Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: European countries maintain movement and business restrictions due to COVID-19 activity as of May 20.

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 20 May 2020 17:22 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Europe (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Summary
Governments in Europe are maintaining travel and other restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of May 20. Specific measures vary by country, though major restrictions include:

  • Albania: Some nonessential establishments are permitted to reopen, though many remain closed indefinitely. A daily curfew remains in effect 2100-0500 on weekdays, and 1300 Fridays-0500 Mondays. All ports of entry are closed indefinitely.
  • Armenia: Some nonessential businesses have been permitted to reopen. A state of emergency remains in effect until at least June 13; most foreigners are barred from entry.
  • Austria: Nonessential businesses are permitted to reopen, depending on social distancing measures. Public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Authorities have barred entry for most foreigners.
  • Azerbaijan: Authorities have implemented a phased easing of restrictions. A limited number of businesses and public spaces have reopened, and interregional travel has resumed. Stay-at-home orders remain in place for certain locations, including Baku. Public gatherings of more than 10 are prohibited, and international passenger traffic remains suspended.
  • Belgium: Authorities began easing restrictions May 4. A limited number of businesses have been permitted to reopen, and public transport has resumed, though passengers are required to wear facemasks. Public gatherings remain prohibited.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: A ban on international passenger flights and a prohibition on nonresidents entering the country will remain in force through at least June 1. A general nightly curfew remains in effect in Republika Srpska. All nonessential establishments are closed indefinitely.
  • Bulgaria: Many nonessential businesses and public spaces are permitted to reopen, and the ban on intercity travel has been lifted. Facemasks are mandatory on public transport. Non-EU citizens, as well as citizens of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK, are prohibited from entering the country, with the exception of freight and health workers and diplomats.
  • Croatia: EU citizens may now enter the country for business purposes, and certain nonessential establishments have reopened. Strict social distancing mandates remain in force.
  • Cyprus: Authorities extended the international flight ban until at least May 28. Individuals may leave their homes three times per day and many businesses have been permitted to reopen. A nightly 2200-0600 curfew remains in effect through at least May 21.
  • Czech Republic: The ban on nonessential movement has been lifted. A phased reopening of some businesses and public facilities is ongoing. Residents must still wear protective face masks in public; strict social distancing requirements remain in force; most foreigners remain barred from entry.
  • Denmark: Shops are permitted to reopen; cafes, restaurants, libraries, and churches were permitted to reopen from May 18. Cultural and entertainment facilities remain closed. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Authorities have extended border controls through at least June 1; most foreigners remain barred from entry.
  • Estonia: Public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited. Most foreign nationals are barred from entry.
  • Finland: Border controls with Schengen Area and associated countries have been relaxed to allow commuter and essential traffic. Most foreign nationals remain barred through at least June 14. Educational facilities began to reopen from May 14; most nonessential public-facing businesses remain closed. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
  • France: A nationwide state of emergency is in effect until July 10. Certain types of businesses have been permitted to reopen and individuals may travel freely within 100 km (60 miles) of their homes. Border controls will remain in place through at least June 15; most foreigners remain barred from entry.
  • Georgia: A state of emergency remains in effect through May 22. A nightly 2100-0600 curfew is still in force, though restrictions on movement within, into, and out of major cities are gradually being lifted. Some nonessential establishments, including open-air markets, have begun to reopen under certain conditions. Most foreign nationals remain barred from entry; international flights are suspended and land borders are closed except to Georgian citizens and foreigners returning home.
  • Germany: Authorities continue to ease restrictions, with additional nonessential establishments being permitted to reopen under certain conditions. Border controls remain in effect through at least Jun 15; most foreigners are barred from entry.
  • Greece: Restrictions on interregional movement on the mainland and some islands have been lifted. Shopping malls and places of worship are permitted to reopen. 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 at least May 31.
  • Hungary: Restrictions on movement outside of Budapest and Pest County are lifted and some businesses are permitted to resume operations. Foreign nationals, excluding residents of the EEA, are currently prohibited from entry. Facemasks are mandatory in public places.
  • Ireland: Some nonessential businesses are allowed to open from May 18. Residents are requested to leave their homes only on essential business and remain within 5 km (3 miles). All public gatherings of more than four people are prohibited.
  • Italy: Authorities continue to ease restrictions. Movement within regions is allowed, while movement between regions remains suspended until at least June 3. Residents may engage in individual exercise activities outdoors without restrictions. Certain businesses have been permitted to reopen. Public gatherings remain prohibited. Facemasks are required within enclosed public places.
  • Kosovo: Authorities are continuing to ease restrictions. Residents may leave their homes for two 120-minute sessions per day to perform essential tasks. Certain businesses have been permitted to resume operations. The government plans to ease restrictions further June 1. Most nonessential establishments remain closed. Foreign nationals remain barred from entry.
  • Latvia: A state of emergency is in effect until at least June 9. Gatherings of up to 25 are permitted, and certain businesses have been allowed to reopen. Facemasks are mandatory on public transport. Most foreign nationals and nonresidents are barred from entry.
  • Lithuania: The existing quarantine regime will remain in force until at least May 31. Most foreign nationals are still barred from entry. Businesses and cultural and leisure facilities are permitted to reopen, depending on social distancing measures. Most foreign nationals and nonresidents are barred from entry.
  • Malta: Nonessential establishments are currently closed, and public gatherings of more than three people are prohibited. An indefinite ban on incoming flights is in effect. Officials have halted sea passenger travel with continental Europe.
  • Montenegro: Certain businesses have been permitted to resume operations, subject to social distancing requirements. Facemasks are mandatory on public transport.
  • Netherlands: Some nonessential commercial premises are permitted to operate under certain criteria. Entry restrictions are in place for non-EEA or UK nationals.
  • Northern Cyprus: A nightly 2359-0600 curfew is in effect; some nonessential business have reopened, subject to social distancing requirements. All public gatherings are prohibited. Foreign nationals are barred from entry.
  • North Macedonia: A state of emergency is in effect until May 30. A 1900-0500 curfew is in effect on weekdays, with a 1600-0500 curfew on weekends. Most foreign nationals are barred from entry. Some nonessential establishments are permitted to reopen from May 13, though many remain closed.
  • Norway: Educational facilities and some nonessential businesses have reopened, and public gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted. Enhanced border controls remain in effect.
  • Poland: Authorities have extended the domestic and international flight ban until at least May 23. Certain businesses have been allowed to reopen, and residents may leave their homes for recreational purposes. International passenger rail traffic remains suspended, and most foreigners barred from entry indefinitely.
  • Portugal: Certain businesses have been permitted to reopen, subject to social distancing requirements. Facemasks are mandatory on public transport. Border controls with Spain remain in place through at least June 15.
  • Romania: A limited number of businesses will be permitted to reopen subject to social distancing requirements. Individuals may leave their districts of residence for work purposes and to perform essential tasks. Gatherings of more than three people are prohibited, and most foreigners remain barred from entry.
  • Serbia: Certain businesses are permitted to reopen, and intercity road and rail traffic has resumed. Facemasks are mandatory on public transport. Nonresident foreign nationals remain barred from entering Serbia indefinitely.
  • Slovakia: Smaller nonessential businesses have been allowed to reopen, but many larger nonessential establishments remain closed. All international passenger flights remain suspended until at least May 28. Nonresidents are barred from entry.
  • Slovenia: Domestic public transport and passenger air traffic at Ljubljana Airport (LJU) has resumed. Restrictions on international road and rail passenger transport remain in force. Restrictions on intercity travel have been lifted and businesses are gradually being permitted to reopen. Public gatherings of more than 50 people remain prohibited, subject to social distancing requirements.
  • Spain: Many nonessential businesses have been permitted to reopen, and intraregional travel restrictions have been lifted in certain areas. Tighter restrictions remain in effect in some areas, including Barcelona and Madrid. The nationwide state of emergency is in effect until at least May 24; most foreigners remain barred from entry and all international arrivals are subject to 14-day self-isolation.
  • Sweden: Some educational facilities are currently closed. Public gatherings of more than 50 participants are prohibited. Foreign nationals from outside the EEA and Switzerland are currently barred from entry.
  • Switzerland: Shops and public establishments have been gradually reopening, subject to social distancing requirements. Public transport has resumed. A ban on gatherings of more than five people remains in effect, and most foreigners remain barred from entry.
  • UK: Most nonessential public-facing businesses remain closed, and public gatherings of more than two people from different households are prohibited.
  • Ukraine: Authorities have extended the state of emergency through at least May 22. Certain businesses have been permitted to reopen, and residents may visit parks and recreation areas. Public gatherings are prohibited, and individuals must wear facemasks and carry proper identification documents when in public. Interregional traffic remains suspended, and most foreigners are barred from entry.


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.

Shortages of some goods, particularly hygiene products, occurred in many locations when preventative restrictions were introduced, likely as a result of supply chain shifts and panic buying. 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.


Back to the COVID-19 Risk Intelligence & Resource Center