Entry Into Europe
Europe is beginning to open up to travelers from outside the continent just in time for summer. While it's been nearly 15 months since the COVID-19 pandemic was first declared and borders were initially closed to non-essential travel, travelers will have to wait a bit longer to visit some of Europe's marquee destinations but can at least start the planning process in some cases. Future visitors should also anticipate travel requirements such as proof of vaccination against the coronavirus or recovery as well as negative COVID-19 test results for the foreseeable future. Here's a look at the latest reopening dates and entry requirements for some of Europe's top destinations this summer.
Located outside of the Schengen area, Croatia was one of the first European countries to reopen to U.S. travelers last year. Those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can avoid pesky testing or quarantine requirements. Nonetheless, Americans must still provide proof of an accommodation that's been paid for in advance as a reservation won't be enough, the U.S. Embassy in Croatia states.
As of May 27, Cyprus has categorized the United States as an "orange" country, meaning U.S. travelers can visit without mandatory self-isolation as long as they have an approved Cyprus Flight Pass that includes proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding.
France has targeted June 9 as the date it will reopen to Americans and non-EU travelers who can provide proof that they've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recently tested negative for the virus. Top attractions such as the iconic Louvre museum and Paris' famous cafes have already reopened with the Eiffel Tower (July 16) and other popular sites set to open later this summer.
Americans are still barred from entering Germany unless they also hold E.U. citizenship or residency and there's no set date on when that will change, unfortunately. The country hopes to introduce a digital immunity certificate by the end of June so that eligible travelers can prove they've been inoculated in order to bypass COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements.
Greece is allowing quarantine-free entry to visitors from the following places: EU and Schengen Area countries, United States, U.K., Israel, Serbia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, Russia, North Macedonia, Canada, Belarus, Bahrain, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia. Travelers must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, prove that they've recovered from COVID-19 in the past nine months or show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.
Iceland reopened to vaccinated travelers on March 18. Those with proof of recovery from the coronavirus can also visit with minimal resistance. Both groups will be required to undergo one COVID-19 test upon arrival free of charge and await the results (usually received within 5-6 hours but may take up to 24 hours) at their accommodation. However, they will not need to test prior to their flight or quarantine for 5-6 days and take a second test.
Ireland never closed to U.S. travelers but continues to be challenging to visit for tourism purposes. "The Irish government continues to advise against all non-essential foreign travel," the U.S. Embassy in Ireland states. "It requires visitors arriving in Ireland, with limited exceptions, to restrict their movements and fill in a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form indicating where they will self-isolate for 14 days. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice."
Italy recently reopened to U.S. leisure travelers who arrive in the country on a COVID-tested flight. Travelers must get tested before departure and again on arrival, regardless of vaccination status. They won't need to quarantine but must take a molecular or antigen swab test within 48 hours of arrival.
Malta announced that it's become the first country in the European Union to achieve herd immunity from COVID-19 and plans to welcome tourists starting June 1. Fully vaccinated visitors can avoid restrictions by presenting a digital "green passport" on arrival while non-vaccinated travelers will need a negative COVID-19 PCR test result produced a few hours prior to arrival. Restaurants and retail shops are now open and theaters, bars and social clubs will reopen as early as June 7.
Americans will have to wait a little longer to visit Portugal as the country remains closed to non-essential travel from the United States. For now, only US citizens who are lawful residents of EU member states may enter Portugal. The country has currently in a State of Calamity as of May 1.
Spain is reopening to all vaccinated travelers on June 7, regardless of their country of origin. American Airlines is already operating daily flights to Barcelona and Madrid and will add additional flights to Madrid from Miami and New York City (JFK) beginning June 17.
Turkey is currently open to international travelers who will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival. Visitors are also required to complete an information form and will be screened for any coronavirus symptoms when they arrive.
The United States is currently on the United Kingdom's "amber" list, which means even fully vaccinated visitors are required to test negative for COVID-19 before travel, book and pay for day two and day eight COVID-19 travel tests to be taken after arrival and complete a passenger locator form. What's more, arrivals must quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days. Children age four and under do not need to take the day two or day eight tests.