When Can I Travel to Europe Again?

18 June 2020

When Can I Travel to Europe Again?

Last updated: 14/09/2020

The answer is now! After months of lockdown across Europe, many countries have now ended border restrictions. International train services are back up and running and shops, restaurants and museums are open in many places. We are as excited as you are about this and would like to keep you on track with what is opening where.

The following guidelines are intended to give you a sense of which rail services are running, what rules apply on public transport (wearing face masks for example) and what you can expect to be open in each country. However, rules around travel in different countries is changing rapidly so, though we will be adding regular updates, it’s quite possible that some of the information listed here will already be out of date. We would therefore recommend that you double-check the health and travel advice of the country or countries that you wish to visit.

The Foreign Office is currently still advising against all but essential foreign travel, EXCEPT to countries that ‘no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers’. You can find a list of these countries here.

 

Travel Corridors

The following countries will have a reciprocal arrangement with no quarantine required in either direction:

Italy, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Greece (mainland) Slovakia and Slovenia.

Please confirm all entry requirements for the countries you wish to visit on the FCO website.

 

Travelling in Belgium

Belgian authorities are allowing British citizens to travel to Belgium. As of 7 August, UK nationals will need to self-quarantine on arrival back from Belgium.

Rail services: Domestic trains are running on a full service in order to alleviate any crowding and make sure it’s possible to maintain social distance. Most cross-border trains are beginning to run more frequently. ICE services into Germany are now running as normal. There are currently four Eurostar service a day to and from Brussels

Safety measures on trains

  • Maintain social distance between you and other travellers
  • Wearing a face mask is compulsory
  • Increased hygiene in trains and on stations

Are non-essential shops allowed to open in Belgium? Yes

Are hotels allowed to open in Belgium? Yes

Are restaurants and cafés allowed to open in Belgium? Yes

Are museums allowed to open in Belgium? Yes

A 1.5 metre social distancing rule applies in all locations along with other measures in cafés and restaurants such as staff wearing masks and one customer per table being required to give contact details to enable contact tracing.

National website for tourism in Belgium with up-to-date Covid-19 advice: Visit Belgium

 

Travelling in France

Visitors arriving into France from the UK will now be asked to self-quarantine if arriving after 4am on Saturday 14 August.

Rail services: Domestic and international train services are back to a normal timetable. Eurostar is running a reduced timetable to the Gare du Nord, but there are currently no direct services to the South of France. This is expected to continue into next year.

Safety measures on trains

  • Wearing a face mask is mandatory on all public transport
  • Hand sanitisers are widely available in stations and on trains
  • Seating is spaced out to ensure social distancing

Are non-essential shops open in France? Yes

Are hotels open in France? Yes

Are restaurants and cafés open in France? Yes

Are museums allowed to open in France? Yes

National website for tourism in France with up to date Covid-19 information: www.france.fr

 

Travelling in Italy

It’s possible to visit Italy from the UK without the need for quarantine. Visitors to certain regions (Sardinia, Calabria, Apulia & Sicily) will need to register on arrival. Information (and links to the forms) are available at the Italian Tourism website.

Rail services: Domestic and international rail services are running an almost normal service. One way systems and other safety measures are in place at station. The Thello sleeper service between Paris and Milan/ Venice is no longer running.

Safety measures on trains

  • Wearing a face mask is compulsory
  • Enhanced hygiene and cleaning measures aboard trains and at stations

Are non-essential shops open in Italy? Yes

Are hotels open in Italy? Yes

Are restaurants and cafés open in Italy? Yes

Are museums allowed to open in Italy? Yes

National website for tourists travelling in Italy with up to date Covid-19 information: Italia.ie/en

 

Travelling in the Netherlands

Visitors arriving into the Netherlands from the UK will now be asked to self-quarantine if arriving after 4am on Saturday 14 August.

Rail services: Domestic and international train services are back to a normal timetable. Eurostar has restarted the direct service to Amsterdam, but passengers will need to change in Brussels on the return journey.

Safety measures on trains

  • Wearing a face mask is mandatory on all public transport
  • 50% of the seats are available. Passengers are directed to sit in a seat with a green sticker next to it

Are non-essential shops open in the Netherlands? Yes

Are hotels open in the Netherlands? Yes

Are restaurants and cafés open in the Netherlands? Yes

Are museums allowed to open in the Netherlands? Yes

 

Travelling in Germany

It’s possible to visit Germany from the UK without the need for quarantine. UK nationals do not need to self-quarantine on arrival back from Germany.

Rail services: Domestic rail services vary by state. Some states have services which are almost back to normal and others are just starting up again. ICEs to Belgium and the Netherlands are now running as normal. The EuroCity service from Munich to Venice train is currently terminating in Verona. Trains to Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and Poland have now resumed service.

Safety measures on trains

  • Wearing a face mask is compulsory
  • Enhanced hygiene and cleaning measures aboard trains and at stations

Are non-essential shops open in Germany? Yes

Are hotels open in Germany? Yes

Are restaurants and cafés open in Germany? Most (subject to different state restrictions)

Are museums allowed to open in Germany? Most (subject to different state restrictions)

National website for tourists travelling in Germany with up to date Covid-19 information: www.corona-navigator.de

 

Travelling in Austria

As of 4am on Saturday 22 August, anyone arriving into the UK from Austria will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Rail services: Most domestic and international train services in Austria are now running as normal, including sleeper train services from Cologne and Zurich to Vienna.

Safety Measures on Trains:

  • Face masks are compulsory on all public transport (and taxis)

Are non-essential shops open in Austria? Yes, a one-metre social distancing rule (where possible) applies

Are hotels open in Austria? Yes

Are restaurants and cafés open in Austria? Yes

Are museums allowed to open in Austria? Yes

For up-to-date information on what is re-opening and when, visit Tourism Austria

 

Travelling in Switzerland

Travel restrictions to Switzerland have now been lifted for all EU member states along with the UK.  Residents of the UK will need to self-quarantine on arrival back from Switzerland.

Rail services: All domestic services are now running as normal. Glacier and Bernina Express trains are also now running to a normal timetable. Trains across to Germany, France. Italy and Austria are now running.

Safety Measures on Trains:

  • Wearing a face mask is compulsory

Are non-essential shops open in Switzerland? Yes

Are hotels open in Switzerland? Yes

Are restaurants and cafés open in Switzerland? Yes

Are museums allowed to open in Switzerland? Yes

For up-to-date information on what is re-opening and when, visit MySwitzerland.com

 

Travelling in Spain

UK nationals arriving back from Spain will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Rail services: Domestic train travel is now almost back to normal. International services are now running into France and Portugal.

Safety measures on trains

  • Wearing a face mask is compulsory
  • The bar and restaurant services on board RENFE trains are currently not available
  • Trains are being cleaned and disinfected thoroughly throughout the day
  • Trains will have a limited passenger capacity to ensure sufficient distance between you and other travellers

Are non-essential shops open in Spain? Yes, with limited capacity depending on the region

Are hotels open in Spain? Yes, but as above

Are restaurants and cafés open in Spain? Yes, but as above

Are museums allowed to open in Spain? Yes, subject to the rules of different regions

National website for tourism in Spain with up-to-date Covid-19 information