Table of Contents

What you need to know about traveling to Europe this summer

A couple of tourists looks at the Balos beach and its lagoon in the north west of the island of Crete, on May 13, 2021. - Greece easies the Covid-19 measures in welcoming international tourists on May 14. (Photo by Louisa GOULIAMAKI / AFP) (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN) — In non-pandemic summers, both continental Europe and the United Kingdom draw crowds of tourists from around the world. Last summer, they couldn’t get there. This summer many should be able to, though the tangle of entry requirements will vary by country and could change quickly.

Here’s a guide to help you determine where and when you can vacation this summer in the 27 member countries of the European Union and in non-EU European countries.

When will I be able to go?

This will vary by country visited and the traveler’s home country. Throughout Europe and the United Kingdom, conditions of and requirements for entry differ from country to country, as does timing. The EU is trying to create more universal requirements for tourism, but each country retains sovereign powers to controls its borders in an emergency.

There are currently nine countries on the EU’s “White List,” a list of countries whose citizens are permitted to do non-essential travel (such as vacation travel) to the European Union. As of June 3, when the last list was released, countries on the White List were Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China. This list is expected to be updated shortly and could include the United States.

Umbrellas on a beach at Agia Pelagia on the Greek island of Crete were ready for tourists on May 14, 2021. Greece has eased restrictions for some international visitors while EU-wide policies are still being finalized.

Umbrellas on a beach at Agia Pelagia on the Greek island of Crete were ready for tourists on May 14, 2021. Greece has eased restrictions for some international visitors while EU-wide policies are still being finalized.

On May 20, the EU also adopted a “roadmap,” or recommendation that would allow vaccinated travelers from outside the EU to go to Europe; details are expected to be finalized by the end of June. The roadmap will give each country an “emergency brake” mechanism that would close borders if there were a new Covid-19 outbreak, either in the traveler’s destination or home country.

While EU-wide policies are still being finalized, a number of European countries have opened or will shortly open their borders to non-European travelers under certain conditions; these include Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Iceland.

Meanwhile, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — the four countries of the United Kingdom, which is no longer part of the EU — have each established its own criteria for tourist travel, reviewed every three weeks. These criteria involve a red, amber and green system that could entail a quarantine and various tests, depending on the traveler’s home country.

What proof will be required to show I’ve been fully and properly vaccinated?

In May the EU adopted the concept of an “EU Digital Covid Certificate” for its own citizens, proposing that it be in place by July 1. This would digitally prove that the certificate holder had been fully vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine (AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer), had recovered from Covid-19, or had tested negative for it.

Although it is hoped Americans will eventually be able to digitally provide the same information when they travel to Europe, in order to gain entry there, it is unclear when and how this will happen, in part because the US government has not established a similar digital system. Currently, it appears Americans may be able to provide alternative types of proof, such as their paper vaccination card, for EU travel.

A supermoon sets behind the Eiffel Tower in Paris on April 27, 2021. France has also eased restrictions for some overseas visitors.

A supermoon sets behind the Eiffel Tower in Paris on April 27, 2021. France has also eased restrictions for some overseas visitors.

Will I need a Covid-19 test?

A Covid-19 test requirement will depend entirely on where you’re going. For example, as of now, England requires some visitors to test both before and after arrival. Italy now lets passengers on special “Covid-tested flights” from the US, Canada, Japan and the United Arab Emirates visit; passengers on these flights must test for Covid-19 before departure and on arrival in Italy, as well as on departure from Italy.

Anyone age 2 and older flying back into the United States will need a test within three days of their flight’s departure or prove they’ve recovered from Covid-19.

Can I book now, before the rules are finalized?

You certainly can, though thoroughly research cancellation and refund policies of any airline, hotel, tour operator or attraction you are considering before you book, in case anything changes — in your health or in the pandemic situation in your country or the country you are visiting — that would prompt you to cancel your trip.

Jennifer Tombaugh, president of Tauck, a Connecticut-based tour operator that specializes in travel to Europe, says travelers can “absolutely book now, though they should make sure they have a very good understanding of cancellation fees and any other restrictions. The bottom line is that it’s very important that you read the fine print, understand what payment is required when, what is refundable and what is not. A knowledgeable, plugged-in tour operator or travel agent can help you with this.”

How quickly will destinations get booked up, once any new rules are announced?

This will depend on the destination and if it is already accepting tourists, for example, from other European countries, the United States or Asia.

Greece, which has been letting certain tourists in since mid-April, is a popular destination that will probably get booked quickly. So is Portugal, which ended a ban on British tourists earlier this month (May).

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It will probably be easier to book a vacation in a major European or British city, where many hotel rooms will likely be available, than in a small resort town with limited lodging options.

People visit the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona on May 29, 2021. Spain plans to broaden entry to vaccinated travelers in June.

People visit the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona on May 29, 2021. Spain plans to broaden entry to vaccinated travelers in June.

How difficult will it be to book a reasonably priced flight to Europe?

Terry Dale, president and chief executive of the United States Tour Operators Association, suggests “booking now — if you’re serious, get a placeholder.”

Both he and Eduardo Santander, executive director and chief executive of the European Travel Commission, a nonprofit organization that represents European national tourist offices, expect there might be a shortage of capacity on flights to Europe, since travel there has been in such flux, and it is not easy for carriers to respond quickly to increases in demand.

However, Craig Jenks, an expert on the transatlantic airline market, believes if you “book closer in, there will be opportunities” somewhere, due to imbalances between demand and supply. He suggests monitoring flights on websites like Google, Expedia and Travelocity.

Will I be able to cancel, if there’s a renewed shutdown or other unforeseen event?

That will depend entirely on the travel supplier — such as an airline, hotel or tour operator — you’ve booked. Although most airlines have been very flexible about not enforcing cancellation or rebooking fees during the pandemic and some have even eliminated certain change fees, it’s not clear how long their flexibility will last, if air travel demand continues to strengthen.

Travel agents encourage the purchase of trip insurance: Some policies are now available that provide coverage for pandemic-related disruptions, such as Covid-related cancellation, Covid medical coverage, and additional accommodation or transportation.

Will I be able to visit more than one country in Europe, whether I am traveling by land or on some sort of cruise ship?

This situation is in flux, as vaccine programs are rolled out, allowing borders to open, and as new variants are discovered, which close borders down. When the EU reaches agreement on standards for reopening and employs the Digital Covid Certificate, intra-European travel should be relatively easy and possible.

But, as of now, for example, Americans can go to Greece without quarantining, but they cannot visit Germany or the Netherlands. If you are working with a tour operator or a cruise line, it will have the latest information on intra-European travel.

Will I have to be tested or quarantine when I return to my home country?

That will depend entirely on the regulations of your home country. As mentioned, almost all air travelers entering the US are required to test before arrival or prove they’ve recovered from Covid.

What are the best sources of information to help me plan my trip?

Reopen.Europa.EU is a website maintained by the EU that provides an overview of the health situation in European countries and information on various restrictions in place, including quarantine and testing requirements for travelers, and on mobile coronavirus contact tracing and warning apps.

The Sherpa website is a Toronto-based, independent resource that offers the latest information on travel documentation and requirements worldwide.

The website of the European Travel Commission offers links to specific Covid information for its members’ countries. Also check the website of any airlines you are considering booking for their latest requirements.

Tom Jenkins, chief executive of ETOA, the trade association for European tour operators, believes major European cities have been pummeled by the pandemic and therefore will be evolving. “The service economy of Europe is adapting to huge changes in demand. Yet now is a great time to go there. Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ didn’t catch Covid and they are feeling very lonely.”

“It will be an exciting and wild time,” predicts Tombaugh. “Expect the unexpected and have a good sense of humor to make the most of the new world of travel we are all discovering.”

Top photo: Balos beach and its lagoon on the island of Crete on May 13, 2021. Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP via Getty Images

A year of the world’s Best Beaches There’s a perfect beach for every week of the year. Join us on a 12-month journey to see them all

What you need to know about traveling to Europe this summer

A couple of tourists looks at the Balos beach and its lagoon in the north west of the island of Crete, on May 13, 2021. - Greece easies the Covid-19 measures in welcoming international tourists on May 14. (Photo by Louisa GOULIAMAKI / AFP) (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN) — In non-pandemic summers, both continental Europe and the United Kingdom draw crowds of tourists from around the world. Last summer, they couldn’t get there. This summer many should be able to, though the tangle of entry requirements will vary by country and could change quickly.

Here’s a guide to help you determine where and when you can vacation this summer in the 27 member countries of the European Union and in non-EU European countries.

When will I be able to go?

This will vary by country visited and the traveler’s home country. Throughout Europe and the United Kingdom, conditions of and requirements for entry differ from country to country, as does timing. The EU is trying to create more universal requirements for tourism, but each country retains sovereign powers to controls its borders in an emergency.

There are currently nine countries on the EU’s “White List,” a list of countries whose citizens are permitted to do non-essential travel (such as vacation travel) to the European Union. As of June 3, when the last list was released, countries on the White List were Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China. This list is expected to be updated shortly and could include the United States.

Umbrellas on a beach at Agia Pelagia on the Greek island of Crete were ready for tourists on May 14, 2021. Greece has eased restrictions for some international visitors while EU-wide policies are still being finalized.

Umbrellas on a beach at Agia Pelagia on the Greek island of Crete were ready for tourists on May 14, 2021. Greece has eased restrictions for some international visitors while EU-wide policies are still being finalized.

On May 20, the EU also adopted a “roadmap,” or recommendation that would allow vaccinated travelers from outside the EU to go to Europe; details are expected to be finalized by the end of June. The roadmap will give each country an “emergency brake” mechanism that would close borders if there were a new Covid-19 outbreak, either in the traveler’s destination or home country.

While EU-wide policies are still being finalized, a number of European countries have opened or will shortly open their borders to non-European travelers under certain conditions; these include Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Iceland.

Meanwhile, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — the four countries of the United Kingdom, which is no longer part of the EU — have each established its own criteria for tourist travel, reviewed every three weeks. These criteria involve a red, amber and green system that could entail a quarantine and various tests, depending on the traveler’s home country.

What proof will be required to show I’ve been fully and properly vaccinated?

In May the EU adopted the concept of an “EU Digital Covid Certificate” for its own citizens, proposing that it be in place by July 1. This would digitally prove that the certificate holder had been fully vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine (AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer), had recovered from Covid-19, or had tested negative for it.

Although it is hoped Americans will eventually be able to digitally provide the same information when they travel to Europe, in order to gain entry there, it is unclear when and how this will happen, in part because the US government has not established a similar digital system. Currently, it appears Americans may be able to provide alternative types of proof, such as their paper vaccination card, for EU travel.

A supermoon sets behind the Eiffel Tower in Paris on April 27, 2021. France has also eased restrictions for some overseas visitors.

A supermoon sets behind the Eiffel Tower in Paris on April 27, 2021. France has also eased restrictions for some overseas visitors.

Will I need a Covid-19 test?

A Covid-19 test requirement will depend entirely on where you’re going. For example, as of now, England requires some visitors to test both before and after arrival. Italy now lets passengers on special “Covid-tested flights” from the US, Canada, Japan and the United Arab Emirates visit; passengers on these flights must test for Covid-19 before departure and on arrival in Italy, as well as on departure from Italy.

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Anyone age 2 and older flying back into the United States will need a test within three days of their flight’s departure or prove they’ve recovered from Covid-19.

Can I book now, before the rules are finalized?

You certainly can, though thoroughly research cancellation and refund policies of any airline, hotel, tour operator or attraction you are considering before you book, in case anything changes — in your health or in the pandemic situation in your country or the country you are visiting — that would prompt you to cancel your trip.

Jennifer Tombaugh, president of Tauck, a Connecticut-based tour operator that specializes in travel to Europe, says travelers can “absolutely book now, though they should make sure they have a very good understanding of cancellation fees and any other restrictions. The bottom line is that it’s very important that you read the fine print, understand what payment is required when, what is refundable and what is not. A knowledgeable, plugged-in tour operator or travel agent can help you with this.”

How quickly will destinations get booked up, once any new rules are announced?

This will depend on the destination and if it is already accepting tourists, for example, from other European countries, the United States or Asia.

Greece, which has been letting certain tourists in since mid-April, is a popular destination that will probably get booked quickly. So is Portugal, which ended a ban on British tourists earlier this month (May).

It will probably be easier to book a vacation in a major European or British city, where many hotel rooms will likely be available, than in a small resort town with limited lodging options.

People visit the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona on May 29, 2021. Spain plans to broaden entry to vaccinated travelers in June.

People visit the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona on May 29, 2021. Spain plans to broaden entry to vaccinated travelers in June.

How difficult will it be to book a reasonably priced flight to Europe?

Terry Dale, president and chief executive of the United States Tour Operators Association, suggests “booking now — if you’re serious, get a placeholder.”

Both he and Eduardo Santander, executive director and chief executive of the European Travel Commission, a nonprofit organization that represents European national tourist offices, expect there might be a shortage of capacity on flights to Europe, since travel there has been in such flux, and it is not easy for carriers to respond quickly to increases in demand.

However, Craig Jenks, an expert on the transatlantic airline market, believes if you “book closer in, there will be opportunities” somewhere, due to imbalances between demand and supply. He suggests monitoring flights on websites like Google, Expedia and Travelocity.

Will I be able to cancel, if there’s a renewed shutdown or other unforeseen event?

That will depend entirely on the travel supplier — such as an airline, hotel or tour operator — you’ve booked. Although most airlines have been very flexible about not enforcing cancellation or rebooking fees during the pandemic and some have even eliminated certain change fees, it’s not clear how long their flexibility will last, if air travel demand continues to strengthen.

Travel agents encourage the purchase of trip insurance: Some policies are now available that provide coverage for pandemic-related disruptions, such as Covid-related cancellation, Covid medical coverage, and additional accommodation or transportation.

Will I be able to visit more than one country in Europe, whether I am traveling by land or on some sort of cruise ship?

This situation is in flux, as vaccine programs are rolled out, allowing borders to open, and as new variants are discovered, which close borders down. When the EU reaches agreement on standards for reopening and employs the Digital Covid Certificate, intra-European travel should be relatively easy and possible.

But, as of now, for example, Americans can go to Greece without quarantining, but they cannot visit Germany or the Netherlands. If you are working with a tour operator or a cruise line, it will have the latest information on intra-European travel.

Will I have to be tested or quarantine when I return to my home country?

That will depend entirely on the regulations of your home country. As mentioned, almost all air travelers entering the US are required to test before arrival or prove they’ve recovered from Covid.

What are the best sources of information to help me plan my trip?

Reopen.Europa.EU is a website maintained by the EU that provides an overview of the health situation in European countries and information on various restrictions in place, including quarantine and testing requirements for travelers, and on mobile coronavirus contact tracing and warning apps.

The Sherpa website is a Toronto-based, independent resource that offers the latest information on travel documentation and requirements worldwide.

The website of the European Travel Commission offers links to specific Covid information for its members’ countries. Also check the website of any airlines you are considering booking for their latest requirements.

Tom Jenkins, chief executive of ETOA, the trade association for European tour operators, believes major European cities have been pummeled by the pandemic and therefore will be evolving. “The service economy of Europe is adapting to huge changes in demand. Yet now is a great time to go there. Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ didn’t catch Covid and they are feeling very lonely.”

“It will be an exciting and wild time,” predicts Tombaugh. “Expect the unexpected and have a good sense of humor to make the most of the new world of travel we are all discovering.”

Top photo: Balos beach and its lagoon on the island of Crete on May 13, 2021. Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP via Getty Images

A year of the world’s Best Beaches There’s a perfect beach for every week of the year. Join us on a 12-month journey to see them all

Travel to Europe from UK in 2022

Jamie Gibbs

What are the latest Covid rules around travel to Europe from the UK?

The success of the vaccination roll out now means it’s much easier than it was to travel throughout the European Union. However, it’s important not to be too lax, so make sure you check entry requirements before your departure date. As we have all seen, the situation can change quickly.

  • If you’re fully vaccinated, it’s likely that you won’t need to show evidence of a negative PCR before you travel.
  • If you haven’t been fully vaccinated, you’ll likely need to show proof of a negative PCR instead.

You should be able to use your NHS Covid pass as proof of vaccination (don’t rely on an appointment card). However, it’s always worth double checking with the specific country you’re travelling to.

What are the key things I need to check before I travel to Europe post- Brexit?

  • Passports: find out if you need to renew
  • Health insurance cards: get the lowdown on the new Global Health Insurance card
  • Visas: find out if you’ll need a visa for your destination : make sure you have the right car insurance and find out if you need an international driving permit
  • Taking pets abroad: arrange an animal health certificate
  • Border checks: prepare for more questions at the border
  • Changes to duty free: familiarise yourself with the new allowances
  • Internet and roaming charges: check the terms of your deal to avoid a painful bill
  • Travel insurance: get the lowdown on the cover you need

Is my British passport still valid after Brexit?

If you’re planning a trip to places like Spain, France, Italy or Greece, you might be wondering if you need a new passport or need a certain amount of time left on them to travel.

The good news is existing British passports after Brexit are still valid – they just need to be less than 10 years old and have at least six months’ left on them

Read Post  Which EU Countries Are Easiest To Visit Right Now?

This change doesn’t apply when travelling to Ireland – so long as your passport is valid during your stay, you should be okay.

If you need a new passport, be aware applications might take slightly longer than normal to process due to the pandemic.

What about my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

With a few exceptions, you won’t be able to get a new EHIC. It has been replaced by the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

You can carry on using existing EHICs until they run out. The expiry date is be shown on the card.

You can use an existing EHIC or GHIC within the EU and Switzerland. The government says more countries may be added in the future.

You can find out more about the rules surrounding who can use EHICs and GHICs and where they can be used on GOV.UK.

It’s important not to rely solely on your EHIC or GHIC card. You can only use it to access state supplied healthcare. This means that without a travel insurance policy that covers medical costs, you may still end up with a hefty medical bill.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you might want to think about taking out specific pre-existing medical travel insurance.

Check your policy details or get in touch with your insurance provider for more information.

Do I need a visa to travel to Europe?

If you’re going on holiday for fewer than 90 days, you shouldn’t need a visa to travel to Europe.

What about driving from the UK to Europe?

If you’re planning on driving your car in Europe, you’ll need:

  • A UK sticker displayed clearly on the rear of your vehicle.
  • If you have a photocard driving licence, you won’t need an international driving permit (IDP) for driving in the EU. If you have a paper licence or are travelling to a non-EU country, you may need to get an appropriate IDP. : All UK car insurance policies provide basic third-party cover for most countries in Europe and so you shouldn’t need a green card as proof of insurance. However as this is only third-party you may want to discuss more comprehensive cover with your insurance company. You can find a full list of countries where you may need a green card on the government website.

What travel insurance do I need to travel to Europe from the UK?

A standard travel insurance policy for Europe should do the job.

However, with so many changes, it’s important to get the right level of cover for your trip. Two important things to consider when getting a policy are:

  • Medical cover: You want to ensure that if you incur any medical expenses on your trip are included. Although your EHIC or GHIC provides some cover it wouldn’t get you flown home in an emergency, unlike a travel insurance policy.
  • Cancellation cover: With things still uncertain during the pandemic, it’s important to know that you’ll get your money back if certain emergencies force you to cancel or cut short your trip.

So taking out travel cancellation cover could be a good idea.

Make sure you get cover for the whole family. A family travel insurance policy ensures every single member has cover, not just you.

Compare travel insurance

What else can I do to protect myself?

If you can, use a credit card to pay for the holiday

This gives you extra protection under the Consumer Credit Act. So, if the airline goes bust and your insurance policy doesn’t cover it, your credit card company could.

What do I need to know about business travel to the EU after Brexit?

Business travel to EU after Brexit shouldn’t be too complicated for most people. UK nationals are able to enter the EU for business, without a visa, so long as they aren’t going to be staying for longer than 90 days within any six month period.

Business people are be able to attend meetings, conferences and trade fairs, conduct research and participate in training. They should also be able to sign contracts.

However, they aren’t able to deliver goods, supply services or service contracts.

A visa, work permit or other documentation might be needed if:

  • You’re self employed and supplying services
  • Carrying out contracts or supplying services in a country where your employer doesn’t have a presence
  • You’re participating in an ‘intra-corporate’ transfer

You can check on the government website whether you’re likely to need a visa or a work permit for the specific country you’re travelling to.

Taking pets abroad

Pet passports issued in Great Britain are no longer valid.

Before you go abroad, you’ll need to:

  • Get your pet microchipped
  • Get a rabies vaccination
  • Take your pet to the vet 10 days before you travel to get an Animal Health Certificate (AHC).

If you’re travelling to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta, your dog will need tapeworm treatment.

With some exceptions, you can’t travel with more than five pets.

If you’re travelling to a non-EU country, you’ll need to fill in an export application form, and get an export health certificate.

For more information, visit GOV.UK.

Will I still get free mobile internet in Europe?

You’ll no longer enjoy free mobile phone roaming as standard while on holiday within the EU.

But you’ll have to opt-in to spend over £45 on mobile internet abroad.

With high roaming charges, you could still spend up to that amount without realising it.

This means it’s vital to check your mobile roaming charges before you go.

Will there be border checks?

There’ll likely be stricter border checks, and you’ll need to use a separate queue for EU travellers.

You may also need to show that you have a return ticket and enough money for your stay.

If you’re carrying more than £10,000 in cash, you’ll need to declare it. You can do this up to three days before you travel. For more information, visit GOV.UK.

If you don’t declare it, you could get a fine of up to £5,000.

Changes to duty free

You can still buy certain items duty free, but there’ll be limits on how much you can bring back. These limits are:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 50 cigars
  • 250g tobacco
  • 42 litres of beer
  • 18 litres of wine
  • 4 litres of spirits

What UK travel documents will I need to travel in Europe after Brexit?

The only documents most of us need to travel in Europe is our passport. Although if it’s a longer stay (90 days or more) or you’re working (not just visiting for a meeting) you may need a visa and or a work permit.

There are other documents it might be able to pack though such as your EHIC or GHIC cards as well as details of your travel insurance policy.

If you’re driving you’ll also need your driving licence and the UK car sticker and it’s a good idea to have details of your car insurance to hand too.

Will I need to pay to travel to Europe from the UK?

Before the end of 2022 visitors from the UK need to pay a 7 euro processing fee when they enter the EU.

What about travel to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechenstein?

The rules around healthcare for these countries are slightly different, as they aren’t members of the EU.

In Switzerland to use your EHIC or GHIC you’ll need to demonstrate that you’re a:

  • British national
  • Swiss national
  • EU citizen
  • Refugee
  • Stateless person
  • Dependent of one of the above

In Norway you can use your passport to access certain healthcare, for example emergency treatment.

If you’re travelling to any of these countries, the government advises to check entry requirements before you go.

Source https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/europe-travel-what-to-know-explainer-cmd/index.html

Source https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/europe-travel-what-to-know-explainer-cmd/index.html

Source https://www.confused.com/travel-insurance/guides/travel-to-europe-from-uk

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