The Secretary of the Association of Iranian Airlines, Maqsoud Ass'adi Samani, said that despite direct flights continuing to depart between Iran, France, the Netherlands, and Austria, Iranians cannot still visit Europe as tourists.
Speaking to the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA), Ass'adi Samanii also noted that Schengen (European Union) visas are not currently being issued to Iranian citizens.
"Although Iranian airlines have resumed their flights to some European countries following months of suspension over the coronavirus outbreak, there is still no possibility of unnecessary tourist trips to these countries and Schengen visas are not currently issued to Iranian citizens," Ass'adi Samani said.
Austria, Britain, France, and the Netherlands are among the European countries with direct flights to Iran that announced new travel regulations for Iranian citizens, ISNA reported on Monday.
France allows Iranians holding EU, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swiss, British, Canadian, and Australian passports to enter the country. The country recently eliminated the COVID-19 PCR test for travelers, but still says that Schengen visas will not be issued for Iranian citizens until further notice, due to the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran.
However, the European Union announced two months ago that it allows citizens of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, and Rwanda. Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay to visit 27 countries in the Schengen zone. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland (four non-EU countries and Schengen allies) are also subject to such regulations.
Meanwhile, the Dutch government announced that even those who have obtained a Schengen visa might be tested for coronavirus upon arrival. The non-Schengen UK has allowed entry to Iranians who hold EU, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swiss, British, Canadian, American, and Australian passports and those with residence permits, student visas and UK tourist visas.
Iranian citizens must be quarantined for 14 days after entering the UK, and are required to complete a self-declaration health form provided to passengers by the embassy and the airline. Otherwise, the passenger will be fined, Tehran Times reported, cited ISNA.
According to the British Embassy in Iran, its visa section in Tehran has resumed operations since late July.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, Iran's air and land borders have been largely closed, but with the gradual easing of restrictions, some international flights resumed. Ass'adi Samani said that Iran's foreign flights to Amsterdam, Bangkok, Doha, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, London, Manchester, Paris, and Vienna are currently operational.
Meanwhile, ISNA reports that further studies show that there have been direct flights from Tehran to Guangzhou, China; Moscow, Russia; Delhi, India; and Beirut, Lebanon. However, travelers need to follow the health protocols announced by these countries.
Most countries require a health certificate with a negative coronavirus PCR test result and self-isolate for fourteen days.
In a sermon on June 15, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini lamented that Iranian are “travelling abroad too frequently” and told them to “quit this bad habit.”