During the December long weekend, many Spaniards have decided to take a few days off outside the country. Some have already started their trip and others will do so in the coming hours, in a context of growing concern about the coronavirus, in particular, about the omicron variant, detected at the end of last month in South Africa. For this reason, each European country has been imposing restrictions to prevent COVID cases from continuing to rise and here we recapitulate them:
Boris Johnson imposed a mandatory mask in closed spaces a week ago and new travel restrictions: all travelers, including those who have the complete vaccination schedule, must isolate themselves when they arrive in the United Kingdom and have a PCR test within 48 hours of their arrival, and isolate themselves until a negative result is obtained. The country does not accept antigen tests, and, likewise, requires the completion of an online contact form with details about your stay. It is also mandatory to show the ‘COVID passport’ to enter the country, although this is not required to access bars, restaurants or museums.
The António Costa government decreed last Wednesday the “state of calamity.” Despite the fact that Portugal has one of the highest vaccination rates, reaching 87%, the rules to enter the country have changed: the ‘COVID passport’ is required to access, and in this case, it will be required to enjoy of restaurants and establishments. Similarly, it also requires a negative coronavirus test: PCR 72 hours in advance or an antigen test, carried out 48 hours before boarding. Travelers will also need to fill out a location card before embarking on their journey.
The main requirement to travel to the neighboring country is the ‘COVID certificate’. It approved its use in July and since then it is necessary to enter bars and restaurants, and also to enter its territory. The French government also requires the signing of a statement, which can be downloaded from the website of its Ministry of Health, stating that there are no symptoms and there has been no close contact with a positive. Those who do not have the certificate can enter France with a negative test of less than 72 hours.
Italy requires the ‘COVID passport’ and to fill out a digital location form. The certificate is necessary to access bars, restaurants, museums, cinemas or stadiums. If you do not have the vaccination certificate, you will have to undergo a five-day quarantine and take a test at the end. However, these measures are toughened as of December 6: entry to bars, restaurants or shows is prohibited to those not vaccinated and from that date, the certificate will only be valid for nine months.
You can travel to Germany with the vaccination certificate or with a negative test. Although sanitary measures vary depending on the ‘landers’, in general the document is required throughout the territory to access bars, restaurants and entertainment. They have three types of restrictions: 3G, 2G and 2G. In the case of the 3G standard, a certificate of vaccination, cure or a test is allowed. The 2G standard only admits the certificate of vaccination or cure, and the 2G + standard, requires a test in addition to the certificate.
As in the rest of the countries, to access the Nordic country the requirement is the ‘COVID passport’, although if we have recently been infected, we must present a positive PCR carried out more than 14 days ago and if we do not comply with either of these two options, they will ask us for a negative test carried out in the 24 hours prior to arrival. Similarly, the certificate is necessary to access restaurants, cafes, bars, museums or theaters.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.