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When can I travel to Europe again?

Those of us longing to travel or even visit some family and friends across the Atlantic are sitting here, watching the border openings and wondering; when can I travel to Europe again?

In July, the EU opened it’s borders to Canadian passport holders and other nations in Europe followed suit. But with the second wave currently spreading, many countries in Europe and others are limiting their international travel allowances. Read on for more travel information on where you can go in Europe, including important entry requirements, quarantine information, and other health and safety guidance during COVID-19.

Before any travel to Europe or elsewhere, always remember to check with your host country’s local government and consulate website before booking your trip and you packing your bags. And for more travel news, see our coronavirus travel advice page for the latest information for Canadians.

Please note: This article was last updated on October 1, 2020, and was accurate at time of writing. For the most up-to-date information on travelling in Europe, check our travel restrictions page which is updated daily.

Click below for the latest information on travelling to Europe

EU, Europe, Schengen Zone…where can I go?

On July 1, 2020, it was announced by the EU that they would ease restrictions for travel from 14 countries, and Canada was one of them. Diplomats also followed the announcement by stating that each country will have its own entry requirements to ensure health and safety, so be sure to check with the European country/countries you plan to travel to beforehand.

Most EU countries (with the exception of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus) make up the Schengen Zone. What’s the Schengen Zone? It’s a free movement zone within Europe without any border restrictions. There are a few countries which are part of the Schengen Zone but not the EU, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

The clear ocean water in Malta
When can I travel to Europe again as a Canadian?

Which countries can I travel to in Europe as a Canadian?

Many arrivals in Europe depend on which country you are coming from. This means that if you are arriving to your destination in Europe directly from Canada, then the travel restrictions don’t apply but, there may be an issue if you are transiting from another country. Always check your flight route to see if you are allowed to transit through a certain country before safely arriving in your chosen destination without any quarantine requirements.

It’s important to note that just because a country doesn’t require you to quarantine upon arrival, doesn’t mean that there won’t be other entry requirements that you have to meet. When travelling to Europe during these times, this can range from completing a questionnaire, presenting or taking a COVID test, or medical screenings. 

For all the specifics for EU countries and their entry requirements, they’ve created this helpful website for travellers. You can select your desired EU destination on the left-hand side and click on the country using the map. All of the travel details are on the right, including which countries can enter, where you can travel from, and if quarantine is required upon arrival. Click on the Earth icon to see if the country is open for travel, and the house icon next to it will outline whether mandatory quarantine is required upon entry. Links to the government websites and email addresses are also provided.

Please note that there are a number of countries in Europe that remain closed for now, or have a partially open status for Canadian passport holders. You can stay up-to-date on where you can visit with Skyscanner’s Where’s Open page. This page is also updated with the latest data on tested and reported COVID-19 cases over the past 7 days.

Is it safe to travel to Europe again?

The economies of many countries rest, at least partially, on the back of travel, which means that not only is travel important to us for a vacation and a chance to explore, but it’s essential for our world to function.

But travelling right now comes with additional risks that we’ve never had to deal with before. And travelling after the pandemic will probably look very different than it did before. 

Before you plan your Europe trip, you should find out what you need to know before you go. Hotels are changing the way that they interact with guests, air travel is continuously evolving, and you’ll want to spend more time exploring places than interacting with the locals. 

However, none of that means that you can’t travel to Europe now as a Canadian. If you know the risks and you want to go in spite of them, then so long as you’re going to travel safely you’re good to go. But you’ll want to make sure you:

  • understand the restrictions and regulations of your host country
  • stock up on important things you’ll need while you’re travelling like your reusable face masks and good quality, alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • travel safely using physical distancing
  • pre-plan your travel days in Europe, now more than ever it’s important to know what you’re going to be doing.
  • check the cancellation policies before booking any type of travel
  • understand the risks involved when travelling to Europe or elsewhere

For more travel tips, check out our Travel Checklist for 2020.

a photo of an ancient structure in Athens, Greece - Canadians can currently travel to Europe, including Greece, if they're willing to participate in a self-quarantine upon arrival
Wondering when can I travel to Europe again from Canada?

Travel restrictions outside of Canada

The Canadian government issued a travel advisory asking Canadians to refrain from non-essential travel (tourism) which unfortunately includes soaking up the sun in Greece or shopping and exploring the museums in Spain.

Remember that if you choose to leave Canada, you will be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon your return. And make sure you find travel insurance options which suit you for travel during COVID.

The government has also warned that further travel restrictions could be implemented while you are overseas. If travel restrictions are implemented while you are away from Canada, such as a full lockdown, travellers will be subject to return on their own or stay in place—there isn’t going to be assistance provided by the government. 

Changing the way we travel

Short-term trips hardly seem worth it right now. It doesn’t seem like a great trade-off to spend 10-days enjoying the beauty of a new country, then having to spend 14-days in quarantine back in Canada.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t travel to Europe. This might be a great opportunity for longer term, slow travel trips. While not everyone has the opportunity to take longer than the typical 7-10 day vacation, for those of us able to get away, this could be the chance. 

Does that mean that you can’t travel? Of course not. It simply means that you need to travel smart and do your research before you go. 

When can I travel to Europe from Canada? FAQs

When can I travel to Europe without quarantine?

If you’re itching to travel to Europe again, it’s best to look into the specific regulations of the country that you want to visit, because some might require a quarantine upon arrival.

Which countries in Europe can I go to?

For more up-to-date information on travelling to Europe for Canadians, check out our travel restrictions map

Can I leave Canada?

While Canadians are being cautioned to avoid all non-essential travel, you are welcome to come and go as you please. That said, Canadians who leave the country will be required to quarantine upon their return home. 

Please note: This article was last updated on October 1, 2020, and was accurate at time of writing. For the most up-to-date information on travelling in Europe, check our travel restrictions page which is updated daily.

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