After two dramatic years, Europe has clearly declared the coronavirus pandemic consolidated « No!”, before our eyes changing the rules for tourism. Although the pandemic has not officially ended yet, and some experts are still afraid of its consequences, and some countries still maintain a number of covid restrictions, the general mood and main trend is to at least get rid of all Covid-19 tests and boring masks.
“After two dramatic years of shock, anxiety, chaos, anger, fatigue and often just plain boredom, Europe appears to have decided to cancel the coronavirus. Collective events, festivals and events are back,” say experts quoted by the European press.
The European Commission went along with the general trend and said that the pandemic had entered a new era, when counting all cases of coronavirus “became unnecessary.” Its guidance recommends that participating countries “focus on targeted and reliable samples for discovering new variants, rather than on mass testing.” “We are entering a new phase of the pandemic. This is a phase that requires rethinking how we will face the next opportunities of this virus,” said EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. According to her statements, between 60 and 80% of the EU population have been infected with the virus at some point in the past two years. However, many remain unvaccinated.
But governments have clearly realized that citizens are no longer ready to endure and bear the burden of restrictions. The media also removed the coronavirus from the agenda, changing the agenda to more relevant topics, including sanctions and rising energy prices.
True, not everyone supports the trend – as the Europeans say, “China is imposing a brutal zero-Covid strategy that angers the public and disrupts global supply chains.” Not ready to accept at WHO: “Although the number of reported cases and deaths worldwide has decreased, and many countries have lifted restrictions, the pandemic is not over yet and will not end until it ends everywhere,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the World health organizations (WHO). At the same time, the association fears the psychological problems left by the coronavirus “inherited.”
However, in general, most European countries somehow simplify the “antique” rules. Including for tourists. Here are some examples:
- Austria has removed the “covid-safety regime”, aka the vaccine qualification, for entering restaurants, bars and clubs. Russian tourists who somehow got through the “air sanctions”, while the country allows – but a negative PCR test is required.
- Since May 1, Greece has ceased to require vaccination certificates and test certificates from tourists, including Russian ones. They will not be required for visiting indoor and outdoor areas, including trade, catering and transport, including ferries and airplanes. Catering and trade establishments, entertainment and cultural institutions are allowed to operate at 100% capacity. But the mask regime in enclosed spaces and transport has been maintained until May 16.
- Denmark has become the first European country to end its Covid-19 vaccination program. “We're in good shape,” said Bolette Soborg, division chief of the country's National Health Board. Perhaps the practice of vaccination in the country will return in the fall. In the meantime, tourists are allowed in freely.
- Cyprus has abandoned the Safe Pass (i.e., the local “kewar code”) – but so far only in the open areas of restaurants and entertainment establishments, from May 15 it is planned to be “turned off” everywhere – however, in reality, it was not strictly required last summer either. The country is also open for tourists who are ready to fly “on the bed-bells”.
- In Spain, the mask regime has been canceled both indoors and outdoors, masks are still required in public transport and in medical institutions, including pharmacies. However, for now, Spain is officially closed to Russians arriving for tourism purposes – at least until May 15.
- In Italy, the mask regime will be canceled in enclosed spaces from May 1, but they are still required in public transport. Italy issues tourist visas to Russian tourists, but they will have to “sneak” into the country through Istanbul or Belgrade.
- North Macedonia has abolished sanitary requirements for tourists. You no longer need vaccination certificates or covid tests to enter the country. But our tourists will need a visa.
- In Slovakia, the mask regime was removed from April 21. The only exceptions are hospitals and clinics. Tourists are also allowed, although the country does not issue visas to Russians.
- Slovakia does not issue tourist visas in Russia. You can enter with a valid Schengen visa issued by another country.
- Croatia lifted entry restrictions from May 2, the country issues and allows tourist visas in Russia for Schengen and visas of Bulgaria, Cyprus or Romania. Masks are only required in medical facilities.
Serbia, which is not part of the EU, can be added as a separate item – the country has canceled all control measures in connection with COVID-19 on the entry of tourists since May 3. Help from the Russians is no longer required. Moreover, tourists from Russia can actually enter the country only with a passport – there is no visa regime between our countries. But there are direct flights.
Let's also add about the lifting of “antique” measures by countries outside the EU:
- Turkey also canceled the mask regime, the restrictions apply only to transport.
- Israel is abolishing the mandatory use of masks indoors, but they will remain mandatory “in places with a high potential for infection”, which, by the way, includes aircraft. Recall that the country is officially open for Russian tourists. Moreover, there are direct flights from Moscow, Sochi and the Mineralnye Vody.
- The rules for entry have also simplified Thailand, which has removed all “special programs” since May 1, and Sri Lanka.
For those who care about a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “The doctor revealed the effect of iron deficiency on hair loss.”