Current entry rules for EU countries and the USA

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With coronavirus still very much with us, international travel is still subject to some restriction in some countries. It is much better than it was a few months ago but different requirements are being applied across the EU countries and for entry to America.

Its fair to say that you will have a much easier time travelling abroad if you’ve been fully vaccinated. This includes entry back to the UK once you have been abroad. We take a look at the current entry rules for some popular destinations. This is a fluid situation and changes all the time so it’s a snapshot for November 2021. Up to date travel information for any country or territory can be found on the GOV.UK travel advice pages.

USA

Entry to UK citizens has been allowed since 8th November providing they are fully vaccinated. Children under 18 are exempt from any vaccination requirements but must show a negative test result for ages 2 and above. The current entry requirements when travelling by air are:

  • Proof of 2 doses of vaccine before boarding flight
  • A negative covid test taken no more than 3 days before you travel.
  • Provide contact details to airlines before boarding.
  • Wearing of face masks is mandatory in all transport hubs in the U.S. including on board airplanes and in airports.

There are some exceptions for unvaccinated travellers to the U.S. and full details of all the up to date travel requirements can be found on the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Spain

Fancy some winter sun? If you want to travel to Spain then you have to present a health control form that shows you are fully vaccinated or if not, proof of a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

If you have not been fully vaccinated you may have to take tests when returning to the UK.

For full details of travel to Spain, including links to the health control form and details of travel by road or rail can be found on the Spanish health affairs website.

Portugal

Very similar requirements are in place for entry to Portugal. Full details can be found on Portuguese immigration website.

France

France has in place a traffic light system similar to the one in place in the UK earlier in the year. At the moment the UK is on the amber list.

If you are not fully vaccinated you can only travel for essential reasons and there are several forms to complete, and negative PCR test result and a sworn declaration of no symptoms. You can’t use an NHS test for travel abroad so you have to arrange a private test. A list of providers can be found on the GOV.UK travel advice pages.

If you are fully vaccinated you just need proof of vaccination and make a sworn statement that you have no symptoms. Van and lorry drivers are no longer required to provide a negative Covid-19 test to enter.

More information on entry to France can be found on the France travel advice page.

Switzerland

You are eligible to enter Switzerland for any travel purpose if you are fully vaccinated and can show adequate proof.

If you are not vaccinated then you will have trouble entering the country. The only exemptions are:

  • EU or EFTA nationals
  • Swiss or Liechtenstein nationals
  • holders of the following documents:
  • a cross-border permit
  • a residence permit
  • an FDFA legitimation card
  • a D visa issued by Switzerland
  • confirmation of notification for the cross-border provision of services up to 90 days
  • holders of a ‘laissez passer’ issued by the Swiss Embassy in situations of special necessity

You can check you eligibility for entering Switzerland on the Swiss Travelcheck website.

Germany

Germany considers the UK a ‘high-incidence area’. You may enter Germany from the UK for any travel purpose if you are fully vaccinated.

If you are not fully vaccinated you can only enter if you are a German citizen or a resident or a spouse or child of a German citizen or resident.

You may be allowed entry if you have an important role or have an urgent need to travel. All travellers entering Germany from the UK must complete a pre-departure digital registration. More information on entering Germany can be found on the Germany travel advice page.

Conclusion

A snapshot of entry requirements for different EU countries and the USA shows at least one thing. If you want to travel abroad you should get fully vaccinated. It may be that in time as the pandemic recedes that this requirement may ease but at the moment it is very difficult to travel without vaccination proof.

It’s always been the case that travel to certain countries in the world would need you to get vaccinated: Typhoid and Malaria for example. You have to pay in advance to have to have these vaccines so looking on the bright side, at least the coronavirus vaccine is free!

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.

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