Latest travel advice from the UK Foreign Office for Spain, France, Italy and Portugal

Latest travel advice from the UK Foreign Office for Spain, France, Italy and Portugal

As lockdown restrictions start to lift here in the UK, many people are considering the possibility of holidaying abroad this summer.
But while we are slowly getting back to normal, at this early stage in the government’s road map out of lockdown, it is still illegal to travel abroad for leisure purposes.

Those traveling abroad must meet a specific set of requirements and complete a form to state why travel is essential.

With summer on the horizon, there has been a lot of speculation about the possibility of vaccine passports, allowing those who have received the vaccine to travel more freely.

Ministers are also reportedly considering a “traffic light” system, similar to that seen in 2020, which could make it easier for Britons to travel to low-risk “green areas”.

A number of countries have expressed their willingness to welcome the British again from May, and others have said they could reopen to vaccinated travelers, but that doesn’t mean they will necessarily be on the ‘list. green ”from the UK government.

Here are the latest travel guidelines for popular destinations in Portugal, France, Spain and Italy.


Portugal was recently taken off the UK’s ‘red list’, meaning those returning from the country will no longer need to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel.

Instead, they can begin their 10-day home quarantine.

The country was initially redlisted because of its links to the worrying Brazilian variant of Covid-19, but as the risk has diminished, many see it as a possible holiday destination later in the year.

Currently, travel to Portugal is restricted to EU / EEA nationals and their family members, as well as to the UK and other non-EU / EEA nationals who are officially resident in the country.

UK residents may only travel to the country for essential purposes and must not travel for leisure.

Travelers will need to present a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure, otherwise they risk being refused entry into the country.

Arrivals from the UK or Brazil must then self-isolate for 14 days.

The country’s tourism minister said he was looking to welcome British travelers from May 17, whether or not they received a vaccine.

British holidaymakers will be allowed entry if they are able to show proof of a Covid-19 vaccine or a negative Covid test result taken before travel.

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France eased restrictions on British travelers on March 12

On March 12, the French government eased restrictions on British travelers, no longer requiring an essential reason to enter France.

But it is currently illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holiday and leisure purposes.

All other measures, such as pre-departure tests, remain in place for all arrivals in France.

All travelers over 11 must present a negative Covid test performed within 72 hours of departure and must self-isolate for seven days upon arrival.

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Arrivals from the UK will also need to complete a self-certifying ‘affidavit’ form that they do not suffer from symptoms associated with the coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases within the fortnight. previous ones.

Reports have suggested that France may join the government’s Red List countries due to the increase in cases of the South African variant.

A minister in Boris Johnson’s government, as quoted by The Times, said discussions were underway to add France to the red list, especially given the high prevalence of the new variant.

“If there is another peak in Europe and it’s at breakneck levels, we don’t want to bring it back here,” said the minister, who has not been appointed.


Spain is normally a popular holiday destination for Britons

On December 22, 2020, Spain introduced travel restrictions for UK travelers, which are due to end on March 30, 2021.

Entry into Spain will only be granted to passengers who can demonstrate that their travel is essential.

But there are certain requirements for on-arrival testing for those traveling by air and sea.

Spot checks may be performed on arrival to confirm that travelers have undergone a Covid-19 PCR, TMA or LAMP test and have tested negative. A minimum fine of € 3,000 can be imposed on anyone who does not comply.


It will be some time before the beaches of Sardinia get so busy again.
Entry into Italy, including Sardinia (pictured), currently restricted

From March 6 to April 6, entry into Italy is only allowed to residents, or to those traveling for essential reasons.

For urgent work or health needs and visits of less than 120 hours, a request must be made in writing to the Ministry of Health.

Until April 6, people wishing to fly must present the airline with a negative Covid-19 test, carried out no more than 72 hours before entering Italy.

Regardless of the results, newcomers should report to their local health authorities and self-isolate for 14 days.

Travelers will also need to complete a self-declaration form from the Ministry of the Interior.

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