As Europe became the centre of the Covid-19 pandemic with cases rising again, anyone thinking of a Christmas break to the continent will have to check which restrictions each country has imposed.
These are the Covid entry requirements for tourists in some of Europe’s top holiday destinations:
The Portuguese government is considering imposing new restrictions after contagion rates soared.
The 14-day infection rate stood at 194.8 cases per 100,000 on Thursday, almost double that of neighbouring Spain, but still well below Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.
Austria lockdown: Full nationwide Covid restrictions introduced as fourth wave sweeps across Europe
Travellers from the UK must show a Covid-19 certificate or a negative coronavirus test performed in the past 48 hours.
Wearing masks is recommended outside or in places where social distancing is impossible.
Anyone holidaying in Spain will have to show a Covid-19 passport and a negative coronavirus test. Tourism ministry sources told i this was not expected to change in the run-up to Christmas.
Spain has seen coronavirus cases double in the past three weeks and the 14-day contagion rate stood at over 104.9 cases per 100,000 on Thursday.
In an effort to prevent a sixth wave of the virus, some regional health authorities like the Basque Country in northern Spain have made Covid-19 passports essential to enter bars and restaurants while Galicia will require one to enter hospitals.
French President Emmanuel Macron said there would be no need to follow other European countries that imposed Covid-19 lockdowns on unvaccinated people because of the success of the country’s health pass.
“Those countries locking down the non-vaccinated are those which have not put in place the (health) pass. Therefore this step is not necessary in France,” Mr Macron told La Voix du Nord newspaper on Thursday.
The UK is on France’s amber list, meaning anyone who has not been fully vaccinated must complete an international travel certificate to confirm an essential reason for travel, or a sworn statement showing they are not suffering from Covid-19 symptoms and have not been in contact with anyone with the virus.
Those over the age of 12 are required to take a PCR test taken within 24 hours of arrival. Self-administered tests are not allowed.
Proof of vaccination or a recent negative test is required to go to restaurants, bars and cinemas among other activities.
Coronavirus rates are at the highest point since the pandemic started, and Austria becomes the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full Covid-19 lockdown from Monday.
The whole population will be required to be vaccinated by February.
When entering Austria, British travellers must provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination, a negative PCR test or proof of recovery from the virus. Those who are not vaccinated must also fill in a pre-travel clearance form not more than 72 hours before entry to the country and self-isolate for 10 days.
Austria’s 14-day Covid-19 contagion rates were 1,602 per 100,000 on Thursday.
The German state of Bavaria cancelled all of its Christmas markets on Friday after a surge in coronavirus infections as the national government considered state-wide lockdown like Austria.
Bavaria had a weekly coronavirus rate of 625.3 infections per 100,000 people on Friday, according to the Robert Koch Institute, well above the national rate of 340.7 – an all-time high for the country.
As the UK is designated a “high incidence area” by Germany, tourists may only enter if you are fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated children under 12 can only enter if they are with at least one fully vaccinated parent and the children must quarantine on arrival for five days.
Non-vaccinated adults can only enter the country if they are German citizens, the spouse/partner or child under 18 of a German, a resident of Germany or if they have an urgent need to travel.
Italy will accept the UK’s proof of Covid-19 recovery and vaccination record as the equivalent of the country’s green pass.
Those who have not been vaccinated must show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within the past 48 hours. After entering Italy, they must self-isolate for five days.
Italy has registered 133,034 deaths, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the ninth-highest in the world.