29th April 2022
In recent months, Covid-related restrictions in the UK and beyond have eased considerably. Across England, Scotland, and Wales it is now no longer mandatory to wear face coverings in most public spaces – and as these visible signs of the Covid-19 pandemic slowly disappear locally, it is easy to assume that rules have been relaxed globally.
Some European countries, including Poland, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, have now completely removed pandemic-related entry rules for non-EU travellers. For contractors considering opportunities overseas, however, it is still important to be aware that some Covid-19 related travel restrictions remain in many popular destinations.
So, have Covid travel restrictions really been lifted? Here are the latest updates from some familiar contractor hotspots.
Czechia latest to scrap entry requirements
From the 9th of April, Czechia has abolished its colour-coded system for incoming travellers. With the end of ‘red list’ countries, all travellers can now enter restriction-free, meaning that independent professionals can now work in Chechia without having to provide a vaccine certificate or proof of a negative test to work in the destination. In addition, the country has also relaxed some of its domestic covid restrictions. Travellers and citizens of the country are no longer required to wear a face mask and the requirement to hold a valid covid pass when attending different public places and events has also been abolished.
Cyprus updates travel rules
Cyprus has updated its green, red and grey country lists, with potential restrictions on incoming travellers dependent on where their country of origin now sits. The majority of territories – including the UK, France and Denmark – continue to belong to the red list, which consists of countries that have reported high covid infection rates in the last two weeks. Authorities in Cyprus have, however, clarified that only people who have not completed their immunisation process against the virus or those who do not hold a valid vaccination certificate will have to follow the entry requirements taking into account the list in which their country is placed. Contractors relocating with their families should be aware that children under the age of 12 will be exempt from all coronavirus checks.
Malta relaxes restrictions
While independent professionals should be mindful that several entry requirements remain in Malta, new rules mean contractors can now work here once again regardless of their vaccination status. From the 11th of April 2022, incoming travellers will be allowed in with a negative pre-departure PCR test taken up to 72 hours before arrival or a recognised covid recovery certificate which cannot be more than 180 days old. Previously, entrants were only permitted restriction-free entry if they provided a valid vaccination certificate upon their arrival. In addition, those working in Malta are no longer required to present a valid vaccination pass when accessing different public places and events.
Bulgaria phases out rules
As part of its ‘reopening phase-out of covid-19 restrictions’, Bulgaria has announced that incoming travellers from countries including Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania will no longer have to show covid-related documentation relating to vaccination, and recovery or covid tests on entry. Travellers arriving from the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Republic of Turkey, Republika Srpska, Hungary, Slovakia, Israel, and Egypt will also be exempt from previous rules. However, those arriving from anywhere else – at least for now – will have to show valid proof of full vaccination to gain entry. Contractors should be aware that unvaccinated travellers from all other countries, including the UK, will be subject to quarantine.
US drops ‘do not travel’ advice for EU destinations
Professionals travelling from the US to Europe to work can now do so without citing special circumstances. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that it had lifted the ‘Do Not Travel’ advice for several European Union/European Economic Area countries and other destinations, which have moved from Level Four to Level Three. The list of countries where travel is now permitted includes France, Greece, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, and Switzerland, among others. In addition to removing some EU countries from the Level Four list, the CDC has also revealed that several other destinations – including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Turkey, among others – will also now be part of the Level Three list. However, contractors crossing the Atlantic should be aware that some EU countries continue to require travellers to present a valid vaccination certificate. This means that contractors travelling directly from the US should still check local restrictions before they travel to avoid running into problems.
Greece to drop entry requirements in May
Greece has already lifted the requirement to complete a passenger locator form and from May the 2nd all travellers to Greece, regardless of their country of origin, will be exempt from the requirement to present a proof of vaccination, recovery, or test certificate upon their arrival. It has been reported that domestic restrictions here will also be dropped at the same time. This means that those working in the country will be able to enjoy local bars, cafes, restaurants, and other events without being required to hold a vaccine certificate.
Why you need to know if covid travel restrictions have been lifted
As we learn to live with Covid, authorities across the globe are amending their entry requirements for non-nationals travelling for work accordingly. However, restrictions remain in many areas and the rules change rapidly. If you are a contractor exploring opportunities overseas, make sure that you keep abreast of the latest covid travel restrictions to ensure that you move to your assignment with ease.