2021 Travel under COVID re-openings and restrictions

VeloSki Sports goals and plans –

We are committed to your enjoyment of cycling with us in Europe and fully support the guidelines and restrictions for the re-opening of tourism set forth by the respective regions where we will travel for cycletourism. Below are the official pages from each of the three countries where we will cycle during Summer 2021. While we know the tourism sectors are anxious for the return of American tourists, the official re-opening is still a work in progress. We continue to monitor updates to “travel re-opening” with our hotel families where we cycle, along with the official statements from their respective governments.

The European Union is working toward a “universal certificate/document” to be used for travelers entering any of the Schengen or EU countries. The details are yet to be defined, and the form of the “universal certificate/document” yet to be approved. It is hoped that the details will be made known before June 9, 2021. Although, it is not yet known if travelers from the United States will be included among the foreign tourists allowed to enter beginning June 9, 2021.

Currently, reservations are in place for late-Summer tours with the hope COVID cases will be deemed under control both at our destination regions and in the United States well before our planned departure dates. We recommend when booking flights that you ensure no penalties for changing dates or cancelling in the event destination regions become “locked down” prior to departures.

France –

Sadly our Alsace: Vines & Villages cycletour tentatively scheduled for June 12-26 is postponed until 2022 due to uncertainty regarding Americans traveling to France June 9th along with other “foreign travelers” from the EU and Schengen countries.

The Department of State has issued COVID-19 Traveler Information and advises all U.S. citizens to read the country-specific Travel Advisories and U.S. Embassy COVID pages for updates on the impact of COVID-19 worldwide. (https://fr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/)

COVID-19 Information 

Last updated:   05/03/2021

*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Country-Specific Information

  • France has confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the country.
  • A nationwide curfew remains in effect from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. daily.  During the curfew you may only leave your residence for commuting to and from work, medical appointments, essential family duties such as caring for children or the elderly, walking a pet, or other limited reasons and you must carry an exemption certificate.  Non-essential businesses remain closed. Schools are in session, although some schools are only at 50 percent in-person for some middle school and high school classes (college and lycee).
  • If the health situation permits, the Government of France has announced that on May 19, cafés, bars, and restaurants will be allowed to reopen their outdoor terraces, non-essential shops can reopen, and the curfew will move to 9 p.m.  Individual departements may see this delayed if their local health conditions have not improved sufficiently.
  • French borders remain closed for travel to and from non-European countries with the exception of U.K., Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore. All travelers must show a compelling personal, familial, medical, or professional reason to travel.  U.S. citizens and residents can return to the United States, but will not be allowed to enter or reenter France without showing a qualifying compelling reason.  Please read our update on the French closure of borders for travel to Non-European countries for more information.
  • The president of France has laid out a reopening plan that would allow “foreign tourists” with a health pass (tied to being fully vaccinated or having a negative COVID-19 PCR test) to enter France beginning June 9, 2021 if COVID-19 levels remain under control. It is not yet known if travelers from the United States will be included among the foreign tourists allowed to enter.  Nor does the U.S. Embassy have any information at this time about what the “health pass” will be or how to obtain one.  Interested travelers should visit the website for the French Embassy in the United States for the latest information. Updates will be provided on this page as we receive them

Entry and Exit Requirements

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No.
  • France has closed its borders to travel to and from countries outside the “European Area” (EU members along with Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican), with the exception of U.K., Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore. Under these restrictions, travelers from the United States and all other excluded countries, must show they are essential travelers with a compelling reason for travel.  All such travelers must have a travel attestation available at the Ministry of Interior website.  These forms define the categories of essential travelers and compelling reasons,
  • In rare cases, the French government will consider allowing travel in humanitarian situations and in cases of business activity important to the French economy, and have announced a program to allow unmarried couples to reunite. Persons may inquire about such allowances with the French Embassy in Washington, DC (visas@consulfrance-washington.org).
  • The United States Embassy has no standing to intervene or advocate for the private travel of United States citizens to France. Please contact your nearest French Embassy or French Consulate or refer to France Visas. If you are already in France, please contact your nearest Prefecture or refer to the Ministry of the Interior or Prefecture de Police. 
  • Anyone entering France or transiting through France must have an attestation, available here. You do not need an endorsement from the Embassy for this attestation.
  • Transit passengers through Charles De Gaulle Airport are being allowed under certain conditions. Transiting passengers may not leave the international zone and will not be admitted to France. Luggage must be checked through to your final destination. You will not be permitted to leave the international zone to collect and recheck baggage. The duration of transit must be less than 24 hours. For more information regarding entry into France, we refer you to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • The president of France has laid out a reopening plan that would allow “foreign tourists” with a health pass (tied to being fully vaccinated or having a negative COVID-19 PCR test) to enter France beginning June 9, 2021 if COVID-19 levels remain under control. It is not yet known if travelers from the United States will be included among the foreign tourists allowed to enter.  Nor does the U.S. Embassy have any information at this time about what the “health pass” will be or how to obtain one.  Interested travelers should visit the website for the French Embassy in the United States for the latest information. Updates will be provided on this page as we receive them.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry?  Yes.
  • All travelers, even those arriving from Europe, must present results of a negative PCR test, carried out less than 72 hours before departure.
  • Please note this testing requirement applies only to travelers who are otherwise allowed to travel to France.
  • For more information regarding entry into France, we refer you to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (English version). 
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes. 
  • France is performing temperature checks and there are two Covid-19 testing centers at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and Paris-Orly. Departing passengers wishing to get a test at the airport must make an appointment online (doctolib.fr). According to Paris Aéroport, results for the PCR test are available within 48 hours and within 1 to 2 hours for an antigenic test.

Movement Restrictions

  • Is a curfew in place? Yes.
  • A nationwide curfew remains in effect from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. daily.  During the curfew you may only leave your residence for commuting to and from work, medical appointments, essential family duties such as caring for children or the elderly, walking a pet, or other limited reasons and you must carry an exemption certificate.  Non-essential businesses remain closed. Schools are in session, although some schools are only at 50 percent in-person for some middle school and high school classes (college and lycee).
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No.
  • The rule limiting travel to 10 km of your residence has been lifted. There are no restrictions on travel throughout France.
  • U.S. citizens wishing to return to the United States can do so. All U.S. citizens and other travelers over the age of two will need to present a negative COVID-19 viral or antigen test result or evidence of having contracted and recovered from COVID-19 prior to boarding the plane. Test samples must be collected within the 3 calendar days before the flight departs. Please see the CDC announcement for more information. 
  • In addition, France has imposed movement or travel controls on several of its overseas territories and departments. For more information, we refer you to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. 

Quarantine Information 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes.
  • Travelers to France will need to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival and test again at the end of the self-isolation period, even if they tested negative prior to boarding. Travelers from certain EU countries experiencing a sharp increase in infections may also be subject to unidentified extra border restrictions.

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes.
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes.
  • Face coverings are required on all public transportation and in all public spaces, including in the stations.
  • Failing to wear face covering where required can result in a 135 Euro fine (approximately $165).
  • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may return to the United States. Contact your airline for updated status on your scheduled flight(s). Note that on January 25, 2021, President Biden issued Presidential Proclamation 10143, which updates a previous proclamation issued in March 2020. This proclamation does not apply to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. In addition, certain family members of U.S. citizens are also exempted.
  • U.S. citizens and all other travelers over the age of two will need to present a negative COVID-19 viral or antigen test result or evidence of having contracted and recovered from COVID-19 prior to boarding the plane. Test samples must be collected within the 3 calendar days before the flight departs. Please see the CDC announcement for more information.

Fines for Non-Compliance 

  • Non-compliance with the mask, curfew, or lockdown requirements can lead to a fine of 135 Euros (approximately $165) for a first offense.  Repeat offenders can be fined up to 1500 Euros (about $1,825).

Austria

Reservations are in place; we are hopeful travel restrictions for Americans will be lifted by mid-July for tourism in Austria.

Travel Information (www.austria.org/current-travel-information)

Current as of: April 29, 2021

I. Travel to the United States

Current travel information for Austrian citizens traveling to the United States is available here: https://botschaft.austria.org/reisehinweise

II. Travel to Austria

COVID-19 – RELATED ENTRY RESTRICTIONS FOR TRAVELERS TO AUSTRIA

PLEASE NOTE: Being vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 does NOT exempt you from the mandatory testing and quarantine requirements.

MANDATORY PRE-TRAVEL CLEARANCE
All travelers must register online (at the earliest 72 hours) before entering Austria (Pre-Travel Clearance – PTC) at https://entry.ptc.gv.at/en.

ENTRY RESTRICTIONS
Austria currently restricts the entry of most travelers arriving from outside the European Union (or the EEA, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican, or other low risk countries and territories listed in Annex A of the COVID-19 Entry Regulation) to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The entry ban includes travelers arriving from the United States.

Exceptions apply inter alia for:

  • Austrian citizens, EU/EEA citizens, and Swiss citizens and persons living in the same household
  • Holders of a D visa, a residence permit, or anID according to § 95 of the Aliens Police Act 2005, issued by Austria
  • Persons with a residence in Austria,the EU/EEA, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican or Switzerland, and persons living in the same household
  • Holders of a photo ID according to § 95 of the Aliens Police Act 2005
  • Business travelers (entry for professional reasons), including sport professionals and artists)
  • Students and researchers


MANDATORY TESTING AND QUARANTINE
Any person for whom the above exceptions apply
must:

  • Present upon entry into Austria a negative molecular-biological (PCR) or antigen SARS-CoV-2 test certificate in English or German taken no earlier than 72 hours (PCR test) or 48 hours (antigen test) prior to entering Austria. If the medical certificate cannot be presented the person has to get tested within 24h after arrival.AND
  • Observe a 10-day quarantine at their residence or at an appropriate accommodation at their own cost. The residence or accommodation may not be left for the quarantine period. Quarantine may be terminated upon presentation of a negative result of a molecular-biological or antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 taken no earlier than five days after entry, or for the purpose of departure from Austria.

Persons traveling for professions reasons and holders of a diplomatic “legitimation card” issued by Austria are exempt from mandatory quarantine if, upon entry, they present a negative molecular-biological (PCR) or antigen SARS-CoV-2 test certificate in English or German taken no earlier than 72 hours (PCR test) or 48 hours (antigen test) prior to entering Austria.


GENERAL EXEMPTIONS
Persons entering Austria for the following purposes are not subject to COVID-19 entry restrictions or mandatory quarantine:

  • Transit through Austria without stop or unnecessary delay. A change in mode of transportation is admissible (e.g. plane to train, bus, taxi, etc.)
  • Entry for particularly considerable reasons within the family that are unexpected and urgent (i.e. severe cases if illness, deaths, funerals, births, as well as people in need of support in emergency situations). The reason(s) must be credibly established upon entry into Austria. The entry in relation to other important but predictable events within the family (i.e. weddings, baptisms, birthdays or the non-regular visit of life partners) is subject to quarantine regulations.
  • Regular visits of a life partner (monthly or more frequent). Additional testing and registration requirements apply!
  • Regular travel (commuting) for professional or educational reasons.Additional testing and registration requirements apply!
  • Reception of absolutely necessary medical services if the recipient is either Austrian Citizen, is subject to mandatory health insurance in Austria, or hold a treatment conformation from an Austrian hospital. The absolute medical necessity of the medical services must be certified by a licensed physician. One accompanying person is acceptable (medical certificate or quarantine necessary).

Please note: This information does not replace legal advice and therefore no legal claims can be based on its use.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Additional or legally binding information on these entry requirements can only be provided by the responsible Federal Ministry for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection: +43 1 71 100 86 22 86 or buergerservice(at)sozialministerium.at

Italy –

We are eager to return to Italy as much as our Italian hotel families are eager to welcome us by the end of Summer. Below is what we know at this time.

Covid-19 updates: information for tourists

http://www.italia.it/en/useful-info/covid-19-updates-information-for-tourists.html

Updated in accordance with Decree-Law No. 44 of 22 April 2021. The measures shall remain in effect until 31 July 2021.

TRAVEL ABROAD AND FROM ABROAD TO ITALY


In view of the prevailing healthcare scenario, Italian citizens are discouraged to travel abroad except for reasons of necessity.

There are also strong restrictions for traveling from abroad towards Italy.

In case you are still planning to travel to Italy  from a foreign country, you need to refer to the rules and restrictions listed on “Focus: Italian citizens re-entering Italy and foreigners in Italy” of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

FACE MASK AND DISTANCING


Throughout Italy, it is mandatory to wear a mask in public places indoors. The mask is also mandatory outdoors, except in cases where you are isolated from people who do not live togethet. In Lazio it is mandatory to wear a mask outdoors in any situation.

Those who are not required to wear masks:
– people who are carrying out sports activities
– children under the age of 6
– people with disabilities or conditions incompatible with the use of a mask; carers or care workers are not obliged to wear masks, in the event that the mask makes it impossible to interact between carers/care workers and persons with disabilities. The use of the mask is also recommended inside houses, in the presence of non-cohabiting people.

It is mandatory to maintain the safe distance of at least one metre from non-cohabiting people.

Some squares or streets may be closed to the public throughout the day or at certain time slots to avoid gatherings. Access to these squares or streets is allowed only to reach open shops and private houses.

It is recommended to limit travel, by public or private transport, for reasons of work, study, health, for reasons of necessity or to take advantage of services not suspended.

It is also recommended to download the Immuni app, created by the Ministry of Health and the Minister of Technological Innovation to limit the spread of Covid-19.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT


The means of public transport can operate with 50% of passengers.

TRAVELLING BY CAR


It is possible to travel by car without limitations together with spouses, cohabitants and stable relationships.

Non-cohabiting people

You can travel by car with up to 3 non-cohabiting people including the driver. Everyone in the car must wear a mask.
The passenger seat next to the driver must remain free. Passengers must sit on opposite sides of the rear seat leaving the centre seat free.
If the car has several rear rows, it can accommodate a maximum of two passengers per row seated on opposite sides of the seat, leaving the centre seat free.

TRAVEL AROUND ITALY


To ensure the safety of residents and tourists, the Italian government has introduced a classification of regions based on the colours white (minimum risk), yellow, orange and red (maximum risk).

Each colour corresponds to specific precautionary measures which regulate the freedom of movement within the region, movement between regions, and the opening of businesses, restaurants and cultural sites.

Movement between different regions in the white and yellow zones will be permitted.

Movement between different regions in the orange and red areas is allowed only for reasons of work, healthcare or proven urgency, with a self-certification indicating the reason for the move, or upon presentation of a COVID-19 green certification.

COVID-19 GREEN CERTIFICATIONS


Movement between regions in the orange or red zone is allowed if you possess a COVID-19 green certification, with which you can prove:

  • that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19
  • that you have recovered from COVID-19 infection
  • that you have tested negative in a rapid molecular or antigen test

Vaccination and recovery certifications are valid for six months, and the negative test certificate is valid for 48 hours. Certifications issued in the Member States of the European Union are recognised as equivalent, as are those issued in any third country that follows vaccination standards recognised by the European Union.

MEASURES VALID IN THE REGIONS IN THE YELLOW ZONE


The following measures are valid in Abruzzo, Alto Adige, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Molise, Piedmont, Tuscany, Trentino, Umbria, Veneto.

MOVING OUTSIDE YOUR HOME

You can move outside your home only between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. You can go outside between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. only for reasons of work, healthcare or proven urgency, with a self-certification indicating the reason for the move.

PUBLIC PLACES

Bars, pubs, restaurants, ice cream parlours, pastry shops shall remain open. They must display a sign indicating the maximum number of people allowed inside at any particular time.
Table service in restaurants is permitted only outdoors, for both lunch and dinner. Up to a maximum of 4 people per table may sit together, unless they are cohabitants. Home delivery of food is permitted and, until 10 p.m., take-away meals are also allowed, with consumption on or near the premises prohibited.
From 1 June it is possible to eat at a table in indoor locations from 5 a.m. until 6 p.m.

There are no time limits for restaurants in hotels and other hospitality establishments, as long as the service is limited to customers staying on the premises.
Bars, restaurants and similar businesses remain open within service and refuelling areas along motorways, in hospitals and at airports.

Discotheques and dance halls are closed.

Amusement arcades, betting shops, bingo halls and casinos are closed.

SHOPS

The shops shall remain open, and must display a sign indicating the maximum number of people allowed inside at any particular time.
The shopping centres shall remain closed on public holidays and days before public holidays, except for grocery stores, pharmacies, drugstores, newsagents and tobacconists.

HOTELS AND ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES

The accommodation facilities are open, subject to compliance with social distancing, and as per protocols and guidelines adopted to prevent or reduce the risk of contagion.

MUSEUMS AND PLACES OF CULTURE

Museums and other cultural institutions shall remain open on the weekends. . To visit them, you must make prior reservations online or over the phone.

CINEMA, THEATERS AND CONCERTS

It is possible to attend the shows in cinemas, theatres, concert halls and other venues, including outdoor venues. The maximum number of spectators must not exceed 50% of the maximum authorised capacity, and in any case, may not exceed 1,000 people for outdoor performances and 500 people for indoor performances. The seating plan must ensure a distance of at least one metre between spectators.

SPORTING EVENTS

From 1 June, sporting events are open to the public. The maximum number of spectators must not exceed 25% of the maximum authorised capacity, and in any case, may not exceed 1,000 persons for outdoor facilities and 500 persons for indoor facilities. The seating plan must ensure a distance of at least one metre between spectators.

TRADE FAIRS, CONFERENCES AND CONGRESSES

From 15 June, trade fairs are allowed. From 1 July, it is also possible to organise conferences and congresses, subject to compliance with precautionary health measures.

SPAS, THEME PARKS AND AMUSEMENT PARKS

From 1 July, the activities of spas, theme parks and amusement parks are permitted.

MEASURES VALID IN THE REGIONS IN THE ORANGE ZONE


In Basilicata, Calabria, Puglia, Sicily, Aosta Valley

  • You can move outside your home only between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. You can go outside between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. only for reasons of work, healthcare or proven urgency, with a self-certification indicating the reason for such movement.
  • You can leave your house to visit relatives or friends only once a day between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. A maximum of 4 people, or 4 people accompanied by children under 18 years of age or by disabled or dependent persons living with them, may leave the house. These movements are allowed only within the municipality of your residence. Those who live in municipalities whose population does not exceed 5 thousand inhabitants can travel outside their municipality up to a distance of 30 km, but cannot go to the provincial capital cities.
  • It is allowed to move freely only within one’s municipality. Those who live in municipalities whose population does not exceed 5 thousand inhabitants can travel outside their municipality up to a distance of 30 km, but cannot go to the provincial capital cities.
  • Bars are open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. and restaurants from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., but only for take-away. In any case, it is not permitted to consume food or drinks near the premises. Restaurants have no time restrictions for home delivery. It is forbidden to eat or drink in the streets and parks between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • The shops are open; shopping centres are closed on weekends. Inside shopping centres, pharmacies, drugstores, grocery stores, tobacconists, newsagents, bookstores, nurseries and other shops for necessary goods may remain open.
  • Museums, exhibitions, theatres, cinema halls, gymnasia and swimming pools are closed.

MEASURES VALID IN THE REGIONS IN THE RED ZONE


In Sardinia

  • It is possible to leave the house only for reasons of work, healthcare or for proven urgency within one’s Municipality. Those who live in municipalities whose population does not exceed 5 thousand inhabitants can travel outside their municipality up to a distance of 30 km, but cannot go to the provincial capital cities.
  • Bars are open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. and restaurants from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., but only for take-away. In any case, it is not permitted to consume food or drinks near the premises. Restaurants have no time restrictions for home delivery. It is forbidden to eat or drink in the streets and parks between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • The shops and shopping centres shall be closed. Pharmacies, drugstores, grocery stores, tobacconists, newsagents, bookstores, nurseries and other shops for necessary goods may remain open.
  • Barbers, hairdressers and laundries will be open. Beauty salons are closed.
  • Museums, exhibitions, theatres, cinema halls, gymnasia and swimming pools are closed.
  • Exercise or sporting activities are allowed in the vicinity of one’s home.

For detailed information at local level, please consult the websites of the Italian Regions and Autonomous Provinces, as well as contact the respective editorial offices.

AbruzzoBasilicataCalabriaCampaniaEmilia-RomagnaFriuli Venezia GiuliaLazioLiguriaLombardyMarcheMolisePiedmontPugliaSardiniaSicilySouth TyrolTuscanyTrentinoUmbriaValle d’AostaVeneto