After weeks of lockdown, many European countries are opening their borders, with extra measures in place to ensure the health and well-being of tourists and locals alike. So before you pack your suitcases, here’s what you need to know for all your favourite destinations.


Italy

Italy was one of the first countries to reopen, allowing visitors as of 3 June. Quarantine on arrival is not required.

Face masks must be worn in all enclosed spaces, on public transport, and anywhere social distancing cannot be maintained.

Social distancing rules are in place throughout the country, so parks and beaches are open. Bars and eateries are allowed to operate with limits on the number of patrons, and with strict rules regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment by staff and customers.

Cultural attractions are open or preparing to open. The Leaning Tower of Pisa which opened at the beginning of June, and the Doge’s Palace in Venice which has welcomed visitors since 13 June.


France

France has been open to UK travellers since 15 June. However, in line with the UK’s quarantine mandate, visitors arriving in France from the UK are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

On public transport, use of a face mask is mandatory, and failure to comply could lead to a €135 fine. Shops and open-air markets are open, but some of these may require face masks to be worn.

Beaches, lakes, parks, and gardens are open. Other public spaces are also open, except where social distancing is not possible.

Bars and restaurants have been open since early June and are operating under “adapted health measures”.

The Palace of Versailles has been open since 6 June. Centre Pompidou is due to open on 1 July, and the Louvre will welcome visitors from 6 July.


Spain

Spain opened for travel from the UK as of 21 June, and not only the mainland, but the Canary Islands, Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca, and Menorca as well.

Although incoming travellers are not required to self-isolate, there is a “triple-check” procedure in place. This includes reporting their country of origin, registering for contactability and traceability, and submitting to a temperature check.

The use of face masks is mandatory for everyone over the age of 6, in all outdoor spaces, enclosed areas, and public transport. Not wearing a face mask in these areas may result in a fine of €100.

Many of the country’s major attractions, including the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao and Cordoba’s Mezquita-Catedral, have reopened, but social distancing and hygiene regulations remain in effect.


Portugal

While there is no confirmed opening date at the time of writing, it seems likely that Portugal will reach an “air bridge” agreement with the UK by the end of June.

Visitors entering the country via the “air bridge” will not be subject to self-quarantine, and will be free to travel within the territories of Portugal.

Travellers will be required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing in enclosed areas and when using public transport.

Beaches are open but at a reduced capacity. Cinemas and theatres are also operating at a reduced capacity. Bars and restaurants are open with additional measures in place, as are museums and cultural spaces.


Turkey

Turkey is provisionally set to open on 15 July. Travel within the country will be unrestricted. Although no quarantine period is required, incoming travellers may have their body temperature assessed by a thermal camera on entry.

In 47 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, the use of face masks is mandatory in all public spaces. This includes the major cities of Ankara, Bursa, and Istanbul.

Bars and restaurants, beaches, ancient sites, and museums have all reopened as of 1 June. Social distancing measures are in practice, and regular health checks are required for all staff.


The Rest

There are other options if none of the above tickled your fancy. Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland are all open to travel from the UK - with no quarantine requirement on entry.

 

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