Covid Travel Restrictions Lessen Across EU, Paving Way for Stronger Business Operation

Business-related travel and tourism may see an increase soon.

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Covid-related restrictions on travel to, from, and within Europe are loosening quickly, which means business-related travel and tourism may see an increase soon.

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In February, World Health Organization director Hans Kluge declared that Europe was entering a "long period of tranquility" amid the ongoing pandemic as positive cases continued to mount but hospitalizations plateaued. As vaccination rates have also increased, earlier regulations designed to curb the spread of the virus, like mask mandates and travel restrictions, have been increasingly eased.

Last month, the EU opted to move the focus of travel restrictions to an individualized basis, no longer opting to base restriction on infection rates in a traveler's region of origin.

Austria has made vaccination legally required. The unvaccinated can enter shops and engage in public activities, but risk a fine of €3,600. Denmark is also allowing in global travelers who can either show proof of full vaccination or previous infection.

In keeping with a regulation that spans the entire EU, travelers must have a third booster in the event they were vaccinated more than 270 days before their trip. Travelers arriving to Lithuania from inside the EU or EEA only need to show proof of vaccination, a negative test result, or documentation of a recovery from the virus within 180 days. They no longer need to self-isolate after travel.

A vaccine passport is not necessary for entering or leaving France, although it is mandatory for long-distance plane, train, and bus trips, as well as for admission to theme parks, museums, and other public places. At the end of February, the European Council recommended EU member states to lift temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the region for anyone who has been fully vaccinated or recovered from the virus within 180 days.

Although remote working is still encouraged, there are capacity limits on some major public venues, and a return to pre-pandemic business may come slowly, these are good signs that industry is functioning again. Traveling to other business locations or for work will be less difficult, as will appealing to visitors and tourists, which is good news for small-business owners who have felt the sting of restriction and regulation since shutdowns began in 2020.