Latest travel restrictions for Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany
Travellers have found themselves left in the lurch for a second year running after France imposed a ban on UK travellers earlier this month. As of December 18, travellers wishing to enter France now need an essential reason for their trip, with the exception of French nationals, residents or hauliers. The rules, imposed in a bid to curb the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of Covid-19, have hit skiing holiday hopefuls especially hard, and they will now be seeking alternative arrangements.
: Truck slams into wing of passenger jet waiting to take off at Heathrow Airport As well as France, a number of other European countries, including skiing hotspots Austria and Switzerland, have followed suit and tightened up travel restrictions in recent days.
European countries are tightening up their entry requirements in light of the Omicron variant (Image: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Here are the latest travel restrictions for Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany:
As of Christmas Day, Austria has cracked down on arrivals from the UK due to the rapid rise of Omicron infections in the country, with Austrian authorities ‘rigorously enforcing’ the rules, according to the Foreign Office. Anyone who can provide proof of a booster jab on top of two previous Covid vaccinations (using the NHS Covid Pass) can still enter the country without needing to quarantine – but will still need a negative PCR test within the 48 hours prior to travelling.
Alternatively, if you are double jabbed without a booster, but have recovered from Covid in the last 180 days, you can also enter Austria, provided you can show certification of your recovery. Children under 12 are exempt from the new measures. Meanwhile, teenagers over the age of 15 – born before September 1, 2006 – travelling into Austria from the UK need to be fully vaccinated and have received the third booster jab and also need a negative PCR test within 48 hours.
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New restrictions have similarly been introduced in Switzerland as pressure grows on Swiss hospitals amid the spread of Omicron. Anyone 16 and over must show the negative result of a PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to entry, or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours prior to entry. A second test taken four to seven days after entering the country is also required, unless you are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19.
You are eligible to enter Switzerland for any travel purpose if you are fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR (not older than 72 hours or lateral flow test (not older than 24 hours) test on boarding. Fully vaccinated or recovered travellers no longer have to take day 4 and 7 tests.
Italy will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record as the equivalent to a ‘green pass’. This means if you travel from the UK and can demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated, you can enter Italy without needing to self-isolate.
However, you will need to how evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours before entering Italy, or a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours before entering Italy. The UK government website also warns that regardless of vaccination status, anyone arriving in Italy by air, land or by sea may be subject to random Covid testing on arrival until January 31. More rules apply for unvaccinated passengers wishing to enter Italy – they can be viewed here.
Children under 18 do not need to quarantine if they are travelling with a fully vaccinated parent and have a negative PCR or antigen test, and children under the age of six are exempt from testing.
As of December 19, the UK is a designated ‘virus variant area’ according to German restrictions, which means tourists cannot be transported into Germany, with some exceptions. Carriers such as airlines are restricted to transporting a narrow range of individuals from the UK to Germany, including British citizens who are resident in Germany, and German citizens. As of December 22, travellers from virus variant areas into Germany must have a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arriving, regardless of vaccination status – rapid-antigen tests or other tests no longer permitted.
As of December 19, all permitted travellers arriving in Germany from the UK must also quarantine at home for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status.
Children under six are exempt from testing, but must still quarantine.
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