With the February mid-term break looming, many families will be desperate to book a holiday for some winter sun.
The UK’s restrictions for going on holiday abroad will change next week as new rules for international travel come into force after 4am on Friday, February 11.
For those fully vaccinated on this date, you will no longer need to take a Covid-19 test before you travel to the UK or after you arrive.
Despite people being allowed to travel abroad, different countries have strict restrictions in place for anyone arriving from the UK in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
These rules and restrictions change all the time, so it’s always worth keeping on top of everything you need to do before you fly out and return home.
Here is all the latest information if you’re planning a trip to France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Greece.
The country adopted new EU wide rules this week, which takes into account the date of your final dose of vaccination.
Travellers will still be required to show that they are fully vaccinated before entering the country. But the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ has changed somewhat.
Authorities will check to see the date travellers received their final dose in a full vaccine course – which can be one jab for a single-dose vaccine or the second dose for a double-dose vaccine.
The final dose must have been administered within 270 days – which is around nine months – prior to your travel to Spain.
If you fall outside of this, then you will be required to show evidence of your booster vaccination.
For example, holidaymakers hoping to enter Spain from today would be required to show their booster vaccination certificate, if they received their second dose before May 2, 2021.
The rules apply to all passengers the are aged 12-years-old and over.
Travellers who are unvaccinated or have received one jab are not allowed to enter Spain for the purposes of tourism.
The country will only accept a negative test if unvaccinated or partially vaccinated passengers are traveller for an essential purpose.
Spain is also set to relax its face mask mandate, dropping the requirement to wear coverings outdoors as early as next week.
That means the new rules could be in effect for UK holidaymakers going to Spain from February 10.
France’s rules changed last month, with UK travellers now allowed to visit without an essential reason – so long as they are fully vaccinated.
Travellers must show a negative lateral flow test for travel.
However, UK tourists no longer have to complete a period of isolation after arriving in France.
It is recommended for the fully vaccinated that they bring proof of their booster jab, as this grants you a “pass sanitaire,” which is widely used for access to restaurants and bars.
The French government recognises vaccination certificates which conforms to the EU Digital Covid Status Certification framework, illustrating that you are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised by the European Authority.
This means seven days after a second dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, 28 days after a single dose of Johnson & Johnson or seven days after a single injection for those able to demonstrate they have already been infected (though this only applies to those vaccinated in France).
Portugal has confirmed it will drop the requirement for travellers to present a negative Covid test before departure.
Visitors will now be permitted entry as long as they can show recognised proof of full vaccination, which is likely to include the UK’s NHS Covid Pass.
The date from which the new rules will take effect has yet to be confirmed; the current restrictions were due to be in place until at least 9 February.
At present, the rules stipulate that all arrivals must present a negative Covid test – either a rapid antigen taken within 48 hours of departure or a PCR taken within 72 hours of departure – “regardless of the point of origin of the flight or the passenger’s nationality” and regardless of vaccination status, according to the country’s tourist board.
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Italy requires travellers to fill in a passenger locator form and to present a negative result from a PCR test within the 48 hours prior to flying or an antigen test within 24 hours.
The country accepts the UK’s proof of recovery and vaccination record as a “green pass” equivalent.
Unvaccinated travellers must still isolate for five days on arrival to Italy, as well as present a PCR or lateral flow test.
From February 1, you must have had your final vaccine within 180 days for your vaccination certificate to be valid when visiting Italy.
Regardless of your vaccination status, anyone arriving in Italy by air, land or by sea may be subject to random Covid testing on arrival until 31 January.
All arrivals from the UK into Sicily will need to undertake a rapid lateral flow test on arrival (administered by the local health authorities free of charge).
All travellers entering Germany from the UK are required to complete pre-departure digital registration, regardless of vaccination status.
Additionally, Germany uses a two-tier system of risk categories, with distinct rules on entry and quarantine for each tier.
The UK is designated as a “high-risk area” – but you may enter Germany from the UK for any travel purpose if you are fully vaccinated.
From January 3, travellers aged six or over entering Germany from abroad must possess either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or a negative Covid-19 test prior to arrival and present this proof on request to carriers or authorities.
Germany will accept the UK’s proof of Covid-19 recovery and vaccination record. Your appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
Travellers need to fill out a passenger locator form before arriving in Greece, as well as present a negative PCR or lateral flow test.
Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a 500 Euro fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter or re-enter the country.
The requirements for entry to Greece are the same regardless of your vaccination status.
These measures are in place until at least February 7 – precise rules are subject to change and you should follow any instructions given on arrival at immigration or airport testing facilities.
To enter Greece, you will need either proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival into Greece, or proof of a negative Covid-19 rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory, undertaken within the 24 hour period before your arrival into Greece.