Heathrow and Gatwick: Latest travel tips for Spain, France, Italy and Portugal as new rules mean cheaper vacations


This week has seen some of the most dramatic changes to Covid’s UK travel rules since their introduction.

For starters, the red list has now been replaced with just two groups – Covid safe (green) and non Covid safe (red).

But even more exciting for travelers were the changes to the holidays, after 47 countries were scrapped, leaving just seven remaining.

READ MORE: Heathrow: The country 2 hours from London just named the world’s best for vacations

The changes have certainly made the holidays easier, but a new change expected later this month will make them cheaper, too.

Make sure you understand all the rules before traveling

On an unconfirmed date in October, travelers will be able to trade in their expensive PCR tests for a much cheaper lateral flow.

But what do all of these changes mean for vacation hotspots?

Read the most recent information on Spain, France, Italy and Portugal below for those planning a trip.


Beach in Spain
Spain will be considered Covid-safe on Monday 11

Those traveling to Spain from the UK will need to show proof of a negative PCR test carried out within 3 days of the flight.

Travelers will also need to provide proof of their fully vaccinated status, otherwise known as a ‘Covid passport’.


France has the UK on its orange list, which means fully vaccinated people no longer need to self-isolate upon arrival in France.

Those who are doubly vaxxed are also exempt from the obligation to pass a pre-departure test before traveling.

Paris skyline with Eiffel Tower and rooftops
Vaccinated Britons no longer need to isolate themselves once they arrive in France

However, the rules are very different for unvaccinated travelers.

They require an essential reason for travel, as well as a “sworn statement”, a negative antigen or PCR test and an international travel certificate.

They must also self-isolate for seven days upon arrival.


Fully vaccinated travelers must show their ‘Covid passport’ upon arrival in Italy, which means they do not have to self-isolate.

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But the country still requires proof of a PCR test carried out within two days of the flight.


Portugal is a bit trickier even for fully vaccinated travelers, as it requires an EU digital Covid certificate to avoid a pre-departure test.

Without this certificate, a PCR test must be performed within three days of the flight, or an antigen within two days.

Travelers must also present a completed passenger locator form.


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