With summer travel to the Schengen area heating up, those thinking of visiting Europe should be mindful of the various COVID-19 & EU travel restrictions. Today’s blog will provide the latest update on COVID-19 travel restrictions to the Schengen area for July 2021. In addition to providing an overview of the specific restrictions affecting Europe’s top tourism destinations, this blog will provide general information about the EU countries with entry restrictions. Finally, it will discuss important issues such as which destinations require the vaccine for travel (as well as the countries offering COVID-19 vaccines for tourists) and highlight the Red List countries whose citizens and residents are essentially banned from traveling to the Schengen area. 

[Published on 19 July 2021]

Disclaimer: Please note that this update for COVID-19 travel restrictions to Schengen area may vary from the date it was published and is subject to change.

Latest update on COVID-19 travel restrictions to Schengen area for July 2021

  • After almost a year of being restricted, non-essential travel is now permitted to much of the European Schengen area for foreign visitors who have the vaccine for travel (i.e. show evidence of being vaccinated) and/or follow the pre and post-entry restrictions levied by the country they are entering (that apply to the country they are arriving from). 
  • Despite this, the Schengen area continues to impose COVID-19 & EU travel restrictions on most foreign arrivals to the zone. These restrictions, which vary from country to country, include pre-flight covid testing, and bans on non-essential travel by foreigners from Red List countries (different Schengen countries have different Red Lists). 
  • When it comes EU countries with entry restrictions and inter-European travel, the EU Digital Green card (also known as a COVID passport) is helping facilitate freedom of movement for citizens and residents of the Schengen area. 
  • At the moment, some countries and cities around the world, such as Dubai, are presenting tourists with the opportunity of receiving COVID-19 vaccines as part of a vacation package. At the moment, there are no European countries offering COVID-19 vaccines for tourists, which means that if you are unvaccinated, you cannot receive the vaccine if you are a tourist.

Europe’s Top Tourism Destinations: Current travel restrictions

  • The current, specific COVID-19 travel restrictions in place for France, Germany, and Italy will be discussed in detail below. 

France

  • France has divided the countries of the world into three categories, depending on the potential COVID-19 risk they pose to France. France has a “Green list” “Orange List” and “Red List” for countries; if you are considering entering France, you should see which list the country you are arriving from is on, and see what restrictions apply to you.
  • Green List:
    • Non-EU/Schengen “Green List” countries include the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore, as well as the following: 
      • Albania, Australia, Bosnia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vanuatu.
    • If you are arriving from a country that is on the Green List, you will face the least amount of COVID-19 entry restrictions (relative to arrivals from countries on Orange and Red lists). 
    • Vaccinated arrivals from Green List countries will not face any travel restrictions if they try to enter France. However, if you have not yet received the vaccine (or do not have evidence of being vaccinated), the following restrictions will apply to you: 
      • In order to board your flight, you will need to give evidence of a negative COVID-19 test (either antigen or PCR). In order to be valid, you must have been tested no longer than 72 hours prior to when you board your plane. 
  • Red List:
    • “Red List countries” include India, Brazil, and South Africa, as well as the following states:
      • Afghanistan, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Maldives, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uruguay and Zambia. 
    • If you are arriving from a country that is on the Red list, you will face the highest level of travel restrictions (relative to arrivals from countries on the Green and Orange Lists. 
    • Both vaccinated and unvaccinated arrivals from Red List countries are banned from entering France except for “pressing grounds,” meaning that they are only allowed to enter France for essential or urgent reasons (as defined by the French Ministry of the Interior).
    • If you are a vaccinated arrival from a Red List county who manages to gain entry into France, the following restrictions apply to you: 
      • In order to board your flight, you will need to give evidence of a negative COVID-19 test (either antigen or PCR). In order to be valid, you must have been tested no longer than 48 hours prior to when you board your plane. 
      • Upon landing in France, you must immediately submit to a COVID-19 test. 
      • Finally, once you gain entry to France, you are required to self-isolate for (at minimum) one full week. 
    • If you are an unvaccinated arrival from a Red List county who manages to gain entry into the country, the same above pre and post-flight testing requirements apply to you as for vaccinated travelers. However, instead of self-isolating, unvaccinated travelers must submit to quarantining for a minimum of 10 days (under the strict control of French police/security). 
  • Orange List:
    • States not shown on either the Green or Red list are by default “Orange List” countries. Orange List countries are the middle tier of countries in terms of the potential COVID-19 threat they pose to France. 
    • Vaccinated travelers from Orange List countries can travel to France without an essential or urgent reason. 
    • If you are a vaccinated arrival from an Orange List county who manages to gain entry into France, the following restrictions apply to you: 
      • In order to board your flight, you will need to give evidence of a negative COVID-19 test (either antigen or PCR). In order to be valid, you must have been tested no longer than 48 hours prior to when you board your plane (for Antigen test) or longer than 72 hours before (for PCR). 
    • Unvaccinated travelers from Orange List countries cannot travel to France without an essential or urgent reason. 
    • Unvaccinated arrivals from Orange List countries are banned from entering France except in the case of “pressing grounds”, meaning that they are only allowed to enter France for essential or urgent reasons (as defined by the French Ministry of the Interior).
    • If you are an unvaccinated arrival from an Orange List county who manages to gain entry into the country, the following restrictions apply to you: 
      • In order to board your flight, you will need to give evidence of a negative COVID-19 test (either antigen or PCR). In order to be valid, you must have been tested no longer than 48 hours prior to when you board your plane (for Antigen test) or longer than 72 hours before (for PCR). 
      • You must agree to submit to a possible COVID-19 test upon landing in the country  
      • Finally, once you gain entry to France, you are required to self-isolate for (at minimum) one full week. 

Germany

  • Germany continues to allow unrestricted travel for non-essential reasons from the EU and Schengen countries, as well as the following states: 
    • Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macao, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the USA. 
  • Unvaccinated travelers can only travel to Germany if they have an essential or urgent reason. 
  • Germany allows vaccinated travelers to enter the country for any reason, on the condition that they have evidence of being vaccinated a minimum of two weeks prior to when they attempt to enter Germany (with an approved vaccine).
  • However, vaccinated travelers coming from what is essentially Germany’s Red List of countries (officially areas of variants of concern) are essentially banned from entering Germany in almost all cases whatsoever. Those who do manage to arrive from German Red List countries must submit to a number of restrictions, outlined down below. Current German Red List countries include the following: 
    • Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Uruguay, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 
  • If you are considering flying to Germany, see whether the country you are arriving from (or have visited within the previous 10 days) is on one of the following lists: area of variant concern, high incidence area, or risk area. If it does, you will be subject to specific restrictions (even if you are vaccinated). These restrictions may include some, if not all, of the following: 
    • Submission of pre-flight digital registration form 
    • Pre-flight testing (in some cases, proof of vaccine/immunity can be submitted instead) 
    • Negative COVID-19 test result (mandatory for those arriving/having stayed in areas of variant concern)
    • Self-isolation for a period of 10-14 days (depending on whether you are arriving from/previous stayed in a risk area/high incidence area or an area of variant concern, respectively). 
  • Please contact us here to find out what specific German restrictions apply to you. 

Italy 

  • Citizens of EU and Schengen states “C-List countries” may travel to Italy so long as they present an EU Digital COVID Certificate and a Digital Passenger Locator Form. 
  • Travelers from the United Kingdom may travel to Italy provided they adhere to the following restrictions: 
    • Submit the Digital Passenger Locator Form. 
    • Show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken no later than 48 hours before entering Italy. 
    • Submit to a minimum 5-day (monitored) self-isolation. 
    • Submit to a final COVID-19 test upon completion of self-isolation. 
  • Non-essential travel to Italy is allowed for those arriving from “D-List countries”, which include the following: (Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Canada and the United States of America), provided they adhere to the following restrictions:
    • Must submit the Digital Passenger Locator Form. 
    • Show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken no later than 72 hours before entering Italy. 
    • Travel from airport to home/hotel through private (i.e. nonpublic) means. 
    • Submit to a minimum 10-day (monitored) self-isolation. 
    • Submit to a final COVID-19 test upon completion of self-isolation.
    • Inform the respective authorities in your final destination of your arrival. 
  • Travelers from the following countries (Canada, Japan, and the United States) may travel to Italy in the absence of the above restrictions, provided they submit a COVID-19 Green Certificate as well as a Digital Passenger Locator Form. 
  • Non-essential travel from the “E-List countries” (which includes all of those countries not mentioned above) is not allowed, meaning that you can only enter Italy from these places for work, study, health or other urgent (i.e. non touristic) reasons. Those who do enter are subject to the following restrictions:  
    • Must submit the Digital Passenger Locator Form. 
    • Show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken no later than 72 hours before entering Italy. 
    • Travel from airport to home/hotel through private (i.e. nonpublic) means. 
    • Submit to a minimum 10-day (monitored) self-isolation. 
    • Submit to a final COVID-19 test upon completion of self-isolation.
    • Must inform the respective authorities in your final destination of your arrival. 
  • The following specific restrictions apply to arrivals from the following “E-List countries” (Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka). Arrivals from the preceding countries (or arrivals who have spent time in those countries within two weeks of seeking entry to Italy) are essentially banned from travelling to Italy in almost all cases whatsoever (exceptions are made for certain Italian citizens and other non-Italian categories of person who receive special exemptions). All those who gain entry to Italy from the above countries must submit to extreme pre and post arrival restrictions, including testing and 10-day minimum quarantines. (For more information on arriving to Italy from Bangladesh, India, or Sri Lanka, contact us here).