Travel Collage
Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands are among the countries that have opened their borders to tourists without COVID paperwork. However, Spain and Russia continue to have some COVID rules for visitors Image Credit: Pixabay

Holiday travel is back. In fact, people are travelling with a vengeance. As the COVID-19 restrictions came tumbling down, tourism regained momentum. The summer rush during the peak holiday season is ample evidence.

Most countries do not require COVID documents, although masks are mandatory in public transport and health care settings. That hasn’t stopped people from travelling.

Europe Map
Image Credit: Vijith Pulikkal/Gulf News

Much of Europe has lifted the COVID barriers, barring Spain and Russia. Spain suffered severely during the pandemic, so many restrictions remain. And Russia still has stringent rules for visitors.

Here’s a list of 25 European countries and their COVID rules that will allow you to decide on holiday travel. This is only a generic guide, and COVID rules could change depending on the pandemic situation in a particular country. So double-check before you travel.

1. Austria

AUSTRIA: Lake Hallstatt in the mountainous Salzkammergut region of Austria. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Austria lifted all COVID-19 entry restrictions for visitors on May 16, 2022.

■ Face masks are not mandatory, but an FFP2 face mask is compulsory on public transport and in pharmacies in capital Vienna.

2. Belgium

BELGIUM: The Grand Place, or Grand Square, is the central square of Brussels, Belgium. It is surrounded by the Baroque guildhalls of the former Guilds of Brussels and two larger edifices: the Town Hall, and the Gothic King’s House or Bread House. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ From May 23, 2022, there are no COVID-19 entry restrictions for travel to Belgium.

■ Face masks are recommended while using public transport.

3. Bulgaria

BULGARIA: The Belogradchik Fortress, or Kaleto, is an ancient fortress located on the north slopes of the Balkan Mountains, close to the northwestern Bulgarian town of Belogradchik. It is one of the best-preserved strongholds in Bulgaria and a cultural monument of national importance. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ COVID-19 paperwork is no longer required to enter the country for visitors, regardless of where they began their journeys.

■ In capital Sofia, masks must be worn in hospitals, medical facilities and care homes for the elderly.

4. Croatia

CROATIA: The real-life King’s Landing Dubrovnik was the main filming location of King's Landing, a fictional city in Game of Thrones, the HBO's television series. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ No COVID-19 restrictions for travellers.

■ Masks are mandatory only in health care facilities. It is recommended to wear a mask indoors where larger crowds are expected.

5. Cyprus

CYPRUS: Cavo Greco in the seaside of Ayia Napa is known for its underwater caves. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ From June 1 2022, there are no COVID-19 entry restrictions for travel to Cyprus.

■ Face masks are mandatory in high-risk areas such as hospitals, public transport and pharmacies.

6. Czech Republic

Czech Republic
CZECH REPUBLIC: The Old Town of Prague is a medieval settlement of Czech Republic. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ There are no COVID-19 entry restrictions for visitors from April 9, 2022.

■ Masks are not required in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.

7. Denmark

DENMARK: Nyhavn is a 17th-century canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen, lined with brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses, cafes and restaurants. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Denmark has scrapped all travel restrictions for international tourists.

■ Masks are recommended in public spaces and public transportation.

8. Finland

FINLAND: Helsinki Cathedral is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki at the Senate Square. A major landmark, it is the most famous structure in Finland. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Travel to Finland is now restriction-free for all visitors from June 30, 2022.

■ Face masks are not required, but it is recommended when visiting public spaces.

9. France

FRANCE: The Eiffel Tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ All visitors can now enter France without COVID paperwork, effective from August 1, 2022. Similarly, no COVID papers are required to travel to another country from France.

■ Although masks are not mandatory, people are encouraged to wear a mask in healthcare facilities.

10. Germany

GERMANY: The Brandenburg Gate is an 18th-century monument in Berlin, built on the orders of Prussian king Frederick William II. A symbol of German division during the Cold War, it is now a national symbol of peace and unity. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ All visitors, except those from China, can enter Germany without COVID-19 documents.

■ Face masks are required in healthcare settings and on public transportation. From October, people anyone over 14 years must wear an FFP2 facemask on long-distance trains. Children aged 6-13 must wear a facemask, but it doesn't have to be an FFP2.

11. Greece

GREECE: The Parthenon is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, that was dedicated to the Athena during the fifth century. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ All travellers can enter Greece without COVID-19 restrictions from May 1, 2022. If travellers test positive during their stay in Greece, they don't have to quarantine.

■ Masks are mandatory on healthcare premises and public transport. Commuters on public transport have to wear an FFP2 or a KN95 face mask if they are infected.

12. Hungary

HUNGARY: Historical buildings of Budapest located by the Danube River. Some of them are also listed as Unesco World Heritage Sites. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ All travellers can visit Hungary without any COVID-19 documents.

■ Mask is mandatory only in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

13. Ireland

IRELAND: Dublin Castle is a major Irish government complex, conference centre, and tourist attraction, of significant historical importance. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Ireland has abolished all the COVID restrictions on travellers from March 6, 2022.

■ Mandatory mask wearing is scrapped, but people are advised to wear it on public transport and health care settings.

14. Italy

ITALY: The gondolas (boats) of Venice. Although gondolas were the main means of transport in Venice centuries ago, today it carries tourists from one point of the city to the other. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Visitors to Italy are no longer required to show any COVID-19 paperwork from June 1, 2022.

■ Masks are required to be worn on public transport. Masks are also recommended at large indoor and crowded outdoor events.

15. Poland

POLAND: The main square of the Old Town of Krakow dates back to the 13th century, and is the largest medieval town square in Europe. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Poland has scrapped all COVID-19 entry rules for both EU and non-EU travellers.

■ Face masks are not required, but they are recommended in public spaces.

16. Portugal

PORTUGAL: The Pena Palace is a Romanticist castle that stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains above the town of Sintra. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ There are no COVID travel restrictions for anyone wishing to enter Portugal.

■ Masks are required on planes and other forms of public transport. They are no longer needed in airports or ferry terminals in Madeira but compulsory on public transport and healthcare facilities.

17. Romania

ROMANIA: Peleș Castle is a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, in Prahova County. Its inauguration was held in 1883. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Travellers arriving in Romania are exempt from providing a pre-departure test, on-arrival or post-arrival test or proof of vaccination. In short, no COVID restrictions.

■ Face masks are not required, but they are recommended in public spaces.

18. Russia

RUSSIA: The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, commonly known as Saint Basil's Cathedral, is an Orthodox church in Red Square of Moscow, and is one of the most popular cultural symbols of Russia. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Strict COVID requirements are in place for visitors to enter Russia.

■ All passengers undergo health screening on arrival, such as temperature checks and visual assessment.

■ Proof of a negative PCR test, taken within 48 hours, must be provided upon arrival.

■ Passengers without a valid test certificate must undergo a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and self-isolate until a negative result is confirmed.

■ All travellers are subject to random testing on arrival.

■ All foreign passengers must complete a travel form provided on the flights.

■ Face masks are not mandatory, but their use is recommended in public spaces.

19. Slovakia

SLOVAKIA: Bratislava Castle, on a rocky hill of the Little Carpathians, dominates the capital of Slovakia. The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Travellers can enter Slovakia without any COVID-19 restrictions.

■ The wearing of masks is no longer mandatory, except in healthcare settings and pharmacies.

20. Spain

SPAIN: The Cadiz city in southwestern Spain is the capital of the Province of Cadiz, one of eight that make up the autonomous community of Andalusia. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Visitors from EU or Schengen Areas, including residents and nationals, need not show any COVID documents.

■ All other visitors, including residents and nationals, must show either proof of one of the following:

(a) Full vaccination against COVID-19 (Visitors must have received a second or third dose in the last nine months. Children under 12 years are exempt.)

(b) Recovery from the virus within the last 180 days

(c) Negative COVID-19 test result. (Rapid antigen tests are taken 24 hours before arrival, or PCR tests are taken 72 hours before arrival.)

■ All passengers not in possession of an EU COVID Certificate or equivalent must complete a Health Control Form before departure.

■ Masks are required in healthcare settings and on public transport.

21. Sweden

SWEDEN: The Royal Palace in Stockholm is the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish monarch. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ All travellers can enter Sweden without COVID-19 restrictions from April 1, 2022.

■ Masks are not required in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.

22. Switzerland

SWITZERLAND: The Schilthorn at 2,970 metres in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland is a summit in Europe. It overlooks the valley of Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland, and is the highest mountain in the range lying north of the Sefinenfurgge Pass. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ All travellers can enter Switzerland with no COVID-19 restrictions.

■ Masks are not required in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.

23. The Netherlands

The Netherlands
THE NETHERLANDS: The windmills at Kinderdijk are a group of 19 monumental windmills in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. They have been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1997. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ There are no COVID-19 entry requirements for travellers from September 17, 2022.

■ Face masks are not mandatory but recommended.

24. Turkey

TURKEY: The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque is also a major cultural and historical site in Istanbul. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ Visitors to Turkey can enter with no restrictions

■ People are no longer required to wear masks on public transport, including on airlines in the country.

25. United Kingdom

United Kingdom
THE UNITED KINGDOM: The Tower Bridge in London, built between 1886 and 1894, crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London. It is 240m in length and consists of two 65m bridge towers connected at the upper level by two horizontal walkways, and a central pair of bascules that can open to allow shipping. Image Credit: Pixabay

■ The UK has removed all COVID-19 travel restrictions for arrivals from other countries.

■ The government recommends masks in busy, public places. It's mandatory in hospitals.