The summer vacations are just around the corner – and with them, once again, the question of which Corona regulations apply when entering various vacation destinations.
A look at other European countries shows: Despite mostly rising case numbers, the Corona measures have largely been lifted. However, there are still some rules to be observed.
DENMARK was one of the first countries in Europe to get rid of all corona restrictions in February. This has not changed to this day: Life in the capital Copenhagen, on the Danish North Sea coast, which is very popular with Germans, and elsewhere in the country feels completely restriction-free, and Corona notices have all but disappeared from the public image. The Danish Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke had recently assured, among other things, about upcoming festivals that there was no talk about changing anything about this in the summer. Isolated dark clouds are already gathering on the horizon. However: New infection figures in the Scandinavian country have recently risen for the first time in months, mainly due to the spread of the omicron sub-variant BA.5.
FRANCE also reports rising case numbers, but there is no discussion yet about reintroducing protective measures. Fully vaccinated people can enter France with the appropriate proof. Domestically, for example, digital evidence of vaccination, which was mandatory for a long time, is no longer required to visit events or restaurants. The masking requirement has been abolished, including on public transport.
In the UK, too, vacationers can ride buses and trains without masks again this summer. There is also no obligation to test or isolate people with the disease. It is now possible to enter the country without Corona hurdles – entry forms or proof of vaccination are no longer required. However, the government is now much more in the dark about the actual state of the epidemic: the daily figures no longer reflect the true incidence of infection. A better picture is provided by the weekly report of the national statistics office, which regularly tests a random sample of the population. According to this report, one in 50 people in England was infected with Corona last week (as of June 17), and as many as one in 35 in Scotland.
In SWITZERLAND, infection figures are rising sharply, most recently by 46 percent week-on-week. But the protective measures are all lifted. There are music festivals with thousands of visitors all over the country, and currently no discussion about new restrictions. There is no accurate picture of the current situation in Switzerland. The Federal Office of Public Health reported Corona case numbers only once a week. On Tuesday, it announced the increase in laboratory-confirmed cases of more than 46 percent, but the figures refer to what happened the week of June 6. Combined with the fact that experts believe the number of unreported cases is high because many people don’t even get tested when they have symptoms.
Also, in ITALY, almost all Corona restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, the entry form is no longer necessary. Vaccinations or recovery certificates are no longer required at the border or when entering hotels, restaurants, bars, discotheques, museums, or government offices. The EU certificate still has to be presented only in health care facilities, i.e., mainly hospitals. Masks must only be worn on public buses, subways, and trains. However, infection figures have recently risen again slightly.
SPAIN: Corona, was there something? In popular vacation destinations, the virus is hardly an issue at present. When entering and leaving EU countries and the Schengen area, there are no longer any Corona requirements. Even infected persons no longer need to be tested and do not have to report anything or even go into self-isolation. The old protection rules only apply to people with pre-existing conditions or over 60. That is why there is a seven-day incidence only for those over 60. The only remnant from pandemic times is the compulsory wearing of masks in public indoor areas and on public transport.
In neighboring PORTUGAL, however, the corona situation is even tenser. The seven-day incidence is currently around 1,150 but shows a downward trend (the previous week just under 1,600). Corona measures have not been abandoned quite as much. The 3-G rule continues to apply to entry, so vacationers must prove that they have been vaccinated, tested, or have recovered. As in Spain, masks are still compulsory on public transport. There are no further restrictions.
GREECE essentially abolished the Corona measures in early June at the beginning of the summer season. Thus, there is no longer a mask requirement – exceptions are public transport, cabs, ferries’ interiors, and hospitals. Tourists no longer have to show proof of vaccination when entering the country. The abolition of the measures is to be put to the test no later than September 15.
The number of new corona infections in TURKEY has settled at a low level. Currently, about 7,500 cases per week are reported. However, a high number of unreported instances is assumed. All measures for entry into Turkey were lifted at the beginning of June – neither proof of vaccination nor a PCR test must be presented. A mask requirement no longer applies.
In the NETHERLANDS, Corona has almost completely disappeared from public life. No masks, vaccination, or test proof, one does not have to register at museums anymore, and no obligation distance must be kept. There are also no more restrictions on entering the country. But the new Omikron variants, particularly, are causing a summer wave: the infection figures have been rising sharply again recently. More than 26,000 cases in one week which is 70 percent more than in the previous week. And since there is no longer any obligation to test, the authorities expect many more cases and anticipate a further increase. Still, no protective measures are planned. However, the government calls on people to follow the basic rules: wash their hands, keep their distance, and keep well ventilated. And anyone who has been infected should stay at home.
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