Europe Summer Travel In 2020?


European Union last week came up with policies on how to open up first intra-group travel and then later for those arriving outside of Schengen and UK/Ireland.

There are currently travel restrictions within the European Union and Schengen. European Union includes countries that are not part of Schengen and Schengen countries that don’t belong to the EU – it is quite complicated.

Europe, European Union, European Economic Area (EEA), European Free Trade Association (EFTA) & Schengen:

Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein are in Schengen, but not part of the EU (EEA/EFTA)

Ireland (EU) and the UK (outside of the EU) have a common travel area.

Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Cyprus are part of the EU but not part of Schengen.

Here’s a map that explains the situation (access the Wikipedia page here):

As the European countries are slowly starting to open up, the travel within the European Union and Schengen has become complicated.

Some of the rules in place now and being implemented:

The UK currently has no restrictions for travelers arriving within or outside of the European Union. They are planning, however, to have mandatory 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival. It is unclear when this is introduced (if ever).

Sweden is open for arrivals from the European Union and Schengen member states. There are no requirements for quarantine.

The Netherlands allows arrivals from the European Union and Schengen member states. Passengers arriving from select high-risk coronavirus countries must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Austria requires 14 days of self-quarantine for EU/Schengen arrivals unless you take the Covid-19 test at the airport and pay.

Italy plans to lift arrival and quarantine restrictions from EU/Schengen arrivals on June 3.

Germany plans to open its borders with Austria, Switzerland, and France on June 15.

Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania has a travel bubble that allows citizens/residents from these three countries to travel freely. There have been talks that Poland and Finland would join

Norway requires 10-day quarantine for all arrivals until at least August 20, 2020. There are talks perhaps relaxing this requirement for travel with certain Nordic countries starting in mid/late-June.

Denmark plans to decide on how to begin opening borders on June 1. Its borders have been closed since March 14.

Spain only allows citizens and some others to enter and those require 14-day long quarantine. There could be changes made to this around mid/late-June.

Finland allows work-related incoming travel from EU/EEA who need to quarantine for 14-days upon arrival.

Portugal doesn’t impose entry restrictions, but flights are suspended.

Iceland plans to allow passengers to bypass 14-day quarantine if they do rapid Covid-19 test at the airport starting somewhere between May 25 – June 15.

Greece allows travel from EU/EEA but requires 14-day quarantine. There could be a quarantine waiver soon for those arriving from the UK (doesn’t make much sense).

Non-citizen arrivals outside of Schengen/European union?

Your guess is as good as mine. A Schengen member country cannot just decide when to allow arrivals from outside because, at least theoretically before Covid-19, once you are inside, you can travel freely.

I would assume that some decision about Schengen is taken around mid-June whether to open this summer or to postpone to autumn.


The European situation is quite complicated, as you can see from the list above. Still, there should be more clarity around June 15 what is the plan for EU/EEA/Schengen travel this summer for citizens/residents and those wishing to visit the block.

I would not, however, make any tentative bookings right now. But at the same time, I would not cancel any non-refundable flights or hotel bookings either.

I have not decided yet what I will do come early June. I have a flight booked out from Japan (read more here), but due to the recent change here in Japan (read more here), I could shelter here for longer.

Netherlands, Austria, Italy (June 3), UK, and Sweden are currently allowing travel within EU/EEA, but this can soon expanse.

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