September is traditionally the beginning of the new academic year, as well as the continuation of the tourist season. Despite the different epidemiological situations with COVID-19, many countries are taking steps to intensify flights with other states. One of the most popular destinations for tourism, education, and business is the European region, particularly countries such as the UK, France, and Germany.
Report has prepared an article listing EU countries that accept a travel visa in the pandemic and those that require vaccination and quarantine.
This summer, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control included Azerbaijan in the ‘yellow zone’ on the situation with coronavirus infections in the country. Entry into this category means that in almost all European countries, quarantine will be mandatory for visitors from Azerbaijan, most often for ten days. What are the requirements for obtaining a visa?
The visa center of Gateway Visa Service INC in Baku reported that several countries, including Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Finland, have stopped issuing short-term visas altogether. The only exception is Lithuania, which issues short-term visas. At the same time, it is mandatory to have a negative PCR test and complete vaccination with Pfizer or AstraZeneca (new name Vaxzevria). Still, even in this case, it will not be possible to avoid a 10-day quarantine.
In case of an urgent need for a short-term visa, citizens need to contact the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Azerbaijan. This does not apply to students - they can get a long-term visa by contacting the Visa Application Center.
The country suspended the reception of applications for a tourist visa in August last year. Long-term visas can be obtained from the Finnish Embassy in Moscow.
The Latvian Embassy in Azerbaijan is solving the issue of obtaining a visa from three countries - Latvia, Estonia, and Slovenia. Getting a long-term visa to Estonia is possible only from the country’s embassy in Georgia. In case of urgent need, it is obligatory to present an invitation letter.
Obtaining a short-term tourist visa to the country is not considered.
According to the British Visa Application Center, Azerbaijan is included in the ‘orange zone’ in the kingdom, there are no restrictions on obtaining visas, so both tourists and students, and entrepreneurs, can visit the UK. A negative PCR test is still mandatory for all citizens, and upon arrival in the country, expect a ten-day-quarantine in the UK.
Despite the absence of any restrictions on obtaining a visa, there are fewer applications compared to the period before the pandemic.
If an Azerbaijani tourist who wants to visit Europe has little time but wants to see more, France is one of the few countries that has not changed the rules for obtaining a visa. The CAPAGO visa center noted that with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine (a prerequisite for obtaining a visa) and a PCR test, you would be allowed into the country without any quarantine. But even in this case, according to experts, there are fewer visa requests.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden
A short-term visa can still be obtained through the CAPAGO visa center, and for a long-term visa, you should contact the consulates of the countries. At the time of the article’s writing, Spain accepts Azerbaijanis vaccinated with the Sinovac jab. But, as noted in the visa center, the rules for entering these countries often change, so it is better to clarify them again before visiting.
While there are no restrictions on obtaining a visa, a negative PCR test is required, and upon arrival in the country, a 5-day quarantine is mandatory. Another PCR test is needed at the end of quarantine.
In general, due to the cancellation of the issuance of tourist visas by several states, the number of applications for their receipt has dropped significantly, according to the specialists of the visa centers.
A negative PCR test is required to enter all EU countries. In this regard, the issue of recognition of Azerbaijani COVID passports abroad is becoming increasingly important. The EU has already recognized the vaccination passports of Turkey and Ukraine, and the European Commission continues to contact non-EU countries to join the European COVID certificate system.