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covid testing for multi-country trip

We (fully vaccinated against COVID) are ready to rebook our cancelled 2020 Europe vacation. We would like to travel in May - June, 2022. We want to go to Iceland, then Norway, then Scotland before returning home to WA state. Has anyone done a multi-country trip this year? Was a "within the past 72 hours" test required to enter each country? Does anyone know the answer to this question before I start making hotel reservations?

Posted by
8439 posts

Whatever is happening today is not likely to be the same next spring when you (and I) plan to travel. Just last week entry to Netherlands was no problem, then suddenly last Thursday or so the US was moved to the "bad list" and a quarantine was quickly instituted. This caught people by surprise.

Here is an excellent resource link to the Delta Airline website which is kept pretty up to date on what requirements are for each country so you can track changes as they happen.

https://www.delta.com/us/en/travel-planning-center/find-your-destination/explore-top-destinations

TBH, in considering my own plans for next spring, I had thought to do 4 countries (Britain, France, Belgium and Netherlands) but I'm thinking I need to make this simpler and cut down to at most 2 countries. I don't want to have to worry about one country in my itinerary suddenly not allowing Americans. Your ability to flex your plans and your travel style may be different than mine.

At the very least I'd not book anything that is non-refundable!

Posted by
3551 posts

I'm glad you came to the Rick Steves Forum!

Pam's point about not being able to predict what might happen next spring is certainly good. One thing I have noticed is that people do not seem to be having difficulties getting Covid testing done overseas prior to returning to the United States. Even if it was a "worse case" scenario of needing testing for each country, I think you could do it. The question is, would you want to do it?

Posted by
12568 posts

Also, dont ask here.

Find official sites and get the facts (when the time comes).

This can be much too tricky to trust old and 2nd and 3rd hand recommendations.

If done right, with some care and a bit of research, travel can still be easy and enjoyable.

Posted by
1586 posts

Thanks to all for responding to my question. Perhaps I should phrase it differently. I would like to know if anyone has, since March 2020, completed a trip to several European countries. If so, how did the COVID testing work? Did you need to retest before you could enter each country? What sort of test? Were testing sites easy to find and could you get results back in a timely manner? I realize the situation is very fluid - I just want to know what experiences people have had with this. We are, of course, fully vaccinated. We don't want to keep postponing our travels across the pond because we only have a few more years when we will be allowed to rent a car in Europe.

Posted by
6858 posts

Ok in July/August 2021 I traveled to 3 countries.
I first flew into Switzerland. The requirements last July 2021 was that I needed to show proof of vaccination at checkin in the USA and to submit a passenger locator form for the Swiss National Health department. After 4 days in Switzerland, I took a train across the border to France. To cross the border I had to submit some paperwork online to French health authorities similar to what Switzerland required. I did not need a test to enter in July 2021. In France I used the negative results of an antigen test that I got at a pharmacy there for 29 euros to get a certificate good for 3 days to attend an outdoor music festival. I used that same certificate still valid to board a bus Italy. In Italy after 5 days I took another antigen test 72 hours before my flight back to the USA. I got the test for 35 euros at a tent outside Florence Airport. That was the requirement in August 2021. In sum testing sites are easy to find. It took 20 to 30 minutes to get results.

Posted by
12568 posts

I would like to know if anyone has, since March 2020, completed a trip to several European countries. If so, how did the COVID testing work? Did you need to retest before you could enter each country?

In September of 2020 I traveled to Europe with no testing and no vaccine. I had no problems.

In July of 2021 I traveled to Europe and crossed into six different countries with only my vaccine card, which even then wasn't always looked at; again no problems, however this time I needed a test to return to the U.S.

The moral is that each country has its own rules (and they change), find the official government source for each country and determine what difficulties you will have; if any.

Posted by
1586 posts

Thanks to all of you for the help, especially those of you who shared actual experiences with multi-country travel. It sounds like it isn't too much of a hassle with COVID testing if you fly to the continent and cross land borders. However, our proposed itinerary requires air travel between two islands and a peninsula. I think we will re-plan the entire three weeks to be in the UK and save the Nordic destinations for 2023.