New Europe Travel Bans: Covid Red Lists, Here’s What To Know

Cars at Croatia border as EU countries and Schengen impose quarantine and travel bans

Tourist vehicles from Austria, Slovenia and Germany, queue at the border crossing between Croatia … [+] and Slovenia, after new Covid travel warnings and quarantines for Croatia.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

As Covid creeps up again across Europe, many countries are reimposing travel restrictions on neighbours.

As this happens, the map of Europe is being color-coded red, green and yellow.

Travelers on high-risk red lists are being shut out, either with total travel bans or quarantines. Those on green lists meantime have a green light to travel.

But n a sign of the times, Norway for example no longer ranks any zones as green in Europe or beyond.

Hungary First In EU To Reinstate Blanket Ban Foreigners

Police control EU travelers at Hungarian borders as Hungary closes to foreigners Covid

Police officers control car drivers at the Hungarian-Slovakian border on September 3, after Hungary … [+] closed its borders to nearly all foreigners. The EU slammed the decision as discriminatory, and says it will soon put forward a bloc-wide approach to new travel restrictions amid the coronavirus resurgence.

AFP via Getty Images

The most spectacular and controversial return to shutdown EU borders came with Hungary’s decision to add all countries to its red list from September 1.

Barely two months after reopening to Schengen travelers, it’s defying the bloc’s recommendations on internal borders and travel freedoms. The measures will stay in place at least until October 1.

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Green Lists Shrinking, Red Growing

Links to government restrictions are included in the country headings. See useful details on the Reopen Europe website too.


Man at Brussels airport in Belgium with mask as Covid Travel Bans return to Europe

“Travelling within Europe: pay attention to the colour code of your destination,” urges the Belgium … [+] government. That picture is being repeated all over the usually passport-free Schengen zone, as Covid-sparked controls make a comeback. It’s a constant seesaw act. France for example was briefly removed from Belgium’s red list, but is now back on it. And the number of cities and regions in France and elsewhere is growing. Of those countries who use such a color system, each varies wildly, based on relative corona epidemiology.

AFP via Getty Images

Belgium in early August added many parts of Romania, France and Spain to its red list. That means a total ban on non-essential travel to those places. Travelers returning must both quarantine and test on return.

  • The current red list includes Andorra, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, many parts of Spain and France, and Scotland’s Aberdeen.


  • Countries are divided in 3 categories: A (no restrictions), B (some), and C (no entry other than for citizens/residents).
  • Banned C list countries include France, Luxembourg, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro.
  • Germany, Norway, Hungary and Slovenia are among the A listers.
  • B countries must show a Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours. They include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.


Czech Republics Green Red covid risk zones and destinations for travel in Europe

The same quarantine rule applies to Czech citizens returning from the red countries

Czech Republic Ministry of Health


Denmarks yellow blue green Covid map Europe for travel bans

The Danish government’s health map of the EU, Schengen zone and the U.K. indicates “open” and … [+] “closed” countries for travel to and from Denmark. Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Croatia are among the European banned countries in orange.

Danish Police/Statens Serum Institut


Finland covid travel restrictions green red yellow lists for Europeans and others

Residents from mixed red-green countries face no travel restrictions either to Finland. They include … [+] some though not all of the EU’s safe country list. Australia, China and Japan are red.

Finnish Border Guard

Finland too has a red, green, yellow system, updated on August 24.

  • Italy, Hungary and Slovenia are currently among the handful of welcome green countries.
  • Most other EU/Schengen countries and the U.K. fall on the yellow list, allowing only essential travelers including workers to visit.
  • Family members, parents, siblings, spouses and couples are among the exceptions.


A boy on scooter looks on as Hungarian police officers control drivers at border Europe

Exemptions from Hungary’s wide-reaching new travel restrictions include freight transport, … [+] diplomatic workers, some business trips, and cross-border commuters within a 30km radius for a 24-hour maximum visit.

AFP via Getty Images

  • Almost all foreign tourists are now on Hungary’s Red List for a month.
  • The government advises its citizens against travel to some 40 red list countries in Europe and overseas.
  • Those who do must self-quarantine for 14 days, or until they can show two negative tests taken with a two day interval.
  • Exemptions include transit passengers and Visgrad Group travelers (Poland, Czechia, Slovakia) with a negative Covid test taken within five days.


Men in masks by holiday advertisement Ireland no non-essential overseas travel Europe

Ireland has a Green List for travel, and a not green list, which it doesn’t officially call a red … [+] list. But amounts to that. Meantime Irish people are still being advised to holiday at home.

PA Images via Getty Images

  • The Green List just shrunk, even for Europeans. As of August 31, “normal precautions” and a green “security status rating” says the government, applies only to Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Slovakia.
  • With the EU Covid seesaw, this could change at any time. The list is constantly under review.


Latvias red list was super-sized in past days.

  • The list from the Latvian Centre for Disease Prevention and Control shows red and yellow countries, with infections above the required threshold of 25 cases per 100,000.
  • Some 25 European red list countries include Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. They are classified as a “Serious threat to public health”.
  • Even those who transit these countries must quarantine on return. The state “discourages” travel to those places.


Map of red list countries in Europe EU and world travel bans restrictions in Lithuania

A map of “red painted” countries shows on Lithuania’s KORONA STOP government website shows how the … [+] new corona travel restrictions in Europe and beyond are spreading.

Lithuanian Government

  • The red list of countries grew on August 31, with travelers from Belarus, Italy, Slovenia and Slovakia now also facing mandatory self-isolation on arrival.
  • Norway, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Hungary and Latvia are the only EU/Schengen countries on the green list, due to less than 16 cases/100,000 in the last 14 days. face no quarantine requirement.


Travelers with face masks at the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands Europe during Covid

Given red and green lists are based on relative Covid risk levels, countries rated Yellow for travel … [+] in the Netherlands may indeed be classed as Red by other EU members. The Dutch themselves, due to high infection levels, are banned by a growing number of Europeans. Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Cyprus, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and the U.K. are among those who have red listed the Netherlands.

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Dutch government zones countries for Covid as Yellow (OK) and Orange (not ok, quarantine required). “Foreign travellers from countries where the health risks are similar to or lower than in the Netherlands can enter for tourism,” it says.

  • Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta, Romania , Spain, Monaco and various departments in France are on the orange list.


Norwegian Health map of EU Europe Covid red green yellow countries

The Norwegian Institute Of Public Health map shows there are no longer any green, totally safe Covid … [+] countries in Europe. Only red – meaning mandatory quarantine – and yellow, no quarantine but nonetheless classed as “increased risk” for Norwegians. The striped areas the government says are generally not evaluated, but quarantine is required.

Norwegian Institute Of Public Health

Norway has a red, green, yellow Covid map. Currently no country is marked as a restriction-free green zone. Many more Europeans were added to the “high transmission” risk red list on August 29.

  • Red List: 10-day quarantine for travelers from France, Switzerland and Sweden since August 11. Now applies to most EU/Schengen arrivals–from Portugal to Poland–and to the U.K. The few exceptions include Hungary, Slovakia, Italy and Norway.
  • Yellow list countries are exempt from quarantine, but the Norwegian Institute of Public Health still classifies them as “increased risk”.
  • The government currently advises against all overseas travel.
Norwegian people sit by lake in Oslo amid Covid EU travel bans no travel in Europe

With Norway adding nearly all EU and Schengen countries to its red list – some 20 in all – … [+] Norwegians are also advised to not travel abroad. They have been holidaying at home for months.

AFP via Getty Images


Slovenia too has a color-coded system with green, yellow and red lists.

  • Those in the green category like Canada and Australia can enter restriction-free.
  • Red list countries with more than 40 Covid cases per 100,000 must quarantine for 14 days.
  • The yellow list applies mostly to EU/Schengen citizens, who face no quarantine–provided they are not coming from a red destination.
Temperature control for Covid in Slovenia amid new Europe virus wave and travel bans

Slovenia’s updated red list includes several Europeans – Albania, Andorra, Belgium, Croatia, … [+] Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Spain and The Netherlands – though surprisingly as of August 30, not France. Other banned nations are Argentina, Brazil and the U.S. and the UAE United Arab Emirates.

AFP via Getty Images


The U.K. red list comes in the form of quarantine for a growing number of countries. The Czech Republic and Switzerland are among the latest Europeans to join others like France, Croatia and Austria who no longer enjoy a quarantine-free travel corridor with England.

Showing the nation’s quarantine policy disarray, Scotland and Wales are imposing quarantine on Greece and Portugal–both of which remain on England and Ireland’s corridor lists.

Further Reading: More Covid Tests, No Travel Bans: EU Urges Europe To Make Common Rules

empty tables on Greek island amid Covid resurgence and new wave of travel bans EU Europe

The empty tables on Meis Island in Greece say it all about the new wave of Covid travel bans and … [+] restrictions. Will England soon quarantine Greek arrivals? Scotland and Wales are already doing so.

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