This summer we plan to drive through the following countries: Germany, France, Spain and Portugal. The group consists of a German citizen and two non-EU citizens having a German Schengen C visa. Note that Germany doesn't give tourist visas currently - this visa is issued as an exception (significant family event).

Currently these countries seem to only allow traffic from other Schengen countries. It's not clear for me what is meant by that: the last visited country, the countries visited within last 14 days, or the country of citizenship. Note that the two non-EU citizens are not residents of the EU: they are on a short-stay visa. I think it's an unusual situation, because such visas are not commonly issued at the moment.

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    You are too early with your question. Most countries expect to publish new rules some time in the next few weeks or months, till those are published it is pure speculation. At this time you can not travel for fun between the countries around Germany, including that country, as the governments feels the COVID situation is not good enough yet. But the numbers are going down, so opening up is realistic, we just do not know yet how.
    – Willeke
    May 30, 2021 at 17:10
  • @Willeke Summer in Europe starts in less than 30 hours, so I'm not sure "too early" makes sense. A better clarification of exactly when this trip is planned to take place would indeed help though.
    – Doc
    May 30, 2021 at 17:16
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    @Willeke Thanks for the feedback! We plan the trip in the end of July. Can you please provide some reference, why it's not allowed at the moment? I thought one can enter France by land, provided they have a PCR test. May 30, 2021 at 17:30
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    It also depends of the C-Visa. Is it geographicly restricted? Check the first field 'Valid for'. If that contains the word 'Schengen', then it is not restricted. If it contains Germany/Deutschland, then it is only valid for Germany. (Please add that information to your question) May 30, 2021 at 17:44
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    @Doc Immigration rules are not based on events of the astronomical calendar. May 30, 2021 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


For France, the way the rules have been phrased since last summer (so that's not changing as much as comments imply, even if some new development is always theoretically possible), the distinction has been based on where you are currently coming from / have been in the last 14 days. While non-essential travel is still not advised, there are currently no restrictions based on the purpose of your trip and no need to explain it. This suggests that neither being on a C visa nor coming for a short visit is forbidden.

When France itself was in a lockdown (i.e. French residents movement out of their home was restricted), travel was restricted to some purposes (like business) but residence was not a criteria as such.

Anecdotally, I can tell you that road borders are not policed intensively but the police is still checking train travellers. For non-EU citizens, they do ask for some sort of residence document or visa (together with a passport and proof of PCR test) and I do not know how they would treat a short-stay visa.

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