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Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to know

RDO / Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to know

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to know

The border closures and quarantine measures adopted last year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic hit the tourism industry particularly badly, with timeshare resorts, hotels and other touristic accommodation having to close for some months.

Vaccination programmes around Europe are, however, now well underway, borders are slowly reopening and overseas travel is now possible, though with restrictions in place – see below for more detailed country-by-country information:

 

Reopening timetables

Please note that the following details are liable to change at short notice.

You can also visit https://reopen.europa.eu/en an interactive website published by the European Commission that includes practical information provided by the Member States on travel restrictions, public health and safety measures such as physical distancing or the wearing of face coverings. The information is frequently updated and available in 24 languages.

Austria

Hotels and restaurants are now able to re-open.

Travellers from listed countries are now able to travel to Austria for holidays again.

All travellers need to obtain pre-travel clearance before travelling to Austria and show either a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination/past infection upon entry. Travellers from certain countries with low incidence rates will no longer need to self-isolate.

For more information, go to https://www.austria.info/en/service-and-facts/coronavirus-information/entry-regulations

All travellers entering Austria will need to register electronically in advance to obtain  pre-travel clearance (PTC)

 

Belgium

The Government has introduced a traffic light system of high, medium and low-risk regions. Non-essential travel to Belgium is prohibited for persons whose main residence is in third countries considered as “red” zones, except if they are EU/Schengen citizens or residents.

Travellers have to fill in, sign and carry with them a sworn statement indicating the essential reason of their journey (more information and the form can be found at: https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/travels/).

For more information visit: diplomatie.belgium.be  www.info-coronavirus.be

 

Cyprus

Countries are categorized according to their epidemiological situation into categories Green, Orange and Red, with category Green having the most favorable epidemiological status. Go to https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/en/country-categories for details of the classification of countries.

For more information go to https://www.visitcyprus.com/index.php/en/cyprus-covid19-travel-protocol

 

Denmark

Entry conditions vary according to whether the country of origin is classified as yellow, orange or red. Travellers, including Danish nationals and foreigners resident in Denmark, must present a negative COVID-19 test no more than 24 hours old before they board a plane for Denmark.

Information on required documentation is available on the Danish Police website.

 

Finland

Finnish borders will not open in June for travellers from other EU and Schengen Area countries, as previously planned.

Entry restrictions for Finland are detailed on the Finnish Border Guard website and on the website of the Finish government. The Foreign Ministry’s general travel advice is to avoid all but essential travel.

It is recommended that travellers who do not live in Finland take a COVID-19 test less than 72 hours before arriving in Finland. A second test can be taken in Finland no earlier than 72 hours after arriving in Finland. Between the tests, self-isolation at the place of accommodation is recommended.

For more information visit: www.raja.fi   Finnish institute for health & welfare

 

France

Any international travel is discouraged until further notice unless pressing reasons require it. For more information, go to https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/coronavirus-advice-for-foreign-nationals-in-france/

If you are arriving from a country within the EU, you can enter France. All travellers are subject to the requirement for a pre-departure negative PCR test. The test must be taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. Upon their arrival, passengers will also be subject to a PCR test.

Travellers from the UK will be able to take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure, or an antigen test within 48 hours of departure. There will be random antigen testing for unvaccinated arrivals.

Those that are fully vaccinated will need to have proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure, or an antigen test within 48 hours of departure. However, they will not need to justify an essential reason for travel or to self-isolate on arrival.

 

Germany

Restrictions on travel continue to apply and people from non EU countries may enter Germany only for urgent reasons.

For more information visit: Federal Foreign Office

 

Greece

The Greek authorities have announced that travellers coming from European Union and Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Russia, Israel, Serbia, United Arab Emirates, can enter Greece. Travellers arriving from the countries listed above are exempted from the mandatory 7-day quarantine if they provide an acceptable form of certification of their health condition.

Before entering the country, all travellers must complete a Passenger Locator Form

For more information visit: Travel.gov.gr

 

Ireland

All passenger arrivals from ALL countries are subject to the requirement for a pre-departure negative PCR test. The test must be taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.Arrivals will be legally required to quarantine at home for 14 days at the address on their passenger locator form, with penalties of up to €2,500 or six months in prison — or both.

If you come into Ireland from any country deemed ‘high risk’, or If you come to Ireland without a negative or ‘not detected’ PCR test, you must complete a 14-day mandatory quarantine in a hotel.

Passengers arriving in Ireland from overseas are legally required to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. Further information is available at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b4020-travelling-to-ireland-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

 

Italy

Touristic accommodation is now open.

  • Travellers from the UK, the EU/Schengen countries, and Israel can enter the country if they present a negative Covid19 test, taken 48 hours prior to arrival, and do not have to self isolate
  • You will need to download and complete a self-declaration from the Ministry of Interior before you travel

For more information, go to https://www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/dettaglioContenutiNuovoCoronavirus.jsp?lingua=english&id=5412&area=nuovoCoronavirus&menu=vuoto

 

Malta

Tourism restarted in Malta on 1st June.  Entry restrictions depend on whether the traveller is coming from a country that is included on the Green, Amber or Red list.

Green list: travellers can enter the country without restrictions

Amber list: travellers  must provide proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19, performed within 72 hours prior to their arrival

Red list: travellers are allowed to enter Malta as long as they have stayed in a “corridor country” for a minimum of 14 days

Updated information are available at health.gov.mt and at https://www.visitmalta.com/en/covid-19

 

Morocco

A state of emergency has been introduced in Morocco, which includes a travel ban and curfew (with the exception of Casablanca).

Any traveler exempt from the visa requirement can travel to Morocco under the following conditions:

  1. Have a negative PCR test not exceeding 72 hours instead of the 48 hours previously required. In addition, the serological test is no longer required;
  2. Have a reservation from a tourist accommodation establishment in Morocco or an invitation from a Moroccan company (except for passengers of Moroccan nationality or foreigners residing in Morocco).

Passengers must complete a passenger health form online, print and sign it to present upon departure. Face masks must be worn in all public places.

For more information visit: https://mtataes.gov.ma/fr/?s=COVID

 

Norway

It is currently not possible to travel to Norway for touristic purposes.

For more information visit: https://www.fhi.no/en/

 

Portugal

Portugal has opened its borders for tourists from the UK, the European Union, as well as the non-EU Schengen area countries Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

For trips to Portugal, passengers must fill in a form from the Health Authorities – Passenger Locator Card – available at  https://portugalcleanandsafe.pt/en/passenger-locator-card.

Further information can be found at www.visitportugal.com.

Travel insurance 
Portugal has developed a travel insurance for visitors residing abroad – Portugal Travel Insurance – which covers, among other aspects, medical, surgical, pharmaceutical and hospital expenses related to Covid-19, as well as cancellation, interruption expenses or extension of the trip also for reasons of Covid-19. For more information contact portugaltravelinsurance@bonus-seguros.pt / www.portugaltravelinsurance.com.

 

Spain

On 24 May restrictions were lifted on flights between Spain and Australia, China, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

From 7 June, tourists from countries which are currently under restrictions, such as the USA, are able to enter Spain if they have a certificate stating that they have received the full number of doses of any Covid-19 vaccine that has been approved by the European Agency of Medicines or by the WHO.

People arriving from EU member states classed as green by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) can travel freely to Spain. Anyone travelling from EU countries classed as orange, red or dark red in the ECDC traffic light system will be allowed to enter Spain with a negative Covid-19 test result or, from June 7, with a certificate that demonstrates they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

  • Until at least 8 June, all travelers flying in fromBotswana, Brazil, Colombia, The Comoros, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe must quarantine for 10 days or for 7 days if after one week quarantine they take a PCR test and have a negative result. Only Spanish and Andorran nationals as well as residents of Spain or Andorra are allowed to fly into Spain from those countries. Restrictions may also apply to other countries. We recommend you contact your local authorities and your airline for the latest rules.
  • All overland travelers who wish to enter Spain by road or rail from high-risk areas in France are required to present a negative PCR,TMA or LAMP test taken within 72 hours prior to entry.

Spain requires a negative Covid test from anyone travelling from a high-risk country. The test must have been done no less than 72 hours before arriving in Spain. Furthermore, all passengers arriving at Madrid-Barajas must fill in an FCS health control form and will face both a temperature check and a visual inspection.

The FCS Health Control Form can be accessed from both the Spanish government’s official page spth.gob.es or by downloading the app Spain Travel Health-SpTH, available on the same page.

Specific Rules for Canary Islands

All travellers to the Canary Islands are subject to the requirement for a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test.
The test must be taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. Accepted tests are PCR and rapid antigen. If you are travelling from a high-risk country or area, a negative PCR test presented upon arrival in Spain will be valid.

Also, passengers arriving by air or sea transport may undergo a temperature check, which must be below 37.5 degrees Celsius. Cruising companies can take passengers’ temperature before arriving at a Spanish port.

For more information visit: https://www.spain.info

 

Switzerland

Travellers who have recovered from COVID-19 and those who have already been vaccinated will no longer be required to self quarantine on arrival in Switzerland.

For more information visit: https://www.bag.admin.ch

 

Tunisia

Wide-ranging restrictions have been introduced to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.  A nationwide curfew is in place between 8pm and 5am. Travel between regions is not permitted, except for reasons of work, for students, and for exceptional reasons that can be justified.

All passengers aged 12 and over arriving in Tunisia will be required to present evidence of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to their arrival.

The Tunisian Observatory for New and Emerging Diseases (ONMNE) provides regular COVID-19 updates on their official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ONMNE/. As well as https://www.facebook.com/santetunisie.rns.tn/.

 

Turkey

Touristic accommodation set to open by the first week of June.

As of May 15, a PCR test is not required for those arriving from China, Hong Kong (SAR of China), Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, United Kingdom, Latvia, Luxembourg, Ukraine and Estonia.

Extra checks have to be carried out for those arriving from India, South Africa or Brazil.

  • As of May 15, a PCR test will not be required from international arrivals. Passengers are required to fill in the Turkey Entrance Form which can be obtained here within 72 hours of their departure. A print-out or mobile screenshot of the completed form has to be submitted to airline crew before boarding.
  • All passengers are required to wear masks at the airport and during the flights.
  • All passengers must complete the passenger information form when arriving in Turkey.

Guidelines for hotels and resorts have been introduced to ensure the safety of guests. The “Safe Tourism Certification” indicates they businesses have taken standard measures to prevent COVID-19 infections.

For more information visit: https://www.visasturkey.com

 

UK

The strict lockdown measures introduced early January are now being eased and hotels, B&Bs and self catering accommodation in England, Wales and Scotland has now re-opened.

From 17 May, some foreign travel has been allowed under a traffic light system, with countries split into three categories: green, amber and red lists, depending on how high-risk they are.

  • Green: arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK – but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests
  • Amber: arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on day two and day eight. There will be the option to take an additional test on day five to end self-isolation early
  • Red: arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for red list countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and mandatory PCR testing on day two and eight

For more information go to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

Timeshare owners

Members of the public with queries about their timeshare have been advised to contact their resort or developer, who will be able to give them up-to-date information about the status of their booking or talk through their intended holiday plans. In addition to this, KwikChex, RDO’s enforcement department, is available to respond to queries about companies that are not in membership of RDO, via the Timeshare Helpline.

Assistance available to timeshare businesses

Governments around the world recognise the difficulty that the tourism industry is having in keeping going and in April, the G20 – the forum for international cooperation – held a meeting of tourism Ministers to discuss providing support to the sector. It is in the process of identifying challenges that have arisen from the crisis and will be developing and sharing further targeted responses to stimulate recovery and identify ways to improve resiliency in the sector.

Ministers will also ensure that the introduction and removal of travel restrictions are coordinated and proportionate to the national and international situation, but at the same time ensures the safety of travellers.

The Spanish Government has taken a number of measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 and has produced a series of questions and answers to clarify employers’ legal obligations and support them in protecting their businesses and staff.

The document below, includes details of the measures taken, covering employment, social security, employers’ obligations and access to detailed advice:

https://www.twobirds.com/en/news/articles/2020/spain/covid19-guidance-for-employers-in-spain

In the UK, the Government has put together a comprehensive package of support for businesses including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month.The scheme has been extended to the end of October and from the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.
  • Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to help eligible freelance workers receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months. Those eligible will receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the three years up to 2018/19.
  • Grant schemes – Businesses will be eligible for a £25,000 cash grant per property, for each property that has a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

What has RDO being doing?

Together with EUROC, the European timeshare owners’ association, RDO has been lobbying to ensure that the measures introduced provide the right level of support to timeshare businesses and, importantly, that the financial support continues during the recovery phase.

More detailed information and guidance is sent by email by the Secretariat to RDO members on a regular basis.

Find out more