Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: European countries maintain movement and business restrictions as of April 22 due to COVID-19 activity.

The locations affected by this alert are:

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

This alert began 22 Apr 2020 16:46 GMT and is scheduled to expire 06 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Europe region (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions; increased security; 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 lockdown is in effect, with individuals only permitted to leave their homes on essential business. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. All air and sea ports 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. All foreign nationals, except those who have legal residency status in Armenia or are relatives of Armenian citizens, are prohibited from entering the country. 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 May 4. All international land and air connections are suspended to passenger traffic until at least May 4.
  • Belgium: Individuals are requested to leave their homes only on essential business until at least May 3. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. All public gatherings are prohibited.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: A nightly 2000-0500 curfew is in effect; persons over 65 or under 18 years of age are under a 24-hour curfew. 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. Entry to and exit from the capital Sofia is currently restricted. Public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited. Non-EU citizens, as well as citizens of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, are prohibited from entering the country, 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 requested to only leave their homes on essential business. All nonessential establishments are closed until at least May 4. Public gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. All mass public transport is suspended until May 4. Non-EU citizens will likely be prohibited from entering the country until at least May 15.
  • Cyprus: A nightly 2100-0600 curfew is in effect through at least April 30. 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. 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. Facemasks are mandatory 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 starting 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 only permitted 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 through May 22. Authorities are maintaining a nightly 2100-0600 curfew, as well as a ban on nonessential travel and travel between municipalities. The use of private vehicles is prohibited. Entry to and exit from Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, and Rustavi is prohibited until at least April 25. All nonessential establishments are closed. All public gatherings of more than three people are prohibited. All foreign nationals are barred from entry, with the exception of legal residents and relatives of Georgian citizens, until at least May 22. International flights are suspended; land borders are closed except to returning Georgian citizens and foreigners exiting to return to their home countries.
  • Germany: Individuals are requested only to leave their homes on essential business until at least May 4. 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. Land borders with Albania, North Macedonia, and Turkey are closed. Commercial flights between Greece and Albania, North Macedonia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the Netherlands are banned through May 15.
  • 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 to leave their homes only 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 lockdown is in effect until at least May 4; individuals are only permitted to leave their homes for 90 minutes per day 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 nightly 2300-0500 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 nightly 2100-0600 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 state of emergency is in effect until May 17. A 1600-0500 curfew is in effect on weekdays, with a full curfew in effect on weekends from 1600 Friday through 0500 Monday. All nonessential establishments are closed. Most foreign nationals are barred from entry.
  • Norway: Nonessential establishments are currently closed indefinitely. Enhanced border controls are in effect until at least May 5. All sea and airports are closed.
  • Poland: Authorities began easing restrictions April 20. Smaller stores and some public parks have reopened. Individuals may leave their homes for exercise. Many establishments remain closed indefinitely, including restaurants. 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 May 2. 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 nightly 1800-0500 curfew remains in effect on weekdays, with full weekend curfews occurring 1800 Friday through 0500 Monday. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely. Public gatherings are prohibited. Most foreign nationals are barred from entry. International airports and borders are closed.
  • Slovakia: Authorities eased some restrictions April 22, allowing smaller nonessential establishments to open. Many larger nonessential establishments remain closed indefinitely. All international passenger flights remain suspended. Nonresidents are 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 May 9. 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 at least May 7. 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; 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 will likely operate significantly reduced services. 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