Many people are currently planning their annual vacation. However, many forget that there is one factor that can still influence travel planning: the rules regarding the corona pandemic. The Covid 19 protective measures are flattening out, at least in Germany. But how do other countries in Europe feel about it? Where do special obligations apply for entry and residence? And how do the different countries deal with a corona infection?
This article breaks down the European countries with their corona rules in alphabetical order.
Belgium: What are the Corona rules?
In contrast to Germany, Belgium already abolished the obligation to wear masks on public transport in May 2022. Mouth and nose protection only has to be worn in medical facilities – such as hospitals, doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Otherwise, wearing a mask remains recommended indoors, in heavily frequented places and where a distance of 1.5 meters cannot be guaranteed.
If you want to enter Belgium and can prove one of the three Covid-19 certificates (vaccination, test or recovery), you do not have to be tested or quarantined.
Bulgaria: No Corona rules
Bulgaria has the lowest vaccination rate of any country in the EU. Nevertheless, the country has lifted all Corona regulations, and that in autumn. Since November 2022 there are no longer any mandatory corona measures in Bulgaria.
Last summer, Bulgaria had the second highest per capita death rate from Covid-19 in the world after Peru. Nevertheless, the top health inspector Angel Kunchev said in the summer: “The number of cases will continue to rise, but as long as this does not lead to a more severe course and burden on the health system and does not endanger the lives and health of patients, we will continue this situation in get a grip.”
Denmark: No corona measures
The situation in Denmark is relaxed, measures to combat the virus were ended here a year ago. Since February 1, 2022, all corona restrictions such as the obligation to wear masks, contact restrictions, corona passports and curfews have been lifted. Covid-19 is no longer classified as a socially critical disease.
France: Mask requirement abolished
The number of new infections had recently increased in neighboring Germany, France, but the incidence is now lower than in Germany. Masks are therefore no longer compulsory in France. Facilities in the healthcare sector can, however, impose these themselves. The isolation of people with a positive corona test has now also been dropped.
Greece: Masks are still compulsory
In Greece, at least passengers on public transport and visitors to medical facilities must continue to wear a mask. Anyone who does not wear a mask actually has to pay a fine of 300 euros – but according to the Greek union of train and bus drivers, there have been no such controls for a long time.
On the other hand, there is no general obligation to wear masks in publicly accessible indoor areas, and restaurants and hotels can also be entered without restrictions.
Great Britain: no more rules
There are no more corona rules in Great Britain. Since March 2022, travelers to Great Britain no longer have to observe any corona rules. Neither the vaccinated nor the unvaccinated need to be tested for the coronavirus before travel or after arrival. Border forms for Covid-19 have also been abolished.
Ireland: all rules lifted
Ireland has done the same as its neighbor Great Britain: There are no travel restrictions due to Corona for trips to the “emerald island”. This is independent of vaccination status or proof of recovery.
Anyone developing symptoms of Covid-19 should continue to self-isolate. However, this is only a recommendation. There is also a mask recommendation in public transport and in healthcare facilities, but this is not a legal obligation.
Italy: almost all measures lifted
In “Bella Italia”, holidaymakers no longer have to worry too much about masks and quick tests: almost all measures in public spaces are abolished here. In public transport and in gastronomy, the mask requirement has not been in force for a long time. Masks are expected to be compulsory for healthcare workers until the end of April.
Entry into the most popular holiday destination for Germans is also possible without any problems: since June 2022, travelers from abroad no longer have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Transit through Austria and Switzerland is also permitted without restrictions.
Attention, if you get infected with Corona in Italy: After a positive test, there is currently an obligation to isolate for at least 5 days. However, the new Italian government is considering repealing this provision.
Iceland: No more corona rules
Iceland followed the Danish approach a short time later: All infection protection rules for Covid-19 were lifted at the Icelandic border, regardless of the vaccination status of citizens or tourists. However, according to the Federal Foreign Office, wearing masks and observing distance rules are recommended when in contact with groups of people at risk.
Croatia: Restrictions lifted
Croatia is also a popular holiday destination for Germans. The country currently has no more corona restrictions. Hotels, restaurants, cafes and other places are open and can be visited without 3G proof. Even in publicly accessible rooms and on public transport, masks are no longer compulsory.
Netherlands: Isolation obligation remains
In the Netherlands, all restrictions such as 3G or compulsory masks have been lifted. Anyone who tests positive for the corona virus in the Netherlands must comply with the isolation obligation that still applies. According to this, infected people have to go into isolation for 5 days – if symptoms persist, up to 10 days are due. Attention holidaymakers: According to information from the ADAC, it is still possible to travel home to Germany in your own car.
Norway: no restrictions
Norway is sticking to the Corona rules like Iceland and Denmark: There are currently no special rules or restrictions. Isolation in the event of an infection is only advised. The Norwegian Health Authority offers a useful catalog of questions and answers about handling the corona virus on its website.
Austria: Which corona rules apply?
Certain corona measures still apply in the German-speaking neighboring country of Austria, even if these have recently been significantly relaxed. In Austria, masks are no longer compulsory in public transport, supermarkets, pharmacies and drugstores. In hospitals and care facilities, there is still an obligation to wear a face mask. However, this should end on April 30th. In the capital Vienna, there is still an FFP2 badge requirement in public transport and in pharmacies.
The following generally applies: In hotels, restaurants, bars and cafés as well as in night catering, access is possible without a 3G card. There is no longer a general curfew. From June 30, special regulations for individual federal states will no longer be possible.
Poland: Masks compulsory in medical facilities
For the time being, Poland is keeping masks compulsory in medical facilities. The regulation is expected to apply until the end of March 2023. Masks have been compulsory on public transport for a long time.
Portugal: What applies in Portugal, Madeira and the Azores?
Portugal also lifted the mask requirement in almost all areas – and that in late summer of last year. Wearing a mask is only mandatory in medical facilities and retirement homes.
For travelers to Madeira or the Azores, which are part of Portugal, there is no need to fill out a health declaration when traveling to Madeira. There are currently no other obligations to provide evidence – such as vaccination certificates or test evidence. Tourists in the Azores do not have to worry about corona rules either.
Sweden: Corona measures lifted
Sweden has the virus under control: the government lifted all corona protection measures in force in the country a good year ago, like all Scandinavian countries. Since then, it is no longer necessary to wear a mask in public, nor to present a vaccination certificate or a negative test.
Isolation is no longer mandatory after a positive corona test, but it is recommended. According to the ADAC, German tourists can easily travel home with their own car.
Switzerland: Exceptions for individual cantons possible
Switzerland has also abolished its Corona regulations. The mask requirement in public transport ended in April 2022. In all other areas – such as in shops, restaurants or cultural and leisure facilities – it has been omitted for a long time. However, individual cantons can still impose measures such as a mask requirement for events or similar if they consider it necessary.
The Confederates also abolished entry regulations. Since then, travelers no longer have to present proof of vaccination or tests when crossing the border into Switzerland and no longer have to fill out an entry declaration.
Spain: Mask requirement largely falls
The government of Spain was particularly careful when relaxing the corona rules. The mask requirement outdoors was only abolished a year ago, the mask requirement in public transport and in airplanes will fall on February 8, 2023. Until then, in all airplanes that take off or land in Spain – including flights from and to Germany, a face mask must be worn. In medical facilities, the face mask must also remain on.
Czech Republic: Isolation remains
Corona regulations no longer apply in neighboring Czech Republic. This applies to entry and transit as well as to stays in the Czech Republic. The Czech government abolished the mask requirement in public transport in April 2022.
But beware: Covid-19 remains a notifiable disease. If an infection is proven, the authorities order a seven-day domestic isolation.
Turkey: Corona rules largely lifted
There are hardly any restrictions in Turkey, here the corona rules within the country have largely been lifted. To further contain the pandemic, it is still recommended to keep a safe distance of three steps from people outside of your own household. There is only a mask requirement in the healthcare sector, otherwise it has fallen. There are currently no other restrictions.