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Updated Article on Transit Rules for European Airports

MSN.com has posted an updated article on rules for transiting European airports. There are still major problems for Americans who might want to connect at many European airports.

Amsterdam, Paris (all airports) and Zurich (no mention of Geneva) all are effectively prohibiting US transit passengers with destinations in the Schengen Zone. Amsterdam also blocks those wanting to transit to another EU country.

Many other airports require negative COVID-19 tests. Frankfurt's policy sounds the strictest. The test must have been taken no more than 48 hours before arrival in Frankfurt. My speculation: Based on reports of people's testing experiences, one cannot assume PCR-test results will be available fast enough to meet that requirement. Some other types of tests are acceptable in Frankfurt; some may be faster. However, those other tests might not be acceptable at ones ultimate destination, so some travelers transiting Frankfurt might end up taking two tests.

The information in the article was--one hopes--correct at the time of original publication, but it could change at any time. No one should rely totally on the information in the article, but I think it's a useful first step in learning about the various hurdles one might face in flying to Europe right now.

Posted by
1900 posts

Kudos to anyone attempting travel at this time--I cannot deal. I'm patiently waiting until proof of vaccination will suffice!

Posted by
156 posts

I feel like its all political now, we know the vaccines are effective at not just preventing illness but preventing spread. All these tests and quarantines seem excessive for vaccinated Americans.

Posted by
223 posts

France opens to Americans June 9.

The news changes almost daily. Keep an eye out for updates as more European countries open borders for tourism.

Posted by
3168 posts

I am so fed up with all of this. When European officials accept my vaccine passport as proof of vaccination, I will return. In the meantime, my first trips flying since the pandemic will be to Lake Tahoe in mid September & Indian Wells (via LAX) in October!

Posted by
91 posts

As of June 1st, Amsterdam dropped its testing requirement for transiting passengers. I’ve also heard of multiple first hand reports that people have been transiting through AMS onto other EU or Schengen countries just fine so long as they are allowed in the country they are transiting to.

Posted by
3664 posts

The COVID testing required within a certain time frame is even more complicated when you give it some thought. You have to get it soon enough in the window so that you get your results back before your flight. Typically the window is 72 or 48 hours of ARRIVAL. So factor in that you can only get tests within the operating hours of the testing facility, time zone differences, the possibility of the flight arriving late, and the fact that it takes some of us multiple long flights to get anywhere. It was a tricky enough when I went from Minneapolis to Hawaii twice this past year. I honestly do not think I could get a COVID test within 48 hours of an arrival to Germany.

Posted by
18373 posts

It's certainly something one needs to think about before buying an airline ticket. It's probably safest if all the days between test date and flight date are weekdays; even then, there are obviously no guarantees.

Posted by
2684 posts

Wondering if some people will be like that movie where the man was trapped in the airport for weeks.

Posted by
2426 posts

Kudos to anyone attempting travel at this time--I cannot deal. I'm patiently waiting until proof of vaccination will suffice!

Could not agree more. To those traveling to Europe in 2021, best of luck!

Posted by
4298 posts

You can buy test kits that you undertake in your accommodation under the guidance of a representative via video link. This saves the hassle of finding a testing facility.

Posted by
1743 posts

A lot of those home test kits are not going to work for Europe. Europe is requesting a PCR and based on reading of accounts for people who have actually done this there are even some restrictions on the type of PCR test you need for your airport. I would not buy one of those Home kits and think that’s going to meet the European requirements. . Now it might get you back home.

Posted by
6115 posts

With France's new rules released today that go into effect as of June 9, persons from the United States (classified by France as orange) who remain in the international zone will be allowed to transit via Paris (the person must have a PCR test newer-than-72 hours before boarding their Paris-bound flight or an antigen test of newer-than-48 hours).