In addition to the coronavirus pandemic, the West Nile Virus (WNV) transmission season will cause blood donation restrictions for European travellers from 12 July onwards.
The donor restriction periods are either 14 or 28 days depending on the country of travel. You can check the length of the restriction period on the Blood Service website.
Travelling in EU/EFTA countries and the UK will currently result in a restriction period of at least 14 days, due to the coronavirus pandemic. An exception to this concerns persons belonging to border communities in Sweden, Norway and Estonia, who either work or otherwise regularly visit the other side of the border in connection with daily life.
Due to the WNV transmission season in the following areas, a donor restriction period of 28 days will be applied from your first date of travel in the country in question (after a stay of more than 20 hours). The restriction will be imposed from the 12 July 2021:
• Southwest Spain
• Italy (all regions other than Rome and Sardinia)
• Greek mainland, including the Peloponnese Peninsula and the Island of Evia (Euboia)
Visiting West Nile virus risk areas during the virus transmission season (12 July – 30 November) makes returning travellers ineligible for blood donation for a period of four weeks, as even asymptomatic donors can pass on the virus through blood transfusion. While many infected people have no symptoms, some may experience fever, nausea and headache. Approximately 1% of those infected may develop a severe inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).
More information is available from Blood Service staff, or from our free helpline, tel. +358 (0)800 0 5801 (Mon–Fri, 8 am–5 pm).