Europe reopens to travelers this summer

May 18, 2021

Finally some wonderful news! After a year since the travel ban to Europe, the EU is ending travel restrictions this summer.

In mid-March, the European Commission announced the creation of the Digital Green Certificate, a travel pass that allows travelers who have been vaccinated, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19 to travel freely with the EU without having to quarantine.

If you are planning a trip to Europe this summer, the following is an update on the situation in Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice), France (Paris), UK (London), and Spain (Madrid, Barcelona).

Note: Please keep in mind that the situation is constantly evolving and the information here is not exhaustive. Before making plans, you are strongly advised to keep informed with the official guidance and regulations of local, state, and national authorities of the relevant countries.

Italy

Starting Sunday, May 16, COVID-tested flights on American Airlines (AA) and Delta allow any passenger, whether for leisure or essential business, to travel to Italy. These flights allow travelers to skip quarantine provided they present a negative PCR test no more than 48 hours before boarding and be tested again on arrival.

Travelers to Italy from EU, United Kingdom, and Israel who are vaccinated or with a negative PCR test also no longer need to quarantine. Full details (in English) on the Italian Ministry of Health website.

While Italy has announced also announced green pass, no specifics on that have been released yet. The Local Italy has reported that according to the Tourism Minister “All you need is a simple piece of paper certifying that you respect the rules,” and proof that either “you’re vaccinated, you’re immune because you’ve had the disease, or you have had a negative test,” without giving further details.

More easing of restrictions will be announced by the government later this week.

Social distancing and masks are mandatory, even in open spaces (except when exercising) and there is still a nationwide curfew in place from 11pm-5am from May 19. Depending on the health data, the curfew could be eased to midnight from June 7, and the curfew will be completely lifted from June 21.

What is open in Italy?

Regions in Italy are still “classified into four areas – red, orange, yellow and white – corresponding to three risk scenarios, for which specific restrictive measures are foreseen”.

All regions are in the yellow zone. This means museums, archaeological sites, restaurants (outdoor dining and takeaway) can reopen, and travel is permitted between regions. From June 1st, dining indoors will be permitted. Discos are still closed until future updates.

Most hotels have been already been welcoming guests and below is the list of cultural sites, by city, which are now open to the public.

We are also excited to announce we are running tours in Rome, Florence, Venice, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast, led by our expert, local guides.

Attractions and museums in Rome

Vatican Museums: Opened from May 3 with the following hours:

Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 6.30pm, with the last entry at 4.30pm (exit from the museums and exhibition sectors at 6pm)

Friday and Saturday from 8.30am to 8.00pm, with the last entry at 6.00pm (exit from the museums and exhibition sectors at 7.30pm)

Masks and social distancing mandatory. Here are full details of the rules in place to ensure the safest conditions for visitors.

ColosseumOpened daily from April 26, every day from 10:30am to 7:15pm

Civic Museums System of Rome :Opened from April 26 including weekends and holidays

Pantheon: Open every day from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm (last entry 6.30 pm)

Attractions and museums in Florence

Florence Cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore: Opened from April 26 with the following hours: Monday to Saturday, 10.15am-5.00pm

Brunelleschi’s Dome: Opened from April 26 with the following hours: Monday to Friday 12.45-7.00pm and Saturday and Sunday 12.45-5.30pm.

Giotto’s Bell Tower: Reopens from May 16. Daily from 12.45-7.00pm,

Opera del Duomo Museum: Reopens from May 16 on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10.15am-5.00pm

The Baptistery: Closed for restoration

Uffizi: Reopened from May 4. Daily opening hours 8.15am- 6.30pm

Accademia: Reopened from May 6. From Thursday to Sunday from 9.00am to 6.45pm, with the last entry at 6.15pm. Bookings are mandatory for visits on Saturday and Sunday. Closed: every Monday, January 1, December 25

Attractions and Museums in Venice

The Civic Museums in Venice, including Doge’s Palace reopened April 26.

Doge’s Palace: Open daily from 10.00am to 6.00pm with the last entry at 5.00pm

St. Mark’s Basilica: Reopened for mass only

St. Mark’s Bell Tower: Reopened March 2 from 10.00am to 5.40pm (last admission 5.20pm)

France

On June 9, France plans to reopen to international travelers again.

As part of a four-step reopening plan, French President Emmanuel Macron recently announced that visitors from the United States, along with several other non-European Union (EU) travelers, will be allowed to enter France effective June 9, 2021, provided those travelers can present a health passport or “sanitary pass” that includes either proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or proof of a recent, negative PCR test.

While it is unclear at this time which health passport(s) France will accept or what documentation they will require as proof of vaccination, we will monitor the situation and advise on any official clarification that is made.

On May 19, France will also begin loosening internal restrictions in the coming weeks, including reopening outdoor dining (with a maximum of six guests per table), as well as museums, including the Louvre in Paris, cinemas, theaters and concert halls (with capacity limits of 800 for indoor facilities and 1,000 for outdoor venues). The Eiffel Tower is closed until further notice. Updated: Here’s the list of museums that have reopened.

A nightly curfew will still remain in place with relaxed parameters beginning May 19 when the curfew will start at 9:00 PM local time nightly. To check on latest government measures, check the Paris Official Website of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

On June 9, additional restrictions will be eased, allowing cafes and restaurants to resume their regular service, and authorizing events of up to 5,000 attendees. Curfew will be in place at 11:00 PM local time nightly.

Beginning June 30, the curfew restriction will be lifted completely; however, nightclubs will still remain closed.

All cultural sites, museums and attractions in France are closed until May 18.

UK

According to the BBC, restrictions are easing across much of the UK from May 17.

  • Pubs, bars, cafes, and restaurants will be allowed to serve customers indoors
  • Indoor entertainment such as museums, cinemas, and children’s play areas can open
  • Theatres, concert halls, conference centers, and sports stadiums can all reopen
  • Steam rooms and saunas may reopen
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen

The UK plans to lift all lockdown restrictions by June 21. Here are full details of the four-step roadmap to relaxing restrictions.

Spain

The national state of emergency in Spain ended on the May 9 and the 11pm curfew has been lifted in Madrid. However, a face mask must still be worn at all times in all public spaces, both indoor and outdoor.

From the official Madrid tourism website:

  • Restaurants, bars and cafés may open from 6am to 12 midnight, but are not allowed to serve new customers after 11pm.
  • Many of the city’s museums and cultural institutions have reopened, all of them with the necessary social distancing and safety measures put in place.
  • The maximum capacity is 50% in most enclosed spaces (such as hotels, restaurants, bars, places of worship and sports facilities), and 75% in cultural venues (like museums, monuments, theatres and cinemas), outdoor cafés and restaurants, and shopping centres.
  • Groups in bars and restaurants are limited to a maximum of 4 people indoors and 6 people outdoors.
  • Most night clubs and other late night venues remain closed.

For Barcelona, here are the full details of measures in place until May 24 by Barcelona City Council.

 

by Walks of Italy

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