After two years of travel disruption, there are reasonable hopes that this summer will be different.
Major holiday destinations in Spain, Greece and Turkey still have some Covid travel requirements, but they aren’t as obnoxious as they have been in the past. To help you plan your trip, WalesOnline has put together the latest advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Remember that the situation with the virus can change very quickly. You should always check before you travel to make sure you don’t ruin your well-deserved break.
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Entry requirements to Greece
From March 15, 2022, arrivals to Greece are no longer required to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF).
The following requirements for entering Greece apply regardless of your vaccination status and apply to all travelers aged five and over. Travelers from the UK can enter the country by:
- Present a valid vaccination certificate. It must have been at least 14 days, and no more than nine months, since the end of your primary vaccination against Covid-19. Recall shots are not subject to the same time restrictions. See ‘Demonstration of your Covid-19 status’ for more details or;
- Presenting a certificate of recovery from Covid-19 or;
- Present proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test, taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Greece or;
- presenting proof of a negative Covid-19 rapid antigen test from an approved laboratory, carried out within 24 hours of your arrival in Greece.
Additionally, arrivals to Greece may be required to undergo a rapid Covid-19 test upon arrival. If you test positive upon arrival in Greece, you (and the people you are traveling with) will be required to self-isolate for at least five days at home or in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state.
Entry measures to Greece apply to all travelers aged five and over. Children under five do not need to provide a negative test to enter Greece.
Requirements for entering Spain
If you wish to visit Spain you will need to present proof that you are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from Covid. To be considered fully vaccinated, you will need to have completed a full vaccination program at least 14 days prior to travel. If you complete this more than 270 days (nine months) before traveling to Spain, you will need a booster to be fully vaccinated.
Although the rules apply to anyone aged 12 or over, Spain has eased its restrictions for unvaccinated teenagers, aged 12 to 17, who can visit if they have proof of a test. Negative Covid carried out before the trip.
If you are fully immunized, you do not need to complete a pre-travel health form. However, travelers entering with proof of Covid recovery or unvaccinated teenagers aged 12-17 will need to complete an online pre-travel form, which must be completed no later than 48 hours before travel to Spain.
Currently, unvaccinated Britons will not be able to enter for the holidays unless they can show proof of recovery. As for local Covid rules, Spain recently relaxed its rules on face masks, which means you will no longer be required to wear them in indoor places such as restaurants and bars. The country has already removed the requirement to wear face coverings outdoors.
Canary Islands travel rules
The rules in the Canary Islands are similar to those in Spain; you must be fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery to visit. Again, unvaccinated teenagers aged 12-17 can visit provided they have proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours of travel.
You may also need to show proof of a negative Covid test for your accommodation – check with your tour operator or travel agent. All travelers will be required to complete an online pre-trip form before visiting the Canary Islands.
If you are traveling to the islands from Spain, the Foreign Office travel advice states: “To travel to the Canary or Balearic Islands from mainland Spain you may be required to present a negative COVID test depending on the region. where you are traveling from. Check with your tour operator and the local authorities at your final destination for advice on national entry requirements.”
In a recent holiday push for Brits, the Canaries ended their local Covid restrictions, which included removing capacity limits for places such as bars and restaurants, and allowing dancing in nightclubs.
Conditions of travel to the Balearic Islands
Travelers will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid if they want to enter the Balearic Islands for vacation. According to the Balearic Tourism Board website, proof of recent recovery or a negative Covid test will not be accepted for travelers from the UK. You can find out more on the tourist office website.
Anyone entering the Balearic Islands will be required to complete a health check form online prior to travel. Children under 12 are exempt from vaccination and testing requirements.
If you are traveling to the islands from Spain, the Foreign Office’s travel advice notes: “To travel to the Canary or Balearic Islands from mainland Spain, you may be required to present a negative COVID test depending on the region. where you are traveling from. Check with your tour operator and the local authorities at your final destination for advice on national entry requirements.”
Travel restrictions can change quickly due to the nature of the pandemic. Always check the latest Spain travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which covers mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, before you book or travel.
Travel conditions in Turkey
You will need to complete the online form (Turkey Entry Form), no later than 72 hours before travelling, to enter Turkey if you are six years of age or older. This is not necessary for transit passengers. All arrivals to Turkey will be subject to medical evaluation for symptoms of coronavirus, including temperature checks. Arrivals may be subject to random PCR testing upon arrival. You must wear a face mask at all times in an airport and for the duration of all flights to and from Turkey.
If you are fully vaccinated, you can enter Turkey without the need for testing or quarantine. At least 14 days must have passed since your second dose of vaccine and the vaccine must be approved by the Turkish Ministry of Health or the World Health Organization. Find out if you are fully vaccinated in Turkey on the website of the Turkish Embassy in London.
You must present proof that you have been fully vaccinated to enter Turkey. Turkey will accept UK proof of recovery and vaccination against COVID-19 and proof of vaccination against COVID-19 issued in the Crown Dependencies. Your Vaccination Centers NHS Appointment Card is not intended to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccination status.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to present proof of a negative PCR test (passed no more than 72 hours before entry), rapid antigen test (passed no more than 48 hours before entry ) or proof of a recent recovery from Covid-19 within the last six months, upon entering Turkey. See information on obtaining a test before entry.
If you are not fully vaccinated but have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months, you can enter Turkey. You will need to show proof of a positive PCR test (done more than 14 days ago and less than six months ago). You will not need to take an additional Covid-19 test. You can use the NHS Covid Pass to demonstrate proof of recovery from Covid-19 when entering Turkey.
Remember that all of these rules can change quickly. You should make sure to check before you travel.