With many families looking to get away over the Easter holidays, a number of rule changes have taken place in many popular European destinations. More destinations now require less action than before in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the rule changes include allowing Britons to enter a country even without the condition of being double pricked. This includes countries like France, Greece and Portugal, while others like Spain and Cyprus are easing some restrictions on Covid testing and vaccination requirements. Other vacation hotspots like Mexico require no testing or proof of vaccination.
Travel is also about to get even easier and cheaper for Britons. From 4 a.m. on March 18 (Fri), the UK scrapped travel rules, meaning anyone traveling into the country will no longer be required to complete a passenger locator form or pass Covid tests, The Mirror reported.
READ MORE: The latest coronavirus news and what it means for travel
The news is a huge boost for families planning Easter holidays abroad, as it will mean less administration to worry about – not to mention costs will be reduced as there will no longer be a need to shell out for Covid tests if you or someone in your group is not vaccinated. (Fully vaccinated UK arrivals are not required to test under existing rules). To give you a hand, we look at the travel rules for hotspots such as Spain, France, Portugal and more.
Fully vaccinated Britons can visit Spain for a holiday, although the country recently changed its rules meaning that if they have proof of Covid recovery, unvaccinated visitors can also enter the destination. These rules apply to anyone 12 years of age or older.
Spain recently relaxed its rules for unvaccinated teenagers aged 12 to 17 to allow them to visit provided they have a negative PCR test result and are traveling with vaccinated adults. All travelers will also need to complete a pre-travel form and obtain a QR code to present at border control.
It should be noted that to be considered fully vaccinated, you must have completed your vaccination course within 270 days (or nine months), otherwise you will need a booster. These rules also apply to Britons traveling to the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
Fully vaccinated Britons can visit for non-essential reasons such as holidays without needing to self-quarantine or take a pre-travel Covid test. However, there are specific recall requirements if you were vaccinated more than 270 days ago.
All passengers will also be required to sign an ‘affidavit’ before traveling. It should also be noted that France has also relaxed local Covid restrictions, including the removal of mandatory face masks and the need for Covid vaccine passes to access certain places such as restaurants and museums.
Greece is open to British tourists, but the rules differ depending on your vaccination status. If you are fully vaccinated, you can visit Greece without needing a pre-travel Covid test.
If you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated you will need proof of a negative Covid test result – this can be a PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or an antigen test within the 48 hours. Proof of recovery from Covid will also be accepted. The country also recently announced that it will end the need for passenger locator forms from travellers.
Fully vaccinated Britons can visit Portugal without needing a Covid test. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers will need proof of either a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel or an antigen test taken within 24 hours of travel.
All travellers, regardless of their Covid vaccination status, will be required to complete a Passenger Locator Form before travelling. The rules are the same for Madeira and the Azores, but they may differ, so check the latest advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before travelling.
All travelers must complete an online passenger form within 72 hours of traveling to Turkey – this applies to anyone aged six or over. Fully vaccinated Brits can visit Turkey without needing Covid tests or quarantine. For those not double stung you will need either a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of entry, a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours, or proof of Covid recovery over the past six months.
All holidaymakers traveling to Cyprus will be required to complete a Flight Pass online within 48 hours of travel. For those who are fully vaccinated, there is no testing requirement.
Anyone aged 12 or over who is not double-bitten or cannot show proof of recent Covid recovery will be required to take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure or an antigen test within 24 hours. You will also need to take a PCR test when you arrive in Cyprus – this will cost between €15 and €19. Children aged 11 and under are exempt from testing.
All travelers must complete a Passenger Locator Form before traveling to Malta and show the QR code to board your aircraft and upon arrival in Malta. Currently, only fully vaccinated Britons can visit for a holiday without testing or quarantine. If you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, you will need to obtain a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of arrival, and you will need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at a designated quarantine hotel.
All travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, can visit Mexico for vacation. There are no Covid test, proof of vaccination or quarantine requirements.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs adds: “If you are visiting Mexico as a tourist, you do not need a visa, but you will need to complete an immigration form and have it with you when entering and leaving Mexico. “
Travel restrictions can change quickly during the pandemic. Always check the latest Foreign Office travel advice for a destination before you book or travel.
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