Jet2, easyJet, Ryanair, BA, TUI, Emirates: New Year’s travel rules for Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Greece


Want to get away from it all for the New Year or need some last minute winter sun?

As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread across Europe, many countries are changing their entry requirements on a daily basis.

Therefore, it is important to know all the latest travel rules and entry requirements or restrictions for the chosen destination.

READ MORE: What is the new symptom of Omicron and where it will appear on your body?

The holidays for many people were plunged into chaos over the holiday season with over 1,400 flights canceled Wednesday 29 December in the UK and over 8,000 stranded over the long weekend due to the isolation of staff.

It comes as a new analysis shows coronavirus-related travel restrictions have resulted in a 71% reduction in the number of international flights to and from UK airports this year from pre-pandemic levels.

Aviation analysis firm Cirium said around 406,060 international flights served UK airports from 2021 to 22 December, up from 1,399,170 in the pre-pandemic period of 2019.

Here’s what you need to know if traveling to Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and the Greek Islands over New Years


To enter Spain, if you are over 12 years old, you must be fully vaccinated.

There is an exemption for Britons traveling for “duly accredited imperative family reasons” or “force majeure” which however allow a negative PCR test and a possible period of self-isolation on arrival to suffice.

Britons living in Spain can also enter the country with a negative PCR test or a ‘proof of recovery from Covid’ document. Fully vaccinated people do not have to self-isolate upon arrival.

All passengers landing in Spain must complete a “Health check form” (also called FCS).

You will also need to check if there are any local restrictions, such as curfews or limits on social gatherings in effect in the area or community in which you are staying.

Trips to / from airports are exempt from curfews as long as you carry your tickets and ID with you.


Currently, only people with essential reasons can visit France.

The directives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs state: “All those who wish to travel from the United Kingdom to France, regardless of their vaccination status, can do so only for essential reasons, as defined by the French authorities.

“French nationals, as well as residents in France, are considered to have an essential reason for traveling.”


As of December 19, the UK has been a designated ‘viral variant area’ under German restrictions, meaning tourists cannot be transported to Germany, with some exceptions.

Carriers such as airlines are limited to transporting a limited number of people from the UK to Germany, including UK citizens residing in Germany and German citizens.

As of December 22, travelers from variant virus regions in Germany must have a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, regardless of their vaccination status – rapid antigen tests or other tests are not no longer allowed.

As of December 19, all authorized travelers arriving from the UK to Germany must also self-quarantine at home for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

Children under the age of six are exempt from testing, but must still be quarantined.


Italy will accept UK proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record as the equivalent of a “green pass”.

This means that if you are traveling from the UK and can show that you are fully vaccinated, you can enter Italy without needing to self-isolate.

However, you will need proof of a negative PCR test carried out within 48 hours before entering Italy, or a negative antigen test carried out within 24 hours before entering Italy.

The UK government’s website also warns that, regardless of vaccination status, anyone arriving in Italy by air, land or sea may be subject to random Covid testing upon arrival until January 31.

More rules apply to unvaccinated passengers wishing to enter Italy – these can be viewed here.

Children under 18 do not need to be quarantined if they are traveling with a fully vaccinated parent and have a negative PCR or antigen test, and children under six are exempt from testing.


Portugal remains open to all Brits but has specific rules on what tests you must provide to enter the country.

Unlike many other countries, Portugal only accepts tests done by healthcare professionals, not tests that you administer yourself.

This means that in most cases you have to take a PCR test 48 hours before your arrival, which is compatible with “RT-PCR”. You can also enter with a negative antigen test done up to 72 hours before arrival.

All passengers must complete the Passenger Locator Card online and if you are traveling to Madeira, the Azores or another non-continental region, you will need to complete an additional questionnaire.

A fine of € 300 to € 800 is imposed on anyone who has undergone the wrong type of test and they must take a new test at the border at their own expense.

Those flying to Portugal can also be randomly checked for temperatures. Anyone over 38 ° C will need to take another test at the airport and self-isolate if they are positive.

For all of these countries, you should check the regional requirements for where you are staying, as well as the requirements of the airline or transport provider you are traveling with in terms of Covid preventive measures.

Greece and the islands of Corfu, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes and Kos

Greece and the Greek Islands are a popular choice for travelers at this time of year, as they always enjoy relatively high sunny temperatures of up to 20 degrees Celsius.

With commercial flights to Greece and the Greek Islands from the UK, thousands of Britons are snapping up last-minute deals in hopes of soaking up the winter sun.

If you are traveling to Greece, Corfu, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes and Kos, here is what you need to know.


The Greek government has announced that from 6 a.m. on Christmas Eve, it is now mandatory to wear masks (either double surgical masks or N95 masks) in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, in all the regions of Greece – including the islands.

Covid Passports

Proof of vaccination is required to enter stores, restaurants and museums. You should be prepared to show proof of vaccination and present identification when requested.

You should use a face mask (double surgical mask or N65 mask) in all indoor and outdoor public and communal spaces, and in public transport.

Unless all passengers are family members, a maximum of three people are allowed to travel in a taxi or other private vehicle up to seven seats, or four people in a private vehicle up to nine seats.

The Greek government “strongly recommends” that people test themselves before any outing.

Demonstrate your Covid-19 status

Greece will accept UK proof of recovery and vaccination against Covid-19.

Your final dose of vaccine should have been given at least 14 days before showing your proof of vaccination.

Your NHS vaccination center appointment card is not intended to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccination status.

Not vaccinated in Greece

If you have not been fully vaccinated or do not have proof of recovery from Covid-19:

  • Travel by plane, train and bus are permitted subject to either a certified negative PCR test within 72 hours of the expected arrival time at destination, or a certified rapid test (antigen) within 48 hours following expected arrival at destination;
  • You will not be allowed to enter nightclubs, indoor restaurants, theaters, cinemas, museums, exhibitions, conferences, gymnasiums and stadiums.
  • You must show proof of a negative rapid test, carried out up to 48 hours before entry, to visit other public spaces, including outdoor shops and restaurants.
  • Failure to comply with these rules is liable to fines of up to € 5,000.

Unvaccinated children between the ages of four and 18 should take a negative self-test to enter public spaces such as shops, restaurants, and museums.

Traveling in Greece

Travel to Greece is permitted subject to the following public health measures. You must wear a mask at all times on all public transport.

Travel by air and sea to the rest of Greece is permitted for persons aged 12 and over, but only with:

  • proof of vaccination and 14 days since the second dose; Where
  • a negative result of a PCR test carried out up to 72 hours before travel; Where
  • a negative result of a certified rapid test up to 48 hours before travel; Where

Children between the ages of 5 and 11 can travel with a negative self-test completed up to 24 hours before the scheduled time of travel.

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