International Gathering and Event Regulations: What to Know

March 12, 2021

entry.featuredImage.one().imageAlt

Starting next month, New Zealand will cut quarantine times in half at government-managed hotels for fully vaccinated international travelers.

Updated October 28, 2021

As many parts of the world continue to battle coronavirus outbreaks, particularly the Delta variant, some leaders have paused the reopening process and announced new constraints on travel and gatherings. At the same time, other countries are easing their restrictions. Here's a roundup of what's happening around the globe.

In the latest news, New Zealand will begin easing border restrictions in November. One-way, quarantine-free travel with the Pacific Islands will be expanded, and the number of days have been cut in half that fully vaccinated international travelers must quarantine at a government-managed isolation facility. Hong Kong is extending its social-distancing measures for another two weeks, and is tightening travel restrictions to be more in line with Mainland China. In Australia, fully vaccinated residents will be able to able to travel abroad starting Nov. 1.

Denmark has lifted its requirement for having a "worthy purpose" to enter the country. Ireland has lifted capacity limits for outdoor events, while extending its proof-of-vaccination requirement for restaurants, bars and indoor events. Thailand is accelerating reopening plans, now allowing fully vaccinated visitors from 46 countries and territories to enter instead of the original 10 low-risk countries.

Also, Italy's mandatory health pass took effect on Oct. 15 for all workers of public and private businesses. The U.S. will allow fully vaccinated travelers from Mexico and Canada to enter the country for nonessential reasons, beginning in November. In January, essential travelers entering the U.S. via land or ferry ports must also be vaccinated. Vaccinated travelers from nine countries, including the United States, will be allowed to enter Singapore without quarantining. 

Meanwhile England has simplified its travel restrictions and removed 47 countries from its red list on Oct. 11. In Scotland, vaccine passports are now required for entry to large events. Meanwhile, Canada will require all passengers on trains between provinces to show proof of full vaccination, beginning Oct. 30. The mandate also will affect cruise and air travelers.



Reopening status in countries that banned or restricted events

Australia


Health minister Greg Hunt has announced that outbound travel restrictions will be lifted for fully vaccinated Australians. Starting Nov. 1, residents who have been fully inoculated will no longer need an exemption to leave the country, and will be able to return without restrictions. This will mark the first phase of reopening Australia's borders. Phase two will allow students and critical workers to enter the country, followed by a reopening of general tourism at a later date.

Covid-19 restrictions vary across the country. The lockdown in Melbourne was lifted on Oct. 22. Restaurants, clubs, entertainment venues, weddings and funerals can have up to 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 outdoors. Home gatherings have been increased to 10 people inside and 15 people outside. There is no longer a curfew or travel limits, except for trips to regional Victoria. Restrictions will be further eased when 80 percent of the population is vaccinated, which is expected to be Nov. 5 at the latest. Beginning Nov. 1, vaccinated travelers who test negative for Covid-19 will no longer have to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days upon arrival in Sydney. The lockdown in Sydney was lifted on Oct. 11. Restaurants, pubs, gyms and retail stores are now open at a reduced capacity to vaccinated customers. The limits for vaccinated people to gather in homes and attend weddings and funerals were also increased. More restrictions will be eased when the vaccination rate reaches 80 percent. The unvaccinated must remain at home until Dec. 1. The limits on home and informal outdoor gatherings in Sydney will be lifted and masks will no longer be required indoors on Dec. 1.

The Australian government has released a four-step plan for reopening. The country is currently in the most restricted phase A. Some restrictions will be eased and lockdowns are less likely under phase B, which will occur when 70 percent of the population has received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine. The country will move to phase C when 80 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, after which travel will begin reopening and vaccinated residents will be exempt from all domestic restrictions. Phase D will see the reopening of international borders, with vaccinated travelers no longer required to quarantine. Unvaccinated visitors, however, could still be subject to Covid-19 testing prior to travel and upon arrival.

Only Australian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members and travelers who have been in New Zealand for at least 14 days before flying to Australia can enter the country at this time. Visitors are required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior of departure. Travel updates can be found on the Australian Department of Health's website.



Canada


The U.S. will lift travel restrictions with Canada in November. Fully vaccinated Canadians will be able to enter the country via the land border or by ferry for non-essential reasons, starting next month. Proof of vaccination will be required and those who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to enter. Essential travelers from Canada will also need to show proof of vaccination, beginning in January. Canadian travelers can currently fly into the U.S. with proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel. In November, all foreign visitors traveling to the U.S. by air will also be required to provide proof of full vaccination.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasannounced that all trains between provinces, as well as all airplanes leaving Canada will require proof of full vaccination, effective Oct. 30. Cruise ship passengers also will be subject to these requirements, when sailings resume in 2022. In addition, all employers in the federally regulated air, rail and marine transportation sectors must establish vaccine mandates for their employees by Oct. 30.

On Sept. 7, Canada opened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from all countries. Eligible travelers must meet Canada's pre-entry testing requirements, be asymptomatic upon arrival and upload their vaccination information to the ArriveCAN system. However, the U.S. land border with Canada will remain closed to nonessential travel through Oct. 21, meaning Canadians cannot drive into the United States. More details can be found on the Canadian government's website.

Alberta declared a state of emergency on Sept. 15. Masks and physical distancing now are required in public indoor spaces. Starting Sept. 20, businesses can operate without capacity limits if they implement the Restrictions Exemption Program, which requires proof of vaccination, a privately paid negative Covid-19 test or documentation of medical exemption. Indoor events that follow the Restrictions Exemption Program can be held at full capacity; indoor events that don't implement it are limited to one-third of their fire-code occupancy. Outdoor events have no capacity restrictions.

Many provinces and territories have restricted gathering sizes. The Canadian government has also released a risk mitigation tool for event planners.



Denmark


On Oct. 25, Denmark lifted its requirement for having a "worthy purpose" to enter the country. Unvaccinated U.S. travelers still must take a Covid-19 test upon arrival and quarantine for 10 days. Self-isolation can end with a negative PCR test taken four days after traveling. Denmark has moved the United States to its orange list of travel restrictions.

Due to Denmark's high vaccination rates, health minister Magnus Heunicke announced that the government will no longer consider Covid-19 a "socially critical disease" as of Sept. 10. The country lifted all remaining pandemic restrictions on this day, becoming the first in the E.U. to do so. A coronavirus passport system, which has been required for entry to bars, restaurants, culture attractions and events, was phased out. Details and updates can be found on the government's website.




England


England removed 47 countries from its red list of travel restrictions on Oct. 11. Only seven countries will remain on the most-restricted list: Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Travelers from red-list countries can only enter England if they have residency rights, or are a British or Irish citizen. They must take a Covid-19 test prior to travel, quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days and complete two more Covid-19 tests upon arrival.

On Oct. 4, England scrapped its traffic-light system, removing the green and amber lists. Only the red list remains. Fully vaccinated travelers arriving from non-red list countries are no longer required to take a Covid-19 test prior to departure, but must take a Covid-19 test on or before day two of arrival and complete a passport locator form. Travelers from non-red-list countries who are not fully vaccinated must take a Covid-19 test within 72 hours before traveling, quarantine for 10 days once in the country, take two additional Covid-19 tests on days two and eight, and complete the passport locator form. The latest travel information can be found on the government's website.

England announced on Sept. 12 that vaccine passports will not be used for entry to large events and nightclubs. The plans to implement them had received significant backlash from both politicians and the nightclub industry. The government changed this requirement due to increased vaccination rates and new treatments. The country moved to its final phase of reopening on July 19. All social-distancing limits have been eliminated, and all indoor and outdoor gathering restrictions have been lifted. Face masks are no longer required in England, except for on public transportation in the capital city, such as on London subways, buses and trams.


France


Effective Sept. 12, all unvaccinated travelers from the United States are banned from entering France. They can only visit for essential purposes and must provide a negative Covid-19 test and quarantine for seven days. France has lifted most Covid-19 restrictions, but masks are still required in indoor public spaces, and Covid-19 passports are mandatory for events with more than 50 people. As of Aug. 9, health certificates are also required in cafés, restaurants, cultural venues and long-distance travel by plane, train or bus. The certificates also will soon be required for people ages 12 to 17 and for the staff of public venues. Guests must show that they are fully vaccinated, have received a negative Covid-19 test result within the last 48 hours or have fully recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months.

The country has implemented a new traffic-light system for travel, which allows vaccinated travelers from green and orange countries to enter without completing a Covid-19 test. Travelers from red-light countries must have an essential reason for traveling, complete a Covid-19 test before departure as well as on arrival, and quarantine for seven days if fully vaccinated or 10 days if not vaccinated.



Germany


On Aug. 15, Germany classified the United States as a high-risk area. Only fully vaccinated travelers or those with an essential reason for visiting can enter the country. Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. Other restrictions vary across the country, depending on regional Covid-19 rates.


Greece


Greece has lifted quarantine restrictions for travelers from all E.U. member states, Britain, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Serbia and Israel. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, non-E.U. members that are part of a European travel pact, are also exempt. As of April 19, travelers flying into Greece from one of these countries are no longer required to complete a seven-day quarantine upon arrival, if they show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival.

As of Sept. 13, unvaccinated people are banned from certain indoor venues like cafes, restaurants and bars. They can enter some places like gyms, theaters and museums with a negative Covid-19 test taken within the past 48 hours. Masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination, in public indoor areas and crowded outdoor areas. These rules will remain in effect until March 31, 2022.



Hong Kong


Social-distancing measures in Hong Kong have been extended for at least two weeks, until Nov. 10. This includes the requirement to wear face masks, administer temperature checks, conduct contract-tracing and more at catering premises, bars and entertainment venues. Full details can be found here. Gatherings remain restricted to no more than four people.

The government also announced that international travel restrictions will be tightened to be more in line with the policies of Mainland China, which will allow for quarantine-free travel between the two destinations. Details have not yet been released. The latest updates on Covid-19 travel measures can be found on the government's website.


Indonesia


Indonesia reopened the airport in Bali to international flights from several countries on Oct. 14, including South Korea, China, Japan, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. The facility has been closed for more than a year. The government is finalizing the list of countries with direct flights to Bali. International travelers will have to show proof of hotel bookings for a mandatory eight-day quarantine.



Ireland


Ireland lifted some Covid-19 restrictions on Oct. 22. Nightclubs can reopen and capacity limits have been lifted for outdoor events, sporting events, weddings and religious ceremonies. However, there are still some restrictions in place, despite the country's phased reopening plan to drop all safety protocols on Oct. 22. The requirement for vaccine certificates to enter restaurants, bars and indoor events has been extended to February; indoor events should also be fully seated.

As of July 19, fully vaccinated U.S. travelers are allowed to enter Ireland and do not need to quarantine or complete a Covid-19 test. Those who are not fully vaccinated must take a test within 72 hours prior to arrival, then quarantine for 14 days once in the country and take a post-arrival Covid test. All travelers must complete a passenger locator form at least 48 hours prior to arrival. The latest travel updates can be found on the government's website.

Under the current restrictions, organized indoor events, such as conferences, are not allowed. However, outdoor events of up to 200 people are permitted at most venues. Up to 500 people are allowed for outdoor gatherings at venues with a capacity of more than 5,000 people. Event organizers must abide by safety protocols, including social distancing.


Italy


A mandatory Covid-19 health pass, called the Green Pass, took effect on Oct. 15 for the country's workforce. All employees of both public and private businesses must now show proof of vaccination, a negative rapid test or recent recovery from Covid-19 before returning to work. Workers without a Green Pass have to take unpaid leave and could face up to US$1,760 in fines for not complying.

Unvaccinated travelers from the United States must now quarantine for five days upon arrival in Italy before being tested for Covid-19. Fully vaccinated U.S. travelers must present proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of their arrival. These rules will be in effect through at least Oct. 25.

On Aug. 6, Italy introduced the "Green Pass," a digital Covid-19 health certificate that is required for entry to museums, theaters, theme parks, spas and indoor dining. Anyone over the age of 12 must show proof that they have received at least one vaccine dose, have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months or have tested negative within the last 48 hours.

Italy has also updated its travel guidelines. Visitors from the United States, Canada and Japan are now allowed to enter Italy under the requirements of the E.U.'s Digital Covid Certificate. As part of the digital passport, travelers must present proof of full vaccination, a negative Covid-19 test taken within 48 hours prior to entry or a medical certificate that shows they have recovered from the virus.

The Italian government has continued to ease Covid-19 mitigation measures and all of the country is now in the white zone, the least restrictive level of Italy's color-coded map of restrictions. In white zones, the curfew has been lifted and bars and restaurants have reopened. Trade fairs and conferences were allowed to resume as of June 15, but must comply with safety protocols.



Japan


The state of emergency in Japan ended on Sept. 30. Restaurants and bars can resume selling alcohol and are now allowed to stay open until 9 p.m. The government has said that Covid-19 restrictions will be eased gradually and vaccine passports are expected to be implemented.


Mexico


The U.S.-Mexico land border will be reopened for nonessential travelers who are fully vaccinated in November. Mexican travelers will also be allowed to enter the country via ferry as long as they have proof of inoculation. In January, essential travelers crossing the border will also be required to be fully vaccinated. Air travel from Mexico to the U.S. is currently allowed with a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure. In November, the U.S. will begin requiring that all foreign nationals entering the country via air show proof of full vaccination.

Most of the country's tourist destinations have reopened to visitors, with some restrictions. The Mexican Ministry of Tourism has implemented the Clear Point Quality Seal certification system to indicate restaurants, bars, hotels and other tourism providers that are following the highest safety protocols.




The Netherlands


The Netherlands added the United States to its list of areas with a very high risk of Covid-19 on Sept. 4. Travelers from these destinations can only enter the Netherlands if they are fully vaccinated, but will no longer have to quarantine upon arrival starting Sept. 22. Social-distancing requirements will be dropped on Sept. 25. While lifting certain restrictions, the Dutch government is introducing a "corona pass" that will show proof of vaccination to enter venues like restaurants, bars, clubs and cultural events. As of Sept. 6, fully vaccinated travelers must also present a negative PCR test or negative antigen test, taken within 24 hours prior to departure.

The Netherlands moved to phase four of reopening on June 26. However, the government temporarily tightened some restrictions, following a rise in Covid-19 cases. The current measures are expected to stay in place until at least Sept. 20. During this time, smaller, one-day, nonseated events are allowed if they abide by certain restrictions. Gatherings are not to exceed more than 750 people and must be held outdoors or in an open-air tent. Event organizers must require coronavirus passports that show proof of full vaccination, recovery within the past six months or a negative Covid-19 test taken within 24 hours. Face masks and social distancing are not required at these events.



New Zealand


The government has announced plans to begin easing border restrictions. Starting Nov. 14, fully vaccinated international travelers will only need to quarantine at a government-managed isolation facility for seven days, not two weeks, as previously required. Travelers must then isolate at home until they receive a negative Covid-19 test on day nine.

In addition, one-way, quarantine-free travel will be expanded with the Pacific Islands. Currently, quarantine-free travel is allowed with the Cook Islands and Niue; fully vaccinated travelers from Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tokelau now will not need to provide a negative test result or isolate after arrival in order to the enter the country.

The government plans to ease restrictions further and rely more on home isolation for fully vaccinated international travelers in Q1 of 2022. Full details and the latest updates on travel and Covid-19 can be found on the government's Unite Against Covid-19 website.

The alert level three lockdown in Auckland has been extended until at least Nov. 1. Up to 10 people can now attend weddings and funerals, but all other events are prohibited. Restaurants and cafes can only offer takeout and delivery. Schools and offices must remain closed and residents must keep to their own "bubbles."

Lockdowns in the rest of the country were lifted on Sept. 8, when all other areas moved to alert level two. Event and entertainment facilities can reopen, and there are no restrictions on the number of people who can attend events, but gatherings that are not held at an event facility are limited to 100 people in a defined indoor or outdoor space.



Norway


After 561 days, Norway has lifted its Covid-19 restrictions as of Sept. 25. Social distancing is no longer required, which allows restaurants and sports venues to operate at full capacity and nightclubs to reopen. Approximately 67 percent of the country's population is fully vaccinated and 76 percent have received at least one dose. Travelers from countries including the U.K., Switzerland, New Zealand, Singapore and the E.U. can now visit Norway. Vaccinated travelers will not have to quarantine upon arrival. Unvaccinated travelers who have a negative PCR test must isolate for 72 hours.


Portugal


Portugal entered the third and final phase of its reopening plan on Oct. 1, lifting almost all Covid-19 restrictions. Travelers from several countries including the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom can enter the country with proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test. Bars and clubs are open, and restaurants can open without capacity limits. E.U. Covid Digital Certificates are required for bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants, as well as business events with more than 1,000 people outdoors or 500 people indoors. Details on the latest gathering and travel restrictions can be found on Visit Portugal's website.


Scotland


As of Oct. 1, vaccine passports are required for entry to large events in Scotland. Attendees must show proof of full vaccination in order to attend unseated indoor events with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000 people and all events with more than 10,000 people, as well as to enter nightclubs.

Scotland moved out of its five-tier system of Covid-restrictions on Aug. 9, allowing all venues to reopen for normal operating hours and removing all physical-distancing limitations. Face coverings, however, still are required in indoor public spaces and on public transportation. In addition, restaurants and hospitality venues must collect customer information for contact tracing purposes. Details and travel updates can be found on Visit Scotland's website.



Singapore


Beginning Oct. 19, vaccinated travelers from nine countries, including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, no longer have to quarantine when visiting Singapore. To use the Vaccinated Travel Lane, visitors will need two negative PCR tests to enter the country: one before departure and one upon arrival. South Korea will be added to the VTL on Nov. 15.

Singapore lifted border restrictions with Hong Kong and Macao on Aug. 26. The country also launched a vaccinated travel lane with Germany and Brunei in September. Those who are fully vaccinated can travel between the countries without quarantining, although Covid-19 tests are required before departure, on arrival, on day three and on day seven.

The country also has eased gathering restrictions, as the local vaccination rate rises. As of Aug. 19, seated business events of up to 1,000 people or receptions of up to 500 guests are allowed if everyone is fully vaccinated. Only events with fewer than 50 people can occur and must use pre-event testing. Capacity limits for cruises, attractions and museums have increased from 25 percent to 50 percent.

Event organizers must submit their plans to the Singapore Tourism Board for approval, and adhere to specific risk-mitigation measures. The Singapore Tourism Board has launched the SG Clean initiative to audit the sanitation practices of all types of facilities; those who put the measures in place will earn a certification from the STB.


Spain


Covid-19 restrictions vary by region, although social distancing and mask mandates remain in place for all public spaces. In Madrid, a nighttime curfew has been lifted and hotels, restaurants and bars can operate at 50 percent capacity. Cultural venues, such as museums and theaters, can welcome visitors at 75 percent capacity.

On June 7, Spain opened its borders to vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and most of the world. In addition, non-vaccinated travelers from the EU's 27 member nations are allowed entry with proof of a negative Covid-19 test result.



Switzerland


Switzerland opened its borders to vaccinated travelers from North America on June 26. Those from the U.S. and Canada who present proof that they are fully vaccinated do not need to take a PCR test prior to entry or to quarantine after arrival. U.S. travelers can also enter the country with a negative Covid-19 test result or proof of recovery.

Covid-19 restrictions were also relaxed on June 26. The requirements to work from home and wear a mask outdoors have been lifted. In addition, events that use Covid-19 certificate forms to verify attendee vaccination status or test results will have no capacity limits or restrictions. Meanwhile, seated gatherings without a Covid-19 certificate cannot exceed more than 1,000 people. Events with no seating requirement and no Covid certificate will be limited to 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. The latest updates and information on what's open can be found on Switzerland Tourism's website.



Thailand


Beginning in November, fully vaccinated visitors from at least 46 low-risk countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore, will no longer have to quarantine in Thailand. They will still have to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test, both before traveling and upon arrival. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said that more countries will be added to the list on Dec. 1 and even more on Jan. 1.




This article has been provided courtesy of Northstar Meetings Group, you can the read the original article here.



Posted by Elise Schoening | Request as a Speaker

Northstar Meetings Group is a vital experiential and sports industry resource, equipped with valuable tools and information to plan exemplary meetings, events and incentive programs of all sizes. Offering a range of relevant industry analyses and innovative planning solutions, including the robust Venue Finder tool (which sources and compares over 220,000 hotel and meeting spaces around the world), Northstar Meetings Group is THE go-to source for event, trade show, and meeting professionals.