9th June 2022
EU Travel in Summer months: What contractors need to know
With the summer months approaching, more EU countries are reviewing their Covid-19 entry restrictions in response to the pandemic easing. With requirements constantly changing, it’s important that contractors are aware of the country-wide restrictions that are in place to avoid falling foul of rules and regulations.
Here’s the latest:
Covid-19 and Recovery
The majority of the European Union and European Economic Area countries have already lifted their Covid-19 entry rules for travellers with several others relaxing their existing restrictions due to the high rates of vaccination than most are reporting.
A total of 15 EU/EEA countries – Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland – currently permit restriction-free entry to all travellers. Within these countries, all travellers, regardless of their country of origin, are no longer required to present their vaccination status, recovery or test certificate when travelling. In addition, these countries have also dropped the majority of their domestic Covid-19 restrictions such as the requirement to wear a facemask and the need for vaccination status or a negative Covid-19 test when attending different public places and events.
This progress has certainly been driven by vaccination numbers. Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows that U/EEA countries have administered over 884,890,200 Covid-19 vaccine doses as of May the 5th. The same data reveals that 75.4% of the total population in EU/EEA countries have received at least a single dose, 72.6% have completed the primary course, and another 51.6% have received a booster shot. With some countries now not requiring vaccination for entry, it is important to be aware of those that do to plan accordingly.
France, Germany and Portugal
Despite these EU countries removing nearly all restrictions, there are still several countries where Covid-19 restrictions remain such as, France, Germany and Portugal. France currently requires all travellers to present either a Covid-19 pass or a vaccination certificate upon arrival and those who can present these are exempt from any further restrictions. However, recovery passes are recognised provided that the document indicates that the holder recovered from the virus in the last six months. Correspondingly, Germany and Portugal require all incoming travellers to provide valid Covid-19 proof upon their arrival – it is unclear at this stage whether the aforementioned countries will be dropping their Covid-19 rules any time soon, but there is speculation that more limitations will be eased in June. Due to this ever-evolving and constantly changing environment, contractors working in – or planning to move to – these destinations need to regularly check entry rules to avoid any delays on projects or contracts.
Spain had previously announced planned extensions of Covid travel restrictions into the summer months, however, on 22nd May, authorities revealed that vaccinated travellers from third countries would be permitted to enter the country if they test negative. Under these changes, those from countries outside of the EU will be subject to the same rules as those from the European Union, meaning they can travel into Spain for work and non-essential reasons, as long as they have a Covid vaccine pass, proof of recovery or a negative PCR. Previously, those from third countries were only permitted entry with a vaccination or recovery certificate.
Greece and Malta
Countries like Greece and Malta are expecting a huge influx of travellers in the summer months. In fact, the Malta Tourism Authority has revealed that it is aiming to attract 1.8 million travellers this year. According to Malta Times, the CEO of Malta International Airport, Alan Borg, said that the country’s tourism industry is expected to reach the levels registered in 2015 (pre-pandemic).
It’s perhaps no surprise, then, to learn that Greece has lifted all Covid entry requirements, while Malta has relaxed restrictions so that travellers will no longer be required to gain pre-travel authorisation from the Superintendent of Public Health.
Covid-19: stay up to date
As we learn to live with the permanent effects of the pandemic and the ongoing changing travel restrictions, it is more important than ever that contractors working abroad are not only aware of ever-changing tax restrictions, but also changes in entry rules and regulations. 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 next assignment with ease