January 20, 2022

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The Covid restrictions and vaccination rules in place for the UK’s 15 most popular foreign holiday destinations

The Covid restrictions and vaccination rules in place for the UK’s 15 most popular foreign holiday destinations
After almost two years of uncertainty and anxiety relating to the pandemic, many of us are feeling more than ready for a holiday far away from home. In terms of travel, 2021 was the year of the 'staycation' - of caravan holidays, camping holidays and log cabin breaks - but as we get into the…

After almost two years of uncertainty and anxiety relating to the pandemic, many of us are feeling more than ready for a holiday far away from home.

In terms of travel, 2021 was the year of the ‘staycation’ – of caravan holidays, camping holidays and log cabin breaks – but as we get into the thick of winter, a holiday in the sun might feel well overdue.

Travel restrictions around the world have been slowly easing up (for the vaccinated, at least), but there are different restrictions in place for most countries.

We’ve taken a look at the top 20 travel destinations for Brits to see what restrictions are in place. You can read more stories relating to travel here.

Read more : Covid rates, cases, deaths and restrictions in countries around the world

1. Spain

Sun-soaked Spain is the most-travelled to country by Brits (pictured: Fuengirola, Spain).

Everyone entering Spain must complete an online health form before arrival.

You must be double-jabbed unless you can prove you’re travelling for ‘essential’ reasons. Spain does not accept a proof of recovery document.

If you are double-jabbed, you do not need to do a PCR test.

If you enter Spain unvaccinated under an exemption, a PCR will be required.

Restrictions in place:

  • Social distancing of 1.5 metres in enclosed spaces.
  • Negative PCR test may be needed when travelling to the Balearic or Canary Islands from mainland Spain, depending on local laws.

  • Obligatory use of face masks in enclosed public spaces and outdoors.
  • Regional authorities may also impose localised Covid pass certificates, capacity restrictions and overnight curfews.

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2. France

The cafes of Paris have been quiet since the pandemic, but restrictions to enter France have finally begun to ease

Vaccinated tourists will be able to enter France from tomorrow, Friday, January 14, 2022.

Unvaccinated visitors can only enter if they can prove an essential reason for travel. If unvaccinated people meet this criteria, they must self-isolate for 48-hours upon arrival and can be released with a negative Covid result.

All travellers will need to present a negative PCR test or lateral flow test taken within 24 hours of departure, regardless of vaccination status.

Restrictions:

  • Indoor events are limited to 2,000 people indoors and 5,000 people outdoors. Standing concerts are banned.

  • Food or drink is not permitted in cinemas, theatres, sporting venues and on transport (including long-distance journeys). Food and drink is only permitted sitting down rather than standing up in bars and cafes.

  • Covid passes are required for most indoor venues including retirement homes.

3. Italy

You do not need to be double-jabbed to enter Italy, but there is a five-day isolation period for the unvaccinated.

All travellers will need to present a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours of departure. A negative antigen test will also be accepted if taken within 24 hours of departure.

All of those travelling to Italy must complete an EU passenger locator form before boarding.

Restrictions

  • Face masks are mandatory in all outdoor spaces and whilst indoors. The use of FFP2 masks is compulsory on public transport, in theatres, concert halls and cinemas and for sporting events until at least March 31. You cannot consume food or drink in the above indoor locations.
  • Outdoor events in public spaces, including concerts, are prohibited; discotheques and clubs are closed until January 31, 2022.
  • Social distancing of one metre must be observed and gatherings should be avoided.
  • If you’re unvaccinated, you should arrange private transportation to your five-day isolation.
Find out about coronavirus cases in your area:
4. USA

You must be double-jabbed to enter the USA as a tourist.

You will not be able to enter the USA as a tourist without proof of vaccination, unless you can prove an exceptional circumstance.

You also need a negative PCR taken within 24 hours of departure.

Restrictions:

  • A number of US states have mandated the use of masks and face coverings while in public.

  • Some states have also implemented proof of vaccination to use local amenities.

  • In some areas, private venues such as restaurants and concert halls, are making proof of vaccination (or a recent negative Covid-19 test result) a requirement for entry.

  • Testing is recommended on days three and five after travel.

5. Ireland

You do not need to be vaccinated to enter the Republic of Ireland.

If you are vaccinated or have proof that you have recently recovered from a Covid-19 infection, you do not need to undergo a pre-departure PCR test, but you will need to do a passenger locator form.

If you are unvaccinated and cannot prove Covid-19 recovery, you will need to take a pre-departure PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.

All travellers are recommended to do a lateral flow test for the first five days after arrival. Passenger locator forms are also required.

Restrictions:

  • From December 21, 2021, restaurants and pubs must close at 8pm, excluding takeaways.
  • No indoor events are allowed after 8pm, including cultural, sporting and community events. Attendance is limited to 1,000 people, or 50% of the venue’s capacity.

  • To access indoor services such as restaurants and pubs, you must show proof that you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months.

  • Masks and social distancing measures are also in place in public settings.

6. The Netherlands

You must be double vaccinated to enter the Netherlands, unless you can prove an exceptional or urgent circumstance.

Regardless of vaccination status, travellers aged 13 and over from very high-risk areas, including the UK, must quarantine for 10 days when entering the Netherlands.

If you are fully vaccinated, you must present a negative Covid test. This can be either a PCR taken no more than 48 hours before departure, or an antigen test taken no more than 24 hours before departure.

Restrictions:

  • Face masks are mandatory in all public places for those over the age of 13, and you could be fined for not doing so.
  • The maximum number of people who can meet up is two, unless you’re from the same household.
  • Non-essential services such as clothing shops, hairdressers, as well as museums, the hospitality industry and indoor gyms are closed. Essential services such as supermarkets and chemists must close at 8pm.

7. Greece

You do not need proof of vaccination to enter Greece.

To enter the country, all visitors must have a proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival. You can also present proof of a laboratory-administered antigen test taken within 24 hours before arrival.

All arrivals into Greece must take a rapid Covid-19 test on arrival. If this comes back positive, then you must quarantine for five days either at home or in a hotel quarantine paid for by the Greek state.

Restrictions:

  • Face masks are mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, in all areas of Greece. In certain areas, such as in supermarkets and pharmacies, and on public transport, you will be required to wear either double masks (at least one of which should be surgical), or an N95/FFP2 mask.

  • Proof of vaccination or recovery is required to enter nightclubs, restaurants (indoors), theatres, cinemas, museums, exhibitions, conferences, gyms and stadiums.

  • If you are not vaccinated, proof of a negative Covid test, taken up to 48 hours before entry, is required in public spaces including shops and restaurants (including outdoors).

8. Germany

You must be double-jabbed to enter Germany unless you’re a resident, visiting family, or travelling for ‘urgent’ purposes.

You also need a negative PCR result taken within 48 hours of departure. Antigen testing is accepted if taken within 48 hours of entry.

All travellers entering Germany from the UK must complete a pre-departure digital registration, regardless of vaccination status.

Restrictions:

  • Social distancing, wearing masks in enclosed spaces, and regular ventilation of indoor spaces must be observed across Germany. Wearing a medical-grade mask remains a legal requirement in retail outlets and on public transport.
  • Proof of vaccination, recovery from infection or a negative test (up to 24 hours old for rapid antigen testing or 48 hours old for PCR testing) is required for entry into hospitality venues, hotels, salons and other indoor events.
  • If you can enter Germany unvaccinated for urgent reasons, you will be subject to a 10-day quarantine with test and release available after 5 days.

9. Portugal

You do not need to be vaccinated to enter mainland Portugal, but all UK/EU/EEA travellers must present a negative Covid test on arrival.

This can either be a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, or an antigen test administered by a professional within 24 hours before travel.

All travellers must complete an online passenger locator card.

Restrictions:

  • Face masks and social distance of 1.5 metres are required indoors. Face masks are also required outdoors if a distance of 1.5m cannot be maintained.
  • From midnight on January 13, 2022, you will need to show a negative antigen test certificate to gain access to bars and nightclubs in Portugal, unless you can prove you have received the booster vaccine.

  • You will also need to present a Covid pass (proof of negative test or double-vaccination) to enter restaurants, tourist establishments and hotels, gyms, and events with reserved seating.

  • To enter hospitals, care homes, sport arenas and indoor venues without reserved seating, you will need a negative Covid test even if you are double-jabbed (unless you have had a booster).

10. Poland

You do not need to be double-jabbed to enter Poland, but unvaccinated travellers will need to do a 14-day quarantine with test-to-release on day eight (unless transiting).

If you are unvaccinated but can prove you’ve recovered from Covid in the past 180 days, you do not need to quarantine.

Regardless of vaccination status, you must present a negative PCR test or lateral flow test taken within 24 hours before crossing the border to Poland.

Restrictions:

  • Face masks are compulsory in indoor and enclosed spaces, on public transport, in taxis, or in an open space where you are unable to maintain a 1.5 metre distance.

  • There is a 1.5 metre social distance rule in all indoor public spaces.

  • Capacity limits (public transport at 75%; sports, funerals and religious services at 30%; museums, theatres and galleries at 30% – these may be increased if you can prove to the venue you’re fully-jabbed).

11. Turkey

Fully vaccinated travellers do not need to undergo pre-departure testing.

Unvaccinated travellers can enter Turkey if they can present a negative Covid test (PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or a lateral flow taken within 48 hours of arrival), or if they can present proof of recent Covid recovery.

All travellers, including citizens, must complete an online form up to 72 hours before entry.

Restrictions:

  • Masks are mandatory at all times outside the home throughout Turkey, including outdoor areas such as the beach and parks.
  • Covid passes for hospitality, cinemas, indoor events and intercity travel (proof of Covid recovery or negative Covid testing is accepted).

12. Belgium

You must be vaccinated to enter Belgium.

If you are unvaccinated, you can only enter the country for a very limited set of reasons.

If you are vaccinated, you must present a negative pre-departure test. This can be either a lateral flow taken 24 hours before arrival, or a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.

You must also take a further PCR test on day one and quarantine until you receive a negative result. A test on day seven is also required.

If you can enter Belgium under a vaccine exemption, you must quarantine for ten days with test-to-release on day seven.

Restrictions:

  • Face masks are mandatory in most public settings for all those aged over six years old.
  • Shops remain open but need to adhere to a one customer per square metre rule. Customers will only be permitted to shop with one other person (not including minors).

  • Proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative Covid test is required for entry into bars, restaurants, gyms and other enclosed spaces.

13. India

You do not need to be double vaccinated to enter India.

All visitors will be required to upload a negative PCR test to the ‘Air Suvidha’ portal within 72 hours of travel.

From December 20, 2021, travellers must also pre-book a Covid test on arrival before travelling.

From January 11, 2021, travellers from the UK will need to do a mandatory seven-day home quarantine in India with a test on day eight.

Restrictions:

  • The wearing of facial/cloth masks is compulsory in all public places.

  • There are limitations on large gatherings, but restrictions vary from state to state.

  • Random testing may take place in public places such as airports, malls or stations.

14. Switzerland

An idyllic holiday in the Swiss Alps doesn’t sound so bad – but only if you’re double-jabbed

You must be fully-vaccinated to enter Switzerland (excluding a few exemptions you can view here.)

You must also present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding, or a lateral flow test no older than 24 hours before boarding.

Unvaccinated children and adolescents arriving from the UK under the age of 18 are allowed to enter Switzerland if they are accompanied by fully vaccinated adults.

If you are exempt from the vaccination requirement and you enter Switzerland, you must take a PCR or antigen test on days four and seven.

  • Proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from a Covid infection or a negative test result is required for entry into most public places, including: outdoor events attended by over 300 people; indoor hospitality venues including restaurants, bars, clubs and discos; cultural, sporting and leisure activities indoors; theatre and cinema, concerts, sporting events and private events outside the home (e.g. weddings); and indoor gatherings attended by 11 or more people.

  • A facial mask and 1.5 metre social distancing rule is also in place.

15. UAE

You do not need to be vaccinated to enter the UAE, but the rules in each Emirate vary.

If you enter the UAE through Abu Dhabi and you are not double-jabbed, you will need to undergo a 10 day quarantine with testing on day nine.

If you are double-jabbed, you will not need to quarantine, but testing on days one, four and seven will be necessary.

If you enter the UAE through Dubai, you must have a PCR test on arrival and remain in self-isolation until you receive a negative result.

In all circumstances, anybody entering the UAE must present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure. You must also have international health insurance.

Restrictions:

  • In Dubai, masks and social distancing rules are in place in most public spaces including malls, beaches and restaurants. Tourists can be slapped with a 3,000 dirham (approx. £600) fine for flouting mask rules.
  • In Abu Dhabi, anybody above the age of 16 must have a ‘green pass’ on the AlHosn app to gain access to public spaces. The pass is acquired and maintained by full vaccination and regular negative PCR tests.

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