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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 earlier this 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 three months between end March and early July.

As infection rates started to decline, restrictions were eased over the summer period, borders reopened and hotels and resorts were able to welcome tourists back again. To ensure the wellbeing of their staff and guests, RDO member resorts followed strict health and safety guidelines produced by governments and tourism authorities – more information on these measures can be found here.

During September, the level of infections started to rise swiftly again and restrictions and quarantine measures and travel restrictions around Europe have had to be re-introduced. More information can be found below.

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 facemasks. The information is frequently updated and available in 24 languages.

Austria

Entry from a country with a stable COVID-19 situation is possible without restrictions. The corresponding countries are listed in the Entry Ordinance and are currently: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France (except the regions of Île-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur), Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg , Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal (except the regions of Lisbon and Norte), San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Canary Islands in Spain, Czech Republic (except the region of Prague), United Kingdom, Vatican and Cyprus. The regulation applies only to people who are residents in the listed countries or Austrian citizens. It is also a prerequisite that you have not been in any country other than Austria or those European countries in the past 10 days.

If the person has also been in other countries within the last 10 days, entry is possible either with a medical certificate (Annex C) confirming a negative PCR test (performed within 72 hours prior to entry) or by undergoing a 10-day (home) quarantine. A confirmation of accommodation must be presented and any costs incurred must be paid by the traveller. Quarantine can be terminated if a PCR test performed during the period is negative.

Children up to the age of 6 are exempt from compulsory testing upon entry.

 A mandatory entry and transit declaration is required.

For more information, visit https://www.sozialministerium.at/en.html   www.bmeia.gv.at

 

Belgium

Travelling from EU+ countries[1] is, in general, allowed. Before entering Belgium, check the latest information on travel advice (with particular reference to “red zones” and “orange zones”) at diplomatie.belgium.be.

A mandatory PCR test and 14 days quarantine are required upon arrival or return from “red zones”, while these measures are recommended when arriving from “orange zones”. For “red zones”, travel may not be possible or not authorised.

 All persons returning to Belgium or travelling through Belgium, and who are staying at least 48 hours, must fill out a Passenger Locator Form.

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

[1] EU+ comprises EU Member States plus the United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City State and the Republic of San Marino.

 

Cyprus

Entry rules for Cyprus depend on the epidemiological situation in countries of origin and transit. The categorisation of countries is available at cyprusflightpass.gov.cy and is revised on a weekly basis, according to the evolution of the epidemiological situation.

 Category A: Passengers from Category A countries are only asked to provide some specific information and a declaration.

Category B: Travellers from a Category B Country, or who have stayed in a Category B Country in the 14 days before arrival to Cyprus, have the option to perform the COVID-19 test upon arrival in Cyprus, at the price of 60 euros. Self-isolation is required until the result of the test is available.

Category C: Travellers from a Category C country, or who have stayed in a Category C country in the 14 days before arrival to Cyprus, have to provide a document showing a negative PCR result for COVID-19 conducted within 72 hours before entering the country.

The prerequisites for passengers travelling to Cyprus from each country category can be found at: https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/en/download-forms

 

Denmark

Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions, unless a country or region is defined as high risk area. The map of “banned” countries is based on the current number of infected people and is updated weekly by the SSI (Statens Serum Institut).Entry from “banned” countries is possible for “worthy purpose” only (not for tourism).

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

 

Finland

Entry restrictions for Finland are detailed on the Finnish Border Guard website. Based on an epidemiological evaluation, regulation is categorised under ‘Border traffic returned to normal’, ‘Restriction category 1’ and ‘Restriction category 2’.

In general, entry to Finland is possible without mandatory testing or quarantine from countries with a maximum of 25 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 persons during the previous 14 days.

Those wishing to cross the internal border must use border crossing points where border control has been reinstated. Crossing the border in other places is not permitted without a border crossing permit.

Self-quarantine is recommended for travellers arriving in Finland from countries subject to internal border control

As of 28 September, leisure travel is possible between Finland and Cyprus, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Poland, San Marino, and the Vatican. Travel restrictions are unfortunately back in place again for travelers from Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Slovakia, Canada, Georgia and Tunisia due to an increase of coronavirus cases in these countries. Arrival by pleasure craft is possible from Schengen countries.

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

 

France

Travel to France is possible without restrictions from EU Member States, or from Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and the Vatican.

Travel to France from outside these countries remains restricted. For more information, visit the the website of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

A travel certificate is required. This certificate must be presented to companies before embarking, as well as to border control authorities (for travel by air, sea and land, including by rail). Additionally, travellers must complete and carry a sworn statement that they do not show any symptom of COVID-19. These documents can be downloaded in French and English from the Ministry of the Interior’s website.

 

Germany

Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions, unless a country or region is defined as high risk area. A country or an area is defined as “high-risk” when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.

According to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Testing Obligation Ordinance, anyone having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their entry into Germany, if requested by the competent health office or a different authority designated, must either provide proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 or get tested within 14 days of their entry into Germany. Entry restrictions and quarantine regulations in Germany

No special documentation is required. For more information visit: Federal Foreign Office

 

Greece

Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions, with the exception of countries classified as “high risk” of COVID-19 infection. Travellers arriving from “high risk” countries will be required to provide a negative molecular test result (PCR) for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece. An updated list of countries and territories for which a negative PCR test is required upon entry is available at https://travel.gov.gr

The certificate should be written in English and include name and passport number or national identification number of the traveller.The accepted laboratories that perform the RT-PCR testing can be: National Reference laboratories, National Public Health Laboratories, Private laboratories which are accredited from the respective national accreditation authorities (not necessarily specifically for COVID-19). Certificates that do not fulfill the above criteria will not be accepted. Children under 10 years old are not subject to the obligation to a PCR test.

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

 For more information visit: Travel.gov.gr

 

Ireland

Non-essential travel to and from Ireland is not encouraged and only passengers arriving from a limited number of countries on the Green List do not have to restrict their movements for 14 days. Passengers from any other location not on this list are asked to restrict their movements for 14 days.The general advice against non-essential travel includes Great Britain, but does not apply to Northern Ireland.

Passengers arriving in Ireland from overseas are legally required to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. Further information is available at www.gov.ie

 

Italy

On 7 October 2020, the Italian Government decided to extend the nationwide state of emergency until 31 January 2021, due to the health risks posed by the spread of  Covid-19.

A new Decree has been issued by the Government affecting travel to the country. Travellers from specified countries will be required to present a Covid test done within the last 72 hours on arrival in Italy OR undergo a Covid test in the following 48 hours in a designated medical structure, remaining isolated in the accommodation until they get a negative result. If the test is positive the person must observe a 10 days quarantine.

  • Countries included in the list are: United Kingdom, Spain, France, Belgium, Nederland, Czech Republic
  • Countries that have been withdrawn from the list are: Croatia, Malta and Greece

See: http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/archivioNotizieNuovoCoronavirus.jsp?lingua=english

In addition to this:

  1. Masks must be worn in all public places eg squares, streets, parks from 18:00 to 06:00 hours
  2. Bars and restaurants must operate at restricted hours
  3. All dance activities at nightclubs etc, whether indoors or outdoors, are banned
  4. Ski stations, gyms and swimming pools have been closed
  5. Whilst not forbidden, travelling is not encouraged within Italy

Further information is available on the www.esteri.it.

All persons travelling to Italy need to provide the carrier, or law enforcement officers, a self-declaration form.

Malta

The mandatory quarantine was lifted for countries with which Malta established travel corridors, based on epidemiological criteria. The list of PHC countries comprises Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vatican City. From other countries, only essential travel may be allowed.

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

Morocco

Since 01 October 2020, the conditions of access to the national territory have been eased. From now on, 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

Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions, unless a country or region is defined as high transmission area. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health provides a map of affected areas, which is updated regularly.

All travellers entering Norway from countries or regions that are defined as high transmission areas will have to quarantine for 10 days.

The requirements for quarantine do not apply to travellers who are resident in a EU+ country with fewer than 20 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last two weeks, and fewer than 5 per cent positive tests on average per week over the last two weeks. In addition there is a comprehensive assessment, based on trends in infection rate and other relevant information. Assessments are made at a regional level when it is possible.

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

 

Portugal

EU citizens, Schengen area counties and those from the UK are now welcome, and the border between Spain and Portugal reopened on 1 July.

You will be subject to health screening on arrival at mainland airports and ports through a temperature check –  if you show signs of being unwell, you will be referred to the health authorities at the airport. You may be required to take a COVID-19 test and to self-isolate at your accommodation until the test results are known.

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

Passengers flying to the Madeira archipelago have to present a negative test to COVID-19 carried out within 72 hours prior to departure or they can perform it upon arrival. For more information, visit http://www.visitmadeira.pt/en-gb/useful-info/corona-virus-(covid-19)/information-to-visitors-(covid-19)

 

Spain

Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions.

All passengers arriving by air or sea transport must undergo a temperature check, which must be below 37.5 degrees Celsius. Cruising companies can take passengers temperature before arriving at a Spanish port. In addition, all travelers must fill in a Public Health Form, or use the free app “Spain Travel Health” (SpTH). After completing the form, passengers will obtain a QR code which they must present upon arrival in Spain.Tour operators, travel agencies and transport companies must inform tourists and travelers of their obligation to present the Public Health Form at the destination airport or port.

Some countries are imposing restrictions or quarantine periods on travellers arriving from Spain. You can consult this map (in Spanish) for an updated overview of travel restrictions applied to Spanish travellers. Travel Information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be found at Asistencia consular coronavirus.

Germany and the UK have lifted their travel restrictions to the Canary Islands although travellers will need to present negative test results on arrival or pay for a test to be taken at a nearby clinic.

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

 

Switzerland

Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions, unless a country or region is defined as Covid risk area. The Federal Office of Public Health keeps a list of countries concerned, which is updated regularly.

All travellers entering Switzerland from countries or regions that are defined as Covid risk areas will have to quarantine for 10 days. Travellers that are required to go into quarantine willl be notified during the flight, on board of coaches and at border crossings. They will have to register with the cantonal authorities within two days after arrival, and follow their instructions. Airline and travel companies are instructed not to transport sick passengers. The mandatory quarantine requirement does not apply to transit passengers who have spent less than 24 hours in a country or area with an increased risk of infection. For updated information, see the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) FAQs.

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

 

Tunisia

Tunisia has now implemented a new entry procedure for international arrivals into the country from June 27th. A color-coded system has been implemented to show which countries may enter without restrictions and which countries can enter with enhanced restrictions. They have created two lists (Green and Red) of countries that are eligible to visit Tunisia for the purposes of tourism.

The Green list is made up of countries with low prevalence of the virus and travellers coming from these countries are not subject to any preventative measures. All they need to do prior to their trip is complete a sanitary form.

The Orange list is a second group of countries with medium prevalence of the virus. People coming from these countries, in addition to the online sanitary form, need to present a negative-PCR test performed no later than 72 hours before departure (and not exceeding 120 hours before reaching Tunisian soil to help with layovers and transits.)

If your country is not on either the green list or the orange list, it is considered to be on the red list. Persons from the red list can only enter if they are considered essential travelers and there are very strict rules for entering from a red country as well, including a 14 day quarantine at a government centre, and multiple PCR tests. Tourists from red zones are not welcome at this time.

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

Turkey has lifted all COVID travel restrictions and is now allowing passengers from all nations to enter, under its previous regulations. Visitors will, however, have to have a health screening and temperature check on arrival. Should a traveler have any of the known COVID-19 symptoms (cough, fever, difficulties breathing) a PCR test will be requested.

The Turkish government requests that people complete a passenger locator form prior to their arrival in Turkey. The purpose of the form is to be able to contact individuals who have been in contact with someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.

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

You may not have to self-isolate when you arrive or return to the UK if the country or territory is on the travel exemption list.   This is because these countries have similar or lower levels of coronavirus  infection to the UK, or are within the Common Travel Area (Ireland, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man).

Everyone arriving in the UK must complete the passenger locator form 48 hours before arrival.

Travellers arriving in England do not have to self-isolate when arriving, if they:

Travellers arriving in Scotland do not have to self-isolate when arriving, if they:

Travellers arriving in Wales do not have to self-isolate when arriving if they:

  • are travelling or returning from one of the countries with travel corridor exemption
  • have not been to or stopped in a country that’s not on the exemption list the previous 14 days

Travellers arriving in Northern Ireland do not have to self-isolate when arriving if they:

  • have not been to or stopped in a country that’s not on the exemption list the previous 14 days

 

NB: Spain was removed from the travel corridor list in July and travellers arriving from Spain in all four nations must quarantine for a 14-day period. The FCO advises against all non-essential travel to Spain, with the exception of the Canary Islands (from 24.10), based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country.

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