As travel restrictions start to lift in Europe and beyond, and talks of a UK-US travel corridor heat up ahead of the summer, travel is becoming more possible.
The EU COVID travel pass is being rolled out across the bloc so you will almost definitely need one of these to travel within Europe. Full details on how the pass works here.
This is a guide to the popular tourist destinations which have loosened up the COVID requirements ahead of the summer season.
What are the best European countries to travel to right now?
Based on international and internal border statuses, tourism culture upon arrival - including curfews and access to public facilities - and quarantine status, these are the best holiday spots right now.
- International tourists have been welcome in Italy since the start of June, with most visitors just needing to present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.
- Some countries, like the US, will still need to follow a 10-day quarantine.
- All of Italy’s regions are expected to be classed as ‘low risk’ by the end of June, meaning travel between areas is possible.
- Cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels and theatres have partially reopened to the public.
- Face masks remain compulsory indoors and outdoors when in public
- The curfew is currently midnight, but this is expected to be completely lifted on 21st June.
- If you’re vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine, France is now open for international travellers.
- Vaccinated visitors will still need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival.
- France has just pushed its curfews back to 11pm, and cafes and restaurants are back open for business at lower capacity.
- Face masks remain obligatory - even outdoors - but this is expected to change by the end of the month.
- Spain has fired up its summer tourism season by welcoming all vaccinated travellers, as well as European tourists who can provide negative test results.
- The Spanish authorities have introduced a regional traffic light system, which means that even in the very low risk category, bars and restaurants can only take 50 per cent usual capacity and must close at 3am.
- Greece was one of the first countries to open back up to tourists as early as May this year.
- Visitors must provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test before entering the country - but there’s no need to quarantine for most.
- Cafes, bars and restaurants are open and the 12.30am curfew gives guests plenty of time to have their fill. Plus the iconic sites including the Acropolis in Athens are completely functional and accessible.
- Like Spain, Germany’s 16 states are currently subject to their own rules.
- Restrictions for the fully vaccinated have been completely lifted, and hotels and restaurants are opening up for business.
Will there be a UK-US travel corridor?
After the US decreed that international travel would remain on hold for the foreseeable, there are now talks between the States and the UK around a potential travel corridor opening this year. Both countries’ vaccination efforts are going well, so some see transatlantic travel as relatively low risk.
Two of the worst-hit world leaders when coronavirus reached its peak, US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met ahead of the G7 summit last week to discuss travel between the two countries. It is believed the travel corridor may reopen at some point this summer, but it will depend on closely monitored infection rates and the success of their respective vaccination programmes.