With restrictions easing and non-essential travel abroad potentially allowed from May 17, foreign holidays in some destinations might be on the cards this summer.
Under the new traffic light system, people arriving into the UK from a ‘green’-labelled country with a low perceived Covid risk will not be required to self-isolate, but those coming from ‘amber’ or ‘red’ destinations must quarantine.
Arrivals from ‘amber’ countries will have to self-isolate for 10 days at home or in a hotel, while existing rules will remain in place for ‘red’ locations including the mandatory stay in a government-approved quarantine hotel.
Everyone arriving in the UK, whether returning home or visiting, must take at least one coronavirus test before departure and after they arrive.
Here are the latest travel rules, according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for some popular holiday destinations.
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The Liverpool Echo reports that the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to France based on the current assessment of Covid risk in the country.
However, on March 11 the French government announced that it was easing restrictions on travel from the UK. Since March 12, arrivals have no longer needed to justify an essential reason to enter France.
All other measures remain in place, including the pre-departure testing requirement, and apply to all air, car, ferry and train passengers.
This means that all travellers from the UK, including children aged 11 and above, need to present a negative Covid-19 test result caried out less than 72 hours before departure.
This needs to be a PCR test result, not a rapid lateral flow test result.
Arrivals will also be required to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival, before taking another PCR test.
Those arriving from the UK will also need to complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form, self-certifying that they don’t have coronavirus symptoms and haven’t been in contact with any confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.
Arrivals from the UK who have visited non-European countries within the last 14 days remain subject to the requirement to evidence a compelling reason for travel.
Are you hoping to go on a foreign holiday this summer? Tell us in the comments here.
The FCDO also advises against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands.
In late October 2020, the Spanish government declared a nationwide state of emergency with further mobility restrictions and curfews which remain in force.
Under current travel restrictions, only citizens and legal residents of the European Union, Schengen states, Andorra, Monaco, The Vatican and San Marino, and those who can demonstrate an essential need to enter the country through documentary evidence, are able to enter Spain.
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The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the autonomous region of the Azores.
Entry to Portugal is allowed if you are a returning resident, and for all other travellers entry is limited to essential purposes only if you are travelling from the UK or any other non-EU/EEA country, or an EU/EEA country where the Covid rate exceeds 150 cases per 100,000 people.
If you are arriving in England from Portugal (including the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores) you will need to self-isolate on your arrival, unless you have a valid exemption.
You’ll also be required to show a negative PCR Covid test result taken within 72 hours of departure. This is not required for children aged two or under.
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Italy.
However, from April 7 to April 30 entry to Italy from the UK is no longer restricted to Italian residents and those with absolute necessity.
Covid measures do continue to apply: you must present your airline with a negative Covid test taken no more than 48 hours before entry into Italy, and you must report to the local health authorities and self-isolate for five days upon arrival.
You will then need to take another Covid test at the end of the five day isolation, and fill out a self-declaration form which can be found here.
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Based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks, the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Greece.
However, it is not advising against travel to the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete.
UK nationals are permitted to enter Greece if they are a permanent resident in the UK, Greece, another EU/EFTA state, or in one of the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Russian Federation and Israel.
If you’re a British national who resides in another country not listed above, you’re likely to be refused entry to Greece due to measures put in place by the Greek authorities to combat the spread of Covid-19.
All arrivals into Greece need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken up to 72 hours before arrival.
Anyone entering Greece from the UK will also be asked to take a rapid Covid test upon arrival.
Travellers from the UK are currently required to self-isolate for seven days in the event of a negative test result.
If the test result is positive, the isolation period extends to up to 14 days.
In either case, another PCR test is required at the end of the self-isolation period.
United Arab Emirates including Dubai
As with the other countries, the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the UAE.
All tourists, visitors and residents travelling from or through the UK and arriving in Dubai or Abu Dhabi must have had a negative Covid-19 PCR test result, taken no more than 72 hours before departure, and present the certificate at check-in.
Travellers arriving in Abu Dhabi will also be required to undertake a Covid-19 PCR test on arrival. Travellers arriving in Dubai may be required to undertake a further Covid-19 PCR test on arrival and will have to isolate pending the result of the Covid-19 PCR test.
Other regulations can be found here.
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