Holidays have been pretty different this year, if you’ve been lucky enough to have one at all.
People have seen holidays cancelled and postponed, and even when they have gone away it’s been a different experience to normal.
With the coronavirus crisis, lots of new rules have formed around international travel.
There are rules in place within the UK and in other countries when you get to your destination. Not to mention all the measures in place to ensure safe travel on whatever mode of transport you’re getting.
We are currently in a national lockdown in England, meaning non-essential foreign travel is not allowed. You are only permitted to travel abroad in exceptional circumstances like for work or education.
But we are due to come out of this lockdown on December 2, which is a week on Thursday.
While we don’t yet know exactly what the rules will be, it was announced last night that the Prime Minister is expected to put the country back into a tier system, potentially with some tighter restrictions in place.
For more news and features about London directly to your inbox sign up to our newsletter here.
This means some people may be considering a holiday once they can again.
Italy, Spain, France and Germany are all popular holiday destinations for Brits since they offer lots of culture and they aren’t too far away.
So what’s the latest Foreign Office advice for travel to these countries?
The Foreign Office is currently advising against all but essential travel to Italy due to an assessment of the Covid risk.
If you do decide to go, you will have to adhere to the following rules:
When you arrive in Italy from the UK, you must show evidence that you tested negative for COVID within the 72 hours before your travel. Do not use the NHS testing service for a test to travel to Italy. You should arrange to take a private test.
Alternatively, you can get a free test on arrival at some airports, or at a testing facility in Italy shortly after you arrive. If you test positive in Italy, you will be required to quarantine. Your quarantine may last from ten days to three weeks, so you should be prepared in case you test positive.
If you have stayed in or transited through a small number of listed countries in the 14 days before you enter Italy, you’ll also need to self-isolate for 14 days on entering Italy. If you cannot do that for any reason, you may be refused entry to Italy.
You should download and complete a self-declaration from the Ministry of Interior before you travel to Italy and inform local authorities of your presence.
You have to self-isolate for 14 days on your return from Italy.
Travel to Spain and the Balearic Islands is advised against, but there is no advice against going to the Canary Islands at the moment.
On arrival, travellers entering Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate. However, from 23 November, all passengers (including children) travelling to Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries will be required to present a negative PCR (swab) test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, in order to enter the country. The UK is currently on the ‘risk’ countries list so anyone arriving will have to do this.
You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
You will also be subject to the additional three requirements at the point of entry:
1. It is mandatory for all passengers travelling by air or sea to Spain to fill out and sign an online Health Control Form 48 hours prior to travel, providing the Spanish Ministry of Health with:
- Contact information;
- Details of any known history of exposure to COVID-19; and
- Confirmation that you are able to provide evidence (electronically or hardcopy) that you have undertaken a PCR (swab) test within 72 hours or arrival and have tested negative for COVID-19. You can do this on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app. On completion, you will be issued a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show (electronically or hardcopy) at airport health controls on arrival.
2. Temperature check
3. Undergo a visual health assessment
Overland travellers to Spain are exempt from the abovementioned entry requirements and are therefore not currently required to present a PCR test or Health Control Form on entry by road or rail.
Travellers to the Canary Islands will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test when checking-in to regulated tourist accommodation.
You must quarantine for 14 days after returning from Spain or the Balearic Islands but the Canary Islands have been taken off the quarantine list for now.
Like many other countries, the Foreign Offices advises against travelling to France at the moment.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in France during recent weeks. The French government has announced a national lockdown. As a result, you should remain at home unless you need to go out for an essential reason.
You will need an attestation (or self-certificate) when you do go out. These are available on the Ministry of Interior website, and through France’s digital app ‘Tous anti-Covid.’
Arrivals by sea and air routes will need to complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.
Although there is no restriction on travel from the UK and most European countries, travel from most non-European countries is subject to entry restrictions.
If you’re returning from France, you’ll need to self-isolate for 14 days on your return.
Travel to Germany is also not advised unless it’s for an essential reason.
If, in the ten days before you travel to Germany, you have been in an area designated as presenting an increased risk of infection, you must register online in advance of travelling to Germany.
On arrival you must travel to your accommodation and quarantine there for ten days. After five days it is possible to secure release from quarantine with a negative test.
Like with many other countries, you will have to quarantine for 14 days if you return from Germany.