• Fri. Jan 28th, 2022

Covid and EU travel, from green pass to quarantine: all the restrictions


Jan 13, 2022

The arrival of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 returns to make travel within the EU an obstacle course, even if, thanks to the Green Pass and anti-Covid vaccinations, getting around is a little less complicated than in winter 2020-21, when quarantines and double swabs fell for those who had to move to the Old Continent. The EU member countries that have unilaterally introduced additional travel restrictions, according to sources of the European Commission to which these measures must be notified in advance, are so far nine, in addition to Switzerland, which is not an EU country but is part of the Schengen area. and is an important transit hub for north-south communications. The restrictions are still in force, despite the epidemiological situation, from the point of view of infections, is substantially homogeneous (most of Europe, including Italy, is in red and dark red in the ECDC map) and despite the fact that testing is becoming increasingly more complicated in many countries, including Italy. Here are the restrictions in place in European countries, one by one. AUSTRIA – Vienna requires a molecular test (PCR) for all those entering the country, except for those who have received the third dose (or the second for those vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson). Those who are not vaccinated and are not cured must quarantine, as well as those who have not taken a test before departure. The measures apply until January 31st. Austria has also declared Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway as areas where variants of concern dominate, which is why all travelers from these three countries must quarantine, unless they have received the booster or are cured of Covid. -19 after finishing the first vaccination course, and have a negative test. BULGARIA – From 7 January all people coming from red zones must present a Green Pass and the negative result of a PCR test, done no more than 72 hours before arrival. The measurements are reviewed every week. CYPRUS – All passengers arriving by plane must take a PCR test after arrival, at a cost of € 15 each, starting December 1st. From 4th January, the PCR test must be done before and after arrival. There is also an additional quick test which must be done within 72 hours after arrival for those who have not yet taken the third dose. The measures are in effect until January 15th. DENMARK – The country that earned international press headlines on December 29 for having the highest rate of infections in the world (1,612 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) requires Pcr or rapid tests before departure for all travelers. The measure expires on January 17. FINLAND – Asks for tests before departure for the vaccinated and the recovered. Travel is prohibited for people who have not been vaccinated or recovered. The Commission is in contact with Helsinki on this measure, which expires on 16 January. GREECE – All people arriving must have a PCR test done no more than 72 hours before arrival or a quick test done no later than 24 hours before. The measures have been extended until 24 January. ITALY – Our country, which registers about 200 thousand new positives every day, asks all passengers arriving from the EU to take a test (PCR no later than 48 hours before arrival, quick no later than 24 hours before). Unvaccinated people must do a 5-day quarantine. The measures have been in effect since December 16 and will expire on January 31. PORTUGAL – Asks those with a vaccination certificate to take a test before entering the country (not valid for the recovered). The measure was extended until 9 February. SWEDEN – Anyone who is not a Swedish citizen must show a certificate attesting the negative result of a test upon arrival in the country, regardless of the state of origin, and regardless of the possession of a certificate of vaccination or recovery. The Commission is in contact with Stockholm on this measure, which does not foresee a deadline. SWITZERLAND – Bern has announced that it requires all those who arrive to take a test (PCR 72 hours before, quick 24 hours before). For those who are not vaccinated or not cured, a second PCR test is mandatory 4-7 days after arrival. The Commission, faced with the unilateral and inhomogeneous measures taken by the nation states, has a substantially soft attitude, putting pressure on the countries that have adopted the most discriminatory measures, such as Sweden. In fact, in the face of a pandemic, the EU cannot use a heavy hand, aware that the protection of public health is a ‘hard power’, the prerogative of sovereign states and not of the Commission, to which ‘soft power’ is reserved. The strictly health utility of all these restrictions appears doubtful, according to what the Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides said in the college of 2 December 2020, when moving to Europe was almost impossible. At that meeting, Cypriot politics stressed that, “even if there is no evidence that travelers are a high risk factor as regards the spread of the virus – reports the minutes consulted and published at the time by Adnkronos – the member states are nevertheless subjected to significant political pressure to demonstrate that they are taking effective measures to limit its spread. “

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