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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.  Levels of infection started to rise again in the New Year with more infectious variants spreading around the continent.

Where vaccination programmes have been particularly successful, for example in the UK,  infection levels have dropped significantly and some touristic accommodation is already open.

More information on border closures and restrictions 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

Austria is currently in lockdown and touristic accommodation is closed, although essential travel is still possible.

Strict entry rules are in effect, requiring all travellers to obtain pre-travel clearance. Most travellers need to self-quarantine upon arrival and additionally show a negative COVID test. 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 a so-called pre-travel clearance (PTC)

 

Belgium

Non-essential leisure travel to and from Belgium is prohibited. 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.

Travellers coming from the Green Category countries are not required to hold a COVID-19 test certificate or self-isolate.

During the period 1-31 March 2021, all passengers from countries of the “Green Category” will undergo a PCR laboratory test upon their arrival in Cyprus, the cost of which will be covered by the Republic of Cyprus. As of 1 April 2021, no restriction will be in place.

Travellers from countries of the “Orange Category” have to provide a document showing a negative result of a PCR test taken within 72 hours before entering the country.

Travellers from countries of the “Red Category” have to undergo a double testing procedure, showing a negative result of a PCR test taken within 72 hours before entering the country and carrying out another PCR test upon arrival.

 

Denmark

Entry from EU Member States and Schengen Associated countries is not allowed for tourism. 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

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

Latest news: 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. You must comply with health regulations to enter France (PCR test and sworn declaration). You are not required to self-isolate.

A curfew is still in place from 6pm – 6am. Bars, restaurants remain closed.

 

Germany

Latest news: Germany has extended its lockdown until 18 April, with most shops shut, gatherings limited and touristic accommodation closed.

From 30 March 2021, all persons travelling to Germany by air must present a negative COVID‑19 test result before embarking on their journey.

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.

All travellers from foreign countries are required to show a negative PCR test result for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their arrival. This includes air and land arrivals to Greece. After a 7-days self-isolation period, travellers may continue with their holidays, adhering to the general public health safety guidelines.

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

The government advises against all non-essential international travel.  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.

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

Latest news: On 8 March, Italy tightened its rules in a number of regions as infections rise. A nationwide curfew from 22:00 to 05:00 remains in place and travel between Italy’s 20 regions is banned.

Travellers entering Italy until 30 April 2021 who have staying in or transiting through any List C countries – which now include Israel and the United Kingdom – in the previous 14 days will be required to self-isolate for 5 days (as well as comply with the self-declaration obligations and show a negative swab test at arrival). At the end of the self-isolation period, a new molecular or antigenic test will be required.

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

 

Malta

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

Latest news: The State of Emergency was extended to 15 April.  The liftting of lockdown restrictions will take place in 4 phases, which may be reviewed every 15 days according to the epidemiological evolution.

Passengers coming from countries that have an incidence rate higher than 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days must present a negative Covid test, carried out within 72 hours before travelling. Passengers from countries with an incidence rate of 500 cases or more per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days have to undergo a 14-day isolation period after entry in mainland Portugal.

Traffic between Portugal and Spain is limited to cross-border workers.

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: Last year, the government in Spain declared a new state of emergency which has been extended until early May 2021. Travel between regions was banned over the Easter period and a nationwide curfew introduced although these measures were not applicable in the Balearic Islands or the Canary Islands.

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 must present a certificate with a Negative PCR result, 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

Entry from EU Member States and Schengen Associated 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.

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

Due to the increase in infections, Turkey is likely to order a tightening of restrictions ahead of the vital tourism season.

All incoming passengers travelling to Turkey are required to present a negative PCR test result taken within the last 72 hours. Passengers arriving in Turkey who have been to Brazil, the UK, Denmark or South Africa in the previous 10 days will have to quarantine for 14 days at government facilities.

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.

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 strict lockdown measures introduced early January are now gradually being eased and self catering accommodation in England and Wales has now re-opened. In Scotland, self catering accommodation is due to open on 26 April.

Only essential trips abroad are allowed – it is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and fines of up to £5,000 are set to be introduced from 29 March. International arrivals for essential travel will be required to have a negative test before travelling to Britain. From 15 February, travellers returning from 33 “red list” countries have had to pay to stay in hotel rooms for 10 nights.

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