developed a standardised template for digital passenger locator forms that can be used across Europe. It applies to all modes of transportation, including aeroplanes, ferries, cruise ships, trains, buses, and automobiles.
The PLF requirement has now been repealed in the majority of EU nations.
GETTING TESTED FOR COVID-19 IN EUROPE
Foreigners who get coronavirus symptoms while travelling should separate themselves and avoid contact with others as soon as they notice symptoms.
Travellers should contact their local embassy or consulate for advice and information on where to go and how to proceed. Special coronavirus helplines are also available in EU member states.
Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 while travelling should follow the healthcare professional’s directions, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
It is more necessary than ever for visitors to Europe to have travel insurance that will cover any hospital treatment for the coronavirus in a foreign hospital. When travelling another EU country, EU nationals should have their EHIC card with them.