Planning a trip this summer? Here are the current restrictions on travel

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many countries worldwide continue to restrict entry, and most travel remains discouraged. MaltaToday offers a recap of what rules apply in the EU and ways to get the latest info

What about the COVID-19 passport?

The European Commission expects to finish work soon on a COVID-19 certificate to allow citizens to travel more efficiently this summer in the 27-nation bloc.

The pass would allow those vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 or with negative test results to cross borders in a union where restrictions on movement have weighed heavily on the travel and tourism industry for more than a year. 

There is still no definitive date as to when this will be launched. 


PCR test needed: yes. 

Quarantine: no.

Upon entry into France, a negative PCR test must be presented, which must not be older than 72 hours. Travellers must also fill out a declaration stating, for example, that they have no COVID-19 symptoms. According to the Interior Ministry, travellers from Europe may also enter France without “compelling reasons.”

The situation in France remains tense; the country continues to be high-risk. However, the country has relaxed some of its measures. People are now once again allowed to travel more than ten kilometres from their homes without good reason. There is a night-time curfew from 7 pm to 6 am, which is to be pushed back to 9 pm as of May 19. Outdoor areas of restaurants and stores and cultural institutions will then also be allowed to reopen.


PCR test needed: yes. 

Quarantine: no.

Entry from EU and Schengen-associated states is possible in principle. However, mandatory testing is still required for entry from high-risk countries, including Malta. 

However, things are fluid. On Thursday, the country’s tourism minister said they were aiming to welcome back British tourists without the need for a negative COVID test from May 20. It stands to be seen how that change will affect other countries with similar vaccination rates and cases.  


PCR test needed: yes. 

Quarantine: no.

The situation in Portugal has improved. Only the Algarve region, the Azores and Madeira are still considered risk areas. On May 1, for the first time in about five and a half months, the state of emergency was not extended. Restaurants, cafes and bars as well as cinemas, theatres and other cultural and leisure venues have since been allowed to stay open until 10:30 pm. on weekends.

Whether by land or air, all passengers must present a negative PCR test carried out over the previous 72 hours. 


PCR test needed: yes. 

Quarantine: no.

Since May 3, cafés, bars and taverns in Greece have been allowed to open their outdoor areas for all guests, whether vaccinated or not. However, they have to close at 10:45 pm, and an evening curfew then applies from 11 pm onwards. Travel within Greece is not possible without restrictions, but this requirement is to be lifted on May 15.

Upon entry, proof of a full vaccination or a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old must be presented. Fully vaccinated means here that the second vaccination was at least 14 days ago. There is no longer a quarantine requirement.

Greece plans to open the country to vacationers from EU countries and some other states such as Great Britain and Serbia from May 14 to save the domestic tourism sector.

Italy and Sicily 

PCR test needed: yes. 

Quarantine: yes, five days – only until mid-may.

Italy is gradually easing the restrictions within the country where a traffic light system is in place. Where infection numbers are moderate, restaurants and bars are allowed to serve at tables outside in the evening. A curfew continues to apply from 10 pm to 5 am.

Entry from most of Europe is allowed in principle, but persons arriving from these countries must provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours upon entry, undergo a five-day quarantine, and present another negative test after five days. 

This regulation runs until mid-May. Then a national “green vaccination passport” is to be introduced to be able to travel freely within the country.


PCR test needed: yes.

Quarantine: no.

In Cyprus, Malta is still listed as an orange country. Travellers coming from the orange category will be required to present a negative result of the PCR test, not older than 72 hours.