Is it safe to visit Europe right now?

Updated: Aug 26

Here's some invaluable European travel info!



It’s almost fall! Isn’t it amazing to think that we’re ¾ of the way through 2021? I remember when it seemed like 2020 would never end, and here we are getting closer to the end of 2021! Fall is a great time to book your upcoming vacations: it’s a perfect time to travel, with often the lowest prices of the year, or to look forward to getting away during the cold winter, for spring break, or for summer 2023. (Speaking of spring and summer, I love being able to put down a deposit way in advance and not having the balance due till about 6 weeks prior to my vacation. It’s such a great feeling!)


So, Europe. What do you think? Not sure? Are you a little afraid of heading there because you don’t know what to expect? In anticipation of my upcoming European river cruise, and just because people are wondering, I thought I’d share some of the current country-by-country European travel info. I’ve also included some FAQs at the end. (In case you were wondering and maybe wanted to join my Nov. 2-9 cruise, we embark in Switzerland, and also visit France and Germany—I’ve included more of my cruise details at the end. By the way, these are the last 5 days to get the best pricing on this cruise—after Aug. 30, prices increase by $1000 per person.)




Switzerland:


Over 60% of the population has been vaccinated. To enter Switzerland, they require a vaccination within 12 months or less, and filling out an electronic entry form and a contact tracing card prior to your arrival. In Switzerland right now, some public spectator events have limited attendance requirements, but the country is eager to welcome visitors and doing their best to operate under safe conditions.




France:


To travel to France, a proof of vaccination is required, along with a health document, or “Statement of Honor,” which is presented to the airline upon embarkation, and border control upon arrival in France. Over 50% of French residents are vaccinated. If you need to get a Covid test while there, it costs 49 euros for a PCR test and 29 euros for the rapid antigen test.


Currently, masks are not required in outdoor settings, museums, theaters, or movie theaters, and many sites of interest have reopened. Disneyland Paris reopened June 17. There are still mask requirements, limited capacity, and physical distancing required in inside locations such as museums, stores, and restaurants.


Clement Beaune, France’s minister of state for European affairs, recently stated “We need, we want, in good health conditions, to remain the top tourist destination in Europe and the world.”




Germany:


To enter Germany, proof of vaccination and an entry registration form are required. Nearly 60% of their population are fully vaccinated currently.


Covid restrictions are set by the individual states in Germany, so there may be some differences depending on where you travel. Outdoor dining and events are open, with no curfews. Museums and cultural events are generally requiring registration before visiting. Keep your proof of vaccination with you at all times, and you’ll be good.


Medical masks or higher are usually required on public transportation, in stores, and indoor public places.




Italy:


Italy currently requires proof of vaccination along with a negative Covid test. Over 55% of Italians are vaccinated.


A vaccination certificate is needed to participate in indoor seating at restaurants & bars, museums, cultural sites, sporting events, amusement parks, etc.


Prime Minister Mario Graghi recently welcomed international tourists: “It’s time to book your vacations in Italy, we can’t wait to welcome you again.”




Netherlands:


Along with proof of vaccination, you’ll need a health declaration form filled out prior to traveling here. About 60% of their population is vaccinated.


Masks are required on public transportation and other crowded places; if you’re cruising to Germany or Belgium from Amsterdam, you are required to fill out an additional form.




Spain:


Spain requires proof of vaccination and a public health form filled out before entering the country.


Over 50% of the population is vaccinated. Travelers need to wear a mask in public spaces. Most businesses have no nighttime curfew, but some restaurants and bars do close earlier than normal. Museums, movie theaters, theaters, and restaurants are open.




Portugal:


Proof of a negative test is required in addition to being vaccinated. Portugal also requires a passenger locator card to be completed. Over half the population is vaccinated. Most venues are open to the public; however, nighttime curfews are in place in some locations.




Greece:


To enter Greece, proof of vaccination is required, along with a negative Covid test. About half of the population are vaccinated, with those working in the tourism industry receiving vaccination priority, along with the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, and Corfu, three of the top-visited locations in the country.



FAQ’s about traveling to Europe:


Are both doses of the vaccination required before I go?

Yes, unless you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, which is a single dose.


If a Covid test is required, can it be a rapid test, or does it need to be a PCR test?

In most cases, a rapid test is sufficient.


Where are masks required in Europe?

This varies by country, as you can see from the above information, but most European countries require masking indoors and in close proximity to others.


Are restaurants, bars, pools, spas, and gyms open? What about housekeeping?

This varies between countries. Most locations have capacity limits but are open; housekeeping is operating with enhanced cleaning protocols.


What happens if I test positive once I arrive in the country?

This question is best answered depending on the country and your itinerary. In most cases, you’ll be asked to quarantine for several days.


What if I don’t feel comfortable traveling once it gets closer to my travel dates? Can I cancel and receive a refund?

In these rapidly changing times, I strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance when you book your trip. This will allow for the most flexible cancellation options. Ask me about insurance and I’ll be happy to go over the details with you.


Let me know if you have a specific question I haven’t covered here. Remember that this info is current now, and things could change by the time you travel. That’s the beauty of working with a travel advisor; I’ll keep you up-to-date on what you need to know about traveling to your destination as it gets closer.


If you'd like more info about my upcoming European river cruise, click here. You're invited; I'd love to have you come along!