Travel Changes Across Europe

We take a look at some of the latest changes to travel restrictions across Europe.

Cyprus

Cyprus has moved the following countries from the red, high risk, category, to its orange list:

  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Uruguay

Arrivals from these countries now only need to present a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours.

Czech Republic

Travellers to the Czech Republic from Lithuania will now be obliged to following a double testing requirement and quarantine for 5 days on arrival. This comes as arrivals from France, Spain, Monaco and the Netherlands have been moved to the medium risk, orange category. Travellers from these countries are required to complete the passenger locator form and receive a PCR, or antigen test no more than 5 days after their arrival.

These restrictions do not apply to fully vaccinated or fully recovered travellers.

Ireland

Ireland has dropped the mandatory hotel quarantine requirement for non-vaccinated travellers arriving from outside the EU+ zone, and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. These arrivals are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival in Ireland.

If you have received the full dose of an approved vaccine, or have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 180 quarantine is not required.

Germany

Germany has moved the following countries onto its ‘high risk area’ list:

  • Ethiopia
  • Burundi
  • New Caledonia (French overseas territory)
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Slovenia

The following areas are no longer considered high risk:

  • France – the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region
  • Japan
  • Senegal

>> EU Travel Restriction Changes

Norway

Norway has gradually started making some travel changes by easing its stringent restrictions. Starting this week, quarantine requirements will be dropped for travellers from green and orange category areas. Those arriving from red, dark red, purple, and grey countries will still be subject to a 10-day self-quarantine, although this can be shortened with a negative PCR test taken no sooner than 3 days after arrival.

Sweden

Travellers from the following non-EU/EEA countries who have a valid vaccination certificate do not need to present a negative PCR test on arrival in Sweden:

• Albania 
• Andorra 
• The Faroe Islands 
• Israel 
• Morocco 
• Monaco 
• Northern Macedonia
• Panama
• San Marino
• Switzerland
• Turkey
• Ukraine
• Vatican City State

The certificate must be more than 14 days old.

Travel restrictions can change quickly, and with little notice. All travellers are advised to check their trips in advance of travel.

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Travel to Austria: What you need to know

Whether you’re thinking of doing some autumnal hiking, or planning ahead to the ski season, this is what you need to know to travel to Austria.

Austria is open for visitors from low risk countries and all other countries not considered very high risk. Travellers from very high risk countries can only travel to Austria for essential reasons. These countries are currently: Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Suriname and Zimbabwe.

Travellers from all other countries need to present one of the following:

  • A negative PCR test result (no older than 72 hours)
  • Vaccination certificate of an approved vaccine.
  • Certificate of recovery no older than 180 days
  • Positive antibody test no older than 90 days

A 10 day quarantine is mandatory for unvaccinated arrivals and those without a recovery certificate when travelling from medium risk countries. These travellers must also pre-register before their trip.

In Austria

Austria’s sites are open to visitors, as are restaurants, bars, hotels, museums, and other attractions. Almost all indoor and some outdoor public spaces require you to present either a negative Covid-19 test, or proof of vaccination or recovery. From the 15th of September the following rules apply:

  • Antigen tests only valid for 24 hours as entry tests for restaurants, hotels etc. (this does not apply to entering the country)
  • FFP2 masks (instead of regular face masks) required for everyone on public transport, in cable cars, and essential businesses such as supermarkets, chemists, petrol stations, banks
  • FFP2 masks required in all shops and museums for those that are not vaccinated or have recovered from COVID
  • Proof of vaccination, past infection, or negative test required for events and gatherings of 25 people and more

Children under the age of 14 do not need to wear a mask.

Out and About

You are allowed to eat and sleep in the mountain huts, if you are planning a hiking holiday to Austria. An ‘entry test’ is a requirement however, as these huts follow the same rules as restaurants. An entry test is either, proof of vaccination or recovery, or a recent negative Covid-19 test result.

Cable cars are back up and running. Masks are a requirement, and booking in advance is advised as there are capacity limits.

>> Outdoor Travel: Our Top Picks

Spas, wellness centres, gyms and swimming pools are operational. As with restaurants and other venues, proof of vaccination, or recovery, or a negative PCR test are required for entry. You do not need to wear a mask in these establishments.

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The EU Recognizes Digital Certificates From More Countries

The EU Digital COVID Certificate entered into circulation in July of this year. The system, that allows users to store their vaccine, recovery, and testing details on their phones, is designed to facilitate travel both across the EU and within EU countries. The EU is now recognizing the digital certificates of a number of third party countries.

What is an EU Digital Covid Certificate and how do I get one?

The digital certificate acts as proof that the user has either been vaccinated by a vaccine approved by the EMA, has recovered and has a certificate issued by a medical authority, or, has received a recent negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours. Each user receives a unique QR code, which can either be stored on their phones, or printed out and kept as a hard copy. Additional information included on in the system are personal details such as your full name, date of birth, and the date the certificate was issued. The system is secure, free of charge, and valid in all EU countries.

The digital certificate should be issued by your country’s health authorities. Either through testing centres, medical institutes or, online e-health portals, such as an official Covid-19 website. In the case of a minor, parents can either store their testing/recovery information on their own profiles, or the child can have their own.

>> Applying for a French Vaccine Certificate for non-EU Visitors

Which digital certificates are recognized by the EU?

Aside from the 27 EU member states, the certificates from the following countries, regions, and principalities are also recognized by the digital certificate system:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • The Faroe Islands
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Morocco
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Vatican City
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The US Issues Travel Warnings for More Countries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA has issued risk level travel warnings for a number of countries thanks to rising case numbers.

CDC Travel Warnings

The CDC monitors Covid-19 case numbers per capita and issues travel warnings and advisories based on these figures. Countries can fall into one of four levels. These are:

  • Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ – Covid-19 levels are considered to be very high, and travellers avoid visiting these countries. If travel is essential, then the CDC advises being fully vaccinated.
  • Level 3 – High levels of Covid-19 cases have been recorded in these destinations, and nonessential travel for unvaccinated people is not advised.
  • Level 2 – Moderate levels of Covid-19 cases. Travellers should take all precautions, and preferably only travel if fully vaccinated.
  • Level 1 – Low levels of Covid-19 have been recorded in these countries, however the CDC still advises all travellers to be fully vaccinated before their trip.

>>US Travellers Face Restrictions from these EU Countries

What Has Changed?

The CDC has recently added the following countries to the very high risk, ‘Do Not Travel‘ list:

  • Albania
  • Belize
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Israel
  • Lithuania
  • Mauritius
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia

Other popular destinations already on the Level Four list are: Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, France, Iceland, Thailand, and Greece.

The following countries have been added to the CDC’s Level Three ‘high risk‘ list:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Ethiopia
  • Romania

This is a positive sign for Brazil as its risk level has been decreased from level 4. These countries join a number of Caribbean destinations already on the list, including, but not limited to, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos and Bermuda.

>>EU Travel Restriction Changes

Newly added to the CDC’s Level 2, ‘moderate risk‘ list are:

  • Slovakia
  • The Dominican Republic

There have been no new additions to the Level 1, low risk list. Currently on the low risk list are holiday destinations such as Hungary, Madagascar, New Caledonia, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

Travel warnings can be issued and changed at any moment. All travellers are advised to check their routes before booking a trip.

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EU Travel Restriction Changes

EU travel restrictions change rapidly, we take a look at the latest updates.

Austria

Austria has removed the following countries from its ‘safe’ list:

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Brunei
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kosovo
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Serbia
  • Thailand
  • United States

Arrivals from these countries must now present either, a negative PCR test result, proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery. Travellers who can show proof of vaccination or recovery do not need to registered for pre-travel clearance. Unvaccinated arrivals are required to self-isolate for 10 days.

As from the 15th of September 2021, the following are considered areas of variants of concern:

  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Suriname
  • Zimbabwe

Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Uruguay have been removed from this list. Travellers who have been in one of these countries in the 10 days prior to travel will not be allowed to enter Austria. Exemptions such as for Austrian residents and citizens, are in place.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from all testing and vaccination requirements.

>> US Travellers Face Restrictions from these EU Countries

Belgium

From the 11th of September, Belgium has placed the following EU/Schengen regions on its red list, indicating a higher epidemiological risk:

  • Croatia: Adriatic Croatia, City of Zagreb, North Croatia
  • Norway: Trøndelag
  • Caribbean Netherlands: Bonaire

Germany

Germany has removed the following regions and countries from it’s high-risk list:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Ecuador
  • France – the regions Corsica, Occitanie and the overseas department Réunion
  • Greece – the regions Crete and South Aegean
  • Namibia
  • Oman
  • Paraguay
  • Peru

New high-risk areas that have been added to the high-risk list this week are:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Grenada
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway – the counties Oslo and Viken

Travellers who have been in a high-risk area within 10 days before entering Germany are required to quarantine for 10 days on arrival (at home). Travellers with proof of either vaccination or recovery do not need to quarantine.

All arrivals over the age of 12 must carry with them either: a negative PCR test result; a vaccine certificate; a recovery certificate.

Greece

In Greece, domestic travel on planes, trains, busses now requires all passengers over the age of 12 to provide one of the following:

  • Proof of full vaccination certificate which was issued no sooner than 14 days prior to travel
  • Proof of recovery certificate valid within the last 6 months
  • Negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before the scheduled time of arrival in their destination
  • A rapid antigen detection test taken within 48 hours before the scheduled time of arrival in their destination

Minors between the ages of 4 and 11 can have a self-test which is free-of-charge and provided by the state.

Spain

Spain has placed the whole of France on its high risk list. This list is valid until the 19th of September. Arrivals from France are required to present either a negative PCR test, or certificates of either vaccination or recovery.

EU travel restrictions are constantly changing, so we advise travellers to double check the requirements before their trip.

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Travel to Europe: Where can UK travellers go?

Travel to Europe became trickier as the UK left the EU, and currently, Covid-19 restrictions are making it a bit harder still. Where can UK travellers visit without quarantine? Where can non-vaccinated travellers travel to? We take a look.

Which countries require quarantine for non-vaccinated UK travellers?

UK travellers are allowed to visit Austria. All travellers must complete the online pre-travel registration form – this must be done no earlier than 72 hours before travel. Additionally, passengers are required to present on arrival, either: proof of full vaccination certificate; a recovery certificate no older than 180 days; or a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours; or a rapid antigen test no older than 48 hours

Non-vaccinated travellers are required to quarantine for 10 days in their residence or location of their choice. They can leave quarantine if they test negative from day 5 of their trip.

Vaccinated and recovered UK travellers can also visit the Czech Republic and do not face any quarantine, or testing requirements. Vaccinated arrivals must present proof of a full dose of an approved vaccine administered no earlier than 14 days before arrival. Recovered arrivals are required to present a recovery certificate that is no older than 180 days.

Non-vaccinated travellers are required to take a PCR test no sooner than 5 days and no later than 14 days after arrival. Self-isolation is required until a negative test result is received

Cyprus is open to vaccinated and recovered travellers from the UK. Vaccinated travellers are exempt from restrictions provided they have received a double dose (or single, in the case of J&J) of an approved vaccine which was administered in an approved country. All passengers must complete the registration form, and receive the CyprusFlyPass within 48 hours of their departure to the country.

Non-vaccinated travellers are required to present a test, and be tested again on arrival. Self-isolation is needed until a negative test result is obtained.

Only essential travel to France is allowed for non-vaccinated travellers from the UK. These arrivals are required to have a negative PCR test, and pledge to self-isolate for 7 days. If you are vaccinated, then you are allowed to travel to France without any restrictions, provided you present proof of full vaccination.

Countries with no quarantine requirements

UK travellers don't face quarantine restrictions when visiting Portugal
UK travellers don’t face quarantine requirements when travelling to Portugal

Greece does not require any UK travellers to self-isolate on arrival, regardless of their vaccination or recovery status. If you haven’t been vaccinated, or don’t have a recovery certificate then you are required to present either a PCR, or an antigen test on arrival.

If you present either, vaccination or recovery certificates, or a negative test result taken in the last 48 hours, then self-isolation isn’t needed when entering Italy from the UK. A Passenger Locator Form must be completed prior to arrival.

The same rules apply to UK travellers wanting to visit Ireland. If a negative test result is used for entry, then it must be a PCR test no older than 72 hours. If you are travelling with a recovery certificate, then it cannot be less than 11 and more than 180 days old.

Portugal and Spain are open to travellers from the UK. Those not travelling with a vaccine certificate are required to provide a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours. The Portuguese authorities require all arrivals to complete the Passenger Locator Card. Prior to travelling to Spain, all passengers need to complete the Health Control Form and receive the QR code.

>>Travel to Spain: Everything you need to know

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How SafeScore Helps Airports Recover

Airports are in trouble. The strong recovery needed to overcome the hurdles put in place by the pandemic is being hurt by a number of factors. Confusion and chaos are reigning king and queen, and not giving travellers the confidence to put their money towards international holidays that they aren’t guaranteed of getting. SafeScore is here to change this.

Chaos at Airports

Re-opening for tourism was never going to be smooth sailing. However, the ease of re-opening might have been underestimated as has been illustrated at a number of airports in recent weeks. Dublin Airport had to issue an apology at the end of August as passengers were required to wait in queues for over 2 hours. Over 100 passengers missed their flights as a result.

In Heathrow International Airport, travellers reported queuing times of over four hours. In fact, the queues were so long, and so poorly managed that some passengers even fainted. The same scene appeared to play out in other airports across the United Kingdom.

In Malaga Airport, in Spain, some passengers reportedly took out their frustration at the long waiting times by knocking down the barriers in the arrivals terminal.

And, in each of these cases, social distancing rules weren’t followed, and there was often little access to food and water.

Why is this happening?

Travel requirements and restrictions are a minefield of confusing, ambiguous, and often misleading information.

Passengers aren’t arriving at the airport with the correct documents, and often aren’t meeting key requirements. Some travellers are denied boarding as they didn’t receive the correct tests. In most cases, customers haven’t completed forms that are recommended to be filled in at home. Why? Because they didn’t know they had to. In Ireland alone, it was reported that two passengers were being denied travel every two hours thanks to incorrect travel information and documentation.

A lack of access to clear, concise, and up-to-date information is one cause to blame for this. In many cases, there is no clear point of contact for the aviation industry to communicate government mandates to its customers. Airport and airline staff, are expected to know specific requirements for exiting, and entering numerous destinations. They haven’t been given the correct tools for the job.

Checking travel details like these take time, and it’s a labourious task – leading to even longer queues. Sometimes airports have been given incorrect information, which they convey to the passengers. SafeScore’s CEO experienced this himself – luckily, he had the correct data to hand.

In fact, UK watchdog, Which? released a study highlighting just how many UK airlines were giving their passengers incorrect, incomplete, or unclear travel information. And, if the passenger fails to meet the requirements at the airport, there is no recourse for a refund – hardly an enticing prospect for a would-be customer.

Travellers are facing delayed flights, and missed flights thanks to chaos at airports

Damaging Recovery

So, how are the queues, and information stumbling blocks hurting airports and airlines?

Queues are the unpleasant reality of the modern world – but when they lead to fines, refunds, and loss of customers, they become a different beast. Whether it’s the airlines facing hefty fines for exceeding their allotted time on the tarmac, or the compensation paid to customers, or irate customers posting on social media, the damage is clear in every corner.

How we Help

SafeScore provides clear, up-to-date, and reliable travel information.

We have all the data airports and airlines need to ensure smoother transitions, and improve the customer experience. Some of the important data points we include are, child PCR testing ages, locator form information, specific vaccine requirements, and more. We are origin and destination-specific, so we tailor our data according to the routes required.

Our API packages are customisable, and our products are concise, and easy to use. We know how long it can take to find the correct information in a government website – nobody wants to queue for that. This is why we’ve made everything straightforward, and accessible with just a few clicks.

Let’s help the travel industry recover, together.

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Cambodia Looks to November for Tourism re-Opening

As the vaccine rollout strengthens, Cambodia is, at last, looking towards re-opening its borders for tourism.

The Cambodian ministry of tourism announced plans to relax travel restrictions for foreigners from November. To further entice tourists, the country is also looking at reducing its current quarantine time of 14-days, or, even removing it entirely. At this stage, it appears that the re-opening plan will only permit fully vaccinated travellers to visit the country. As yet, no further details have been announced.

Cambodia is rapidly outpacing its neighbours in the vaccination race – according to figures from Our World in Data, the country has vaccinated 54,6% of its population. Thailand, and Vietnam are lagging behind with 11,2% and 3,6% respectively. It’s no surprise then, that these positive numbers have brought the possibility of re-opening to leisure travel to the fore. In fact, Cambodia’s vaccine rollout has been so fast-paced, it’s the second highest in Southeast Asia, beaten only by Singapore, which is currently at 79,1% of the population vaccinated. Currently, Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh is the most vaccinated city in Southeast Asia. The country’s goal is to reach herd immunity by the end of September when roughly 75% of the population will have received both jabs.

>> Ethical Travelling in a Covid World

Phnom Penh has amongst the highest vaccination rates in the world

When to visit?

For foreigners eager to explore the temples of Angkor Wat, or kick back on a beautiful beach, then Cambodia‘s re-opening couldn’t be better timed. The wet season tends to run between May and October, so by then, the seasonal monsoon cycle should be over. The dry season runs from November to April, and December and January are the coolest months. With daily average temperatures sitting in the mid-20oC’s the end of the year is ideal for a beach escape. So, whether you want to snooze on the beaches of Saracen Bay, or hack through the rainforests in the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia will soon be a bucket-list possibility once more.

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US Travellers Face Restrictions From These EU Countries

The United States of America has been added to many high-risk lists across the European continent. We take a look at the new restrictions US travellers face when visiting Europe.

Belgium

In accordance with EU recommendations, Belgium has has tightened restrictions for US visitors. Travellers from the US who want to visit Belgium for non-essential reasons need to provide proof of a vaccination certificate.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria moved the US on to its red list on the 1st of September. Consequently, travellers from the US, regardless of their vaccination status, can only enter Bulgaria if they fall into specific exemption categories. These include, Belgian citizens and residents, those with student visas, and those travelling for humanitarian reasons.

Germany

Germany put the US on its ‘high-risk’ list in August. This means that only fully vaccinated travellers, or those who fall into specific exemption categories can travel to Germany.

>> Travel Changes Across the EU

Italy

US travellers to Italy are now required to undergo 5 days of self-isolation if they do not have either and full vaccination certificate, or, a proof of recovery certificate. The certificate must be recognized by the governing authorities, and if for vaccinations, must be one of the EU’s accepted vaccines, which are:

  • Comirnaty from Pfizer-BioNtech
  • Moderna
  • Vaxzevria
  • Jansen (Johnson & Johnson)
Buildings reflect in the waters of a canal in Amsterdam
US travellers face tighter restrictions from some EU countries such as the Netherlands

The Netherlands

As of the 4th of September, The Netherlands has designated the USA and a very high-risk area. Travellers from America will not be allowed to enter the Netherlands if they are not vaccinated or do not fall into one of the exemption categories. All arrivals from the US need to quarantine for 10 days on arrival, and submit a negative test result, regardless of vaccination or recovery status.

Norway

Norway is not permitting travellers from the United States to enter its borders, unless they fall into an exemption category. From the 12th of September, residents in the United States, with a relation to one of the can visit Norway:

  • Adult children and stepchildren, including parents and stepparents to adult children/stepchildren
  • Grandparents, step-grandparents, grandchildren, and step-grandchildren
  • Girlfriends/boyfriends over the age of 18 and their minor children

Spain

Spain has removed the US from its restriction-free travel list. Travellers to Spain from America now have to provide proof of full vaccination no less than 14 days old. Or check to see if they fall into one of the other exemption categories.

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Travel Changes Across the EU

Aside from re-imposing travel bans on travellers from the US, the EU and the EEA have experienced several travel changes this week. We take a look at what’s new.

Cyprus

Travellers from Norway, Slovenia, and Canada have been placed on the high risk, red list. This means they need to provide a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours prior to arrival, and be tested again once in Cyprus at their own cost.

Romania and Kuwait have been moved from the green list to the orange, which means these arrivals must present a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours.

Saudi Arabia has moved from the orange to the green list which means PCR testing is no longer a requirement.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has scrapped it’s ‘extreme risk’ black list of countries. Countries on this list have moved to the ‘dark red’ list, and are considered very high risk. The only European country currently on this list is Ireland. Cyprus, the Netherlands, Norway, San Marino and Slovenia have been moved to the red list, and Romania and the Azores have been moved to the orange list.

Travellers from most countries outside of the EU are only permitted to enter the Czech Republic for essential reasons. Unvaccinated travellers and those who have not recovered from Covid-19 in the last 180 days and are arriving from risk, or high risk countries, need to provide a negative PCR test on arrival, receive another test on day 5, and self-isolate until a negative result is received. These travel changes have been in effect since the beginning of September.

Estonia

Unvaccinated travellers from Bulgaria, Norway, San Marino and Slovenia are now required to undergo a 10-day self-isolation on arrival in Estonia. These countries have been added to Estonia’s red list. Restrictions do not apply to travellers who have proof of recovering from Covid-19 within the last 180 days.

Finland

Travellers from Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Taiwan can travel to Finland without facing any restrictions. Restrictions have been reinstated for traveller from Australia, Brunei, and Ukraine. Non-vaccinated travellers from these three countries can only enter Finland if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Returning to Finland
  • Returning to another EU or Schengen country
  • Are in transit through Finland
  • Are entering Finland for essential reasons

Germany

Germany has made some travel changes by adding the following countries to its ‘high risk’ list:

  • Albania
  • Azerbaijan
  • Guatemala
  • Japan
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Serbia
  • Sri Lanka

Kuwait is no longer considered high risk, and has been removed from the list. Travellers from countries on the high risk list must provide either proof of vaccination, or recovery, or undergo a 14-day at home quarantine.

Italy

Travellers from Brazil, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka will face stricter rules on arrival in Italy. Travel from these countries is only permitted for Italian citizen and residents, those studying in Italy, or those travelling to their minor child, spouse, or civil partner living in Italy. Those travellling from Brazil can do so if their provide proof to the government of the imperative need for their trip.

Lithuania

Unvaccinated travellers from Croatia and Slovenia are now required to undergo a 10-day self-isolation and present a negative PCR test on arrival in Lithuania. Travellers who can provide proof of recovery are exempt from quarantine requirements.

Norway

Norway has removed Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and the USA from its ‘safe’ Third Party country travel list in accordance with EU Council recommendations. Travellers from these countries will no longer be exempt from quarantine requirements, or benefit from lighter restrictions.

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