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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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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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