Over the course of the year, we have seen a loosening of travel requirements as vaccination programs gain momentum, especially in Europe and North America. As a new variant, called Omicron, has been detected in many places, countries have begun to tighten restrictions, just as many of us are thinking of traveling to either close out business at the end of the year or to visit loved ones.
Read on to get an overview of the main requirements for entry into the USA, Canada, Germany, the UK, France, and Spain, as well as some tips to make any travel plans more adaptable.
Travel requirements by country:
The requirements for US citizens and permanent residents do not seem to have changed since travel re-opened in November. However, travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe is restricted. The State Department guidelines can be found here.
Fully vaccinated travelers arriving from anywhere other than Canada and the US may be selected for arrival testing. In the coming weeks, this will be ramped up to include 100% of vaccinated travelers. Those who have to test must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.
Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for 14 days in a designated facility and take a test on arrival and on day 8.
Vaccination is required for travel within or out of Canada, apart from exceptions.
Other than Canadian citizens, permanent residents or those with status under the Indian Act, entry is prohibited from Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The three groups above need to obtain a negative COVID-19 molecular rest within 72 hours before departure, quarantine for 14 days, and complete an arrival and day 8 test.
The Canadian government requirements can be read here.
England: Vaccinated travelers must take a Covid-19 test in the two days before traveling, book and pay for a PCR test on the second day of their trip arrival and complete a passenger location form. You still need to book and pay for a day 2 test even if you stay for less than 2 days. You must quarantine until you get a negative test or leave England.
In addition to the procedures above, unvaccinated travelers must also book a test for day 8, and must self-isolate for 10 full days. The UK government updates their guidelines here
Anyone coming from a red list country has a different set of rules to follow.
All people entering Germany must present a negative test result.
Entry from the EU member & Schengen states, and select other countries is unrestricted. Entry from any other country, including the UK, is only possible for fully vaccinated travelers, other than for emergency needs. In particular:
8 African countries are classed as areas of concern and travel is not permitted, other than for German citizens and residents, and those with connecting flights who do not leave the transit area are allowed to travel from these countries. Travel for these groups is subject to a negative test 72 hours before departure and self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival (if not connecting).
56 countries including the UK are classified as high-risk areas. If any of these areas have been visited in the last 10 days the traveler will be required to self-isolate. This period can be shortened with proof of vaccination or covid recovery or a negative test obtained on or after day 5 of their stay in Germany.
More information on Germany’s restrictions can be found here.
The Spanish government has a number of categories by which it defines the restrictions for each country, which are reviewed every seven days. Currently, a vaccination certificate is required for entry for UK residents & travel is suspended from a list of so-called “third” countries. Essential travel e.g. for an emergency may be allowed.
Travelers from “high risk” countries will have to present a vaccination or recovery certificate, or a negative test result. Further information on the requirements for travel from each country can be found here.
All passengers must also complete a health control form.
Travelers from outside the European Union, EEA, Andorra, Monaco, or Liechtenstein must present a negative covid test before departure for France. Self-administered tests are not allowed. This must be taken within 48 hours of travel for vaccinated travelers and within 24 hours for unvaccinated travelers. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including HGV & van drivers coming from the UK.
France has a four-level color code system to categorize countries and entry requirements.
Check out our top tips for adapting your travel over the new year period:
- Check the risks and testing requirements before you make travel plans.
Put travel safety first by booking your travel with a tool that gives you up-to-date travel restrictions information when you book.
- Be flexible in case plans have to change
Flexibility was a challenge in travel even before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, but now it’s a necessity. With the situation in different countries changing daily, it’s vital to choose flexible fares and booking options so that you can adapt quickly if plans need to change. Sure, travel insurance is great. But flexibility is better.
- Keep a facemask handy - you’ll still need it
Many air travel carriers, public transport bodies, and indoor settings may still require the use of a face covering for your health and that of those around you. If you need some help in choosing the right masks for you, have a look at our handy guide to the best face masks to wear whilst traveling. Don't forget to pack an extra one in your carry-on just in case!
- Keep in control of who’s traveling and when
With the situation changing daily it can be hard to keep on top of changes and whether they affect your travelers. Make sure your travel provider can give you up-to-date information on how these restrictions could affect those traveling or about to travel.
- Give travelers the tools they need to keep safe
Give travelers a checklist of all the key regulations and safety measures they need to know about before and during their trips as well as a list of key contacts in case of emergency. Include all relevant information from all relevant medical and government bodies.
Your travel provider can help
The good news if you’re thinking of traveling soon is that online travel platforms like Travelperk can help you with all of this and more.
Our up-to-date travel restrictions information can help you stay up to date when you book, before and during your trip, and our flexible booking options mean that you can change or cancel with a click, at any time, no questions asked.
With the world’s largest travel inventory, flexible budgeting and VAT recovery services you can find the right trip options for you at a great price and claim money back. And we can even help you offset the carbon footprint of your trips.
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