Travel to Europe is finally starting to look like something close to normal again. The number of countries that have removed all Covid-related entry restrictions is growing and many are also ditching domestic rules on masks and social distancing. Here are all the destinations that are now offering hassle-free travel. The only question is, where next?
Travel rules for every country in Europe are available here.
Austria is among the latest countries to abolish its entry rules. As of 16 May, no proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test is required to visit the historic green capital of Vienna. The pre-travel clearance form is also now redundant. It follows the removal of domestic rules, including the need to wear a face mask in public places.
Bulgaria began welcoming all travellers back at the start of May. No Covid documents are needed, a statement from the Republic’s foreign ministry confirmed, so everyone is free to enjoy Bulgaria’s varied topography - from its mountains to beautiful Black Coast beaches. Mandatory mask wearing is also long gone.
Around 500 different airline routes are heading to Croatia this summer, and with all Covid entry rules abolished on 3 May, there’ll be a mix of immunity levels on board. First-time travellers are weighing up the pros and cons of Dubrovnik or Split, but there’s plenty of amazing destinations on ‘the land of a thousand islands’.
After tightening testing requirements again for foreign arrivals back in December at the height of omicron, the Czech Republic removed all Covid-related entry requirements for international arrivals on 9 April, 2022. It’s no longer necessary to wear a face mask in most public places – the main exceptions are public transport and taxis.
Thanks to the country’s high vaccination rate, Denmark became the first EU country to lift all domestic Covid restrictions at the beginning of February. All entry requirements for international arrivals were then abolished on 29 March, 2022 (before that, testing rules only applied for arrivals from outside the EU and Schengen).
After much to-ing and fro-ing, Greece officially removed all Covid-related entry measures on 1 May, 2022. Mask-wearing is still compulsory indoors, but for many tourists to the Greek islands this will be virtually unnoticeable as so much dining, drinking and socialising takes place outdoors.
City breaks to Budapest are back on thanks to the removal of all Covid-related entry requirements for travel to Hungary. There are also no social distancing measures in place anymore, and it’s no longer compulsory to wear a face mask on public transport or in indoor public places.
All of Iceland’s Covid-related restrictions were lifted on 25 February, 2022, both for international arrivals and within the country itself. The wearing of masks is no longer mandatory anywhere and there are no social distancing measures in place. However the country still encourages testing and self-isolation to control the spread of Covid.
Guinness-lovers rejoiced when Ireland dropped all Covid-related entry requirements on 6 March, 2022. This includes proof of vaccination, pre-arrival testing and the passenger locator form. Mask-wearing became optional a couple of weeks before that, on 28 February, 2022.
As it stands, visitors from the EU, EEA, Switzerland or the UK can all enter Latvia without the need to take a test, show proof of vaccination or quarantining. However there are some hoops to jump through if you’re travelling to Latvia from third countries, which still requires proof of vaccination or a negative test result. FFP2 masks remain mandatory on public transport.
Vilnius became one of Europe’s most hassle-free city breaks in mid-February when Lithuania announced that it was dropping all entry requirements for travellers from EU/EEA countries, as well as a number of others including the UK, US and New Zealand. However, you’re still required to wear a face mask on public transport.
Although part of Portugal (which still requires testing or proof of vaccination), the popular holiday island of Madeira has removed all Covid-related entry requirements for tourists. However, it’s not quite back to total normality.
The territory does still recommend that international visitors register on the Madeira Safe digital platform. And once you’re there, it’s still compulsory to wear a face mask at indoor public venues and carry proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars and other venues.
This lesser-known Balkan gem dropped all entry restrictions in mid-March, 2022. It’s also no longer necessary to carry a vaccine passport to enter social settings here, though Montenegro has kept its mask mandate for indoor public settings. This includes restaurants, bars and hotels.
“No testing, no quarantining, no registration!” - that’s been Norway’s entry policy since 12 February, 2022, when the Nordic country dropped all Covid entry requirements for international arrivals. There’s also no testing requirements if you fall ill, which may raise some eyebrows among cautious travellers. All social distancing and face mask rules have been dropped in Norway, too.
In one fell swoop, Poland dropped on-arrival quarantining, proof of vaccination and pre-arrival testing requirements on 28 March, 2022. The new business-as-usual status applies to all arrivals from non-Schengen countries, as well as those from the EU. Poland has also removed all rules about wearing face masks in public.
This eastern European country dropped all quarantining, testing and passenger tracking requirements for international visitors on 9 March, 2022. At the same time, Romania declared that it was ditching the digital pass that had previously been required to enter certain institutions and made face masks non-compulsory in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Serbia dropped all entry rules on 3 May, in step with a number of other European countries. Its great outdoors is open to all travellers, who will be rewarded by some magnificent, and underrated sights in the southeast of the continent.
Travel to this Balkan nation became much easier from 19 February, 2022, when it removed all Covid-related entry requirements for visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Most Covid restrictions within Slovenia ended on 13 April, 2022, though you’ll still need to wear a face mask on public transport and in enclosed public spaces.
On 1 April, 2022, Sweden dropped all Covid-related entry requirements for visitors from the UK or outside the EU/EEA. This followed a temporary ban on third-country arrivals in March due to the omicron variant. Regardless of where you’re arriving from, it means you’ll no longer need to present proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test.
Just in time for the summer hiking season, Switzerland announced that it would drop all Covid-related entry requirements for international visitors from 2 May, 2022. Before then, travellers needed to show proof of vaccination. The Alpine country also got rid of face masks on 1 April, 2022, and at the same time mandated that people who have tested positive for Covid no longer need to isolate.