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Traveling to Europe in May with Covid restrictions

My son and I are traveling to Europe in May 2022 with plans to visit Germay, France and Poland for 3 weeks. Since we already had to postpone twice due to the pandemic, really don't want to cancel again. I have been checking the sites that show the travel restrictions for each country and it still alily. We are flying from USA into Munich and the return flight from Paris
Am wondering if anyone has had issues traveling through different countries, with different covid restrictions. It may be less stressful if we just went to Germany & France and swhave Poland for another trip. Or am I worrying too much? We will also be traveling on the trains with the Eurail pass and wondering how difficult it is right now, crossing over borders from Germany to France?

other question I have is that some countries are saying that you have to show a health pass to go inside shops, restaurants, etc...and wondering if showing our vaccinations cards is really enough to go inside these places or will we be turned away?
thank you!

Posted by
8942 posts

Many of us regulars have been advising since things opened up last year that traveling to only one country is a lot easier to manage while all these Covid restrictions are in place. It's tough enough keeping up for the measures in place for one country that you need to observe, much less keeping up with several and especially how/if they change depending on where you are arriving from.

As for passes, those are different for each country too. Yes, indeed in France (the one that I know), you need a vaccination pass to enter restaurants, cafes, bars, museums, take long-distance fast trains, or take any flights. The pass isn't needed to enter stores in France.

You will find several discussions of the vaccine pass on the France forum.

I'll leave others to comment about other countries (or more about France).

And of course one could hope that restrictions lessen or fall by the wayside by the time you travel — but there’s of course no way of knowing.

Posted by
24881 posts

It's impossible to know what rules will be in place in May. In addition, Germany could potentially be especially tricky, because--like the United States--it has policies that vary by region. I don't know the current situation in Poland.

France has a well-established process by which you take your US vaccine card and your passport to a participating French pharmacy (of which there seem to be very many), pay 36 euros and obtain a French COVID pass that will be recognized throughout the country. The French pass might also be helpful in Germany and Poland, though that would not be useful in this case since France falls at the end of your itinerary rather than the beginning.

There are many threads in the French forum about COVID passes and restrictions.

Posted by
227 posts

I say go for it, there are plenty of people who are out there traveling and crossing boarders just fine. You just need to be aware of the different entry restrictions but since you’re traveling by train, I doubt you will run into many if any people enforcing these entry rules. I did a land boarder crossing last year (Montenegro to Croatia) and it was far easier than flying. They didn’t ask for my vaccine or a test or the arrival form, just stamped my passport and let me through. Of course every country is different, and I would advise to be prepared with the entry requirements even if no one is checking them. But I don’t think you will run into many issues. Just try to remain as flexible as possible.

Posted by
14 posts

We are traveling from France via car to St. Vith, Belgium and then on to Duren, Germany only for two days at each place (WWII touring). I have contacted our hotels, and the one in Belgium mentions we will need a valid QR code which I assume can mean the one we receive in France. Have not heard back from Germany. I will also check Embassy notifications. Not sure this helps in your situation.

Posted by
247 posts

Agree with acraven that germany is the most challenging.

I moved countries in Europe in nov dec. although it seems intimidating at first, if you have a vaccine card (<270 days) it’s a breeze. In the worst case scenario, you may be required to do a Covid test, which is commonly available at most places for free or about 20 to 40 bucks. Airlines will not let you board the plane without the right documentation so you will have enough time to know if a Covid test is needed (most probably not) and you can figure it out the day before.

Airlines enforce definition requirements so if the destination requirements in all three countries are the same you should be OK. (With Germany probably the most restrictive). of course these requirements are changing by the month and with the way things are going with Sweden and Denmark, I expect things to ease out, especially in Poland etc.

I have a May trip planned as well (Germany and others) and am watching for regulation changes.

Posted by
491 posts

It’s hard to predict where things will be for May but the general advice has been to reduce countries. That being said, we did 3 last summer/fall all by train except for the first entry. We did get checked on train once. A good website that lets you plug in what country you are leaving from and which one you are going to is Sherpa. So if you want to go France to Germany you plug that in. It will tell you current regulations for that route and they do stay pretty up to date, though you should also check the embassy websites. Flying is a whole different deal, you WILL get checked so make sure you have all your paperwork done properly and print out paper copies as a backup.
Finally should warn you about the Eurail app. We had used Eurail for years and we had a huge discount so used them again this last summer. NEVER again. Their app is awful, many bugs and problems, they have NO phone number for live help, they don’t return an email for a week, etc. The only way we found a workaround to their terrible app bugs was finding a forum where hundreds of others were having the same issues and one user had figured out a workaround. So unless you got paper tickets from Eurail be warned, their app and customer service stink.

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks everyone for all the great advice! Going to hold off changing plans and see how it looks when it gets closer to Mqy, but will have a backup plan in case we need to just do one country. Sounds like France may be the easiest!

Posted by
388 posts

I have an Italy, Adriatic, Greece cruise trip scheduled for mid May. Cancelled one for next month..March. (Felt too risky for our comfort.) We are however feeling hopeful that by May Covid policies lighten up as Omicron runs its course. We fortunately hit a sweet spot this past Oct when we travelled France, Germany and to Prague. No experience in Poland. Vaccination cards worked fine and it was still a new concept then. It was wonderful! I think you’ll be fine Cathy.