What is the situation with Covid-19 and travel restrictions in other EU countries?

Portugal reopened its borders to European and British tourists just a month ago.

Last month, the European Parliament and member states reached an agreement in principle to introduce a Covid-19 certificate to facilitate safe summer travel across the bloc.

Several countries have already started issuing EU digital travel certificates, which will be available in all member states on July 1.

Here is where several European countries are currently with regard to restrictions and the virus:

Portugal

Portugal, one of Europe’s top tourist destinations, reopened to travelers on May 17.

Upon arrival, all passengers over 20 years old must produce a negative PCR test and undergo a health check at airports.

Public health measures such as wearing face masks, social distancing and hand hygiene remain in place for all public places in Portugal.

Event spaces and restaurants must close at 10:30 p.m.

In Lisbon, against the backdrop of an upsurge in Covid-19 cases in recent days, other measures have been put in place. Residents of the city are now not allowed to leave it between 3 p.m. on Friday and 6 a.m. on Monday.

Before the Lisbon outbreaks, Portugal had one of the lowest virus incidence rates in the EU.

As of Thursday, 1,233 new cases were confirmed in Portugal, most of which were located in the capital.

Spain

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said the mandatory wearing of face masks in outdoor public spaces will end at the end of this month. File photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Pool via AP

Spain, along with other countries heavily dependent on the tourism industry such as Portugal, Italy and Greece, have pushed for the introduction of EU travel certificates and have already started to issue them. issue.

As such, the country has reopened to tourists who are vaccinated at least 14 days before their trip, or who can produce a negative Covid-19 test result or proof that they have overcome the virus in the past six months. .

Covid-19 infections in Spain are now at their lowest level since August 2020, and around 3.5 million vaccines were administered in the country last week.

France

France will lift the Covid-19 curfew which has been in place since the end of last year on Sunday.

Like Spain, France has a strict mask-wearing policy, even for people outside.

This should be relaxed somewhat from the start of next week, although it is likely to remain in place on public transport and in crowded areas where social distancing cannot be ensured.

People crossing the Champs-Élysées in Paris, Thursday.  France on Wednesday relaxed several restrictions linked to Covid.  Archive photo: AP Photo / Michel Euler
People crossing the Champs-Élysées in Paris, Thursday. France on Wednesday relaxed several restrictions linked to Covid. Archive photo: AP Photo / Michel Euler

The French government has announced that it will update its travel policies in line with the EU’s Covid digital certificate from June 22, which means people will be able to enter the county with proof of vaccination, a result of negative test or proof of recovery from the virus.

Cases of Covid-19 in France have fallen significantly since mid-April with 2,786 new cases reported on Thursday.

Belgium

Belgium has already launched the Digital Covid passport.

The country had started to revoke numerous restrictions from the beginning of June. Cafes and restaurants in Belgium now allow indoor dining for a maximum of four customers per table.

493 new cases were confirmed in Belgium on Thursday, up from a high of 9,065 at the end of March.

Germany

Germany has seen a decrease in confirmed cases of Covid-19 in recent times.

On Thursday, only for the second time since last September, fewer than 1,000 cases were reported.

Nationally, the infection rate is just under 50 per 100,000 population per week.

About 51% of the German population has received at least one vaccine, and the country now administers more than 800,000 vaccines every day.

Berlin, which had seen the majority of the country’s confirmed cases in recent weeks, lifted many long-standing restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Germany has already started issuing Covid digital certificates ahead of the EU’s adoption of the plan from July 1, with more than one million distributed to date.

Italy

Restrictions in Italy have varied from region to region throughout the pandemic

Italian regions are classified as “white”, “yellow”, “orange” or “red”, depending on the spread of Covid-19 in each.

No region is in the red or orange categories.

Tourists walking near St Mark's Campanile in Venice, Italy, Thursday.  File Image: PA
Tourists walking near St Mark’s Campanile in Venice, Italy, Thursday. File Image: PA

However, the regions of Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Marche, Bolzano, Sicily, Tuscany and Valle d’Aosta are all in the “yellow” zone, with curfews. in place from midnight to 5 a.m. and only travel outside the regions in certain cases.

The rest of the country are all “white” areas where the only real public health measures in place are social distancing and the wearing of masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.

Italy, one of the countries that has campaigned the most for the EU’s Covid digital certificate, has already started issuing the passes.

Greece

Greece, another country dependent on the tourism industry, has also already started issuing Covid certificates.

The country reopened to tourists in May.

Cafes, bars and restaurants are open, but all must be closed before 12:30 a.m.

Visitors wearing masks walk on top of Acropolis hill, with the Parthenon temple in the background in Athens.  File photo: AP Photo / Thanassis Stavrakis
Visitors wearing face masks walk on top of Acropolis hill, with the Parthenon temple in the background in Athens. File photo: AP Photo / Thanassis Stavrakis

Beaches and tourist spots are also fully open and accessible, though anyone in attendance should practice social distancing.

The Greek government intends to declare 80 of its islands – where most of its major vacation hot spots are located – safe by the end of June.

Some 546 new cases of the virus were confirmed in Greece on Thursday – up from a high of more than 4,000 in early April.

The Netherlands

Foreign tourists from countries with low Covid-19 rates can currently enter the Netherlands.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Friday another easing of restrictions in the country from June 26.

He said the easing was now possible thanks to the successful rollout of the vaccine in the country.

Poland

The Polish government has also started issuing travel passes to passengers who can prove they have had a vaccine or have recovered from the coronavirus.

Other entrants must provide a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival.

On June 26, cultural institutions, restaurants and entertainment fairs, public transport, sports facilities, dance clubs and gymnasiums across Poland are expected to reopen with different limitations or at full capacity.

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