We are deeply saddened and horrified to acknowledge the invasion of Ukraine by its neighbor Russia.  It is our hope and prayer that this conflict is short lasting and will not result in years’ long fighting.  Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by this horrific action.

However, there is some good news for travelers.  Effective today March 1, European Union member countries recently agreed to lift all testing and quarantine requirements for people who received vaccines authorized in the EU or approved by the World Health Organization.

Individuals who received the last dose of their primary vaccination series at least 14 days and no more than 270 days before arrival, or who have received a booster dose, would be eligible along with those who recovered from Covid-19 within 180 days of travel.

Travelers who received vaccines that were approved by the WHO but are not authorized for use in the EU may still be asked to present a negative PCR test or to quarantine, the European Council said. However, so far, the EU has authorized the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.

The patchwork of rules and regulations did little to prevent the spread of COVID but did cause immense damage to the economy of Europe causing the loss of jobs and businesses. Now is time to rebuild travel and tourism and connect Europe to the world.

In addition, as of February 24, 2022, Iceland’s health authorities have lifted all COVID restrictions. Therefore, all rules regarding limitations on social gatherings as well as the quarantine requirement for those infected by COVID-19 are removed. Additionally, no disease prevention measures will be in place at the border, regardless of whether individuals are vaccinated or unvaccinated.  More information can be found at covid.is/english.

You may have already heard or read that Europe will soon require that all travelers register with the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) effective January 1, 2023.

The European Union decided to implement this new travel authorization program to protect and strengthen its borders amid mounting terror threats in Europe. By requiring visitors to register, the EU will be able to identify any possible threats or risks associated with travelers coming into these countries before they arrive.

This is not a visa but rather an on-line registration that will remain in effect for three years. ETIAS will be required by the 26 Schengen countries which include the 22 nations of the European Union plus four non-Union members. The micro-states of San Marino, Vatican City, and Monaco will also require the registering.