With travel restrictions constantly changing, it can be very difficult to keep track of what you need to travel between countries in Europe if you are a haulier or commercial van driver.
We took an in-depth look at what the current situation is and what is required, so you know exactly what you need to have with you when travelling within the EU.
Throughout the Coronavirus outbreak, all passengers travelling into the UK have been required to complete a contact tracing form, also known as a Public Health Passenger Locator Form.
The purpose of the Passenger Locator Form is to do just that, locate individuals who have recently entered the country should they – or other passengers – begin to display Covid-19 symptoms. The form must be completed 48-hours prior to your arrival in the UK. The form will ask you to declare your reason for travelling and to state that you are not currently displaying any symptoms of the virus.
Whilst the declaration is free, you could be fined up to £100 if you refuse to provide contact details or are found to be offering incorrect information. If you aren’t a British Citizen or a UK resident your access into the UK may also be denied.
Once your application has been approved, you must present the completed form at the border to be granted access/departure to/from the country.
Your completion of the Passenger Locator Form is not indicative of whether or not you have to self-isolate for the advised fourteen days.
Under current guidelines, you must self-isolate upon entering the country if you have travelled to a country that is currently not included within the UK Travel Corridor, the Common Travel Area or has been issued an governmental exemption.
Freight drivers are exempt from the fourteen day isolation period.
You can assess whether the country you are planning to travel to requires you to isolate upon return/arrival by taking a look at the UK Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors guidance.
You may be denied access into the country if it is thought that you pose a risk of infection.
This may be because you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, have provided incorrect/misdeclared information or have refused to provide adequate details.
Always double check information is correct before submitting your declaration.
If you are a UK resident, you will not be denied access to the country, instead you will have to self-isolate. Failure to do so may risk a fine and/or prosecution.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises nationals against all international travel that is not deemed ‘essential’– this includes travelling for work, unavoidable international trips (such as returning home) and caring for family members.
Here are some of the destinations our freight customers typically deliver to and how you can enter (all information true as of July 2020).
Belgium has been exempt from the FCO advice, regarding non-essential travel based on current COVID-19 assessment risks, since the 4th July.
From the reopening of its borders, passengers are required to complete the Belgian Public Health Passenger Locator Form.
Belgium currently operates a traffic light system of countries allowed to enter depending on the severity of their COVID-19 outbreak. If you enter from a high risk (red) country then you are required to take a test upon entry and self-isolate for fourteen days.
Check whether your area allows for travel on the Belgium Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs website.
As the Channel Islands are part of the British Territories, they operate the same travel restrictions as mainland UK. Therefore, if you are planning to travel to a channel island, you must continue to adhere to UK laws without worrying about any additional requirements.
Finland still has its borders closed to non-residents, with some exemptions.
Currently, UK residents are not allowed to enter the country. For an exemption you must apply directly to the embassy and, under exceptional circumstances, your passage may be granted. However, this does not affect cross-border travel. Therefore, you are allowed to transit through the country.
France continues to operate a traffic light system to determine which countries are allowed access.
France has defined a European Area composed of EU countries, the UK, Andorra, Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.
Travellers arriving from the aforementioned countries no longer have to self-isolate, demonstrate their travel is essential or hold an international travel certificate.
If you are not entering from one of the countries listed, you need to apply for a travel certificate from the French Ministry of Interior. You must demonstrate your travel is essential and you will not be granted access if you fail to do so.
There are now no general COVID-19-related restrictions on entry into Germany from elsewhere in the EU, the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway.
Germany is no longer operating additional checks for those arriving by land or air. According to the authorities, travellers are no longer required to provide any additional information than they would prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Countries not included within the above list must adhere to EU guidelines and restrictions.
Greece continues to adhere to EU border requirements, thus meaning all British nationals are allowed to enter.
According to the Greek restrictions however, all travellers must complete a Passenger Locator form at least 24 hours before their arrival. Failure to do so will result in you being turned away from the border and could result in a €500 fine.
You may be required to undergo testing for coronavirus, however this is not the case for all passengers. If you test negative, you will not be required to self-isolate.
Italy became exempt from the UK’s travel restrictions on the 4th July. If you are entering from an approved country you do not need to complete any additional paperwork.
However, if you have travelled to a restricted country within fourteen days or are not from the country on the list you will need to complete a ‘self-declaration form for travel’ form.
You will be asked to self-isolate for fourteen days should any of the aforementioned factors apply to your travel.
Entry to the Netherlands has been allowed since the 1st July. However, a non-essential travel ban still applies to non-listed countries. This ban is not applicable to UK and EU nationals. UK citizens are no longer required to self-isolate for fourteen days.
However, in order to enter the country, you must be in possession of a completed health screening form at the border.
You may be denied access into the country should you be displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
On 15th July, Norway listed its travel ban for EU/EEA countries - which includes the UK - until the end of the year. UK residents currently residing within the country do not need to self-isolate. However, if you are a resident of a high-risk country you are required to self-quarantine for ten days.
A full list of countries which face travel restrictions can be found in the Infection control advice for travel and entry quarantine for COVID-19 advice. The list is reviewed every ten days.
If you are arriving in Norway to work, you must bring a copy of your work contract. This includes deliveries/commercial drivers. Workers must follow the adequate isolation requirements.
If you are arriving from the UK, EU or EFTA country, you are allowed to travel to Poland without having to self-isolate. If you are travelling from non-EU countries, this is not the case and you must quarantine for fourteen days. This does not include freight drivers, cabin crew, train workers, agricultural workers, students or school pupils. Members of the consulate and their families are also exempt.
You do not need to provide any additional information upon your arrival at this current time should you be from one of the aforementioned countries.
Checks remain in place for all countries not within the EU, including Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. However, this list is subject to change.
Travel to and from Russia is still heavily restricted. You will not be granted access unless the travel is viewed as essential.
In order to be allowed access into the country, all individuals should present a medical certificate confirming you have tested negative for COVID-19 on a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) which should not have been conducted more than three days before arrival.
Alternatively, you can provide a medical certificate confirming you have tested positive for antibodies of the virus (meaning you have already been infected and recovered, therefore, you don’t pose a risk). If you fail to provide either of the aforementioned, you will be required to take a PCR test (at your own expense) whilst self-isolating for three days until the results come back. If you meet the requirements, you will not be required to self-isolate.
The FCO re-imposed a ban on non-essential travel on the 27th July. This includes the Balearic and Canary Islands due to their recent statistics of COVID-19.
Travellers entering the Spain must provide confirmation that their entry into the country is ‘essential’. This can be a copy of your work permit or a signed letter from your employer.
You will not be required to self-isolate upon your arrival in the country, however, upon your return to the UK you must quarantine for 14 days. In order to be granted access to the country, you must provide the Spanish Ministry a Passenger Information form detailing your contact information and any recent exposure to the virus. Failure to do so will result in you being denied access from the country.
Additionally, upon your arrival at the border you must also provide a temperature check and undergo a visual health assessment. Anyone who presents symptoms or fails to provide one of the above requirements will be seen by a health professional at their own cost.