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Europe’s last Covid travel restrictions have just been dropped

It’s the end of an era, as Spain says it will no longer ask travellers for proof of vaccination

James Manning
Written by
James Manning

For two and a half years, travelling abroad has meant a lot of admin. Checking where you can actually travel; queuing up for official PCR tests; printing off your proof of vaccination along with your boarding pass; filling in endless forms… it’s become a way of life, a tedious but necessary bit of extra cost and hassle on any overseas trip.

But now it looks as though that ‘new normal’ may be old news. Over the last few months, most countries have ditched their requirements for tests and vaccines. And as of today, you can now travel throughout the whole of Europe without any Covid-related border restrictions. On the travel front, at least, things are officially back to normal. Can I get an ‘amen’?

The final European country to require Covid tests or vaccinations was Spain. Until literally yesterday, all arrivals had to present proof of full vaccination, a recent negative test or recovery from Covid. But at midnight last night, those final restrictions were dropped, bringing Spain in line with every other European country.

That’s right: you no longer need to have been vaccinated, tested negative or recently recovered from Covid to travel to Spain – or anywhere else in Europe. Which feels like a bit of a moment.

Some Covid restrictions for travellers remain in place elsewhere in the world, though:

  • The USA requires anyone aged 18 and over to be fully vaccinated against Covid.
  • Under Hong Kong’s latest ‘0+3’ entry rules, travellers must be fully vaccinated and take a test to pass border control, and avoid certain public places for three days after arrival.
  • Japan has finally reopened to travellers, but you must still be fully vaccinated (with restrictions on certain brands of vaccine). There’s also some paperwork to fill in.
  • Travellers to Singapore must be doubly vaccinated or take a pre-travel test.
  • Dubai and Abu Dhabi require proof of double vaccination, a pre-travel PCR test or proof of recovery.
  • Travel to Indonesia requires proof of full vaccination, or a PCR test and five-day quarantine on arrival. So make sure you aren’t caught out on that trip to Bali.
  • China remains more or less totally off-limits to international travellers.

There are also restrictions on travel to the Seychelles, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba, Tunisia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Sint Maarten, Myanmar, Zambia, Kenya, Fiji, Nepal, the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea.

And even if you’re not headed to one of those places, it’s never a bad idea to check before you travel. Better safe than sorry, eh?

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