Though EU member states are opening their borders to holidaymakers again, some countries still have restrictions
by Alexis Veenendaal
As of Monday, 15 June 2020, travel relaxations will come into effect in the Netherlands and around Europe. Last Thursday, the European Commission (EC) called on countries in the Schengen zone to reopen borders by 15 June. Via nu.nl
The Netherlands is changing its entry policy based on the sixteen countries within the Schengen zone: tourists can now visit the Netherlands from France, Belgium, Germany; Iceland, Estonia, Italy; Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania; Portugal, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Luxembourg.
Dutch residents may also take advantage of the opened borders, with the Dutch government having put its advice into an easy-to-use map. All countries in yellow can be visited with caution, though those that remain orange should not be visited unless necessary. Due to the ongoing public health crisis in the UK, and the Swedish government’s ‘herd immunity’ approach to the Coronavirus, the Dutch government asks that anyone visiting either country self-quarantines for 14 days after their return.
Meanwhile, other countries are responding to the border openings:
Belgium is opening their borders for residents of Europe, and Belgians are also allowed to travel abroad again.
Denmark is now welcoming tourists from Norway, Germany and Iceland, and visitors are encouraged to stay in one location for at least six nights and avoid the capital, Copenhagen, due to the amount of infections in that place.
Germany is partially removing their travel ban. It applies to all EU Member States, the Schengen countries and the United Kingdom. Travel is only allowed if the other countries do not have an entry ban or complete lockdown.
France is opening their borders for European tourists. Partly as a result of this, the Netherlands has scaled its own travel advice to that of France.
Greece is allowing residents from twenty-nine countries to start their holiday season. The Netherlands is not included in that list, but Dutch residents are still welcome. However, they will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in Greece, and may be required to self-quarantine.
Iceland has reopened borders for tourists from every country in the world. At the airport, everyone will have to be tested for COVID-19. Tourists must leave residence details, and tourists from outside of Europe are not allowed to travel on to the European mainland.
Croatia is allowing tourists from the European Union and United Kingdom without quarantining.
As of Monday, Luxembourg is responding to the EC’s call to open the borders for Schengen residents.
As of today, Norway is opening its borders for tourists from Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Residents from Sweden are not yet allowed, and their own residents are advised not to leave the country.
Austria is waiting to respond, but hope to open their borders for thirty-one countries this Tuesday. Tourists from neighbouring countries are already welcome, but travel restrictions remain for residents of the UK, Sweden and Spain.
The Czech Republic has already opened borders to Germany, Austria and Hungary. The Czechs will soon open borders to twenty European countries, and is currently checking all countries for adapted travel advice on a weekly basis.
The government of Switzerland announced that borders will be reopened for countries from the European Union and the United Kingdom. Initially, the idea was to only allow residents from neighbouring countries on 15 June and to further relax on 6 July. But, Switzerland wants to follow the line of other European countries.
Other countries not included in this list have already eased their border restrictions, or are re-evaluating border openings in the weeks ahead.