COVID-19: Travel from third countries to the European Union

Restrictions on travel to the European Union

The European Union is working with its member states to contain the spread of the virus and help national health systems respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To slow the spread of the virus, EU leaders agreed on March 17, 2020 to coordinate temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU until June 30, 2020.

In June 2020, the Council adopted a Recommendation of temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union and the possible lifting of such restrictions at. The recommendation was last revised on May 20, 2021 to take into account ongoing vaccination campaigns by introducing certain exemptions for people who have been vaccinated and relaxing the criteria for lifting restrictions for third countries.

At the same time, the risks that can arise from new viral variants are taken into account by setting the emergency brake.

Who should be allowed to travel to the European Union?

According to the recommendation, the following groups of people should be allowed to enter the EU under certain conditions:

  • vaccination
  • People who have to travel for force majeure
  • People who do not have a compelling reason to travel from a country included in the EU list


If member states use the . extension Proof of vaccination as a reason for lifting travel restrictions Like testing or quarantine, they should in principle lift restrictions on non-essential travel for people from third countries who arrive at least 14 days prior to arrival. Last recommended dose of a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) I receive.

Member states may also lift restrictions on non-essential travel for people who received the last recommended dose of the vaccine at least 14 days prior to their arrival. for which emergency approval is available from the World Health Organization (WHO), I receive.

Once the Regulation on the EU’s COVID Digital Certificate is adopted, it will form the basis for balancing vaccination certificates from third countries with those of the European Union. Until then, Member States should be able to: Accept certificates from third countries containing a minimum set of data – in accordance with national law and taking into account the need to be able to verify the authenticity, validity and integrity of the certificate.

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People who have to travel for force majeure

For countries where travel restrictions continue to apply, the following groups of people must be exempted from the restrictions:

  • EU citizens and their family members
  • long-term residing in the European Union and their family members

Passengers who perform an important function or whose trip is absolutely necessary, entry must also be allowed – this includes the following:

  • Health care and aged care workers and health researchers
  • Frontier workers, seasonal workers in agriculture, transport workers and seafarers
  • Highly qualified workers whose employment is necessary and whose work cannot be postponed or carried out abroad
  • Diplomats, staff of international organizations, military and humanitarian workers
  • transit passengers
  • Travelers for force majeure family reasons
  • Persons in need of international protection or travel for other humanitarian reasons
  • Individuals traveling for study purposes لأغراض

People who do not have a compelling reason to travel from a country included in the EU list

The list of countries whose travel restrictions are to be gradually lifted by member states is reviewed every two weeks and updated if necessary. People who do not have a compelling reason to travel from a listed country Entry into the European Union must be allowed.

The list was last changed on July 15, 2021 and includes the following countries:

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Canada
  • China (subject to mutual confirmation)
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • the black Mountain
  • New Zealand
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Moldova
  • North Macedonia
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Ukraine (new)
  • United States of America

Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the two special administrative regions of China:

In the category of local government not recognized as a state by at least one member state, travel restrictions for Taiwan and Kosovo[1] It will also be phased out.

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City must be considered EU citizens for the purposes of the recommendation.

The criteria for determining which non-EU countries the current travel restrictions should be lifted relate in particular to the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. It is applied cumulatively.

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When a decision is made to include a particular non-EU country in the list, the following will be considered Standards related to the epidemiological situation used:

  • No more than 75 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population in the last 14 days
  • Stable or decreasing development of new cases in the same period compared to the previous 14 days
  • More than 300 tests per 100,000 population in the previous seven days, if data is available to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
  • No more than 4% of positive test results out of all COVID-19 tests performed in the previous seven days, if data is available to ECDC
  • The type of virus present in a country, specifically whether control variants or variants of concern are detected اكتشاف
  • Overall country response to COVID-19, taking into account available information on issues such as surveillance, identification of contacts, containment, treatment and reporting, reliability of information and, if necessary, the overall average under the International Health Regulations (IHR)

The progress made in vaccinating the population against the virus should also be taken into account. Reciprocity must also be considered on a regular and case-by-case basis.

Tests and quarantine

all the people who For necessary or unnecessary reasons Entry from a third country must receive a negative message no later than 72 hours before departure PCR test on COVID-19.

In addition, member states can Self-isolation or quarantine For up to 14 days, and if necessary, request additional COVID-19 tests during the same period.

Emergency brake mechanism

If the epidemiological situation in a third country or region is rapidly deteriorating, and in particular if another species of concern or a controlled variant is identified, Member States should Temporary restriction immediately on all entry into the European Union enact law.

This emergency brake must be Not for EU citizens and long-term residents of the EU and certain categories of People who have to travel for compelling reasons apply; These groups of people should remain subject to appropriate testing and quarantine measures, even if they are fully vaccinated. Restrictions should be reviewed at least every two weeks.

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The Board’s recommendation is not a legally binding document. The authorities of Member States remain responsible for the implementation of their content.

Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland as associated Schengen states also agreed to this recommendation.

“Reopening the European Union” is also available as an app.

Plan your trip on “Reopening the European Union”

“Reopen the European Union” is an application and website where all basic information on borders, available transport, travel restrictions, public health and safety measures, for example on physical distancing or wearing face masks, as well as other practical information is provided. For travelers can be found.

You can use the trip planner to safely plan your trips between EU countries.

All information is available in 24 official languages ​​of the European Union.

Consular assistance for EU citizens abroad

Under EU law, citizens have the right Seek help from the embassy or consulate of any other country in the European UnionIf they find themselves in a situation where they need help outside the EU and there is no embassy or consulate in their EU member state there.

The European Commission and the European External Action Service help repatriate stranded EU citizens from around the world, and member states provide information on how to handle travel restrictions. EU citizens who require assistance from outside the EU are advised to contact the member states.

Are you traveling within the European Union?

The Board adopted a recommendation outlining common criteria, four categories of risk areas and a common framework for travel regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the recommendation, holders of vaccination certificates issued in accordance with the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation and those who have recovered from COVID-19 should be exempted from testing or quarantine/self-isolation under certain circumstances.

Additional information:

[1] This designation is without prejudice to positions on the situation and is consistent with Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) and the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

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