SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

COVID-19

Where in Europe are Covid curfews and early closures still in place?

Countries around Europe are starting to reopen as the Covid-19 crisis recedes - but many nations still have strict rules in place, including nighttime curfews. As people book holidays abroad, here's what visitors need to know about current nighttime restrictions in place around Europe.

Where in Europe are Covid curfews and early closures still in place?
In some parts of EUrope nighttime curfews and early closures are still in place. (Photo by Fred SCHEIBER / AFP)

France

France has been under a strict nighttime curfew since December 2020 and although the country is now gradually reopening, restrictions remain. 

Here’s a brief rundown, with key dates over the next couple of months.

May 19th – the start hour of the daily curfew moves from 7pm to 9pm, as restaurants and cafés reopen their terraces for the first time since October 2020. The finish time remains at 6am.

June 9th – curfew moves back to 11pm-6am if the health situation allows.

June 30th – Nighttime curfew is scrapped altogether if the health situation allows.

For individuals, being out during curfew hours in France is banned, barring certain exceptions – such as work, or urgent family reasons. A completed attestation or permission form is required for each trip out after curfew. The form is available on the Tousanticovid app or HERE

Anyone caught outside during curfew hours without good reason could face a fine of €135 for the first offence, rising to €200 for a second offence and maximum of €3,750 and a six-month jail term for three offences within 30 days.

Check The Local France for regularly updated information.

Spain

Spain’s state of alarm ended, and a national 10pm curfew was lifted, on May 9th – leading to the bizarre spectacle of police moving people on at 10pm on May 8th and allowing them back out two hours later, when the ban on overnight movement was lifted. 

But while curfews and border closures have been abolished in most regions, there are still some restrictions in place – including the use of masks in all regions. 

You can read a rundown of different Covid-19 rules in Spain’s regions here

Check The Local Spain for regularly updated information.

Italy

On May 17th Italy approved a new curfew allowing people to circulate in the evenings one hour longer after the country saw its lowest coronavirus deaths in months.

As a result the 10pm-5am curfew, which has been in effect in most of Italy since November, was pushed back to 11pm, while in-restaurant dining will be allowed until 6pm from June 1st under new rules.

The curfew — intended to discourage social gatherings that could risk an upswell in new coronavirus infections — will be pushed back to midnight beginning on June 7th, and eliminated entirely on June 21st.

In Italy’s “white zones”, where infection rates are lowest, there is no curfew in place.

Italy has scrapped quarantine requirements for visitors from the European Union, Britain and Israel who test negative for coronavirus.

Under rules that came into force from Sunday, May 16th, Italy will extend so-called “Covid-free” flights, currently in place to and from the United States, to Canada, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

But what visitors can expect when they get to Italy remains unanswered. 

and a mask-wearing requirement in public, indoors and outdoors. Though some things are expected to change, it seems likely restrictions will be tougher than they were in summer 2020.

Wearing a mask, sanitising your hands and keeping distanced from others are almost certain to remain required throughout the summer.

Check The Local Italy for regularly updated information.

Austria

Austria’s nighttime curfew from 8pm to 6am ended at midnight on May 15th, having been in place since December. 

Restaurants, hotels, schools, sport, events and swimming pools in Austria reopen on May 19th – with strict rules in place and an early closing time of 10pm which will remain in place for the foreseeable future.  Entry rules for EU travellers will also change. 

Special measures set to be in place this summer include an FFP2 mask requirement in all public indoor areas, such as public transport, in museums, shops, and on cable cars. 

For such as restaurants, cinemas, hotels or theatres where large numbers of people congregate, a so-called “entry test” will be required. You will need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, a vaccination, or recent recovery from Covid.

Check The Local Austria for regularly updated information.

Denmark

Denmark moved into the third phase of lifting travel restrictions on Friday, May 14th, meaning tourists from the EU and Schengen countries can now enter the country. 

Travellers from “yellow” countries outside the EU, including the UK, also no longer need a “worthy purpose”, as the country opens up for summer tourists.

Gyms, theatres and cinemas reopened on May 7th thanks to a new round of Covid-19 restriction easing in Denmark and its health pass – called a “corona pass”.

There is no general curfew in place, but cafes, bars and restaurants must stop service at 10pm and establishments must be closed from 11pm until 5am.

Check The Local Denmark for regularly updated information.

Germany

As a federal state, Germany’s rules on restrictions are different from state to state, so it is worthwhile checking the rules in the region you are planning to visit before you travel. 

READ ALSO: Germany eases quarantine rules with eye on summer travel

In April, it had introduced national “emergency brake” rules for areas with high Covid-19 rates. If the number of new infections per 100,000 residents in a rolling seven-day period rises above 100 in a city or district for three days in a row, measures including local lockdowns and overnight curfews must be applied.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the latest rules on travel to and from Germany

A night-time curfew would be introduced between 10pm and 5am in areas with an incidence above 100 under the rules. Some of these may still be in effect in early summer, though the good news is coronavirus rates are falling in Germany.

Essential shops like supermarkets, drugstores and pharmacies remain open. In areas with a 7-day incidence of 100, they will have to close at 10pm.

Check The Local Germany for regularly updated information

Norway

Covid-19 measures in Norway are broken down into a mixture of local and national restrictions and recommendations.

Although there’s no national curfew, after the government scrapped plans to introduce legislation permitting their use in February, all municipalities in the country must adhere to national rules. 

Additionally, they can also introduce and enforce local rules such as curfews or alcohol bans. It’s worth checking the rules in the municipality where you are travelling to, but in general bars and restaurants can only serve alcohol up to 10pm although this may be relaxed further in the coming weeks.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg was forced to cancel a May 17th speech in Bergen because of coronavirus restrictions in her home municipality, Oslo. She had been fined in April for breaking national Covid-19 rules.

Check The Local Norway for regularly updated information.

Sweden

Sweden never fully locked down during the pandemic, but some restrictions have been imposed at various points in the past year. 

The country’s Public Health Agency has floated a plan for how Sweden should adapt its coronavirus restrictions. Among its proposals are that – from June 1st – restaurants, bars and pubs will be able to open until 10.30pm, two hours later than the current closing time of 8.30pm. 

Check The Local Sweden for regularly updated information.

Switzerland

Switzerland has decided to further wind back coronavirus restrictions – including allowing restaurants to serve food indoors and letting larger events take place – from May 31st. 

Similar to Sweden, there is no current nationwide coronavirus curfew in place, but restaurants and take aways must be closed between 11pm and 6am. 

Cantons may have additional cantonal specific measures. You will find a collection of links to canton-by-canton information sites at www.ch.ch

Check The Local Switzerland for regularly updated information.

Greece

Greece has recently lifted most of its restrictions on movement, and has declared “we are putting the lockdown behind us” as it looks to welcome tourists for the summer – but a curfew remains in place between 12.30am and 5am.

Portugal

The Portuguese government has extended its state of calamity until May 30th – though tourists are allowed to visit, which is good news for English football fans planning to head to the Champions Cup final.

General rules include cafés, restaurants and events closing at 10.30pm, and retail stores closed at 9pm on weekdays and 7pm on weekends and holidays.

Restrictions for the entire country include compulsory face masks in enclosed public spaces as well as in crowded outdoor spaces.

Ireland

There’s no overnight curfew in Ireland, but other strict measures have limited travel. 

As of this week, however, unrestricted county-to-county travel returned, hairdressers’ and churches reopened and sports training started up again. From next week, non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen.

From June 2nd, hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation will reopen and guests will be free to use leisure facilities, indoor dining and bar services.

Outdoor service will start up in bars and restaurants with safety measures in place from June 7th.

At the end of June, the government will consider allowing indoor dining at restaurants along with the reopening of bars, nightclubs and casinos.

UK

There is no general overnight curfew in place, and on May 17th restrictions were eased further including the reopening of indoor dining and drinking areas and larger outside events – as reported here by the BBC.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

HIKING

Eight of the best hikes in Catalonia

Long-term Catalonia resident and hiking enthusiast Esme Fox shares her tips and knowledge of some of the best routes in the northeastern region, with stunning waterfalls, volcanoes and lakes on the itinerary. 

Eight of the best hikes in Catalonia

Almost every region in Spain offers a great array of hiking routes, but perhaps some of the best and most diverse can be found in the northeastern region of Catalonia, where you have the Pyrenees in the north, the coast to the east and countless natural parks in the interior. 

Camí de Ronda
The longest and most picturesque of all the routes in Catalonia is the Camí de Ronda or Camino de Ronda. It runs all the way along the coast from the border with France down to the border with the Valencia region. Passing through quaint coastal villages, along clifftops and even through tunnels, the route was originally created by smugglers who used to take their loot from one bay to the next. Later, these routes were joined together to form one long one by the civil guard, in order to control and catch the criminals.

The trail runs for a whopping 583km throughout the whole region, but the most spectacular and well-known sections of the hike lie within the Costa Brava, which starts from Blanes and runs all the way up to Portbou on the French border. This part is around 220km long and can be done in 12 stages, taking a total of 12 days. It’s not necessary to do the whole route, however, you could easily take a single stage and make a day trip out of it. It’s best done in early summer before the crowds arrive or in September when it’s still warm enough to swim along the way, but all the holidaymakers have gone home.  

The Camino de Ronda takes you right along the coast. Photo: Esme Fox
 

Mont-Rebei Gorge
The Congost de Mont-Rebei gorge is one of the most striking in the whole of Catalonia, where incredible aquamarine waters run between dramatic ravines and lofty cliff tops and vultures soar overhead. It’s a popular route and is moderately challenging with several ascents and dips walking along narrow pathways or staircases clinging to the edge of the rock. It’s situated approximately a three-hour drive west of Barcelona on the border with Aragón. You can choose to hike longer or shorter sections of the route, but the main and most popular part is around 12km there and back.

Hike along the sides of a gorge at Mont Rebei. Photo: Ramon Perucho / Pixabay

Ruta dels 7 Gorgs
Near the small village of Campdevánol​​​ in the province of Girona, close to the foothills of the Pyrenees, you’ll find one of the most thrilling hikes on our list – the route of the seven waterfalls. It’s exactly like it sounds, a hiking route between seven different waterfalls. It’s best to go in summer as you can swim in each of the falls, letting the icy water from the Pyrenees cool you down on those hot Spanish days. It’s a circular route of just 10km, with an extra 6km if you’re walking from Campdevánol​​​ train station, but it could end up taking all day if you plan on swimming in each. The route is relatively easy, but there are some tricky steep parts getting down and up again from some of the waterfalls. Because it’s so popular, the number of people allowed in per day is limited and you must pay an eco-tax fee of €5 per person from June to November.

Take a dip in the Campdevánol waterfalls to cool down. Photo: Alberto-g-rovi / WikiCommons
 

Camí del Vi
Catalonia’s wine route lies within the Penedès, an area known for producing excellent wines and cavas and home to some of the best wineries in the region. It starts in the town of Vilafranca del Penedès, the capital of the wine region and runs for 3.5km, taking around three hours to complete in total, there and back. From the tourist office, you’ll walk through the town and then out into the vineyards themselves. Along the way are eight different stations where you will learn about wine production and the life cycle of the vine, as well as the different varieties of grapes that grow in the area. There are plenty of bodegas (wineries) near by where you can stop for a drink too. 

Hike the wine route in Catalonia. Photo: Esme Fox

Ruta de los 7 Lagos del Circ de Colomers
Between the National Park of Aigüestortes and the Vall d’Aran, just went of Andorra in the high Pyrenees lies the route of the seven lakes. It’s a total of 15km, but there are taxis that can take you from the car park to the beginning of the route and back, taking it down to just 7km. One of the most spectacularly beautiful hiking routes, as the name suggests, it passes seven glassy mountain lakes hemmed in by towering peaks and verdant forests. It’s of medium difficulty level, meaning it’s best if you have a bit of experience with hiking in the mountains.  

This hiking route takes you past seven mountain lakes. Photo: rodolfo7 / Pixabay

Ruta por los volcanes de la Garrotxa
Just north of Girona lies La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, which offers one of the best examples of volcanic landscapes on the Iberian Peninsula, featuring 40 ancient volcanic cones and around 20 old lava flows. One of the best ways to explore it is via the various hiking routes throughout the park. The best is the circular hike from La Fageda d’en Jordà to the Santa Margarida volcano and on to El Croscat volcano, which is 12km and takes just over four hours complete.

Hike through the land of ancient volcanoes in La Garrotxa. Photo: Carquinyol / WikiCommons

Subida al Pedraforca
The most challenging hike on our list is the ascent of Mount Pedraforca, located in the high Pyrenees, just below Andorra. It’s one of Catalonia’s most iconic-looking mountains – resembling a pitchfork with a small dip in between two soaring pointed peaks, one measuring 2444m and the other 2506m. The starting points generally begin at the Mirador de Gersolet viewpoint, but there are several routes to reach the top. It takes between five and seven hours to complete, depending on your experience but is best avoided in winter and early spring from December to April when the snow can make it even more difficult.

Challenge yourself with the ascent of Pedraforca. Photo: Josep Monter Martinez / Pixabay

Ruta de Carros de Foc
Another hike within the mighty National Park of Aigüestortes is the grand Carros de Foc or Chariots of Fire. It’s a circular route of 65km and takes between five to seven days to complete between nine different mountain refuges, where you can stay the night. The route is characterised by high mountains and large granite boulders, as well as several sparkling mountain lakes. You’ll need some experience and stamina to complete this one. 

Hike the Ruta de Carros de Foc. Photo: Ferran Ventura / Unsplash
SHOW COMMENTS