Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: European countries maintain movement and business restrictions as of April 15 due to COVID-19.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • North Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • Kosovo
  • Armenia
  • Georgia
  • Azerbaijan
  • London, England
  • Ireland
  • Paris
  • Berlin
  • Montenegro

This alert began 15 Apr 2020 13:13 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Europe region (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Flight and border crossing disruptions, movement restrictions, increased absenteeism; possible longer immigration wait times, quarantine measures, short-term goods shortages

Summary
Governments in Europe are maintaining travel and other restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Specific measures vary by country, though major restrictions include:

  • Albania: A partial curfew is in effect, with individuals only permitted to leave their homes on essential business. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely, and a daily curfew is in effect. All air and seaports of entry are closed indefinitely.
  • Armenia: A state of emergency is in effect until at least May 14. Individuals are only permitted to leave their homes on essential business. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. Groups of more than two people are forbidden in public. Entry is prohibited to foreign travelers who have visited areas of high COVID-19 activity in the last 14 days. All land borders with Georgia and Iran are closed.
  • Austria: Individuals are requested only to leave their homes on essential business. Nonessential establishments are closed, though smaller commercial establishments have begun to reopen. Public gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. Authorities have barred entry for most foreigners.
  • Azerbaijan: All nonessential establishments are closed until at least April 23. All international land and air connections are suspended to passenger traffic until at least April 20.
  • Belgium: Individuals are requested only to leave their homes on essential business. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. All public gatherings are prohibited.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Partial curfews are in effect; individuals are requested only to leave their homes on essential business. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. Foreign nationals are currently prohibited from entering the country, with the exception of Bosnian residents.
  • Bulgaria: A state of emergency is in effect until at least May 13. Individuals are requested only to leave their homes on essential business. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. Public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited. Non-EU citizens, as well as citizens of Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, are prohibited from entering the country until at least April 17, with the exception of freight and health workers and diplomats. Land borders with North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey are currently closed to non-commercial traffic.
  • Croatia: Individuals are only requested only to leave their homes on essential business. All nonessential establishments are closed until at least April 18. Public gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. All mass public transport is suspended until April 21. Non-EU citizens will likely be prohibited from entering the country until at least May 15.
  • Cyprus: A partial curfew is in effect daily. Authorities have banned incoming passenger flights until further notice.
  • Czech Republic: A state of emergency is in effect until at least April 30. Individuals are only permitted to leave their homes on essential business. Nonessential businesses and public establishments are closed, though reports suggest that smaller commercial operations will begin to reopen from April 20. Authorities have temporarily barred entry for most foreigners and placed restrictions on local nationals leaving the country. Public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited, though people are mandated to wear facemasks in public places. Border controls are in operation at the land borders with Austria and Germany; the border with Slovakia is temporarily closed.
  • Denmark: Nonessential establishments, including educational facilities, are closed until at least May 10, though nurseries and primary schools are permitted to reopen under certain conditions. Public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. All air and sea borders are closed through May 10; the land border with Germany is partially closed. Foreign nationals are prohibited from entry.
  • Estonia: A state of emergency is in effect until at least May 1. All nonessential establishments are closed. Public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited. Foreign nationals are prohibited from entry.
  • Finland: Authorities relaxed entry and exit restrictions around the Uusimaa region April 15. Nonessential establishments, including educational facilities, are closed until at least May 13. Public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Finland's international borders are closed to nonessential traffic until May 13.
  • France: Individuals are permitted only to leave their homes on essential business until at least May 11. All nonessential establishments are closed until at least that date. All public gatherings are prohibited. The borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain are closed.
  • Georgia: A state of emergency is in effect until at least May 10. Authorities are maintaining a daily curfew, as well as a ban on nonessential travel and travel between municipalities. Entry to and exit from Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, and Rustavi is prohibited until April 25. All nonessential establishments are closed. All public gatherings of more than three people are prohibited. Most foreigners are barred from entry, international flights are suspended, and land borders are closed until at least April 21.
  • Germany: Individuals are requested only to leave their homes on essential business until at least April 19. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. All public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited. Foreigners are prohibited from entry, except European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and residents, and Swiss and UK nationals. The borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, and Denmark are partially closed.
  • Greece: Individuals are only permitted to leave their homes on essential business until at least April 27. All nonessential establishments are closed, and large public gatherings are prohibited until further notice. The borders with Albania, North Macedonia, and Turkey are closed. Non-EU nationals are prohibited from entry until at least April 18.
  • Hungary: Individuals are only permitted to leave their homes on essential business, until further notice. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. Public gatherings are prohibited. Foreign nationals, excluding residents of the EEA, are currently prohibited from entry.
  • Ireland: Individuals are requested only to leave their homes on essential business until at least May 5. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. All public gatherings of more than four people are prohibited.
  • Italy: Individuals are only permitted to leave their homes on essential business until at least May 3. Nonessential establishments are closed, though certain businesses, including bookshops and children's clothing stores, are permitted to reopen. Public gatherings are prohibited. More stringent restrictions are in place in the Lombardy Region.
  • Kosovo: A partial curfew is in effect until at least May 4; individuals are only permitted to leave their homes for limited periods and for essential purposes. All nonessential establishments are closed. Foreign nationals are banned from entry. More stringent restrictions are in place in the Klina and Vitina municipalities.
  • Latvia: A state of emergency is in effect until May 12. Educational facilities are closed indefinitely. Public gatherings are prohibited. Foreign nationals and nonresidents are barred from entry.
  • Lithuania: Nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. Most foreign nationals and nonresidents are barred from entry until at least April 27.
  • Malta: An indefinite ban on incoming flights is in effect. Officials have halted sea passenger travel with continental Europe.
  • Montenegro: A daily curfew and travel restrictions are in place until at least April 28. Authorities have banned international passenger travel, excluding Montenegrin nationals returning home. Nonessential intercity travel is prohibited. There is a ban on gatherings of people from different households. All nonessential businesses and public establishments are closed.
  • Netherlands: Nonessential establishments are closed until at least April 28, though some commercial premises are permitted to operate under certain criteria. All public gatherings of more than three people are prohibited. Entry restrictions are in place for non-EEA or UK nationals.
  • North Cyprus: A daily curfew is in effect, and all nonessential establishments are closed until at least April 30. All public gatherings are prohibited. Foreign nationals are barred from entry.
  • North Macedonia: A partial curfew is in effect, and all nonessential establishments are closed until at least April 30; more stringent restrictions will be imposed for the Orthodox Easter holiday April 17-21. Most foreign nationals are barred from entry.
  • Norway: Nonessential establishments are currently closed indefinitely. All sea and airports are closed. Educational establishments are scheduled to reopen from April 20.
  • Poland: Individuals are only permitted to leave their homes on essential business, and all nonessential establishments are closed until at least April 19. Public gatherings of more than two people from different households are prohibited. Most foreign nationals are barred from entry through at least May 3.
  • Portugal: A state of emergency is in effect through April 17. A ban on unnecessary travel is in effect. Border controls are implemented with Spain. Nonessential establishments are closed. There is a ban on gatherings of more than five people.
  • Romania: A state of emergency is in effect until at least May 14. Individuals are only permitted to leave their homes on essential business. Public gatherings of more than three people are prohibited. Most foreign nationals are currently barred from entry.
  • Serbia: A daily curfew is in effect, and all nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. Public gatherings are prohibited. Most foreign nationals are barred from entry. International airports and borders are closed.
  • Slovakia: All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. All international passenger flights have been suspended. Nonresidents are currently barred from entry.
  • Slovenia: A ban on nonessential movement, including interregional travel, is in effect. Nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. A ban on gatherings is in effect. Passenger air traffic is suspended through at least April 27; border restrictions are in effect.
  • Spain: A state of emergency is in effect until April 26. Individuals are only permitted to leave their homes on essential business until further notice. Nonessential establishments are closed, though some commercial activity is permitted to resume under certain criteria. All public gatherings are prohibited. The borders with France, Morocco, and Portugal, as well as sea borders, including those on the Canary and Balearic islands, are closed indefinitely. Most foreign nationals are currently barred from entry.
  • Sweden: Some educational facilities are currently closed. Public gatherings of more than 50 participants are prohibited. Foreign nationals from outside of the EEA and Switzerland are currently barred from entry.
  • Switzerland: Individuals are requested only to leave their homes on essential business until at least April 26; all nonessential establishments are closed. All public gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. Most foreigners are barred from entry.
  • UK: Individuals are requested only to leave their homes on essential business until further notice. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. All public gatherings are prohibited. Public transport services are operating reduced services, particularly in London.
  • Ukraine: A state of emergency is in effect until April 24; all nonessential establishments are closed. All public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Most foreigners are barred from entry. All passenger air traffic has been suspended indefinitely.


In most cases, freight transport is still permitted to cross international borders, though localized movement restrictions are possible at short notice. Many governments have also imposed quarantine requirements for travelers arriving from areas of high COVID-19 activity. Public transport operators and airlines are likely to be operating a significantly reduced service. Many governments and airlines have suspended or curtailed flight operations; further service reductions, as well as airport closures, could be announced at short notice.

Panic buying of essential goods, particularly hygiene products, occurred in many locations as preventative restrictions were introduced. Additional surges in demand could prompt further temporary shortages in reaction to any high-profile developments around COVID-19, though these are likely to be quickly resolved. School closures will probably result in increased absenteeism among employees who are the parents or guardians of school-aged children. In addition, large numbers of workers will continue to work from home in the coming weeks as a routine health precaution and due to voluntary self-isolation.

Governments could expand their responses in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country. Immigration delays are possible, especially for passengers from countries with significant numbers of COVID-19 cases. Some countries could also incrementally relax related restrictions in the coming weeks if they judge the pandemic threat to be under control.

Advice
Confirm travel arrangements before setting out. Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions. 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. Consider and test contingency plans to allow remote working where possible.

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.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int