Although the UK has some of the most lenient coronavirus travel rules on the planet, it is still difficult for Britons in some cases to venture abroad – as some of the holiday hotspots in Europe still have strict rules in place. Some of the most popular tourist destinations for sun worshipers are France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Greece and Turkey.
Whether it’s a long weekend with friends in Lisbon, a romantic city break in Paris or a luxury family holiday in the Greek islands, MyLondon has compiled a list of what you need to know to avoid being surprised by any unforeseen travel regulations. All rules are correct as of April 17.
With airlines like easyJet, British Airways and Vueling flying to all of these destinations from London Heathrow and Gatwick airports in just 90 minutes, there is still time to book a last minute trip and celebrate the upcoming summer holidays with style.
READ MORE: ‘Stressed’ British Airways flyers lose £1,000 after being denied boarding on flight to see son for first time in 2 years
France will accept British proof of recovery from COVID-19 and vaccination card at the border. The French government recognizes any vaccination certificate that meets European standards. This means that your last dose must have been taken at least seven days before travel for Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna or 28 days after a second dose of Johnson & Johnson.
If more than nine months have passed since your initial treatment and you have not received a booster within that nine month period, you will be considered unvaccinated. From 31 March 2022, travelers from the UK aged 12 and over who are not fully vaccinated must provide a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours or an antigen test result taken within 48 hours of departure.
If you are fully vaccinated, you will no longer have to complete the health form, provided you are in possession of a digital certificate attesting to your vaccination status. Previously, all travelers to Spain had to complete a pre-travel form 48 hours before departure.
To be considered fully vaccinated, you will need to have completed a full vaccination course at least 14 days prior to your trip. If you received a double shot more than nine months before traveling to Spain, you will not be considered fully vaccinated unless you received a booster shot.
Spain has also eased its restrictions for teenagers, with children aged 12 to 17 allowed to visit if not vaccinated, provided they have proof of a negative COVID test. If you’re visiting with proof of COVID recovery, you’ll still need to have the health form if you want to enter the holiday hotspot – and the rules also apply to the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
It should be noted that currently Spain has not reopened to unvaccinated Britons unless they can prove recent Covid recovery.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states the following: “All passengers must complete a Passenger Locator Card prior to departure for Portugal.”
Travelers must present one of the following documents to enter Portugal:
- EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) or valid proof of full vaccination at least 14 days and no more than 270 days before travel.
- Valid proof of recovery from Covid-19
- Valid proof of a negative test result for COVID-19. PCR tests within 72 hours of departure, or antigen test performed within 24 hours of travel
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers will need to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel or an antigen test taken within 24 hours of travel. Home self-administered antigen tests are not accepted. Children under 12 are exempt from all of the above requirements. The rules are the same for the Azores. For Madeira, all you need to do is complete a passenger locator form before travelling. There are no other requirements in place.
All travellers, aged six years and over, must show proof of vaccination, or proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of entering Italy or a negative rapid lateral flow test taken within 48 hours hours before entering Italy, or a COVID-19 recovery certificate showing that you have recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months.
If you cannot show proof of vaccination or a negative test or Covid-19 recovery certificate, you will need to travel to your final destination in Italy by private transport, self-isolate for five days and take another PCR or test. of rapid lateral flow at the end of five-day self-isolation. If the test is negative, you can leave self-isolation.
All travelers aged 12 or over entering Germany from anywhere abroad must carry a negative test result or proof of vaccination or recovery. Proof of cure requires at least 28 days and no more than 90 days to have elapsed from the date of the positive Covid-19 test.
Travelers from the UK to Germany who are not fully vaccinated can currently only enter Germany if they are a German citizen, spouse/partner/child under 18 of a German citizen, resident German, the spouse/partner/child under 18 of a resident of Germany, occupy an important position or have an urgent need to travel.
Greece ‘suspends’ coronavirus restrictions ahead of summer vacation. Wearing a face covering and presenting vaccine passes will be discontinued from May. As of May 1, holidaymakers will no longer have to present proof of vaccination to go to restaurants and bars. On June 1, wearing a mask indoors will no longer be mandatory.
According to the Mirror, an official press release from the Ministry of Health indicated that these will be reviewed in May with in particular “the removal of the demonstration of the European certificate of entry into the country”. Authorities said all covid measures will be reviewed in September, depending on the covid situation at the time. Under existing travel rules in Greece, all British tourists can visit, but the rules differ depending on your vaccination status.
Fully vaccinated Brits do not need a pre-travel covid test, but those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated will need proof of a negative result. This can be either a PCR test performed within 72 hours of arrival or an antigen test within 48 hours. Those who are not vaccinated but can show evidence of a recent recovery from Covid will also be able to enter. In the meantime, it should be noted that in Greece and the islands, proof of vaccination is required to enter places such as shops, restaurants, museums and cinemas.
If you are fully vaccinated, you can enter Turkey without the need for testing or quarantine. At least 14 days must have passed since your second dose of vaccine and the vaccine must be approved by the Turkish Ministry of Health or the World Health Organization.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to present proof of a negative PCR test (passed no more than 72 hours before entry), rapid antigen test (passed no more than 48 hours before entry ) or proof of a recent recovery from Covid-19 within the last six months, upon entering Turkey.
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