Which corona rules currently apply in Spain, Turkey & Co.?

Istanbul, Athens, Paris, Madrid, Rome The summer wave is rolling – and not just with regard to holiday travel: Omikron BA.5 is catching on in Europe. Since the end of June, the sub-variant of the corona virus has been prevalent in many countries, including Germany. According to doctors and virologists, the course of the disease remains milder than with previous mutations. However, this is no reason to give the all-clear, because Omikron is more contagious than all its predecessors. Many vaccinated people are currently becoming infected, and the number of cases is increasing again in Europe.

What does this mean for the holiday season? Which rules apply in which country? Where else do you need a mask? What happens if you get infected while on vacation?

In Greece, the Corona summer wave hits holiday islands like Mykonos, Rhodes, Paros, Kos and Corfu in particular – and especially young people between 18 and 25 years of age. The seven-day incidence has increased from 240 to 3447 since the end of May. That is almost five times as high as in Germany.

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Experts attribute the increase mainly to the holiday season and the crowds at the pools, beach bars and nightclubs. Many Aegean islands are already busier this summer than in the record year for tourism in 2019.

Virus variant BA.5 is also currently dominant in Greece. Lung specialist Nikos Tzanakis expects the current wave of infections to peak at the end of July and then slowly subside. But that doesn’t mean the all clear: “We could be in for a surprise in September,” warns Tzanakis.

Beach in Greece

Virus variant BA.5 is also currently dominant in Greece.

(Photo: dpa)

Virologists expect that the new variant BA.2.75, also called “Centaurus”, will spread in Greece from August. The new variant has not yet been detected in the country, but experts expect it will come. The President of the Association of Clinicians of Athens and Piraeus, Matina Pagoni, expects the first case to appear within the next 20 days.

What this means for the further development of the pandemic is still unclear. Because little is known about how contagious the new variant is, what protection the previous vaccines offer and how severe the course of the disease is.

Greece lifted most of the Corona travel restrictions at the start of the travel season in early May. You do not need proof of vaccination or a test to enter the country. The electronic entry declaration has also been omitted. The mask requirement only applies in healthcare, nursing homes and local public transport.

>> Read here: All current developments in the corona pandemic in the news blog

The quarantine for holidaymakers who have tested positive is also eliminated. Instead of the five-day quarantine obligation, if the corona test result is positive, there is now only the “urgent recommendation” to wear a mask and voluntarily isolate yourself. But that is not checked.

Spain has almost abolished the incidence

Anyone traveling to Spain from the EU will no longer be checked. In the country there is still a mask requirement in public transport and taxis as well as in hospitals, pharmacies, health centers, old people’s and nursing homes. Since the number of infections in Spain is also rising sharply again, a few weeks ago the government recommended wearing a mask indoors again. So far, however, only very few have adhered to it.

Palma Beach off Majorca

How high the incidence is in the population remains unclear for the time being, since this is currently only recorded for people older than 60 years of age.

(Photo: IMAGO/Chris Emil Janssen)

It also remains unclear how high the incidence is in the population: since the last major wave subsided, Spain has only published the seven-day incidence for the over 60-year-olds. It is currently 326 – and thus significantly lower than at the end of June (468).

Behind the new statistics is an attempt to no longer track each individual case, but to treat Covid more like flu. Spain can afford this because of its high vaccination rate: 93 percent of those over the age of twelve have been vaccinated at least twice.

The quarantine rules have also been relaxed: only those with severe symptoms have to isolate themselves. All other positive people are allowed to take to the streets and even go to work with a mask. Mass events like the bull hunt in Pamplona are taking place again – in dense crowds and largely without Covid restrictions.

At least seven days quarantine in Italy

In Italy, the incidence has meanwhile risen to more than 1200, but the infection curve began to fall again in mid-July and is now 853. Nevertheless, very strict isolation regulations still apply: You can only test yourself out of quarantine seven days after the first positive test . This regulation is to be changed soon – in the future it should be possible to test yourself after 48 hours without symptoms.


Almost all corona regulations in Italy have been abolished.

(Foto: imago images/

Until the end of September, FFP2 masks will continue to be compulsory in all modes of transport except planes. By the end of the year, the mask will also be needed in hospitals, medical practices and retirement homes. Companies can decide for themselves whether they require their employees to wear masks.

>> Read here: Hello Mario! Bye reforms? What will change in Italy without Draghi

In closed rooms where the distance cannot be maintained, for example in hotels or bars, there has so far only been a recommendation to wear a mask. Hardly anyone sticks to that anymore.

Otherwise, all Corona regulations have been abolished, no proof is required for entry. There is also no longer a “Green Pass”, a 3G proof that was needed for months in Italy for everyday life and work.

3G still prevails on the Portuguese island of Madeira

On Madeira, one of Portugal’s Atlantic islands, access to sports and cultural facilities, hairdressers, restaurants, bars and discos is still controlled. Visitors must be vaccinated or recovered or have a negative rapid test not older than one week.

On the Portuguese mainland, however, the corona rules have largely been abolished. Masks are only compulsory in taxis and public transport as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and old people’s homes. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and has no or only mild symptoms must be in quarantine for five days. With moderate or severe symptoms, it is at least ten days, and the isolation only ends with a new, negative test.

As in the rest of the Schengen area, there are no longer any restrictions on entry. In May, Portugal was one of the first countries in Europe to experience a massive increase in infection numbers driven by the new omicron subvariant BA.5.

This pushed the seven-day incidence to over 2,800 in early June. But since 95 percent of the Portuguese are vaccinated, the pressure on the hospitals has been limited. The incidence is currently 420.

Without a mask in France’s public transport

In France, masks are no longer compulsory, even on public transport. The Ministry of Health recently called on the French to wear masks again on public transport. But that is not obligatory. It is also only recommended to wear a mask at work or in shops.


When entering the country, neither proof of vaccination nor a negative test is required for Europeans and numerous other countries.

(Photo: dpa)

The country is currently being gripped by a new corona wave. The seven-day incidence is currently 1072. At peaks in previous waves, France has had incidence rates hovering around 4000. The numbers in the hospital continue to rise. But the more than 1,200 people in intensive care are still very few compared to the peaks of previous waves.

When entering the country, neither proof of vaccination nor a negative test is required for Europeans and numerous other countries. Visitors from states that are still on the orange list must have a full vaccination status or show a rapid test. The list includes countries where there are a particularly large number of new infections or where few vaccinations have been carried out.

Across the country, proof of vaccination or testing is not required to attend events or dine out. Tests are subject to a fee for foreigners and are usually available in pharmacies for 20 euros without prior notification.

Tests France

Tests are subject to a fee for foreigners and are usually available in pharmacies for 20 euros without prior notification.

(Photo: dpa)

For quarantine, those who have tested positive and are fully vaccinated must isolate themselves for seven days from the first day of symptoms or the date of the positive test. After five days, anyone who can show a negative test and has not had any symptoms for 48 hours can leave the isolation. Those who are not fully vaccinated must be in isolation for ten days. You can test yourself after seven days. However, this quarantine is not controlled.

Turkey doesn’t want to alienate tourists

All sorts of things are currently being politicized in Turkey, but everyone agrees on one thing: people don’t want to hear anything more about the pandemic – even though the number of cases is steadily increasing again in Turkey.

Airport Turkey

Turkey’s tourism sector is important to the economy as well as employment in the country.

(Foto: imago images/Depo Photos)

While 7,322 new infections were reported in one week at the beginning of June, this number rose to 117,095 between July 4th and 10th. Meanwhile, the seven-day incidence is 271. “The daily rate of infection is 40 times higher than in the spring, the number of hospitalizations has increased threefold,” Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca recently warned those who believed the pandemic was over . But he himself says: “There will be no new measures.”

A few months ago, Koca announced that the mask requirement in public spaces would fall below 1,000 infections per day. That’s exactly what happened. Only: In the meantime, the value is well above the 1000 mark again.

But no one thinks of new measures. A mask requirement currently only applies to hospitals and medical practices. Otherwise, you hardly ever meet people with masks in restaurants, busy bars or public transport. According to the Federal Foreign Office, mandatory vaccinations are no longer required for direct entry from Germany and most other countries. Quarantine is also no longer required after an infection.

Turkey’s tourism sector is important to the economy as well as employment in the country. After the outbreak of the corona pandemic in 2020, the Ministry of Tourism developed a health concept within a few months to enable vacations despite the pandemic.

More: Corona on vacation – What employees and employers need to know about it.