Omicron variant effect, travel tests are back in the EU

Not only Italy, additional restrictions in 7 countries. Also tight in Switzerland

Omicron variant effect of covid on travel to Europe, with new restrictions and mandatory tampons also for vaccinated. In fact, Italy is not isolated in providing for travelers from other EU countries to carry out tests, even for those immunized against the coronavirus. So far, faced with the increase in Sars-CoV-2 positives caused by the Delta variant and the prospect of having to deal with Omicron, seven EU countries have also provided additional restrictions for holders of valid Green Passes. To these must be added Switzerland, which is not part of the EU but which is an important transit country for those traveling to Europe by land.

The possibility of introducing additional restrictions also for the vaccinated was provided for in the regulation, which entered into force last summer, which established the Green Pass, as an emergency brake to be activated in the event that worrying variants have appeared, which is precisely the Omicron. Here is a brief overview of the restrictions notified to the Commission to date.

AUSTRIA – Vienna informed the European Commission over the weekend that it had activated the emergency brake until January 31, 2022, ahead of the onset of the Omicron variant. Vienna asks travelers to show either a negative PCR (molecular) test, or proof of having received the third dose of vaccine, as well as a certificate attesting to completion of the first vaccination course or recovery from Covid. There are exceptions, including for cross-border commuters. Restrictions apply from now until January 31st.

GERMANY – Berlin has not yet notified the Commission of additional travel restrictions.

ITALY – Rome requires tests for all travelers from other EU countries, vaccinated or not. The molecular test (Pcr) must be done no more than 48 hours before arrival, the quick unsanitary test no more than 24 hours before. Unvaccinated people must do a 5-day quarantine. The measures apply from 16 December 2021 to 31 January 2022. Italy notified the measures to the Commission on 15 December last.

GREECE – Athens asks all arriving travelers to submit a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, or a quick test no later than 24 hours before arrival. The measures have been applied since yesterday, December 19th.

PORTUGAL – Lisbon asks all travelers entering the country with a Covid vaccination certificate to show the result of a test carried out before entering. The obligation does not apply to healed people. The provisions apply from 1 December 2021 to 10 January 2022.

LATVIA – Vilnius screens some arriving planes and requests a free test after arrival, Measurements apply until December 26th.

IRELAND – Dublin asks all arriving travelers to take a test before departure. For those who hold an EU digital Covid certificate (Green Pass) certifying vaccination or recovery, both molecular and rapid tests are accepted. Anyone who does not have a valid Green Pass for vaccination or recovery must take a PCR test.

SWEDEN – Stockholm recommends that all travelers, including Swedish citizens, take a test after arrival. This is not an obligation, but only a recommendation.

SWISS – The Confederation requires all who arrive to be tested (Pcr 72 hours before arrival, express 24 hours before). For unvaccinated and unhealed people, a second PCR test is mandatory 4-7 days after arrival.