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    COVID19 NEWS: As of June 1, 2020, Albania has reopened all land borders (and certain flights), the mandatory two-week quarantine has been lifted (unless symptoms detected).
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June 1, 2020

Which European countries have opened their borders?

As European countries begin lifting COVID-19 restrictions, many people across the continent have begun thinking about whether they can have a holiday this summer.

But where can you access and what is still off-limits?

There is a mixed picture across Europe, with the usually easy travel across the Schengen Area restricted.

Almost every country has its own rules in place and its own timetable for reopening to tourists, both from its EU neighbours and further afield.

If you’re intending on coming to the EU for a holiday it’s worth knowing the bloc’s external borders are set to be closed until June 15. But that only applies if you’re a non-EU citizen coming from a non-EU country.

But it’s all changing quickly, so here’s our updated guide to the border situation in Europe this summer.

Albania

“On June 1, Albania will reopen its land borders to all Albanians in neighboring countries, whether they hold Albanian, Kosovar, North Macedonian or Montenegrin passports. But the beaches will be open to the public from June 10”, he said.

The private beaches of the hotels will open on June 1, while access will be allowed to the public from June 10, according to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

“The process regarding the beach management system is expected to be completed this week, after the operation to release the illegally occupied beaches. Greece has decided to open its beaches in July, while others have not decided yet”, said the Albanian prime minister.

Edi Rama also said that “a temporary authority will be created for the licensing of private entities this week”.

“While all the income will be allocated to the municipalities, no previous agreement will be recognized unless it is confirmed by the licensing authority and no new agreement will be signed by the municipalities without the prior approval of this authority”, he said.

“We want the Albanian hotel industry to operate at full capacity and not engage in unfair competition”, Edi Rama added.

Later on May 31, a more detailed re-opening strategy from June 1 was announced by the Health Minister, Ogerta Manastirliu.

Austria

Austria has closed its land borders with Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Vienna plans to fully reopen its frontier with Germany on June 15. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was optimistic similar understandings could be reached with other neighbouring countries in the coming week (25-31 May).

For anyone who does arrive in Austria, for example by air, a medical certificate must be produced proving a negative COVID-19.

The certificate cannot be more than four days’ old.

Entry by air is prohibited to citizens coming from countries outside the Schengen Area.

More information here.

Belgium

Belgium’s borders are closed and the country has banned non-essential travel abroad.

FILE – In this Monday, March 23, 2020 file photo, a container and barriers block a road on the Netherlands border with Belgium.AP Photo/Peter Dejong

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The border is only currently open to citizens of neighbouring nations – other foreign arrivals are not permitted. There are some exceptions to this, such as for freight driver, residents and diplomats.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria is set to open borders with Serbia and Greece from June 1.

Croatia

Croatia has now opened its borders to nationals from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Germany and Slovakia.

People arriving are only asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they have found to have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19.

Cyprus

Cyprus has outlined plans for the phased resumption next month of commercial flights from a select number of countries with low COVID-19 infection rates to jump-start its vital tourism sector.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said flights will begin in two phases — June 9 and 20 — from two groups of countries selected by an advisory body of medical experts.

The first group is comprised of Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania. The second group is made up of Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic. The list excludes the country’s two main tourism markets, former colonial ruler Britain, and Russia.

Karousos said starting June 9, passengers arriving from countries in either group must obtain three days prior to departure a health certificate confirming that they are virus-free.

Starting June 20, passengers from the first group of countries won’t need health certificates, but those from the second group will still be required to obtain them.

Czech Republic

From May 26 borders opened with Germany and Austria. From May 27, the country opened its frontier with the Slovakia and Hungary, but with restrictions.

Residents of EU member states able to enter to perform economic activities, to visit relatives or to study at a university. Everyone will have to prove themselves with a negative test for COVID-19 upon entry.

Denmark

Borders are closed for foreign travellers. Only citizens or residents of Denmark, Greenland or Faroe Islands can currently enter, or those with a “worthy purpose”.

From May 25 people with a permanent residence in one of the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) or Germany can re-enter if they are in a relationship with someone in Denmark, have grandparents there, or if they have a business trip.

From June 15, Copenhagen will open its borders to tourists from Germany, Iceland and Norway.

Estonia

Opened borders to Baltic neighbours on May 15. EU and UK citizens can enter from June 1. Those coming from countries with a high infection rate will have to self-isolate for two weeks.

Finland

Finland’s land borders have been closed until at least June 14. They were reopened to workers from the Schengen Area in mid-May.

France

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced plans to reopen France’s border to EU countries and the UK from June 15, following the plans of other EU countries.

For the time being travel into France is restricted with only essential travel allowed for those who don’t live in the country.

Travellers arriving from the UK or Spain will be subject to a voluntary quarantine. Those from outside the EU or UK will still not be able to travel to France except for in limited circumstances, while EU countries are still to decide when they will reopen external borders.

Germany

Travellers are expected to have a valid reason for entering Germany. However, restrictions at the borders have been loosened.

Checks at the frontier with Austria, Switzerland, France and Denmark and for passengers arriving by air from Italy and Spain remain in effect until 15 June.

EU citizens and citizens of the United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, and the family members of these citizens, are permitted to return to their home country or to their place of normal residence in Germany or to reach their country travelling through Germany if they need to.

German police officers prevent a woman from entering Germany at the German-France border in Kehl, Monday March 16, 2020.Jean-Francois Badias/AP Photo

Greece

The Foreign Affairs Ministry published on Sunday, May 31, its plan for reopening borders, which entails three different phases.

Phase 1 (present-June 15)

Only a limited number of international flights are allowed to land in Athens.

All arriving passengers must be tested and stay overnight at a designated hotel.

In case of a negative test, passengers have to quarantine for 7 days.

If the test is positive, they need to quarantine “under supervision” for 14 days.

Phase 2 (June 15-June 30)

From June 15, tourism travel resumes, and international flights will land not just in Athens but in Thessaloniki too.

However, some passengers will have to undergo mandatory testing upon arrival.

Those coming from any of these airports listed by the European Aviation Safety Agency, will have to get tested on arrival, then go to to a designated hotel and quarantine for 7 days if the test is negative, and for 14 days if the test is positive.

All other passengers, including all travellers coming from Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland – will be subject to random tests and no further restrictions.

In addition, land arrivals from Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria will be allowed in the country.

Those travellers will be subject to random tests upon arrival.

Phase 3 (July 1-onwards)

International flights will be allowed into all airports in Greece and all travellers subject to random tests upon arrival.

“Additional restrictions regarding certain countries will be announced at a later date”, the Foreign Ministry says.

Arrivals by sea will also be allowed on July 1, with travellers subject to random testing.

Hungary

Borders are open with Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Serbia, albeit with restrictions. Frontiers are also open with Croatia with a holiday reservation. The border with Austria is closed.

Iceland

Iceland is set to reopen on June 15.

Tourists will be tested upon arrival. A few hours later, they will get the result on their phone, after downloading a tracking app.

Authorities are yet to clear procedures for those who test positive.

Ireland

The Irish health authorities currently require anyone coming into Ireland, except from Northern Ireland, to self-isolate for 14 days, upon arrival, including Irish residents.

Arrivals have to complete a passenger locator form, although exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.

Italy

People take a walk and relax at Naviglio Grande canal, in Milan, Italy – Copyright  AP Photo

Italy plans to reopen its borders on June 3 to EU, UK, Schengen area, Andorra and Monaco citizens, following the nationwide lockdown which came into force on March 9.

The government dismissed any possible attempt to apply different confinement rules in different regions as “unconstitutional” following spats between local governors.

Therefore, the same confinement rules will apply in the same way to all regions.

The country has entered lockdown “phase 2” on May 18, allowing restaurants, bars, hotels and cafe to reopen, however restrictions could be restored at any time if the epidemiological situation worsens.

Cruises on Italian ships are currently suspended.

Latvia

Opened its borders to Baltic neighbours Estonia and Lithuania on May 15. From June 1, there will be no border checks with Lithuania.

Lithuania

Opened its borders to Baltic neighbours Estonia and Latvia on May 15. From June 1, there will be no border checks with Latvia.

Lithuania is also allowing entry to citizens of Poland for business and studies.

Trucks wait in a queue at the Latvia-Lithuania border crossing in Grenctale, Latvia on May 14, 2020, ahead of border reopening.GINTS IVUSKANS/AFP

Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s border with Germany reopened on May 15.

Malta

Malta’s Tourism Ministry announced on Sunday, May 31, that it will reopen tourism travel on July 1.

Malta was the first country in Europe to ban flights from Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Switzerland, on March 10.

Netherlands

Borders are open for those travelling within the Schengen Area. However, the government has strongly advised against non-essential trips.

“The Dutch government is discouraging travel of any kind and calling on everyone to stay at home as much as possible,” it declares multiple times on its website.

Norway

Norway has closed its borders. Foreign travellers will be turned away at the border. Those who live or work in Norway are able to enter and airports are open.

The country’s ministry of foreign affairs advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary until August 20th.

By June 15, the government is considering exemptions for the Nordic countries. By July 20, exemptions for some nearby European countries will be considered.

Norway has a 10-day quarantine for those returning from international travel.

More information here.

Poland

Poland has closed its borders with several countries, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.

Portugal

Workers and supplies are being allowed across Portugal’s land border with Spain, but it is closed to tourists until at least June 15.

Border controls have been in place since March 16. There is currently no requirement for arrivals to go into quarantine, except in The Azores.

Eduardo Cabrita, Portugal’s minister for internal administration, said no decision had been made on when to lift the restrictions.

Romania

Romania has reopened its border with Hungary.

Serbia

The borders are open.

Slovenia

Slovenia reopened borders to EU citizens on May 15. Anyone suspected to have COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days.

Slovakia

Slovakia’s border will be open to Hungary and the Czech Republic from Wednesday (May 27), but with some restrictions.

No quarantine will be required if the stay is less than 48 hours.

A Slovakian man returning to Slovakia rolls his luggage through the Bratislava-Berg border crossing between Austria and Slovakia in May.JOE KLAMAR / AFP

Spain

German, French and Scandinavian tourists could be allowed to come to Spain from June 22 as part of a “pilot” project to restart tourist activity, the Tourism Ministry told AFP on Saturday, May 30.

These tourists would not be subject to quarantine.

Citizens from other countries should be allowed to enter Spain from July 1.

Currently, only Spanish citizens, residents of Spain (who must prove their habitual residence), cross-border workers, health or elderly care professionals who are going to work and people who can prove force majeure or a situation of need, are allowed to enter via Spanish ports and airports. The exceptions also include diplomatic personnel and everything related to the transport of goods in order to avoid shortages.

Since March 17, the borders with France and Portugal have been closed, allowing access to Spanish citizens, people resident in Spain, cross-border workers and those who can provide documentary proof of force majeure or a situation of need.

None of the regulations are applicable to Andorra or Gibraltar.

Currently, people who enter the national territory from abroad must stay in quarantine for 14 days after their arrival, but this will end on July 1 according to officials.

Sweden

Sweden has introduced border restrictions but it only applies to non-essential travel from countries outside the EU/EEA, except the UK and Switzerland.

That restriction came into effect on March 19 and has been extended until June 15.

More information here.

Switzerland

Switzerland, who brought in border controls on March 13, will reopen its frontiers with Germany, Austria and France on June 15 if the situation allows.

All travel restrictions at the border with Italy will remain in place until further notice.

Any foreign nationals who wish to enter Switzerland and do not hold a valid residence or work permit will be refused entry.

Air passengers from abroad are currently only able to enter the country through the airports at Zurich, Geneva and Basel.

The Swiss authorities have not imposed any quarantine measures on persons entering the country. However, you must comply with the government’s hygiene and social distancing rules.

More information here.

Turkey

No entry permitted for foreign travellers.

United Kingdom

Borders are currently open. From June 8, visitors from abroad will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Those exempt from these measures include people travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

As in other countries, certain professions are exempt from these rules, such as healthcare workers travelling to deliver healthcare in the country. Upon arrival, those who are required to self-isolate need to provide their journey and contact details.

The government says these measures will be reviewed every three weeks.

More information here.

AlbBnb (01/06/2020)

Category: Covid19, Holiday Ideas
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