Covid red lists, here’s what you need to know

As Covid reappears across Europe, many countries are reimposing travel restrictions on neighbours.

Meanwhile, the map of Europe is coded in red, green and yellow.

High risk travelers red lists are excluded, either with outright travel bans or quarantines. Those on green lists in the meantime have the green light to travel.

But a sign of the times, Norway, for example, no longer classifies any green zone in Europe or beyond.

Hungary is the first in the EU to reinstate blanket ban on foreigners

The most dramatic and controversial return to EU border closures came with Hungary’s decision to add ahe country on its red list from 1 September.

Just two months after reopening to Schengen travellers, it is defying the bloc’s recommendations on internal borders and travel freedoms. The measures will remain in place at least until October 1.

The green lists are shrinking, the reds are getting longer

Links to government restrictions are included in country headers. See also useful details on the Reopen Europe website.


At the beginning of August, Belgium added many regions of Romania, France and Spain to its red list. This means a total ban on non-essential travel to these places. Returning travelers must both quarantine and test upon return.

  • The stream red list includes Andorra, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, many parts of Spain and France, and Aberdeen in Scotland.


  • Countries are divided into 3 categories: A (no restrictions), B (some), and VS (no entry other than for citizens/residents).
  • banned List C countries include France, Luxembourg, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro.
  • Germany, Norway, Hungary and Slovenia are among the A listener.
  • Country B must show a Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours. They include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK




Finland also has a red, green, yellow system, updated on August 24.

  • Italy, Hungary and Slovenia are currently part of the host handful green countries.
  • Most other EU/Schengen countries and the UK fall under the yellow list, allowing only essential travelers including workers to visit.
  • Family members, parents, siblings, spouses and couples are among the exceptions.


  • Almost all foreign tourists are now on Hungary’s red list for a month.
  • The government advises its citizens against traveling to around 40 red list countries in Europe and overseas.
  • Those who do must self-quarantine for 14 days, or until they can show two negative tests taken two days apart.
  • Exemptions include transit passengers and travelers from the Visgrad group (Poland, Czechia, Slovakia) with a negative Covid test taken within five days.


  • The green list has just shrunk, even for Europeans. As of August 31, ‘normal precautions’ and a green ‘security status’, according to the government, only apply to Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Slovakia.
  • With the EU Covid toggle this could change at any time. The list is constantly revised.


latvia red list was super-sized the last few days.

  • The list of Latvian Center for Disease Prevention and Control shows red and yellow countries, with infections above the required threshold of 25 cases per 100,000.
  • Among the 25 European countries on the red list are Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. They are categorized as “Serious Threat to Public Health”.
  • Even those transiting through these countries must self-quarantine upon their return. The state “discourages” travel to these places.


  • The red list number of countries increased on August 31, with travelers from Belarus, Italy, Slovenia and Slovakia now also facing mandatory self-isolation upon arrival.
  • Norway, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Hungary and Latvia are the only EU/Schengen countries on the green list, due to less than 16 cases/100,000 in the past 14 days. are not subject to any quarantine requirements.


The Dutch government zones countries for Covid as Yellow (OK and Orange (not ok, mandatory quarantine). “Foreign travelers from countries with similar or lower health risks than the Netherlands can enter for tourism,” it says.

  • Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta, Romania, Spain, Monaco and various departments in France are on the amber list.


Norway has a red, green and yellow Covid card. Currently, no country is marked as an unrestricted green zone. Many more Europeans were added to the “high transmission” risk redlist on August 29.

  • Red list: 10-day quarantine for travelers from France, Switzerland and Sweden since August 11. Now applies to most EU/Schengen arrivals – from Portugal to Poland – and the UK. The few exceptions include Hungary, Slovakia, Italy and Norway.
  • Yellow List Countries are exempt from quarantine, but the Norwegian Institute of Public Health still classifies them as “at increased risk”.
  • The government is currently advising against all travel abroad.


Slovenia also has a color-coded system with green, yellow and red lists.

  • Those in the green box like Canada and Australia can enter without restriction.
  • red list countries with more than 40 Covid cases per 100,000 must quarantine for 14 days.
  • The yellow list mainly applies to EU/Schengen citizens, who are not subject to quarantine, provided they are not coming from a red destination.


The UK Red List comes in the form of a quarantine for an increasing number of countries. The Czech Republic and Switzerland are among the last Europeans to join others such as France, Croatia and Austria which no longer benefit from a quarantine-free travel corridor with England.

Showing the disarray of the country’s quarantine policy, Scotland and Wales impose a quarantine on Greece and Portugal, which both remain on the corridor lists of England and Ireland.

Further reading: More Covid tests, no travel ban: EU urges Europe to establish common rules

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