Summary

  • As Europe confronts the second wave of Covid-19, individual Schengen area states has introduced numerous measures to prevent the virus from spreading internally and throughout the 26 countries comprising the Schengen area. 
  • With certain individual member states more affected by the virus than others, the pandemic continues to test the Schengen area’s common border policy, which allows visa-free access throughout the bloc for Schengen citizens and nationals of many non-Schengen countries. 
  • As the more seriously hit states impose national lockdowns, curfews, and other restrictive measures, individual Schengen states have yet to unilaterally (and therefore illegally, under the terms of the Schengen Agreement) impose bans on citizens from other states (Schengen or non-Schengen). 
  • At the moment, all the individual Schengen states continue to adhere to the Schengen area’s collective travel ban policy, which is applied universally to all states throughout the bloc. This means that all the Schengen states follow the same policy on who is allowed to enter the Schengen area generally and their country specifically. 
  • The Schengen area has collectively decided to impose travel bans to reduce access for non-Schengen/non-E.U. citizens. These restrictions will affect citizens from states that normally have visa-free access to the Schengen area. 
  • Please note, while one Schengen state cannot ban the citizen of another Schengen/European state from entering the country, it can subject that foreign citizen to quarantines/self-isolation upon arrival. 

Can I travel to/within the Schengen area? 

  1. If you are a resident or national of one Schengen state: you have unrestricted access to every other Schengen state. However, depending on what country you are entering the Schengen area from, you may be subject to quarantine or other restrictive measures upon arrival. 
  2. If you are a citizen of an E.U. state (non-Schengen) or the U.K: You can also enter the Schengen area freely. These states include Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Holy See, Ireland, Monaco, San Marino. 
  3. If you are not from the Schengen area or one of the above countries, but you normally have visa-free access to the Schengen area: you will likely be banned from entering the Schengen area unless you have an essential reason for travel/you have a spouse or child who is a Schengen citizen.  
  4. If you are from a country that does not have visa-free access to the Schengen area, i.e. you normally need a visa to enter the zone, you will likely be barred from travelling unless you have an essential reason for doing so. 
  5. If you are a national of the following non-Schengen/non-European countries: Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay, you may be able to enter the Schengen area via certain Schengen countries (see list below). 
  6. If you are in the Schengen area temporally as a non-citizen, non-resident, or student, you theoretically are allowed to travel freely throughout the Schengen area, but you may still be denied entry to another Schengen country at the border. 
  7. If you have a valid Schengen visa but have yet to travel to the Schengen area: you will likely be denied entry to the Schengen area at the border unless your purpose of travel is deemed essential. 

Internal restrictions of the Schengen area

  • While Schengen states are collectively prevented from being able to impose bans on citizens of other Schengen states, certain countries have imposed national bans restricting internal mobility for residents and anyone within their borders. 
  • Adopted to contain the internal spread of the virus from certain domestic regions, these kinds of restrictions effectively reduce travel mobility for EU/Schengen citizens, who, despite not being banned from Schengen states where they lack citizenship/residency, may be subject to quarantines, self-isolation periods, or other restrictive measures upon entering a foreign Schengen state. 
  • If you are currently living in a Schengen state and you are planning on travelling to another Schengen state, or if you are a non-Schengen/non-E.U. citizen travelling to the Schengen area, it is important that you learn about the internal travel policies and other restrictive measures of the country you are attempting to enter so you can be prepared. 

The following country-specific sections contain the most relevant information for potential travelers to individual Schengen states: 

FRANCE travel advice on the Corona

France entered its second lockdown of 2020 on October 30th. It is expected to last until December 1st

  • While foreign nationals of other EU/Schengen states are welcome to enter France, those who enter the country from abroad will likely be subject to quarantine upon arrival 
  • In addition to non-French EU/Schengen residents, France now allows residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and the U.K to enter the country 
  • Internal travel within France is restricted 
  • France’s international borders with European/Schengen states remain open; external French borders are closed to all except essential travel 
  • France has a national lockdown and a national nightly curfew. This means: 
    • Enforced social distancing, restrictions on social gatherings, and national mask requirements (cloth masks must be worn in public indoor spaces and while on busses and trains (in France’s largest cities, including Paris, Marseilles).
    • Residents can only leave their respective homes to perform essential tasks and chores, including receiving medical treatment, shopping for food, journeying to either work or school, and exercising (for 1hr per day). 
    • All shops are closed with the exception of food markets, and pharmacies; restaurants are open for takeout.
  • Public transportation in France remains running. 
  • Please note, anyone leaving his or her residence in France must carry a form describing their reason for venturing outside. Those who lack a form, are travelling for non-essential reasons, or are found to be non-compliant with other restrictions may be subject to a fine of €135.

GERMANY travel advice on the Corona

Germany entered its second lockdown of 2020 on November 2nd. It is expected to last until December 1st

  • While foreign nationals of Schengen/EU states are welcome to enter Germany, those who enter the country from abroad will likely be subject to a minimum 14-day quarantine upon arrival. 
  • At the moment, it is still possible for third party nationals (including non-Schengen/non-EU citizens) to transit through Germany en route to a final EU/Schengen country destination, provided the traveler meets certain conditions. These transiting non-German nationals are exempt from Germany’s mandatory quarantine for arriving foreigners. 
  • In addition to non-German EU/Schengen residents, Germany now allows residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, New Zealand, and Thailand to enter the country. 
  • Germany has yet to impose an internal travel ban. 
  • Germany has imposed a partial lockdown. This means:
    • Enforced social distancing, restrictions on social gatherings, and national mask requirements (masks must be worn in public indoor spaces and while on busses and trains). 
    • Many non-essential shops continue to operate, albeit with increased restrictions on the number of people able to enter at the same time. 
    • Certain businesses will remain closed (such as bars, gyms, theaters, and beauty salons), 
    • Restaurants and bars are open for takeout only 
  • While hotels remain open, overnight stays are banned for tourists and everyone not travelling for essential purposes. 
  • Public transportation in Germany remains operational; while taxis are operating, passengers must sit in the backseat. 
  • Anyone found to be non-compliant with these and other restrictions may be subject to a fine of up to €25,000.

ITALY travel advice on the Corona

Italy imposed its second nation-wide curfew and partial lockdown of 2020 on November 3rs. It is expected to last until December 3rd.

  • While foreign nationals of Schengen/EU states are welcome to travel to Italy, those who enter must register online prior to entering the country; some may be required to take a Covid test upon entry or provide evidence of a negative test received within 72hrs. Depending on their departing destination, they may also be subject to a minimum 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
  • In addition to non-Italian EU/Schengen residents, Italy now allows residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Romania, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay to enter the country. 
  • Italy has imposed a nationwide curfew, regional lockdowns, and an internal travel ban. This means: 
    • Travel to and from and within Italy’s red zone districts is restricted, with non-essential travel banned both to and from red zones, with red-zone and orange-zone residents prevented even from leaving their respective municipalities. 
    • Enforced social distancing, restrictions on social gatherings, and national mask requirements (masks must be worn in public indoor spaces and while on busses and trains). 
    • Regional lockdowns vary in intensity and duration depending on whether the region is classified as a moderate, medium, or high-risk zone. 
    • In the high-risk areas, or “red zones,” which include Italy’s northern regions, certain non-essential shops, such as clothing stores and beauty salons (but not hair salons) are closed; restaurants are open for takeout and public transportation is running at 50% capacity. 
    • A nightly curfew is in effect from 10pm-5pm (travelers for work or health purposes are excluded from the curfew). 
    • Anyone leaving his or her home must carry a form describing their reason for venturing outside. Those who lack a form, are travelling for non-essential reasons, or are found to be non-compliant with other restrictions may be subject to a fine of €1,000.

SPAIN travel advice on the Corona

Spain announced its second state of emergency of 2020 on October 25th until December 3rd.

  • While foreign nationals of other Schengen/EU states are welcome to enter Spain, those who enter the country from abroad must fill out a health form and will likely be subject to quarantine upon arrival. 
  • In addition to non-Spanish EU/Schengen residents, Spain now allows residents of Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay to enter the country. 
  • Spain’s international borders with European/Schengen states remain open (including its border with Andorra. Spain’s non-mainland borders (located in its north African regions) are closed to Morocco. 
  • Spain has imposed a nationwide curfew, regional lockdowns, and an internal travel ban. This means: 
    • Travel to and from and within certain Spanish districts is restricted, with non-essential travel banned both to and from red zones, with red-zone and orange-zone residents prevented even from leaving their respective municipalities. 
    • Enforced social distancing, restrictions on social gatherings, and national mask requirements (masks must be worn in public indoor spaces and while on busses and trains). 
    • A nightly curfew is in effect from 12am-6pm (travelers for work or health purposes are excluded from the curfew). 
    • Social gatherings are limited to groups of 6; large public gatherings, including religious services, are allowed, albeit at reduced capacities.  
    • Restaurants, bars, and other non-essential business remain open throughout the country, but at reduced capacity. 
    • Anyone found to be non-compliant with these and other restrictions may be subject to a fine ranging from €60 to €60,000. 
  • The Spanish public transportation services remain regular and uninterrupted at the moment.

Quick Overview of Travel Mobility Within 5 Additional Hard-Hit Schengen Countries:  

1. Austria:

  • National lockdown imposed on November 3rd to November 30th
  • Travelers arriving from some countries (including certain EU/Schengen) must provide a negative Covid-19 test or otherwise quarantine for 10-day
  • Public mask requirements 
  • Nightly curfew 
  • Closure of all ski resorts 
  • Unrestricted entry allowed to non-EU/non-Schengen travelers from: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Uruguay. 
  • Note: Austria has yet to limit travel within the country

2. Belgium:

  • Restrictive measures imposed on November 3rd to December 13th
  • Completion of mandatory passenger locator form 
  • Regional night curfews
  • Nation-wide mask requirements
  • Enforced social distancing
  • Unrestricted entry allowed to non-EU/Schengen travelers from: Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Uruguay. 

3. Czech Republic: 

  • The Schengen country with the highest rate of infection. 
  • State of Emergency and nation-wide lockdown declared on October 3rd, to last until November 20th
  • Nationwide indoor mask requirements
  • Entry allowed to residents of: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, and Tunisia
  • Internal travel restrictions

4. Greece:

  • National lockdown imposed on November 7th until December 1st.
  • National nightly curfew
  • National mask requirement for both indoors and outdoors
  • Restrictions on the movement of residents outside of the home
  • Restrictions on inter-regional travel within Greece
  • All travelers entering Greece must present a negative Covid-19 test in order to enter the country. This includes Greek citizens returning from Belgium, Hungary, and Spain. 

5. The Netherlands:

  • Partial lockdown imposed until November 18th
  • Enforced Social distancing 
  • National mask requirement for public spaces
  • Entry allowed to residents of: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. 

Please note that the above guidelines are subject to change. Contact the embassy of the country you are attempting to travel to directly for the most up to date information.