February 09, 2022

Europe Is Starting to Reopen after Omicron

A glimmer of light on the horizon as European countries begin dropping travel restrictions one by one.

After months of back and forth, false starts, and abrupt pivots leaving people scrambling to make it home fast enough to escape quarantine, and millions of euro spent on tests, it seems Europe might finally be on the verge of a return to something that could be referred to as almost 'normal'. For those who are vaccinated, that is.

No quarantine in the Netherlands for boosted travelers

Beginning on Wednesday, travelers to the Netherlands from very high-risk areas will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival - if they have received their booster shots at least seven days before travel. This includes countries such as the US, Canada, South Africa, Israel, Australia, and the UK.

Triple-jabbed arrivals from high-risk countries must still fill out a declaration form and show proof of vaccination before entering the country. Meanwhile, those who have not received a booster shot will still need to spend ten days in isolation unless exempt for other reasons.

UK border open from next week

After a ton of pressure from airlines towards the end of January, the UK will also open for travel for all vaccinated passengers. The government is set to lift testing requirements for eligible vaccinated travelers on January 11th. They will still need to fill out a passenger locator form. Meanwhile, unvaccinated arrivals will need to show a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two after arriving in the UK.

In a letter to the UK's Health Secretary Sajid Javid on January 24th, chief executives of British Airways, Ryanair and other carriers on the British market asked for a clear protocol for managing future outbreaks

“...without recourse to knee-jerk universal testing or hotel quarantine.”

Furthermore, they requested that the government refrain from border closures and flight bans in response to future variants of concern, Bloomberg reported. The UK saw a 71% drop in international departures in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic 2019, suffering greatly from far-reaching testing and hotel quarantine requirements.

Easier to travel to Scandinavia

For a long time maintaining some of the more Draconian entry requirements in Europe, the Norwegian government has also drastically eased its restrictions. Since last Wednesday, fully-vaccinated travelers no longer needed to quarantine for three days when traveling to the country and testing on arrival. Meanwhile, US citizens only needed to show a negative test result and not proof of vaccination as CDC-issued vaccine cards cannot be verified in Norway.

However, since February 1st, the authorities have taken it one step further. Declaring that travel restrictions had not been effective in stopping the spread of the virus, Norway has now abolished its mandatory testing at the border requirement.

Denmark has done away with all corona-related restrictions inside the country. Since February 1st, vaccinated or recovered travelers are also exempt from testing requirements. Despite a sub-variant of Omicron being discovered in the country, its government stated a little over a week ago that COVID-19 was no longer a 'socially critical disease'. Let's hope they were right, and we are starting to see the tail-end of these two very long years.

Copyright 2022 simpleflying.com. All rights reserved. From https://simpleflying.com. By Linnea Ahlgren.

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