As Covid creeps up again across Europe, many countries are reimposing travel restrictions on neighbours.
As this happens, the map of Europe is being color-coded red, green and yellow.
Travelers on high-risk red lists are being shut out, either with total travel bans or quarantines. Those on green lists meantime have a green light to travel.
But n a sign of the times, Norway for example no longer ranks any zones as green in Europe or beyond.
Hungary First In EU To Reinstate Blanket Ban Foreigners
The most spectacular and controversial return to shutdown EU borders came with Hungary’s decision to add all countries to its red list from September 1.
Barely two months after reopening to Schengen travelers, it’s defying the bloc’s recommendations on internal borders and travel freedoms. The measures will stay in place at least until October 1. Recommended For You
- Europe Travel Ban: US Covid Cases Still Too High, What You Must Know
- Europe Travel: EU Urges Countries To Make Common Covid Test Rules, No Bans
- Europe Travel Ban: Malta Open To US Tourists, Everyone–What To Know
Green Lists Shrinking, Red Growing
Links to government restrictions are included in the country headings. See useful details on the Reopen Europe website too.
Belgium in early August added many parts of Romania, France and Spain to its red list. That means a total ban on non-essential travel to those places. Travelers returning must both quarantine and test on return.
- The current red list includes Andorra, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, many parts of Spain and France, and Scotland’s Aberdeen.
- Countries are divided in 3 categories: A (no restrictions), B (some), and C (no entry other than for citizens/residents).
- Banned C list countries include France, Luxembourg, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro.
- Germany, Norway, Hungary and Slovenia are among the A listers.
- B countries must show a Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours. They include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.
- Spain and Romania are the only two EU countries in the red category, with a negative Covid-19 test required on arrival in order to skip quarantine.
- All other EU/Schengen countries and the U.K. are in the low-risk green group and free to travel.
- Entry is prohibited to all non-Europeans bar the 10 countries on the EU safe country list.
- Travelers from high-risk Andorra, Belgium, Croatia, France, Luxembourg, Monaco, Malta, Romania, San Marino and Spain can no longer visit Denmark for tourism. Only for a “worthy purpose”.
- There are many exemptions for workers, couples and others.
Finland too has a red, green, yellow system, updated on August 24.
- Italy, Hungary and Slovenia are currently among the handful of welcome green countries.
- Most other EU/Schengen countries and the U.K. fall on the yellow list, allowing onlyessential travelers including workers to visit.
- Family members, parents, siblings, spouses and couples are among the exceptions.
- Almost all foreign tourists are now on Hungary’s Red List for a month.
- The government advises its citizens against travel to some 40 red list countries in Europe and overseas.
- Those who do must self-quarantine for 14 days, or until they can show two negative tests taken with a two day interval.
- Exemptions include transit passengers and Visgrad Group travelers (Poland, Czechia, Slovakia) with a negative Covid test taken within five days.
- The Green List just shrunk, even for Europeans. As of August 31, “normal precautions” and a green “security status rating” says the government, applies only to Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Slovakia.
- With the EU Covid seesaw, this could change at any time. The list is constantly under review.
Latvia’s red list was super-sized in past days.
- The list from the Latvian Centre for Disease Prevention and Controlshows red and yellow countries, with infections above the required threshold of 25 cases per 100,000.
- Some 25 European red list countries include Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. They are classified as a “Serious threat to public health”.
- Even those who transit these countries must quarantine on return. The state “discourages” travel to those places.
- The red list of countries grew on August 31, with travelers from Belarus, Italy, Slovenia and Slovakia now also facing mandatory self-isolation on arrival.
- Norway, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Hungary and Latvia are the only EU/Schengen countries on the green list, due to less than 16 cases/100,000 in the last 14 days. face no quarantine requirement.
The Dutch government zones countries for Covid as Yellow (OK) and Orange (not ok, quarantine required). “Foreign travellers from countries where the health risks are similar to or lower than in the Netherlands can enter for tourism,” it says.
- Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta, Romania , Spain, Monaco and various departments in France are on the orange list.
Norway has a red, green, yellow Covid map. Currently no country is marked as a restriction-free green zone. Many more Europeans were added to the “high transmission” risk red list on August 29.
- Red List: 10-day quarantine for travelers from France, Switzerland and Sweden since August 11. Now applies to most EU/Schengen arrivals–from Portugal to Poland–and to the U.K. The few exceptions include Hungary, Slovakia, Italy and Norway.
- Yellow list countries are exempt from quarantine, but the Norwegian Institute of Public Health still classifies them as “increased risk”.
- The government currently advises against all overseas travel.
Slovenia too has a color-coded system with green, yellow and red lists.
- Those in the green category like Canada and Australia can enter restriction-free.
- Red list countries with more than 40 Covid cases per 100,000 must quarantine for 14 days.
- The yellow list applies mostly to EU/Schengen citizens, who face no quarantine–provided they are not coming from a red destination.
The U.K. red list comes in the form of quarantine for a growing number of countries. The Czech Republic and Switzerland are among the latest Europeans to join others like France, Croatia and Austria who no longer enjoy a quarantine-free travel corridor with England.
I have three decades of experience as a journalist, foreign correspondent and travel writer-photographer. Working for print, digital and radio outlets on four continents, I am also a veteran hotel industry reporter and author of travel guides and cultural histories to Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Borneo. Very often on the road between my Paris and Australian bases, I write for Forbes with a globetrotters perspective and newsy edge on travel, culture, hotels, art and architecture. My passion is capturing the distinctive people, places and events I encounter along the way, both in words and pictures. I hold a degree in Professional Writing from Canberra University, an MA in European Journalism from the Université Robert Schuman Strasbourg, and am a member of the Society of American Travel Writers. A love for my wild home-island of Tasmania fuels my commitment to sustainable travel and conservation.