European vacation guide: what you need to know

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On the one hand, travel to Europe is tentatively opening up to UK holidaymakers this summer, with a number of viable tourist destinations added to the UK government’s ‘green list’.

On the other hand, countries on the continent are tightening their border restrictions as they seek to protect themselves against the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, now endemic in the UK.

With the rules changing at breakneck speed, it can be difficult to know where to go and what the restrictions are, both on the way and when you return to the UK.

Here’s what you need to know about vacationing in Europe this summer.

Spain

British holidaymakers are allowed to enter Spain but, from midnight on July 2, must present either a negative Covid PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival, or proof of full vaccination at least 14 days prior to arrival. Entrance. Children under 12 are excluded from these measures.

Before traveling to Spain, passengers must also complete and sign an online health check form no later than 48 hours before travel, declaring any known history of exposure to Covid-19 and giving their contact details. Anyone who has not completed this form electronically through the Spain Travel Health website or app can submit it in paper format prior to boarding.

Mainland Spain is currently on the UK’s orange list, while the Balearic Islands were added to the green list from June 30. Amber returnees must self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in the UK and take two PCR tests (those in England have the option to pay for a third test on the fifth day and self-isolate earlier if the result is negative). Those arriving from green destinations do not need to quarantine but must pass a PCR test within two days of entering the UK.

Portugal

Only British arrivals who can show proof of full vaccination, with their second dose at least 14 days before, can visit Portugal without quarantine. Unvaccinated UK travelers must self-quarantine for two weeks after arriving in Portugal, either at home or at a location stipulated by Portuguese health authorities. The new rules do not apply to children under 17 and the law does not apply on the island of Madeira.

You must also complete a passenger locator card online prior to arrival in Portugal, and present a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of travel, or a rapid antigen test performed within 48 hours of travel.

Portugal is currently on the UK’s Orange List, while Madeira Island is on the Green List.

Greece

Travelers must complete a passenger tracking form no later than 23:59 (local time in Greece) the day before their arrival in Greece. Arrivals from the UK must also provide either: proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test, carried out within 72 hours of arrival in Greece; proof of a negative Covid-19 rapid antigen test from an approved laboratory, performed within 48 hours of their scheduled flight; or proof of two Covid vaccinations carried out at least 14 days before the trip. Children 12 and under are exempt.

If you live in England, Greece will accept the NHS Covid Pass or your NHS letter to demonstrate your vaccination status. If you live in Scotland or Wales, Greece will accept your respective NHS letter to demonstrate your vaccination status.

Greece is on the UK’s orange list.

Croatia

Croatia is open to British tourists, provided they present evidence of a negative Covid antigen or PCR test result taken up to 48 hours before arriving in Croatia; proof of full vaccination; or a certificate of recovery following a positive test result between 11 and 180 days before. Vacationers must also hold a valid accommodation reservation or proof of ownership in Croatia. Unvaccinated travelers staying in Croatia for more than 10 days should undergo a second antigen test.

Croatia is on the UK’s amber list.

France

The UK is currently on the French Amber List. If you are traveling to France from an Orange List country, only those who are fully vaccinated can travel for non-essential reasons, i.e. vacation. Double-bitten visitors do not need to quarantine, but passengers aged 11 or older must show proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure, or a result negative antigen test performed within 48 hours of departure; a duly completed ‘affidavit’ (sworn statement) self-certification form that they do not show symptoms associated with the coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases during the previous fortnight; and proof of vaccination status.

If you live in England, France will accept the NHS Covid Pass or your NHS letter as proof; if you live in Scotland or Wales France will accept your respective NHS letter.

France is on the UK’s orange list.

Malta

Only fully vaccinated travelers who present a vaccination certificate recognized by the Malta Public Health Superintendent will be allowed to enter the UK, without quarantine. Malta insists that only one specific form of proof is acceptable: “The paper version of the NHS Covid vaccination letter. Neither the digital version of the app nor a printed version of it will be accepted for entry. Arrivals must have received their second jab at least 14 days prior.

Children aged 5 to 11 can travel if they are accompanying vaccinated adults with proof of a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours of arrival in Malta; children under five do not need to be tested. Those aged 12 and over will need proof of vaccination to enter – a negative PCR test for those over 12 will not be accepted from June 30.

Malta is now on the UK’s green list.

Cyprus

The UK entered the Cyprus Amber category on April 29. Passengers from Amber countries must undergo a PCR test within 72 hours of departure and provide proof of a negative result. All authorized travelers must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass prior to travel, available on the Cyprus Flight Pass website. Travelers with proof of two Covid vaccinations are not required to take a PCR test before departure.

If you live in England, Cyprus will accept the NHS Covid Pass or your NHS letter as proof of your vaccination status. If you live in Scotland or Wales, Cyprus will accept your respective NHS letter to demonstrate your vaccination status.

Cyprus is on the UK’s orange list.


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