Germany and Switzerland have opened up to international travellers this weekend; Austria will welcome tourists from the GCC from July 1
If you’re looking to enjoy a holiday in the European continent, then there’s good news – three new European countries have reopening plans in the works.
One of Europe’s most visited destinations, Germany is home to lush forests, rivers, beaches and mountain ranges. The western European country started welcoming vaccinated tourists from June 25, without the need for quarantine.
According to The National, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) confirmed that the country was resuming its international travel and opening to global travellers, including those from the UAE and across the GCC.
“Opening our borders to international visitors ahead of the summer travel period is vital for the domestic tourism ecosystem and we anticipate Germany being recognised as a go-to travel destination this year,” said Yamina Sofo, director of sales and marketing of the German National Tourist Office Gulf Countries.
These rules apply only to travellers who have taken both doses of a vaccination recognised and approved by the European Medicines Agency. Currently, this includes Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Travel is not yet open to UAE residents vaccinated with Sinopharm.
Visitors must register and submit their vaccination card as proof before travelling.
Famous for its numerous lakes and alpine scenery, the mountainous central European country of Switzerland reopened to international tourism from June 26. Travellers from countries outside the EU, including the UAE, who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccination can enter the country without quarantine.
There are also no more restrictions for arriving in Switzerland for travel within the EU. International visitors need to be fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months to avoid self-isolation rules. They must also have received the second dose of any jab at least two weeks prior to their visit.
Travellers who have received any of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, namely Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson will be accepted into the country. Sinopharm and Sinovac are also permitted as they are recognised vaccines approved by the WHO.
Those wishing to travel to Switzerland can check if they are eligible to travel on the TravelCheck service developed by Swiss authorities to help visitors enter information about where they are travelling from and other details about their vaccination status. Visitors also need to fill in a contract tracing card and register their details with the Federal Office of Public Health before entering the country.
With stunning architecture and untouched natural beauty, the largely landlocked country in south-central Europe is loved for its natural landscapes. Austria is reopening to fully vaccinated travellers from various destinations, including the UAE, starting July 1.
Fully vaccinated citizens and residents from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar will be able to fly to Austria with no quarantine rules. The country is currently accepting six vaccines – Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac, with all travellers considered vaccinated for six months after their final dose.
In a statement, Robert Groblacher, director for Middle East at the Austrian National Tourist Office, said, “Welcoming travellers from the GCC is not only a revival to the tourism scene in Austria, yet a great opportunity to explore and exchange experiences, strengthen cross-cultural ties and join forces in bridging between people to better promote travel and tourism between Austria and the Gulf countries.”
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