Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: European countries continue to enforce travel restrictions, conduct enhanced screenings as of March 11 due to COVID-19.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • Armenia
  • Georgia
  • Azerbaijan
  • United Kingdom

This alert began 12 Mar 2020 21:35 GMT and is scheduled to expire 12 Apr 2020 23:00 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions and health screenings
  • Location(s): Europe (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite as of March 12
  • Impact: Flight and border crossing disruptions; possible longer immigration wait times, quarantine measures

Summary
Governments in Europe have further intensified travel and other restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Although specific measures vary by country, the following procedures were in effect as of March 11:

  • Albania: Educational establishments nationwide closed for 14 days March 9. Flights and ferry services to northern Italy have been suspended. Travelers arriving from Italy are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Armenia: Authorities have suspended visa-free travel for Chinese nationals. All land borders with Iran have been closed until March 24. Scheduled flights to and from Iran have been suspended, with the exception of those allowing Armenian and Iranian citizens to return to their home countries. Enhanced health screenings are underway at all points of entry.
  • Austria: Authorities have temporarily barred entry to persons traveling from Italy; the measure will not apply to travelers in possession of a health certificate declaring them to be free of the virus.
  • Azerbaijan: All flights between Baku and Tehran have been suspended, and flights to mainland China could face disruptions. Enhanced health screening is in operation at ports of entry. Authorities have suspended visa-free travels for Chinese nationals. All land borders with Iran have been closed for two weeks from Feb. 29. Disruptions to flights connecting with Turkey, as well as along the Turkish border in Naxcivan, are possible at short notice.
  • Czech Republic: Officials have announced a 30-day nationwide state of emergency March 12. The measures will include entry restrictions at the country's land borders with Austria and Germany, as well as the temporary barring of travelers entering the country from Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Some cross-border workers, as well as foreign nationals with Czech residency, will not be affected. In addition, the state of emergency includes a ban on gatherings of more than 30 people and the closure of public facilities, including sports centers and educational establishments. Restaurants in shopping malls will cease operations, while food and drink establishments elsewhere will reportedly be required to close by 2000.
  • Denmark: All kindergartens, schools, and universities will be closed from March 13. In addition, authorities have banned all gatherings of more than 100 people through at least March 31
  • France: Gatherings of more than 1,000 people have been banned. Schools and universities throughout the country will be closed indefinitely from March 16.
  • Georgia: Authorities have suspended travel to Iran and Italy. Land borders are closed to Iranian goods and vehicles. Enhanced health screening is in operation at ports of entry. Flights to and from China remain suspended until at least March 29. Foreign travelers who have been in Iran in the past 14 days or China in the past 21 days will be denied entry. Authorities may quarantine Georgian residents arriving from these countries for at least 14 days.
  • Greece: Educational facilities nationwide closed for 14 days March 10.
  • Ireland: As of March 12 until at least March 29, officials in Ireland have ordered the closures of all universities, schools, and childcare facilities. In addition, authorities have advised against indoor gatherings of over 100 people, and outdoor gatherings of over 500 people.
  • Italy: All flights to and from China and Iran remain suspended indefinitely. Local movement restrictions in Italy are detailed in our separate alert.
  • Lithuania: Lithuanian authorities have ordered from March 13-27 the closures of all kindergartens, schools, and universities. In addition, authorities have banned air travel to Italy starting March 13, and from Italy starting March 16. Authorities will also close sport, leisure, and entertainment venues throughout the country.
  • Netherlands: Authorities have banned events of more than 100 people March 12-31.
  • Norway: Authorities haveclosed all kindergartens, schools, and universities indefinitely from March 12. In addition, authorities have mandated a 14 day self-quarantine for travelers that have arrived to Norway from anywhere other than Scandinavia since Feb. 27. Authorities will also close sport, leisure, and entertainment venues throughout the country.
  • Poland: Educational facilities nationwide will close from March 16-25.
  • Portugal: All passenger flights to and from Italy were suspended for 14 days March 11.
  • Romania: Educational facilities closed nationwide March 11 until at least March 22. Flights and overland public transport connecting with northern Italy has been suspended until March 31. Travelers arriving from China, Iran, South Korea, or the Italian regions of Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia Romagna, are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Travelers who have visited certain designated outbreak hotspots in China, Italy, or South Korea could be placed into institutional quarantine. Authorities have banned public gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
  • Slovenia: Authorities announced partial closure of the border with Italy by March 16. Authorities have introduced restrictions on public gatherings of more than 500 people. The following border crossings will remain open subject to heightened health screenings: Ratece border crossing, Robic-Stupizza border crossing, Gorizia-Vrtojba border crossing, Fernetti-Sezana border crossing, Kozina border crossing, Skofije border crossing.
  • Slovakia: Authorities have ordered the closures of all airports in the country for passenger travel from March 13; freight and private planes will not be affected. Authorities have additionally suspended all international travel to the country for nonresidents; all Slovak citizens returning from abroad will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine. Any end date for these measures remains unclear. Authorities will also close all school and universities for 14 days starting March 16. Authorities also plan to close sport, leisure, and entertainment venues, and will close all shopping centers the weekend of March 14.
  • Switzerland: Flights to and from mainland China remain suspended until March 28, and reduced flights are operating to and from Italy; in particular, flights connecting with northern Italy are suspended. Authorities have banned all gatherings of more than 1,000 participants, including demonstrations, public events, and major sporting events, until at least March 15. Some cities, including Bern, have banned smaller public gatherings.
  • Spain: Authorities close schools in Madrid and Basque Country. Suspension on all events for more than 1,000 people in Catalonia.
  • UK: Authorities request that all travelers who have visited Hubei Province, China, in the last 14 days, as well as travelers who have returned from Iran since Feb. 19 and from Italy since March 9, remain indoors and minimize contact with other people. Travelers who have returned from elsewhere in China and South Korea, as well as from Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand, in the last 14 days and have possible COVID-19 symptoms should also self-isolate immediately. This guidance also applies to travelers with possible symptoms who have returned from elsewhere in northern Italy, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, or Vietnam since Feb. 19.
  • Ukraine: Ukrainian officials will temporarily close 170 of the country's 219 border crossings from 2200 March 12-April 3. Road, rail, and pedestrian crossings in the Lviv, Transcarpathian, and Volyn oblasts along Ukraine's borders with Belarus, Hungary, and Poland will reportedly close. Public places nationwide, including educational establishments, conference centers, cinemas, and other entertainment venues, will close March 12 until at least March 31. Public transport is currently operating a normal service.


Countries could expand their response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country. The measures are unlikely to impact most travelers but may lead to immigration delays, especially for passengers from mainland China and other countries with significant numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Advice
Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions, particularly if traveling from mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, or Thailand. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.