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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 and some overseas travel is now possible, although the rise of new variants is delaying the opening of borders and restriction-free travel  – 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

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 (The UK is a red zone country), 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

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.

Travellers arriving from countries NOT classified as “green” can enter Cyprus without being subject to any isolation or test requirement.

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 green, 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

You can enter Finland from all countries if you have received a full course of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

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: https://www.visitfinland.com/article/practical-travel-information-for-travelers-to-finland-during-coronavirus-pandemic/#5d732798

France

The conditions for entering France will depend on your country of departure and your vaccination status.

The updated list of countries and related rules is available at https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/coronavirus-advice-for-foreign-nationals-in-france/#sommaire_1

Travel from “green” countries

Non-vaccinated travellers are subject to the requirement for a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.

Travel from “orange” countries (currently includes the UK)

Vaccinated people arriving from “orange” countries are only subject to a pre-departure COVID-19 test requirement (PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure, or antigenic test taken 48 hours prior to departure).

Non-vaccinated travellers may enter France only for urgent reasons. In addition to the pre-departure COVID-19 test requirement, they are also subject to 7-day self-isolation and they may also be subject to random antigenic tests upon arrival.

Travel from “red” countries

All travellers arriving from “red” countries may enter France only for urgent reasons and are subject to a pre-departure COVID-19 test requirement (PCR or antigenic test taken 48 hours prior to departure), plus an antigenic test upon their arrival in France.

Additionally, non-vaccinated travellers are subject to 10-day mandatory quarantine, while vaccinated travellers are subject to 7-day self-isolation.

Germany

Residents of one of the countries listed at BMI (bund.de)are allowed to enter Germany also for non-essential purposes like tourism, regardless of their vaccination status. However, proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from COVID-19, or a negative test. Restrictions on travel continue to apply for countries not on the list above and people may enter Germany only for urgent reasons.

For more information visit: Federal Foreign Office or https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/EN/topics/civil-protection/coronavirus/travel-restrictions-border-control/travel-restriction-border-control-list.html#f13919566

Greece

The Greek authorities have announced that travellers coming from European Union and Schengen Area, the United Kingdom and a number of other countries can enter Greece.

Proof of a negative COVID-19 test is not required for travellers that are fully vaccinated and hold a vaccination certificate. Upon arrival, randomly selected travellers may be requested to undergo a mandatory RAPID antigen test at the entrance gates

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

For more information visit: Travel.gov.gr

Ireland

All passengers (with limited exemptions) travelling to Ireland must fill out a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before departure. This is a pre-boarding requirement when travelling to Ireland.

Passengers must have:

  • valid proof of vaccination;
  • valid proof of recovery from COVID-19, valid between 11 and 180 days from the date of a positive PCR test; or
  • a negative/not-detected RT-PCR test, taken within 72 hours of arrival in Ireland. A non-RT-PCR test (for example, antigen) is not accepted.

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

Italy applies different procedures on travellers coming from third countries according to the epidemiology situation of the country of origin. Specific provisions remain in force until 30 July 2021 for travellers from:

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Japan, Canada and the United States of America

Brazil

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.Unvaccinated travellers from the UK are not allowed to travel to Malta.

Green list: travellers can enter the country without restrictions

Amber list: travellers are allowed to enter Malta as long as they can show they have been fully vaccinated and complete the relevant health declaration form

Red list: travellers is only permitted for limited reasons.

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

Most people, but not all, who live in the EU/EEA/Schengen Area or in the United Kingdom can travel to Norway now, regardless of the purpose of the trip.

For more information visit: https://www.udi.no/en/about-the-corona-situation/i-am-abroad/residing-in-the-eu-eea-schengen-or-the-uk/

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. All arrivals over age 2 must show a negative PCR test and will be subject to health screening when they land. There is no requirement to quarantine.

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

Up-to-the-minute advice on travel to Spain from other countries can be found at https://travelsafe.spain.info/en/

From 7 June, travellers from any third country are allowed entry – also for tourism – if they have a vaccination certificate and have had their full vaccination treatment or last dose 14 days before travel.

For essential travel, all travellers arriving from high-risk areas are subject to the requirement for a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test.

The test must be taken within 48 hours prior to arrival.

Specific Rules for Canary Islands

Entry rules for the Canary Islands are available at hellocanaryislands.com. All travellers to the Canary Islands are subject to the requirement for a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test.

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 opened in 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.

  • Passengers arriving to Turkey must submit a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.
  • Flight restrictions for Brazil and South Africa are removed.
  • Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka arrivals need 14 days quarantine.
  • Passengers had been vaccinated at least 14 days before their arrival in Turkey and/or that they had recovered from the disease in the last six months, are not requested to submit a PCR test
  • Passenger under 6 years of age are not required to provide any of the above.

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

Overseas travel is now 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 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: fully vaccinated arrivals do not need to quarantine for 10 days but they will be required to take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on day two and day eight.
  • 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