With many European countries easing restrictions to make tourism possible again, the European hospitality sector is finally recovering. However, if some countries have relaxed their Covid-19 measures, others are imposing new restrictions and entry rules because of the surge of delta variant cases. As regulations in each country can change daily, tourists, tour operators, hotel and restaurant owners have to be ready to adjust to new policies.
On 8 October 2021, the Council of the European Union updated the list of third countries for which Covid-19 travel restrictions should be lifted. As of today, most European countries are open for tourists coming from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, China, Jordan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay. Conversely, US citizens, who have been able to travel to Europe for a long time, have now to comply with stricter rules. Meanwhile, US authorities have announced that the country will reopen its borders for vaccinated visitors from the EU and the UK starting from November. Similarly, the UK announced in the beginning of October that fully vaccinated people coming from countries not included on its red list could enter without any restriction.
On its website, the European Commission periodically updates information on EU travel measures, including information on the EU Digital Covid Certificate. Additionally, through the Reopen EU Platform or the Reopen EU Smartphone App, the European Union provides detailed information about testing requirements, quarantine rules in the EU member states and Schengen countries.
To offer a clear overview of the epidemiological situation in each member state, the EU has created a Covid traffic light system which employs three colors (red, orange, and green) to denote high-, medium- and low-risk areas in the union.
Additionally, to make movements across EU countries easier, the entire union has adopted a Digital Covid Certificate. The certificate, which is issued by test centers and health authorities, shows that a person has either been fully vaccinated, tested negative for Covid-19 or recovered from the virus. The digital certificate was launched on July 1st. However, still today, vaccinations from outside the EU are not accepted and only vaccination records performed by an authorized body within the European Union can be logged on the certificate.