As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, aviation is asking one of the same questions as the rest of the world; may we operate into the European Union? One apparent blessing of the EU structure is its ability to act uniformly in its response to this crisis. This does not mean that all countries are responding identically, but they are all participating in the dissemination of information. In order to centralize information regarding each EU country’s response to COVID-19, an official website has been created. The site, dubbed “Reopen EU,” has been designed as a central repository for specifics concerning the reopening of the EU. We have reviewed the website and offer this blog post for your information. The specific web address is given at the end of the blog.
The site consists of the main page that displays all current news releases that pertain to the opening of the EU countries. It also has a searchable menu that allows users to review the current situation of each specific country. Within each country, there are four tabs of information that may be reviewed: INFO, TRAVEL, SERVICES, and HEALTH. The INFO tab provides general information about that particular country and various regions within that country. The other three tabs offer a series of icons and colors to direct viewers to information regarding current openings and restrictions. The color scheme identifies if a particular service is either open (green), closed (red), or open with restrictions (yellow). Each icon represents a specific service and is identified by one particular question. Here are a few examples:
These are just a sample of the questions that are answered on the website.
There are also a few exciting bits of information to glean from the website that may not be readily apparent. Most significantly, the potential exists for getting access to EU countries that are currently banning entry directly from the United States. This process involves entering from other countries such as Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, or Liechtenstein. Please be sure to check the restrictions of these particular countries on flights from America before attempting to enter the EU via those countries. In addition, check the current restrictions for re-entering the US from those specific EU countries.
It is important to understand that the information on the site is focused on the country level. There may be opportunities for those willing to make queries about specific airports. Through conversations with Scott IPC clients, we have heard that individual EU airports may be open to operations from the US if the flight transits particular EU aerodromes, such as Shannon/EINN, before flying to their final destination. Scott IPC is not in the trip planning business, so please check with your trip planning service or contact the airport/ground handler directly to see if a particular airport is granting any leniency in this area.
For more detailed information on particular countries, please visit the website https://reopen.europa.eu/en. We wish you the best of luck and Godspeed in operating to the EU.