Traveling anywhere around the world in 2020 came with many challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. With 2021 here, many countries in Europe are becoming more open to travel by loosening restrictions.
In this guide we will focus on the most traveled countries in Europe and where they stand in January 2021.
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After a six-week lock down starting in October, France has begun to lift travel restrictions to select countries. It is important to note that bars and restaurants will remain closed until January 20th, 2021. When bars and restaurants do open it will likely come with some restrictions that any traveler should look into before committing to a trip.
The countries that are open for travel (negative COVID-19 test required) are:
- All EU countries
- the Holy See
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
United States travelers are still banned from visiting France.
Ireland who is suffering from one of the highest infection rates across the globe has entered Level 5 restrictions which will stay in place until January 31st, 2021. Anyone, including U.S. and Irish citizens, coming from a country that’s not on Ireland’s frequently-updated Green List will need to fill out a Passenger Locator Form and will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
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In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Italy faced huge increases in infections that have repeated during Europe’s second wave. There is currently still an outdoor mask mandate throughout the entire country which all travelers should be aware of.
UK travelers are not allowed to enter Italy without an official residence in the country, a negative test within 72 hours and a 14-day quarantine. All travelers entering Italy at this time are required to fulfill a 14-day quarantine and not travel between provinces during that period.
As of January 2021, U.S. citizens are not allowed to travel unless departing from an exempted country.
In November, Germany initiated a partial lockdown to curb the Christmas season infection rates. Since then, non-essential retail, and schools have been closed across the country. The lockdowns have been reported to be extended until January 31st.
While there is restaurant activity in the form of takeout services, hotels continue to be banned for tourists and all notable attractions remain closed as well. For the next few months the lockdown scenario in Germany is expected to persist making it in nonoptimal time to attempt travel.
All travelers expecting to visit Greece should be prepared for a negative test 72 hours before arrival, and an additional 72 hours of quarantine upon entering the country. UK travelers will specifically be tested on arrival and will be required to quarantine for ten days.
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The United Kingdom’s COVID-19 travel regulations are a tad more complex as there are multiple countries, with independent rules.
While the UK has not implemented an outright travel ban like many others have, there is a 10 day quarantine requirement. Travelers who do visit and are in quarantine can test out on the 5th day if a negative test is reached.
BBC offers a tool to look up the latest COVID-19 restrictions by city.