UPDATE: Spain, Greece and other European countries with COVID-19 restrictions right now

2d ago

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While we continue to update this article as restrictions change or new ones are announced, we also recognise that rules can evolve very quickly and always advise you to check local and national restrictions prior to travelling. 

As COVID-19 cases related to the omicron variant continue to rise across the continent, a number of European countries are tightening restrictions on British holidaymakers, while others begin to relax them.

The popular Spanish isle of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, for example, was this week upgraded to its highest level of “Tier 4”, closing bars at midnight and capping beaches to 50 per cent capacity. Other Spanish islands, it is feared, may soon follow suit.

Meanwhile, in Greece, it has been announced that anyone over the age of 60 whose second jab was more than seven months ago – and hasn’t received a booster – is now effectively considered unvaccinated. This is being extended to all adults from 1 February.

Many other countries have imposed a variety of internal rules that could severely limit the holiday experience — particularly for the unvaccinated.

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It comes after Danish authorities on 17 January reopened theatres, cinemas, museums, entertainment parks and botanic gardens, while Germany and France both stepped back restrictions recently put in place for U.K. nationals as they and other countries shift their focus to mandates on the unvaccinated. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, which is experiencing some of the tightest local restrictions in Europe, authorities slightly eased lockdown restrictions on non-essential stores last week.

Europe’s covid-19 and travel restrictions by country


Borders are open as usual, but you will have to provide either proof of vaccination, a PCR test taken within 72 hours, a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours or proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the last six months.

Albania also has a 11pm curfew on all bars and restaurants.


You can now enter Armenia with a negative PCR test certificate taken within 72 hours prior to arrival or a vaccine certificate with the second dose taken at least 14 days before entering the country.


Austrian authorities announced before Christmas that all tourists, including those from the U.K., will need to show proof of a booster vaccine, or be turned away at the gate.

With the ski season about to begin, you will also be required to show proof of a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival. Entry into Austria will not be permitted without vaccination.

There is an 11pm curfew in restaurants and bars and FFP2 face masks are compulsory in all enclosed spaces, while nightclubs and après-ski locations remain closed until at least 10 January 2022 nationwide. Unvaccinated residents in Austria are also currently under strict lockdown.


Brits can fly to Azerbaijan on special flights. Entry by land is not permitted, however, and all travellers over the age of 18 must have proof of vaccination or proof of immunity from a recent infection.

Once in the country, over-18s will require proof of vaccination to enter indoor venues, including restaurants, cafes and shopping centres.


Not the best time to visit Belarus anyway, given the volatile political situation there which the UK Foreign Office describes as a “violent crackdown against demonstrators across Belarus following Presidential elections on 9 August 2020”.

But for those who do want to go, you’ll no longer need to provide a PCR test taken within 72 hours before you go with proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated travellers from a “red zone” country (including the UK.) must self-quarantine for seven days — and complete the full quarantine on arrival.


Non-Belgium residents must:

  • complete a passenger locator form.
  • Take a lateral flow test within a day of arrival
  • Take a PCR test on day one after arrival and quarantine until you receive a negative result.
  • Take a PCR test on day seven

If you remain in Belgium for less than 48 hours you will not be required to take a PCR test on day one after arrival or to quarantine until you receive a negative result.

Working from home is heavily encouraged, while there is a six-person limit on bars and restaurants where social distancing can be accommodated. Indoor venues where it can’t have been shut down completely.

Plus, people entering bars, restaurants, cafes and other indoor must show their COVID-19 safe status through the Belgian Covid Safe Ticket (CST) system.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Borders remain open, but you’ll need one of the following:

  • a negative PCR test no older than 48 hours
  • confirmation of full vaccination at least 14 days before your arrival
  • a certificate from a doctor showing you have recovered from COVID-19, 14 to 180 days before your arrival.


Over-18s need either a vaccination certificate, proof of recovery from the virus, or a negative PCR taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.

Bulgarian restrictions look a lot like most other European countries right now: you’ll need a COVID-19 pass to get into restaurants, bars, gyms, museums and other non-essential indoor settings. Masks must be worn in all public indoor spaces. Face shields, scarfs or other face coverings are not permitted in place of a face mask.


If you’re fully jabbed, recovered or can prove a recent negative test (a PCR within 72 hours of arrival or an antigen test within 48 hours) you can go. You just need a valid COVID-19 certificate. No curbs on visiting bars or restaurants yet, but face masks must be worn on public transport, taxis and in shops


The U.K. is in Cyprus’ Red category, meaning British travellers have to pass through a strict screening process. Passengers require a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departure and, upon arrival, all travellers aged 12 and above must also take a PCR test at the airport, at their own cost (€15 – €19). You must self isolate in your accommodation until the result comes back.

Unvaccinated travellers who cannot prove a recent infection must quarantine for 7 days at an authority-designated accommodation at their own expense.

People aged 6 and above also need a COVID-19 certificate to get into venues including shopping malls and restaurants.

Czech Republic

Czech authorities have declared a state of emergency, making it compulsory to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces. Restaurants and bars close at 10pm and you are not allowed to drink alcohol outside licensed premises at any time.

The U.K. COVID-19 passport is a valid proof of health on entry.


Visitors to Denmark will have to take a PCR test up to 72 hours before arrival or a rapid antigen test up to 48 hours before arrival, even if they are vaccinated.

On 17 January, Danish premier Mette Frederiksen reopened theatres, cinemas, museums, entertainment parks and botanic gardens, and allow limited spectators at indoor and outdoor sports events.

Face masks are compulsory in shops, on public transport, all public indoor spaces and in pubs and restaurants when standing.

There is an 11pm curfew in place on hospitality venues and a ban on the sale of alcohol from 10pm to 5am, and you’ll need a valid corona passport to get into bars, cafes, restaurants, tattoo parlours, hairdressers and other such venues.


Proof of vaccination is needed if you don’t want to spend 10-days upon arrival in isolation — which is what unvaccinated travellers are required to do.


If you can prove you had your jab more than seven days ago, you’ll be allowed in. The unvaccinated will need to provide an “essential reason” as to why they should be allowed to enter Finland, such as “work that is significant for the functioning of society”. For more on that, visit the Finnish Border Guard website.

These rules now apply to its land border, too.


British travellers heading to France no longer have to self-isolate on arrival or show proof that their trip is essential from 14 January. You will instead be required to show proof of full vaccination.

Unjabbed visitors will need to provide “compelling reasons” as to why they should be allowed to enter France.

You can upload the QR certificates generated by the NHS showing your vaccinations to the TousAntiCovid app.

On top of that, the requirement for a negative COVID test, conducted 24 hours before your visit, remains in place.


There are commercial flights to and from Georgia but no direct flights from the UK currently. Committed travellers can get there by train from Armenia. Then you’ll need ​​to be deemed “green status” to enter hotels, restaurants and other indoor spaces by proving you’re fully jabbed, recovered or can prove a recent negative test.


While Germany continues to class Britain as a “high-risk area”, on 4 January authorities reopened its borders to British travellers so long as they can either prove a vaccination, a full recovery or a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival.

You’ll also need such proof to enter:

  • Hospitals and social care settings
  • Indoor gastronomy
  • Participating in events and celebrations
  • Barbers, hairdressers, or beauty salons
  • Indoor sport such as fitness studios, swimming baths or sports halls
  • Hotels (test at arrival and twice a week during the stay)



Crucially, if you are over 60 years old and more than seven months have passed since your second vaccination and you have not received a booster, Greece considers your vaccination status expired. This is being extended to all adults from 1 February.

Flights remain open to Brits, and your UK COVID passport will be accepted as proof you’ve had your vaccine. Unvaccinated visitors, however, must provide a negative PCR test taken at most 72 hours before arrival, or to a certified rapid (antigen) test within 48 hours of arrival.

The unvaccinated – including those whose status has expired – will not be allowed to enter nightclubs, indoor restaurants, theatres, cinemas, museums, exhibitions, conferences, gyms and stadiums. Beaches are open so long as bathers maintain two-metre social distancing.

Failure to comply with these rules may be met with fines of up to €5,000.

At present, it is mandatory to wear a mask in all indoor public places, as well as crowded outdoor spaces, in all areas of Greece.


Fully vaccinated Brits can enter Hungary without providing a negative test. Inside the country, it is compulsory to wear a face mask in all indoor public spaces. You will need an immunity certificate to go to outdoor sporting events, as well as events with more than 500 people, such as Christmas markets.


Only vaccinated people are allowed to enter Iceland. The unvaccinated must prove their trip is essential.

So, in order to get in you will need to either:

  • be a resident in Iceland, or
  • can adequately demonstrate you have either been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or previously recovered from COVID-19 infection

On top of the above, you will also need to present a negative PCR or antigen (rapid) test that is no more than 72 hours old before departing to Iceland.

Iceland will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel.


Hospitality venues, cinemas and theatres must close by 8pm in measures that will stay in place until 30 January. Sporting events have also been limited to 50% spectator capacity. Weddings will have a cut off time of midnight and a limit of 100 guests.

The UK COVID-19 passport is a valid proof of health on entry. However, you must complete a Passenger Locator Form or face potential charges.

Passengers will also be asked for proof of vaccination or recovery, or to present evidence of a negative RT-PCR taken within 72 hours before arrival.


This week, authorities extended Italy’s so-called “super green pass” vaccine passport – now a cast-iron requirement for anyone wishing to access a range of additional venues including bars, ski lifts, resorts, restaurants, spas, thermal baths and festivals.

For more info, read our article about Italy’s super green pass.

The unvaccinated will have to quarantine for five days after stepping off the flight. And once inside the country, you must have a COVID Super Green Pass that shows proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus within the last six months.


Flights to Kosovo are restricted and movement within the country is under a midnight curfew. Taxis are restricted to two passengers and to use public transport.

Over 12s will need to show proof of double vaccination to enter the country, unless you plan to leave within three hours of arrival.

Cafes, bars and restaurants are permitted to open until 11pm while nightclubs, festivals, weddings, family parties and other social gatherings are strictly prohibited.


On 11 January, authorities lifted its state of emergency. Now, vaccinated and recovered travellers who hold a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate will no longer be required to undergo a testing process upon their arrival. The unvaccinated will.

Facemasks must be worn indoors, including on public transport, and in crowded outdoor settings such as markets — or face a €50 fine. You’ll need your UK COVID-19 passport to enter the country.


See Switzerland.


This is strictly a medical facemask-only zone. These should be three layers of non-woven material and bear the CE marking on their packaging. They must be worn in all indoor areas, with apparently no exceptions.

The U.K.’s ​​proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record is accepted at airports into the country.

Fully vaccinated travellers from a red or grey country (which is how the U.K. is classified) do not have to test or quarantine. See details here. All travellers, however, must complete a registration form to receive a QR code to present before boarding. Otherwise, you must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or an antigen test that was taken within 48 hours of departure and self-isolate for 10 days.


You’ll need to prove your vaccine status with a UK COVID-19 pass, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, or a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of travel.

Facemasks are compulsory pretty much everywhere you would expect — shops, museums etc. All bars and restaurants are required to use the “CovidCheck” system whereby only those vaccinated, recovered or with a “certificate of contraindication to vaccination” can enter. To get a certificate, visit their official website.

Breaches of regulations can result in fines of up to €1000.


You can enter Malta with the UK COVID pass so long as it has a valid QR code. Pre-travel testing is not required with proof of vaccination, but that could be subject to change and travellers heading to Malta to board a cruise ship are likely required to take a COVID-19 PCR test before departure.

There, facemasks must be worn in all public spaces. Groups in public places are limited to 6 people unless from the same household. A maximum of 4 households are allowed to meet indoors or face a fine.


Flights from the UK to Moldova are operating, business as usual. But you will need either a vaccine certificate, a negative PCR (72 hours) or antigen (48 hours) test, or an antibodies certificate valid for 90 days since you had the test.

You will need to present this to enter any show, nightclub, or other public events, as well as wear a mask in all outdoor public gatherings and indoor spaces.

The unvaccinated must quarantine for 14 days.


Regardless of nationality, anyone aged 16 or over must present specific documents upon arrival depending on whether their country of origin is classified as a green, orange or red zone. 

If you’re travelling from a green zone country you must show one of the following:

  • A negative PCR or antigen test taken 24 hours prior to arriving.
  • Full vaccination, details of which can be found here. 
  • Proof of recovery from COVID-19

Exemptions to these restrictions apply to residents of the French departments of Alpes-Maritimes or Var, residents of the Province of Imperia in Italy, commuter workers, pupils and cross-border students, professionals from companies abroad travelling to Monaco in order to perform an urgent service that is ‘incompatible’ for a PCR or an antigen test.

Travellers from an orange country don’t need to provide a negative COVID-19 if they’re vaccinated but should provide either proof of full vaccination, or proof of recovery from COVID-19. If unvaccinated you will need to show approved justification that your journey is essential and urgent. You must also consent to either 7 days of isolation or present negative results from PCR tests carried out within 24 hours of their arrival and an additional test carried out 5 to 7 days later.


You will need to prove you’ve been jabbed or have a negative PCR (72 hours) or antigen (48 hours) test, or an antibodies certificate to enter the Balkan nation. You’ll need one of these to visit bars, restaurants and other public places and must wear a facemask.

The Netherlands

British travellers must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, regardless of vaccination status. On day five, you can take a PCR test. If that is negative, you can leave isolation. On top of that, you will need to provide a negative PCR test, no older than 72 hours and fill in a health declaration form.

A strict new lockdown is in place in an effort to contain a major surge of the new COVID-19 omicron variant. This means all non-essential stores, bars and restaurants will be closed until at least January 25. This week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said non-essential stores, sex workers, hairdressers, beauty salons, and others can reopen under strict conditions until 5pm local time.

North Macedonia

Famed for its gorgeous lakes and mountainscapes, North Macedonia is now open to all tourists, including Brits.

All travellers over 18 entering and exiting the country must provide one of the following: proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours prior to travel, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the past 45 days.

Wearing of protective face coverings is required when visiting indoor public spaces, such as markets, post offices, health institutions, shops, banks, including when using public transport. As for bars and restaurants, you’ll need one of the aforementioned documents of good health to patronise.


Last week, Prime Minister Gahr Støre lifted the controversial alcohol ban in bars and restaurants that had been in place since December, replacing it with a nationwide 11pm alcohol sales curfew and mandatory table service.

Travellers with a COVID pass have to provide a negative test result within 24 hours of arrival. Those without must provide a negative test result taken no more than 24 hours before arrival, then another within 24 hours after setting foot on Norwegian soil.


Portugal declared a “state of calamity” in November, introducing stricter controls from 1 December.

Travellers need to present a negative test on arrival – either be a lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of departure or a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. Failure to do so can carry a fine of between €300 and €800. According to the FCO website, all tests must be carried out by a trained healthcare professional

Now, you must have a digital certificate that proves you have either been jabbed or recently recovered from COVID-19 to enter bars, cinemas and restaurants. And face masks must be worn in all indoor public places.


Face masks are mandatory in all indoor areas in this vaccine-shy nation where deaths per one million inhabitants was last week among the highest in the world. Before Christmas, the Polish government closed all nightclubs across the country with a plan to reopen for two days only, on 31 December and 1 January, to allow people to celebrate New Year.


You’ll need to show proof of your vaccination or recovery status to get into the country (or quarantine for a fortnight), and also to access restaurants, bars, shopping centres and events. Masks are mandatory in public places.


Foreign passengers arriving in Russia should have a negative PCR test certificate in Russian or English. They must present the result, taken no more than 48 hours earlier, on arrival. This includes children of all ages. If they do not have said test result, they must take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and self isolate until the result comes in.

QR codes that confirm you are COVID-19 safe are required for most indoor venues. But the central government has delegated responsibility for COVID-19 restrictions to local authorities. So be sure to check what it’s like where you’re going before you travel here.

The latest advice for Moscow is available on the Mayor’s website. For Saint Petersburg, advice can be found on the City Government’s website.


You will need to prove you’ve been jabbed or have a negative PCR (72 hours) or antigen (48 hours) test, or an antibodies certificate to enter. Masks are mandatory in all public places, indoors and outdoors if crowded. Failure to wear a mask will incur a fine. COVID-19 passes are required to get into bars and restaurants.


The Slovak government lifted the nationwide curfew on public life on 10 January. Now a proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery within the past 180 days, is required to enter most indoor venues.

As above, you’ll need to prove you’ve been jabbed or have a negative PCR (72 hours) or antigen (48 hours) test, or an antibodies certificate to enter. Many bars, restaurants and hotels are closed, and only those who can prove they are vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 can visit shops and services, including ski resorts. The unvaccinated can’t do much, other than buy essential goods. Gatherings of more than 6 people (unless from the same household) are prohibited.


Fabric masks are no longer permitted here. Instead, you must wear a FFP2 type mask in all indoor spaces. Most bars, restaurants, hotels and other public hangouts are open and subject to the usual restrictions.


All vaccinated and recovered visitors can enter Spain, with proof of their COVID-19 status. The unvaccinated must present a PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival or a rapid antigen test taken within 48 before arrival.

As for internal restrictions, Spain has a tier system. For instance, the Balearic Islands, which include Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, and most of the Canary Islands, such as Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and La Palma, are currently facing Spanish alert Level 3 restrictions.

However, Tenerife in the Canary Islands has now been upgraded to the highest tier of Level 4. That means hospitality venues must close at midnight. The “rule of six” applies to meetings both indoors and outdoors; spas, jacuzzis and saunas must close, while outdoor pools can only operate at 33 per cent capacity.

Beaches, meanwhile, have a 50 per cent capacity and a “prior appointment” may be needed to visit some venues to avoid overcrowding.

The new level 4 rules will be reviewed on 20 January.

In early January, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez enacted a law making it mandatory to wear masks outside, in crowded public places. They are already part of the dress code of any indoor public space in Spain.

Despite protests, several regions of Spain have introduced tighter restrictions on the unvaccinated, demanding the use of COVID-19 passes to enter bars, restaurants and other public places for the festive season.


All travellers must provide both a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen test) and prove they are exempt from the current entry ban to Sweden.

UK travellers can demonstrate their exemption from the entry ban with either:

  • Proof you received your second dose of a European Medicines Agency approved vaccine more than 2 weeks before you arrive.
  • Or proof you are exempt from the current travel ban under another exemption, see the Swedish Police website for further details.

At the time of writing the U.K. governments travel advice for entry into Sweden does, however, state that travellers who are able to present a U.K. vaccine certificate are exempt from any bans on entry and the COVID-19 test requirement. It is however unclear whether further updates are due to be made to this page and we’d advise exercising caution here. TPG has reached out for clarification and will update this article accordingly.

Further restrictions in the country currently also include a limit of 50 people at private gatherings as well as the need for a vaccination pass for public events where there are more than 500 people.

Bars and restaurants are only able to serve seated guests while the public will also have to be seated at larger events – like football matches. Shops will have to limit the number of customers to prevent crowding.

Facemasks are expected to be worn on public transport, and Brits will need to prove good health before arriving via proof of receiving a second dose of the vaccine two weeks before the trip. Unvaccinated travellers must show a negative PCR test 48 hours before travel. Children under the age of 18 are exempt if travelling with a fully vaccinated adult.


The ski lifts remain open, but travellers will have to respect COVID-19 protocols, which include showing proof of vaccination or full recovery from infection to enter restaurants, cultural venues or other indoor events.

All travellers 12 years of age or older will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen test, taken within 48 hours before arrival) to enter Sweden, regardless of vaccination status.


To enter the country, you’ll have to prove you’re in good shape by providing either:

  • a full course of COVID-19 vaccinations (completed at least 14 days prior to arrival in Turkey)
  • a recent recovery from COVID-19
  • a negative PCR test (less than 72 hours of arrival)
  • a rapid antigen test (less than 48 hours of arrival).

Here, provinces are split into four tiers by COVID-19 risk: low, medium, high and very high. To know where your destination ranks, visit the Ministry of Health.  Face masks are mandatory everywhere, from parks to pubs, beaches to barbershops.


Air routes are limited, but you can get there with proof of vaccination, immunity or a negative PCR or express-test taken within 72 hours of travel. Ukraine has a colour-coded system (green, yellow, orange, red) to determine how tight the rules are per region. See the Foreign Office website for details.

But across the country, these are the rules:

In all zones, the following rules apply:

  • you must carry ID with you at all times
  • when in public buildings (including restaurants, hotels and shops) you must maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 m.
  • when in public buildings, and while travelling on public transport and in taxis, you must wear a protective mask covering your nose and mouth

And beware: failure to comply can result in a fine or, in serious cases, an actual prison sentence.

Additional reporting by Jordan Waller and Mike Avila.

Featured photo by Christian Darby Santos / EyeEm via Getty

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