Global travel restrictions update – 16th December 2021

Throughout the year, we have seen an easing of travel requirements as vaccination programs gain momentum, particularly in Europe and North America. As a new variant, called Omicron, has been discovered in many places, countries are beginning to tighten restrictions, just as many of us are considering traveling either to close work at the end of the year or to visit loved ones.

Read on for an overview of the key requirements to enter the USA, Canada, Germany, UK, France and Spain, as well as some tips for making any travel plans more adaptable.

Travel requirements by country:

United States of America

The requirements for US citizens and permanent residents do not appear to have changed since the reopening of travel in November. However, travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe is restricted. State Department guidelines can be found here.

Canada

Fully vaccinated travelers arriving from anywhere other than Canada and the United States may be selected for access testing. In the coming weeks, this will be ramped up to include 100% of vaccinated travelers. Those who have to test must quarantine until they get a negative test result.

Unvaccinated travelers must self-quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility and take a test on arrival and on the eighth day.

Vaccination is required for travel within or outside Canada, regardless of exceptions.

Other than Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or those with understated status Indian law Entry is prohibited from Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The three groups listed above need to obtain negative particle relief for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to departure, 14-day quarantine, complete an arrival test and the eighth day.

Canadian government requirements can be read here.

United kingdom

England: Passengers who have been vaccinated must take a Covid-19 test in the two days prior to travel, book and pay for a PCR test on the second day of their flight arrival and complete a passenger location form. You still need to book and pay for the second day’s test even if you stay for less than two days. You must quarantine until you get a negative test or leave England.

In addition to the above measures, unvaccinated travelers must also book an eighth-day test, and must self-isolate for a full 10 days. The UK government is updating its guidance here

Anyone coming from one of the Red List countries has a different set of rules to follow.

Entry requirements may differ slightly for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Germany

All people entering Germany must submit a negative test result.

Entry from EU member states and Schengen states, selection of other countries is not restricted. Entry from any other country, including the UK, is only possible for travelers who have been fully vaccinated, other than for emergency needs. Especially:

8 African countries are designated as Areas of Concern and no travel is allowed, other than German citizens and residents, and those who have connecting flights and do not leave the transit area are allowed to travel from these countries. Travel of these groups is subject to negative testing 72 hours prior to departure and self-isolation for 14 days upon arrival (if no contact).

56 countries including the UK have been designated as high risk areas. If any of these areas are visited in the last 10 days, the traveler will be asked to self-isolate. This period can be shortened with proof of vaccination, recovery from the Corona virus, or a negative test obtained on or after the fifth day of their stay in Germany.

More information about Germany’s restrictions can be found here.

Spain

The Spanish government has a number of categories by which it sets country-specific restrictions, which are reviewed every seven days. Currently, a certificate of vaccination is required for entry to UK residents, and travel is suspended from a list of so-called “third” countries. Essential travel, for example, may be permitted in emergency situations.

Travelers from “high-risk” countries will have to present a vaccination or recovery certificate, or a negative test result. More information about the travel requirements of each country can be found here.

All passengers must also complete a health monitoring form.

France

Travelers from outside the European Union, European Economic Area, Andorra, Monaco or Liechtenstein must submit a negative Covid test before departing for France. Self-exams are not permitted. This must be taken within 48 hours of travel for vaccinated travelers and within 24 hours for unvaccinated travelers. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including drivers of heavy trucks and trucks coming from the UK.

France has a four-tier color code system for classifying countries and entry requirements.

Check out our top tips for adapting your travel during the New Year:

  1. Check the risks and testing requirements before making travel plans.
    Put travel safety first by booking your travel with a tool that gives you up-to-date information on travel restrictions when you book.
  2. Be flexible if plans need to change
    Flexibility was a challenge in travel even before the coronavirus pandemic, but it is now a necessity. With the situation in different countries changing daily, it is essential to choose flexible rates and booking options so that you can adapt quickly if plans need to change. Sure, travel insurance is great. But flexibility is better.
  3. Keep a face mask handy – you’ll still need it
    Many air carriers, public transport authorities and indoor locations may still require the use of a face covering for the sake of your health and the health of those around you. If you need some help choosing the right masks for you, take a look at our handy guide to the best face masks to wear while traveling. Don’t forget to pack an extra one in your handbag just in case!
  4. Stay in control of who travels and when
    With the situation changing daily, it can be difficult to keep track of changes and whether or not they affect travelers. Ensure that your travel provider can provide you with up-to-date information on how these restrictions may affect those traveling or about to travel.
  5. Give travelers the tools they need to stay safe
    Give travelers a checklist of all the essential regulations and safety measures they need to know before and during their trips as well as a list of key contacts in the event of an emergency. Include all relevant information from all relevant medical and government agencies.

Your travel provider can help you

The good news if you are thinking of traveling soon is that online travel platforms like Travelperk can help you with all of this and more.

Our up-to-date travel restrictions information can help you stay up to date when you book, before and during your trip, and our flexible booking options mean you can change or cancel with a single click, at any time, no questions asked.

With the world’s largest travel inventory, flexible budgeting and VAT refund services, you can find the right flight options for you at a great price and claim your refund. We can also help you offset the carbon footprint of your travels.