What to Know About Travelling to Europe This Summer

Tourists are welcome

SG Buckley
3 min readJul 13, 2021


I had no interest in leaving home this summer. With onerous Covid requirements, fear of catching Covid, and assuming Europeans wouldn’t be thrilled to see us, it hardly seemed worth it. But now with the 14-hour journey from the UK to France behind us, and happily settled in the Chamonix mountain valley, I’m delighted we made the trip. It turns out the requirements weren’t all that onerous and I was wrong about people being unwelcoming.

Here is some information that might be useful to others thinking of coming to Europe this summer.

1. The Requirements Aren’t a Huge Deal

The first things to know are that requirements vary by country and depend on where you’re travelling from, but the rules are getting easier. European countries are welcoming vaccinated US travellers, and further restrictions are limited.

Travelling from an amber country involves a bit more paperwork. We travelled to France a week ago from the UK (an amber country, unlike a green US country). At the time, we were required to be fully vaccinated and able to prove it with an official certificate from our health authority, done at least two weeks before travel. (If you’re not fully vaccinated and coming from the UK, you need to have a compelling reason to visit and then self-isolate for seven days and, at the end of the quarantine, take a Covid test).

Our unvaccinated child was considered vaccinated by French authorities because we were. This is the same in Spain.

We also had to present a negative diagnostic test taken within 72 hours of travel. (We could have shown an antigen test taken with 48 hours of travel if we’d had Covid). For this PCR test, we used DAM Health in the UK because the price included my daughter and it was easy to get an appointment, even on a Sunday. They said it would take 24 hours to get the results. We got them the same day.

There was a statement to sign saying we had no Covid symptoms. The French statement we downloaded is here. The Italian one is here. Other countries’ forms can be found via government websites.



SG Buckley

Writer, editor, parent. Former staffer at Quartz, WSJ and Inc. magazine.