As the World Health Organization declares Europe new epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, European borders are closing, with tourists banned from several countries and others like Spain is moving towards an Italian lock on all except essential services.
The pandemic has already provoked nearly a dozen of the 26 countries of Europe without borders Schengen area to close their borders, fully or partially, to visitors in the coming weeks. This is how it ends the right to free movement for many of the 400 million EU citizens, as well as tourists, businessmen and foreign residents.
With Donald Trump travel ban already on the verge of preventing thousands of Europeans from entering the United States for weeks, Europe now presents its own challenges to travelers in response to his coronavirus epidemic with a series of emergency measures.
Despite many travel advisories urging people to stop all but essential trips to Europe, many will continue to travel for business, leisure, family or health reasons. This is if you manage to get in or out of Europe right now, with the increasing scarcity of flights.
If you do, you should be aware of the enlargement and sometimes of the drastic measures taken from east to west. These range from airport controls and temperature controls to general bans on mass gatherings and restaurant and shop closings. Many Ski stations and hotels across Europe are also closing. Schools across Europe are almost all closed and many countries urge citizens to work from home.
In a rapidly evolving situation, it is no longer only the most affected countries that are taking severe and far-reaching containment measures against COVID-19. Here’s an A to Z overview of the countries where travel restrictions and closings are in place, or will be in the future.
Austria’s measures are aimed at protecting itself from its neighbors. The country has reintroduced road and rail border controls with Italy, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. Border controls deny entry to motorists in these countries, prohibit those who pass through it without stopping or trucks transporting goods. Flights to and from Italy, Switzerland, Spain and France are suspended. Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited, forcing all museums, theaters, concert halls and bars to close until at least April 4, as well as non-essential schools and shops. Restaurants and food retailers have so far been spared the ban.
As Belgian cases soared last week and health officials warned that this was just the start, the government ordered all schools, cafes, clubs, restaurants and some stores to close by midnight on Friday to April 3. In downtown Brussels, the police patrol the streets to ensure compliance with the measure. Supermarkets and pharmacies remain open – other stores have to close on weekends. The government says it wants to “avoid the Italian situation” with a total foreclosure. Residents seem happy to accept at least some, as they are in a rush to restrict travel and homework, under the trendy hashtag #StayHomeBelgium.
Since Thursday, foreigners traveling in Croatia from Italy, Iran, the Chinese province of Hubei, the city of Daegu and the country of Cheongdo in South Korea – or the German county of Heinsberg, in North Rhine-Westphalia – must spend 14 days in official government quarantine facilities, at their expense. This list could be extended. Travelers from 16 other countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Malaysia and Hong Kong are tested on arrival whether or not they have symptoms. Just like the Chinese, the South Koreans and the Germans from all the other regions. Croats returning from hot spots of infection should isolate themselves. All events of more than 100 people are vetoed.
For Category 1 tourists from Italy, Iran, South Korea and the Chinese province of Hubei, it is a compulsory quarantine on arrival, often under medical supervision. Category 2 applies to all tourists from the island from China (excluding Hubei province), Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Spain, Greece (Achaïe, Elis and Zakynthos), from Switzerland and the United Kingdom. This means compulsory self-isolation for 14 days on arrival, under telephone surveillance, either at your hotel or place of residence during the planned holidays. Friday, Cyprus raised the UK to ‘Category 2As of March 14, after the arrival of several cases of COVID-10 from Great Britain. The announcement has a dramatic impact on flights to and from the island:
Meanwhile, Northern Cyprus prohibits all Britons except those with resident status. Check the FCO website for all the details. Visitors from several other countries, including Singapore and Sweden, fall into Category 3, self-monitoring of symptoms.
From midnight Sunday, the country is closed to tourists. Czechs and foreigners with residence and work visas are also prohibited from traveling to high-risk countries because it tightens its borders in a 30-day state of emergency. Tourists are allowed to leave. Just like the students. The Embassy of the United States in Prague said long-term residents who need to travel abroad during the state of emergency and who plan to travel to a prohibited country “will be returned to the airport or land border post”. For the moment, air transport is not covered by the ban, which leaves the possibility of transiting through one of the prohibited countries. “This is subject to change. Transit by land is prohibited, ”advises the embassy.
This decisive decision comes after the Czechs returned from skiing holidays in the Italian Alps a fortnight ago, taking with them the first cases of coronavirus from the country. The government also limits restaurant opening hours (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Gyms, swimming pools, clubs and libraries are closed. Food stores, pharmacies and petrol stations remain open.
The Danes closed their borders to all tourists for a month until April 13. Danish citizens and foreign residents are exempt. All others will be refused. Schools close Monday for two weeks. Cultural institutions, libraries and leisure facilities are closed until at least March 27. to be exhorted stay at home and limit the use of public transportation. Some online supermarkets ration prevent hoarding. With Copenhagen Airport traffic should drop by at least 70 to 80%, passengers will be asked (with speaker reminders) to keep more distance at check-in counters and security queues, as it is difficult to maintain minimum operations. Restaurants and shops must remain open, with the same social distancing rule in place.
“Anyone whose journey to Estonia from risk areas is faced with self-isolation for 14 days, starting Monday, March 16,” says Visit Estonia. On Friday, tourists from Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Sweden were added to the risk areas as the government declares an emergency. The countries already on the list are China, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the ‘Egypt. The national tourism agency said surveillance is strengthened at all border crossings, ports, airports and checkpoints at the land borders of Russia and Latvia “, and health surveillance” will be strengthened to identify people with symptoms of infection ”.
In light of the current emergency, the Baltic Sea country in Northern Europe recommends that all tourists, “especially those in risk areas”, postpone their trips to Estonia for “the health of international visitors as well as residents of Estonia, “reports a national broadcaster BE MISTAKEN.
Aside from its national carrier Finnair, which has reduced many flights to cities in Italy, Germany, Croatia and Sweden – and the government advises against unnecessary travel to parts of Germany, Austria and Italy, life in Finland continued until this weekend as usual, with no closings or other national measures announced. (Some cities and schools have decided to close). This can change quickly now that the National Institute of Health declares the country on the “epidemic threshold”, reports a national public broadcaster YLE–As the number of cases has quadrupled since wednesday at a current 210.
France is entering a state of progressive closure with the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles and the Eiffel Tower all closing indefinitely on Friday. Just like the Moulin Rouge and other monuments. This after the government’s ban on gathering 5,000 people was reduced to 100. Now it has stepped up measures to close all “non-essential cafes, restaurants and shops” from midnight on Saturday. Many cinemas and other cultural institutions across the country have also started to close.
Since the Louvre has postponed a show on the Italian sculpture “from Donatello to Michelangelo”, in front May-August, on an unspecified date, the closure may even extend to summer. Parisinfo has a good list of canceled, postponed events, concerts and trade shows. Disneyland Paris will also close its doors when the offices close on Sunday, March 15.
France has not yet made the decision to close its borders. This situation could change overnight, with the worsening of its crisis and the neighbors taking energetic measures. For now, travel to and from the country must be limited, as President Emmanuel Macron calls it people to limit travel and work from home. Transport is still underway, but services in the Paris region and national trains will be reduced by 20% on Monday 16, as all schools close nationwide. A few days ago, officials warned of a possible quarantine of the “Italian scenario”. It seems to be getting closer and closer.
If you’re headed to Germany yet, you’ll encounter few travel restrictions, although federal police are tightening controls at the French border in Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Baden-Württemberg. The police check people coming from France and carry out temperature checks. There is another checkpoint for travelers from Luxembourg. Other than that, you might come across Drive-thru centers, in which the country is dabbling, just like the United States, allowing people to be tested by swabbing their cars if they suspect they are infected.
The federal government has requested a ban on the events of more than 1,000 people, which some regions take into account. This means that more events and trade fairs will be cut because of many work at home. Schools in most states will close until April 20. Most major Bundesliga football matches and other sporting events take place in empty stadiums. “But experts believe that public life must be even more limited to slow the virus down,” warns Deutsche Welle.
Theaters, cinemas, entertainment venues, playgrounds, cultural venues, sports complexes and gymnasiums have been closed nationwide. Greek museums and archaeological sites are still operating, with strict limits on the number of visitors. The country has also temporarily closed its borders to asylum seekers, cutting off all new requests for at least a month, in order to “reinforce the level of deterrence as much as possible.”
Another government will declare emergency stateand strengthen its borders, blocking entry for travelers from Italy, China, South Korea and Iran for the time being. Look at this space. In Budapest, many cultural events are canceled and large gatherings are banned across the country, as schools also close.
With the pandemic most affected country after China’s total foreclosure, entry and exit become Harder and harder as moves around the country. Travelers and residents alike must complete a signed declaration that they have valid reasons for working, traveling for health, or that they are returning home. The form can be printed online, and is also available at airports, stations and other passport controls. Officials will also ask to see him during road checks across the country. It is also advisable for those who have health problems to have on hand a medical certificate or, in the case of a business trip, a company declaration.
Be warned, non-compliance with quarantine rules and false declarations can result in three months’ imprisonment and fines of at least $ 233 / € 206. Locals also carry the papers with them to justify each of their movements, while police checks are spreading more and more in the streets.
All services, except essential services – shops, pharmacies, banks and post offices – are closed. Grocery shopping is considered a necessity, but only one person from each household can go shopping. People should keep 1 meter (3.2 feet) apart from each other, even in long lines outside of stores. Trains work but some airports temporarily close, or partially, including the low-cost hub of Rome Ciampino and terminal 1 of Fiumicino. Most airports in northern Italy are closed to tourists. Thousands of eyes are crying over reports that Italians keep company while singing from quarantined homes.
The smallest country imposes a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine on all tourists from Saturday. Malta also closes its doors to travelers from Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland; schools closed and large public gatherings stopped.
The tolerant Dutch have closed museums, including the national gallery of the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum, since the entry into force of a ban on gatherings of more than 100 people. effect Thursday. The ban will close many cultural venues across the country until March 31. The Dutch do not believe that closing schools is a way of fighting the virus. For the time being, they remain open. Online courses are encouraged and seniors are advised not to use public transportation reports Dutch News. The Netherlands have flight prohibitions over China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy and South Korea until March 26.
Norway refuses all travelers until at least March 26, except those from the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Anyone who insists on staying should be isolated for two weeks, says the health department. All schools are closed as well as sports halls and public events.
Also closed to tourists, from Sunday March 15, with mandatory quarantine of 14 days for citizens and residents who return home. While rocking the hatches, Poland has set up health checks at the borders with Germany and the Czech Republic, and is taking the temperature of passengers arriving by road and ferry. The national airline LOT interrupted its flights to Italy (Warsaw-Venice / Milan) until April 3. All mass events are canceled, cinemas and cultural institutions are closed. The churches remain open for the time being, as the public calls for more Sunday masses to save people standing in overcrowded churches.
Portugal has forced the closure of all schools and nightclubs from at least March 16 to April 9, while passengers on cruise ships will not be allowed to disembark at the port, except those residing in Portugal. The stores are all open, with strict limits placed on the number of people entering shopping malls and restaurants. But the Portuguese and tourists still enjoy the sun and the country’s beaches.
SLOVAKIA The central European country closed its borders to foreigners on Friday, as well as its 3 international airports, putting an end to tourism in the country. Schools, bars and clubs close from Monday to the end of March depending on American Embassy. “Grocery stores, hotels and restaurants remain open. Domestic travel by bus and train will take place according to limited vacation schedules. The shopping centers are open on weekdays. Only food stores and pharmacies on weekends. “All leisure facilities, water parks and ski resorts, spa and wellness centers and bars are closed. The Catholic and Lutheran churches have suspended mass services until further notice. “
Spain will enter a national lock from Monday morning 8 am with all services, except essential, ready to close. As the state of emergency is declared, the government says that drastic measures must be taken against a dramatic situation as it becomes the second most affected country in Europe. The move is expected to significantly limit travel to Spain. El Pais says the lockout will mean a ban on all travel to Spain. People will be prohibited from traveling other than to commute to work or buy food and pharmaceuticals. “The government basically locks up Spain,” he says. Public transport is not closed for the moment.
National borders remain open, and details about how travelers will be screened and who will be allowed in and out are still unclear. The Spanish newspaper says it expects far-reaching measures like those in Italy; main highways may close or operate with strict controls and limits. The Department of Foreign Affairs, the US travel advisory service, and others will no doubt update the warnings as they did for Italy. Low-cost British airline Jet2 immediately stopped all flights to Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canaries:
While the 17 autonomous regions of Spain are affected by the pandemic, national repression will lead to numerous business closings. In Madrid, all cafes, bars, restaurants, cinemas, gymnasiums and non-food stores closed for two weeks on Saturday. Many other community governments are doing the same, while closing schools and canceling large-scale cultural and sporting events.
According to the United States Embassy in Spain, Spanish international airports require that U.S. citizens and permanent residents travel to the airport only if they have a scheduled flight. “There are reports that some airlines are planning to cut or suspend their services.” So far, Spain has blocked all direct flights from Italy until March 26. Other airlines are likely to take the Jet2 course.
The small Alpine country in central Europe closed its schools until April 4 and banned public gatherings of more than 100 people until the end of April Swissinfo. “The border with Italy will remain open but new restrictions will be applied … border controls with other European countries have been tightened with the suspension of the Single Border Agreement (Schengen).” For now, the government has not closed restaurants, bars and nightclubs, but limits access to these establishments to a maximum of 50 people at a time.
Turkish authorities will stop flights to and from Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands from Saturday to April 17. Italian roads were interrupted in early March. Other cuts could be considered by the government warns.
Mass rallies are to be banned in the UK from next weekend, under emergency legislation being drafted. Several major sporting and cultural events have already been stopped or postponed (even the local elections and the race for London’s town hall are postponed one year). New law will end all concerts, games and other public events The Guardian after several leagues joins the world sport stop. The UK has yet to take any stringent measures others have taken, such as school closings or tight travel restrictions, says BBC science correspondent Pallab Ghosh“New restrictions are imposed on visitors’ access to Parliament.”
While the British are banned many places, maybe soon the united states., they do not stop arrivals. Around 1,000 passengers per day are screened at airports, with plans underway to increase testing to 10,000 per day depending on the BBC. In the meantime, travelers returning from anywhere in Italy are invited to isolate themselves. Likewise, tourists from other hot countries should do so if they develop symptoms. A Holiday Inn Hotel near Heathrow Airport has been reserved by the government for people arriving from abroad.
Britain’s lack of harsh measures causes a bit of humor in royal circles.
Eastern European giant stops entry of all foreigners (except diplomats) until the end of March, and stop all flights to the country for two weeks from March 17. Border crossing points will be closed says the president. “Foreigners will not be able to enter Ukraine by plane, train, car or any other means except those who have permanent or temporary residence in Ukraine, in particular those who work for international organizations and diplomatic missions.” Ukrainians are asked to limit their trips abroad. Those who return face compulsory tests at checkpoints. The government says it will review the matter in two weeks.
From there, one cannot help but wonder if there will soon be places for European travelers.