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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. Most are now closed again in the New Year as levels of infection started to rise again and a new, more infectious variant of the virus was detected.

There is, however, light at the end of the tunnel as the vaccine has started to be rolled out around Europe.

More information on border around Europe 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 face coverings. 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 countries on this list can be found here. For travellers from risk areas, a 10-day quarantine is mandatory. When arriving, you need to present a “Declaration of Quarantine” form.

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

Belgium

All stays in a red zone will be considered high-risk contacts. As of 31 December 2020, any person (residents and non-residents) returning to Belgium after a stay of at least 48 hours in the red zone must be placed in quarantine. The quarantine can only be terminated with a negative PCR test performed on the seventh day of quarantine. This measure is currently in effect until 15 January 2021.

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

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

Latest news: On 6 November, seven  provinces in Denmark were put lockdown due to concerns about a mutation found in mink that can spread to humans.

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

For traffic between Finland and all EU Member States and Schengen Associated countries internal border control is reintroduced from 23 November 2020 onwards. Entry restrictions for Finland are detailed on the Finnish Border Guard website and on the website of the Finish government.

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

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

France

Latest news: All travellers arriving in France will be tested at airports and ports.: https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19

The French government has said it will not rule out stricter measures if the Covid-19 situation worsens in France and further lockdown measures are expected. A curfew is still in place from 8pm – 6am, although in some high-risk areas the curfew is from 6pm – 6am. Bars, restaurants remain closed until mid February.

Travelling from EU Member States and Schengen Associated countries to Metropolitan France is allowed without restrictions. although at present travel from the UK is prohibited.

Regardless of their country of origin, all persons showing Covid-19 symptoms when entering the national territory will have to observe quarantine or, if needed, be placed and kept in isolation by the relevant prefect.

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

Latest news: Full lockdown has been in place since December.

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.

Travellers entering Germany, who have been in a risk area at any time within the last ten days before entry, are obliged to self-isolate in accordance with the testing and quarantine regulations obligations of the competent Federal State.Entry restrictions and quarantine regulations in Germany

For more information visit: Federal Foreign Office

Greece

Latest news: The Greek authorities have implemented a nationwide lockdown which replaced all previous measures and applies to all parts of Greece. There is a near-complete curfew from 10PM to 5AM local time and during these hours, all movements (including those considered essential movements) are prohibited,

Entry from EU Member States + Schengen Associated countries is allowed. As of 11.11.2020, all people traveling to Greece from foreign countries will be required to have a negative molecular test result (PCR) for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece. This includes air and land arrivals to Greece. An updated list of countries and territories for which a negative test is required upon entry is available at: https://travel.gov.gr

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

For more information visit: Travel.gov.gr

Ireland

Latest news: Further restrictions are set to be reimposed soon.

Ieland is implementing the commonly agreed EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel restrictions, which applies to EU and EEA countries.

In general, you are requested to restrict your movements for 14 days if you arrive in Ireland from another country. This applies to all travellers entering the State, including Irish citizens coming home and people with no symptoms.

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

Latest news: On 7 October 2020, the Italian Government extended the nationwide state of emergency until 31 January 2021 due to the health risks posed by the spread of  Covid-19. Partial lockdowns have been introduced.

Based on the risk/restrictions level, regions in Italy are classified into 3 zones: yellow, orange and red.Bars, restaurants and non-essential retails business remain closed in the red and orange zones whilst bars and restaurants must close at 18:00 in the yellow zone.

There is a restriction on movement throughout the whole of Italy until the 15th of January and the opening of ski resorts has been delayed until 18th of January.More restrictions may be introduced in the coming days due to the increase in COVID cases.

Specific and updated rules for each country of origin are available at ViaggiareSicuri

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

Malta

Travelling from EU Member States + Schengen Associated countries is allowed without restrictions if they are classified as part of the Public Health Corridor (PHC).

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).

rom 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

Latest news: During the State of Emergency which began on 24 November, there is a travel ban on the mainland at weekends and curfews from 1pm – 5pm in high risk areas at weekends.

The measures are to be reassessed every two weeks.

Travelling to Portugal from EU Member States + Schengen Associated countries is allowed without restrictions and at the land borders with Spain, there are no restrictions on mobility.

Air travel to and from Portugal is allowed to:
– European Union countries;
– Schengen Associated Countries

Flights from the United Kingdom:
– Only passengers on flights from the United Kingdom who are nationals or citizens legally resident in Portugal are allowed to enter Portugal. – All passengers must present a negative test to COVID 19.

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

Latest news: On 25 October, the government in Spain declared a new state of emergency and a nationwide curfew was introduced. The state of emergency has been extended until early May 2021.

Travelling from EU Member States and Schengen Associated countries is allowed. If you fly to Spain, it is mandatory to fill in a Health Control Form (FCS) associated with your trip. Once you complete the form, you receive a personal QR code, which you present at the Health Control of the airport of arrival in Spain. All travellers should complete the form, including children of any age.

All passengers who come from a high-risk country or area in relation to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus must present, in order to enter Spain, a certificate with a NEGATIVE result from a PCR test (COVID-19 RT-PCR), a Transcription-Mediated Amplification (TMA) test, or other test based on equivalent molecular techniques, carried out in the 72 hours before arrival. The list of high-risk countries /areas, as well as the criteria used to define them, will be reviewed every fifteen days.

Within Spain: There are restrictions to traveling different communities and restrictions on night-time mobility throughout Spain, including Tenerife, where night time mobility in the island is restricted between 11:00 p.m and 6:00 a.m. Passengers in transit will not be affected.

If you are going to/coming from the airport during the times when there are mobility restrictions, you are advised to keep your boarding pass to be used as proof if requested by the authorities.

Some countries are imposing restrictions or quarantine periods on travellers arriving back 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.

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

Switzerland

On 20 December, Switzerland announced a general entry ban for all travellers from the UK and suspended all flights between the UK and Switzerland, with one exemption –  to allow passenger flights to/from the UK from 24 December for the purpose of enabling residents of the UK and Switzerland to return in both directions.

All restaurants, bars, cultural institutions, leisure venues and sports facilities are closed.

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

Borders are open in Turkey and at this stage, tourists do not need any specific health documentation to enter/exit Turkey unless they are arriving for medical treatment. If their home country is asking for a test on their return, they can take tests in the airports open 7/24, at a cost of 30 USD, with no requirement to make a prior booking. This also applies to transit passengers. The results are available in 4-8 hours and can be sent to the arrival airport and by email to the passenger as well.

From 20 November, there are restrictions on movement for the over 65s and those under the age of 20 and a curfew applies between 8pm and 10am at the weekend. In addition, coffee houses, internet tea rooms, cinemas are closed until further notice and restaurants can only offer a take-away service.

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

Latest news: The UK introduced strict lockdown measures early January which remain in place until at least February and all holiday accommodation is currently closed.

Only essential trips abroad are allowed and international arrivals will be required to have a negative test before travelling to Britain.

For more information go to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

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