Which European Countries Open Their Borders in 2020
Last update: October 6, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has caused severe damage to the tourism industry. Already at the end of February 2020, countries began gradually closing borders. To this day, many countries remain closed to foreigners, although there are some relaxations.
However, there is already an impressive list of countries ready to open borders for tourists, although not immediately and not for everyone.
Check out this list if you're planning a trip after all.
The European Union (in general)
The countries of the European Union are called upon to begin opening their borders to third country nationals from 1 of July. EU is ready to allow citizens of countries where the average number of new cases of coronavirus in two weeks per 100 thousand people did not exceed 16.
Currently, the entry is open for citizens of 10 countries. These are Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. China is still "conditionally" included in the list. The fact is that the country is suitable for all epidemiological criteria, but the Chinese authorities have not yet let Europeans in.
The list is to be reviewed every two weeks.
The European Union has also expanded the list of people who can cross the border. Among them are diplomats, students, etc.
However, member states are not obliged to follow the recommendation. It's up to each country to decide whether to open borders for third-country nationals or not.
Albania officially reopened its borders for tourism on July 1, 2020 allowing tourists from all countries and nations to enter without restrictions. No quarantine is required.
Borders are open for the following countries: Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (Canary Islands only), Czech Republic, Hungary, Vatican City, United Kingdom and Cyprus. Travelers with a "D" visa issued by Austria can also enter the country.;
Tourists from other countries, for which restrictions remain, must submit a medical certificate at the border. This certificate must be made up to 72 hours before arrival and must be made up in English, French, German or Italian. This will allow them to avoid quarantine in the event of a business or urgent trip to the country.
Travellers arriving at Vienna Airport who do not have a medical certificate can take a COVID-19 test and get the result two to three hours in advance. The test, available at the airport, costs 190 euros ($209).
Entry is permitted for the following categories: citizens, permanent residents and long-term visa holders of the EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the United Kingdom, as well diplomats, humanitarian workers and military personnel. A mandatory PCR test and quarantine of 14 days is required upon arrival or return of Belgian citizens or residents to Belgium from outside the EU and Schengen area or from the high-risk red zone.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tourists from all countries can now visit Bosnia and Herzegovina without obligatory quarantine, but with the results of coronavirus tests (made not later than 48 hours before the trip). Only residents of Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia, diplomats, heads of other states, as well as crews of planes, ships, trains and truck drivers are exempt from tests.
Tourists from 46 countries can enter Bulgaria without a 14-day quarantine. The list of countries can be found here
Entry is allowed for citizens and residents of the EU and Schengen States.
Tourists from other countries must provide proof of paid accommodation. These persons are not subject to 14-day quarantine/self-isolation if they submit a negative PCR test result for COVID-19, which does not exceed 48 hours. Also entry is permitted for medical workers, persons in need of urgent medical treatment, diplomats, police officers, international organizations and international military personnel performing their duties.
The resumption of tourist travel in Cyprus began on June 9. Entry is allowed for passengers arriving from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia or Switzerland.
Also, residents of the following countries may visit Cyprus: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, China.
The full list of restrictions can be found here .
Travelers from medium and high risk countries will be allowed only if they belong to the excluded categories and must pass quarantine or submit a certificate with a negative COVID 19 result within 72 hours. People coming from low-risk countries may travel to the Czech Republic without restrictions. The list of countries is based on epidemiological situation and will be updated weekly. The list of countries by the level of risk of disease can be found at koronavirus.mzcr.cz./p>
Entry is permitted without restrictions from Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Norway, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Vatican. The updated list of countries for which entry into Estonia is restricted can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Third-country nationals: residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay may enter Estonia if they have no symptoms of illness.
Also holders of residence permits and foreign nationals whose family members live in Estonia may come to the country.
The Finnish authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus. These measures include stricter control over people coming from abroad. See the Finnish Border Guard website for detailed information.
There are no restrictions for travelling to France from the European Union Member States, Great Britain, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican and from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. Travelers coming from other countries are advised to pass a negative PCR test before arriving in France. Those who do not have a negative PCR test, upon arrival in France will be provided with information on the conditions of a two-week quarantine in their chosen location or, if necessary, in special rooms.
Quarantine is not required for travelers from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Panama, Algeria, Brazil, India, Israel, Kuwait, Madagascar, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Serbia, South Africa or Turkey if they present a negative result of a COVID-19 test carried out no more than 72 hours before the flight.
Opening of borders and launch of international air services is postponed until October 1, 2020.
Citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom may cross the German border without any restrictions.
For travelers coming from countries classified as a risk area, the mandatory 14-day quarantine is required. This measure may be waived only if travelers have a medical certificate confirming that there is no evidence of coronavirus infection. More detailed information can be found in the section "Coronavirus and restrictions on entry".
The UK has never closed its borders, but visitors from most countries, as well as Britons returning back home, are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Tourists from EU+ countries can fly to Greece (the EU+ consists of the EU plus Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland), with the exception of travelers from Catalonia in Spain. At the moment the country is allowing nationals from the following 11 non-EU+ countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the UAE. Travelers flying to Greece from Bulgaria, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, Malta, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, Israel, Albania and North Macedonia are obliged to present a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival. The test must be taken no more than 72 hours before travel.
Travelers residing permanently in Israel will be subject to a new Covid-19 test upon arrival and only 1,200 travelers will be allowed to enter Greece each week.
From September 1, foreigners are not able to enter Hungary for at least one month. Nationals returning to the country must submit two negative tests or spend 14 days in quarantine.
Iceland opened its borders for EU and UK tourists on June 15. On July 14 the country reopened its borders to third countries mentioned in the EU Council's list. From August 19, all passengers arriving in Iceland must choose a 14-day quarantine OR a double COVID-testing procedure together with a quarantine for 5-6 days.
Ireland has reopened to travellers but only from certain safe countries: Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Slovakia. Quarantine-free travel across the border with Northern Ireland remains possible. Anyone travelling from a country not on the safe list will still have to self-isolate for 14 days and fill out a form with contact and accommodation details.
Citizens of EU countries, as well as UK and Schengen countries are not required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. If a trip to Italy is made for work purposes and the stay in the country lasts less than 72 hours, self-isolation is also not required.
From July 16 Italy allowed entry for third-country nationals mentioned in the EU Council's list.
Since August, it has been mandatory to get tested if you're travelling to Italy from Spain, Greece, Croatia or Malta. That rule remains in force until at least October 7th.
Travel from the following countries is allowed without restrictions: Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, as well as Norway, Vatican City. The updated list of countries for which entry into Latvia is restricted is available on the website of the Latvian Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
You may enter the country if you are travelling from the EU, the Schengen Area and the United Kingdom. You shall provide a negative PCR test and will be subject to a period of quarantine if you are travelling from a country where the infection rate is above 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants
Malta has opened for tourists from July 1. Countries allowed with no quarantine or testing: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vatican City.
The citizens of the following countries can visit Montenegro: United Kingdom, EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden), Algeria, Andorra, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Cuba, Fiji, Georgia, Iceland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, Senegal, South Korea, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Republic of North Macedonia is now allowing visitors from all countries to visit with no restrictions. Temperature scans will be done upon arrival.
The entry is permitted for visitors from the EU, the Schengen Area and the United Kingdom.
The quarantine is required if you are travelling from countries labelled as "orange" by the Netherlands (Andorra, Aruba, Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta, Romania, St. Maarten, Spain, Monaco, Greek islands and various departments in France, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Slovenia, Slovakia and Hungary).
The entry is permitted for citizens and close relatives of citizens of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and passengers with British passport if they live, work or have real estate in Norway.
Travel from the EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, the Vatican and San Marino is allowed without restrictions.
The entry is permitted for citizens of EU countries, UK and Schengen countries and for third-country nationals mentioned in the EU Council's list.
Entry from the EU countries is allowed without restrictions, except for Luxembourg, Malta and some regions of Spain (Aragon, Catalonia, Navarra, Madrid Community, Balearic Islands, Basque Country). Entry from Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein, as well as the United Kingdom, Andorra, Monaco, the Vatican and the Republic of San Marino is permitted without restrictions. Citizens arriving from countries with a high COVID-19 infection rate should isolate themselves at home or be quarantined for 14 days.
Borders are open to all countries. All travelers entering Serbia from Croatia, Northern Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania, except citizens of Serbia, must have a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours before arrival.
Travel from EU countries is allowed without restrictions, except for Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and Sweden. Persons who have visited a country that is not on the list of safe countries during the previous 14 days are isolated in an institution designated by the national authorities.;
Slovene and EU/EEA citizens, residents, their family members, as well as diplomats, health care workers, cross-border workers and transport staff may enter the country.
Since June 21, Spain has opened its borders without quarantine requirements and travel restrictions for residents of the European Union, Schengen, Andorra, Monaco, Vatican and San Marino. There is no mandatory quarantine for travelers coming from the EU and other allowed entry countries.
Sweden went its own way and did not introduce severe self-isolation because of the pandemic. Sweden is now allowing entry to a list of EU/EEA countries, and to an expanded list of third-party countries outside the EU.
Citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the UK may cross the Swiss border without any restrictions.
Turkey has officially reopened its borders to all visitors under normal conditions. All nations that require an e-visa or stamp visa must obtain one prior to entering the country.
Ukraine re-closed international borders until September 28.