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COVID-19 TESTS

COMPARE: What are the Covid test requirements around Europe for child travellers

Travel is opening up around Europe, but most countries still have testing requirements in place for adults. When it comes to under 18s, however, the rules vary widely on who is exempt and who needs a test.

COMPARE: What are the Covid test requirements around Europe for child travellers
Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP

Travel within the EU and Schengen zone will in theory become easier from July 1st for those who are fully vaccinated with the introduction of the EU-wide Covid-19 certificate.

For those who are not fully vaccinated, or those travelling from outside the Bloc, testing will remain a part of crossing borders for some time to come.

But while the rules on tests for adults are fairly standard, the age at which children require tests varies from newborn babies and two-year-olds to 18.

Here’s an overview from countries covered by The Local, as well as from elsewhere in the EU and the UK.

Austria

Austria has strict testing requirements for entry from most countries, but children under the age of 10 are exempt.

Belgium

Belgium has an exemption to its testing requirements for some residents, but otherwise testing is required. The age exemption for children is 6, the same as in neighbouring Germany.

Croatia 

Children under 7 who arrive in Croatia will be exempt from testing requirements.

Czech Republic

The rules on testing depend on which country you arrive from but in general children under 5 are exempt.

Denmark

Denmark has recently relaxed its requirement for travellers from certain countries so that they no longer need a 'worthy purpose' to enter the country. However entries from certain countries still need a negative test, and the cut-off age for children is 15.

Finland

Children aged under 12 are exempt in Finland.

France

The exemption age for children arriving into France is 11. Under 11s are exempt from the testing requirements, all other non-vaccinated travellers or arrivals from countries not on the green list, must present a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours, or an antigen test taken within the previous 48 hours.

Germany

In Germany under 6s are exempt from testing requirements, as well as fully-vaccinated adults from certain countries.

Greece

Children under 5 are exempt from testing requirements on arrivals.

Ireland

Children under 5 are not required to show a negative Covid test to enter Ireland, but most other travellers are.

Italy

Pretty much everyone entering Italy needs a negative Covid test with only children aged two or under are exempt.

READ ALSO: Italy will bring back quarantine rule for UK arrivals ‘if necessary’

Netherlands 

Children under 13 years age are exempt from testing requirements when arriving in the Netherlands.

Norway

Entry to Norway is still tightly restricted for non-Norwegians with tests required for most people, but children under the age of 12 are exempt from pre-travel tests, although under most circumstances they must be tested at the border.

Poland

The Polish rules have no formal exemption for children, meaning that in theory even newborn babies would have to be tested in order to enter the country.

Portugal

Only children aged two or under are exempt from the testing requirements in Portugal.

Slovenia

Children under 13 travelling with their families are exempt from testing.

Spain

Since June 7th, Spain no longer requires a negative test for all arrivals, including fully-vaccinated travellers from non-EU/EEA countries such as the US. Where tests are required, the cut-off age for children is now 12.

Sweden

Sweden's testing requirement is only for adults, so all under 18s are exempt from having to provide a test.

Switzerland

Switzerland exempts under 12s from the testing requirement.

UK

Most entries to the UK require a test, but children under the age of 11 are exempt.

Member comments

  1. What about when in airport transit. For example, flying Denmark to France via a flight connection in Germany?

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COVID-19

French government votes to allow return of Covid tests at border

The French parliament has passed the controversial health bill which updates France's emergency provisions for Covid - and allows the return of negative Covid tests for all travellers at the border, if the health situation requires.

French government votes to allow return of Covid tests at border

The Loi sanitaire was eventually approved by the Assemblée nationale on Monday after several variations and amendments added on its passage through the Assemblée and the Senate. It was voted on and passed Tuesday, May 26th. 

The bill replaces the State of Health Emergency that has been in place since March 2020 and puts in place provision for government actions should the health situation deteriorate or a dangerous new variant of Covid emerge.

The original text had a provision for the return of the health pass at the border, but this has now been scrapped and instead the government has the right to make a negative Covid test a condition of entry for all travellers.

At present negative tests are required only for unvaccinated travellers, and the new test requirement would only be put into force if a dangerous new variant emerges.

The government will be able to implement the testing rule by decree for two months, but a further parliamentary debate would be required to extend it beyond that.

From August 1st the State of Health Emergency will be formally repealed, which means that the government no longer has the power to introduce major limits on personal freedom such as lockdowns or curfews without first having a debate in parliament.

The bill also allows for an extension of data collection required for the SI-DEP epidemic monitoring tools such as the contact tracing app Tous Anti Covid until June 30th, 2023 and Contact Covid until January 31st, 2023. 

The most controversial measure in the bill was the reinstatement of healthcare workers who were suspended for being unvaccinated – this actually only involves a couple of hundred people but medical unions and the medical regulator Haut Autorité de Santé (HAS) have both been against it.

However the bill allows for the eventual lifting of the requirement for Covid vaccination for healthcare workers, when the HAS judges it is no longer necessary and once the requirement is lifted, the suspended healthcare workers will be reinstated “immediately”.

The bill was approved on Monday evening with 184 votes to 149, the result of a joint committee that was able to harmonise the versions of the Assembly and the Senate.

The final vote passed the Senate on Tuesday.

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