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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

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 has strict testing requirements for entry from most countries, but children under the age of 10 are exempt.


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.


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 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.


Children aged under 12 are exempt in Finland.


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.


In Germany under 6s are exempt from testing requirements, as well as fully-vaccinated adults from certain countries.


Children under 5 are exempt from testing requirements on arrivals.


Children under 5 are not required to show a negative Covid test to enter Ireland, but most other travellers are.


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’


Children under 13 years age are exempt from testing requirements when arriving in the Netherlands.


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.


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.


Only children aged two or under are exempt from the testing requirements in Portugal.


Children under 13 travelling with their families are exempt from testing.


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's testing requirement is only for adults, so all under 18s are exempt from having to provide a test.


Switzerland exempts under 12s from the testing requirement.


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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Designer of France’s high-speed TGV train dies

Jacques Cooper, designer of France's first ultra-fast TGV train that shattered world speed records when it came into service in 1981, has died aged 93, his former employer Alstom said on Wednesday.

Designer of France's high-speed TGV train dies

The first generation of the Train à Grande Vitesse (high-speed train) reached a top speed of 380 kilometres per hour (236 mph), cutting the journey time between Paris other French cities to just a few hours, as opposed to the full-day, or even overnight, trip required previously.

TGV: 9 things you might not know about France’s high-speed trains

Hailed as a prime example of French engineering and industrial prowess, TGV technology has been exported to several other countries including South Korea, Spain, the United States and Italy.

Jacques Cooper said his train design was inspired by the nose of the Porsche 914-6 limited-edition sports car model that he had designed for the German manufacturer a decade earlier.

The Porsche was orange, which also became the trademark colour of the new fast trains.

“He will have impacted rail forever,” Henri Poupart-Lafarge, CEO of Alstom, said of Cooper, who worked at the firm in the 1970s and 1980s.

“Especially by designing the distinctive nose of the orange TGV that opened the way to high-speed travel in France.”

Cooper, who designed tractors and helicopters before turning to trains, also helped design trains for the Santiago de Chile and Cairo Metros.

France’s national rail operator SNCF is to take delivery of a new generation of fast trains, called TGV-M, by the end of next year, the exterior design of which remains close to Cooper’s original blueprint.