As coronavirus lockdown restrictions begin to ease worldwide, many of us are starting to think about booking a holiday.
Whether you’ve already booked one and wondering if the trip is safe or if you’d like to book somewhere in the sunshine for a week, different popular European travel destinations have different restrictions.
The borders are open again in Spain, while other countries such as France still have rules that mean that depending on your circumstances, you may need to isolate yourself for 14 days upon arrival.
- To give you peace of mind when it comes to booking a last-minute getaway, we’ve rounded up the latest travel advice for a range of popular holiday destinations; Spain, Italy, France, Greece, and Portugal.
Make sure you stay up to date with the latest travel information from the Federal Foreign Office when planning a trip or booking a trip, as the situation may change depending on the COVID-19 situation.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises British citizens against all major international travel. It is therefore worth thinking about it before you book or start your trip.
If you choose to travel, then you have to follow UK entry rules.
- You must provide the government with your travel and contact details 48 hours prior to your arrival in the UK so they can be contacted if someone you have traveled with develops coronavirus symptoms.
- If you refuse to provide your contact details, you can be fined up to £ 100 more if you violate this rule multiple times.
- On your return to the UK you must not leave the place you’re stating for the first 14 days you’re back in the UK, with specific exceptions, and self-isolate.
- You must also avoid using public transport for onward travel unless you have no other option.
Spain was one of the first countries to welcome back and actively encourage tourists, after the country was hit hard by coronavirus.
The State of Emergency declared on 14 March ended yesterday (Sunday June 21), meaning borders are open to EU and Schengen-area countries, except Portugal.
- UK arrivals are not required to self-isolate on arrival, but will be subject to a series of health checks.
- Travellers from the UK need to provide contact information and any history of exposure to coronavirus, undergo a temperature check and a visual health assessment.
- It is also worth noting that face masks are obligatory in public spaces and social distancing and other safety precautions must be observed at all times.
If you’re planning to travel to France then some UK arrivals, along with some other countries, are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
From June 15, arrivals from the UK no longer have to prove their travel is essential.
However if you show signs of COVID-19 on arrival you will have to carry out a mandatory 14 day quarantine, either at home or in a dedicated location which will be indicated by French authorities.
Most travellers arriving in Italy are no longer required to self-isolate or report their address to health authorities.
But, you will need to isolate if you are arriving in Italy from outside the EU, UK or some other countries, or you have spent less than 14 consecutive days physically located in your country of departure.
- When it comes to your return, it’s worth noting that many Italian airports are operating a reduced schedule.
- All travellers arriving in Italy must avoid using public transport and must arrange to be collected, take a taxi, or hire a car.
The main issue British travellers will face visiting Greece is the limited travel options available between the UK and Greece, with no direct flights.
Greek authorities have introduced testing and self-isolation requirements for new arrivals into Greece.
Mandatory testing and self-isolation are in place for anyone arriving into Greece from an airport listed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) – this includes British airports.
- Stansted, Gatwick, Heathrow, East Midlands, and Luton are included on the list, along with Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool John Lennon, London City, Manchester Airport, Newcastle International, Doncaster Sheffield and Glasgow.
It’s also worth noting that if other passengers on your flight go on to test positive you may be subject to further quarantine requirements.
The Portuguese government declared a state of emergency on March 18 and announced a transition to a state of public misfortune and a three-stage de-escalation plan on April 30 to gradually ease current detention and mobility measures.
- If you are flying to mainland Portugal, you will have a health checkup upon arrival.
- Your temperature will be checked, and if it is high or shows signs of being unwell, you will be referred to the health authorities.
- Anyone travelling to Madeira by air will be subject to a health screening on arrival as well as 14-days’ mandatory quarantine in a hotel.
- If you’re travelling to the Azores by air then you will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test carried out in the last 72 hours.
- If you are staying more than seven days you will have to repeat the test locally six days after the date of the first test.
Another option is to take a test on arrival and await the results within a maximum 48 hour voluntary quarantine, again if you’re staying more than seven days the test will need repeated after six days.
Alternatively you can agree to 14 days’ voluntary quarantine during which you will be required to be tested for coronavirus.
Cruise ships arriving at ports on mainland Portugal have requirements in place meaning that only Portuguese nationals or residents can disembark.