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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

How Flyr’s bankruptcy will impact airline passengers in Norway 

Norwegian airline Flyr has filed for bankruptcy, with the knock-on effects expected to affect more than those who had tickets booked with the doomed airline. Here's what you should know and what you can do if affected. 

How Flyr's bankruptcy will impact airline passengers in Norway 

Flyr filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday after attempts to secure further financing failed to come to fruition. As a result of the bankruptcy, staff will be laid off, all flights will be cancelled, and ticket sales have been suspended. 

When an airline cancels a flight, customers are due a refund. However, this can be complicated when a company goes bankrupt, as it usually means the company doesn’t have the funds to pay out refunds. 

Norway’s consumer rights watchdog, the Norwegian Consumer Council, has advised that most people who bought a ticket with the doomed firm may still be able to get a refund. 

“But for Flyr’s customers, they have paid with either a debit or credit card and then the card issuer is responsible. Then they get the money back,” Thomas Iversen from the Norwegian Consumer Council told public broadcaster NRK

The bad news is for those who didn’t pay with a card, as they are unlikely to get anything back. This is because customers with small amounts of money to be refunded (compared to other debtors) are pushed to the back of recovery queues. 

For card customers to get the money back, they will need to issue a claim to Flyr and then one to the card issuer to get the money refunded. 

“As a consumer, you must then make a claim to Flyr, and then the claim to the card issuer. Then you get your money back. With some, it goes quickly. With others, it takes longer,” he advised. 

Both debit and credit card holders can claim a refund, as Visa and Mastercard debit services provide money-back guarantees if a merchant is unable to refund a purchase due to bankruptcy.  

However, several insurance companies have said that it would be unlikely that they would be able to claim back money spent on Flyr tickets. 

“No travel insurance covers bankruptcy. Had they done so, the insurance premium would have been completely different from what we have today,” communications director Andreas Handeland at If Europeiske Reiseforsikring said. 

Knock-ons for travellers not booked with Flyr

Unfortunately, other travellers could be affected by the collapse of Flyr. Aviation analyst Frode Steen has said that the bankruptcy will affect the Norwegian market. 

“Inland, it doesn’t mean anything, but on the Spain routes and the classic tourist routes, there will now be less competition, and there will be less space. The combination often results in a higher ticket price,” he explained to the business and financial site E24

Flight analyst Hans Jørgen Elnæs at Winair told E24 that Flyr’s downfall would increase ticket prices as it often helped push prices down. 

“There is no doubt that Flyr has been a price pusher domestically in Norway and partly outside Europe,” Elnæs said. 

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