Travelling abroad in the current climate brings can be pretty complicated.
Whether it’s proof of a vaccination, booking Covid tests or filling out passenger locator forms, there’s plenty to remember before your trip.
With Omicron sweeping across both the UK and Europe, many countries have acted swiftly and tightened their borders.
It means you’ll need to check with the country you’re travelling to so you’re not caught out.
From the UK’s perspective, there are no nations currently on the red list.
The next review is set to take place around January 5, although it’s unlikely any countries will be added.
There are, however, stricter rules for those returning to England, which includes taking PCR tests.
Here’s the latest advice from the Foreign Office for some popular tourist destinations, which is all correct at the time of writing.
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All those wishing to travel from the UK to France, regardless of vaccination status, can only do so for essential reasons.
Travellers must be aware of the following requirements:
- All travellers aged 12 years and over must present a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 24 hours pre-departure.
- Before travel, anyone coming from the UK must provide contact details, including the address they will be staying at, to the French authorities via an online form.
- All travellers must present a completed international travel form to prove the reason for essential travel. This can be found on the French government’s website. In exceptional circumstances, the French Consulate in London may be able to assist with travel for a compelling reason not listed as an ‘essential reason for travel’.
- All travellers must provide a completed ‘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. This can be found on the French government’s website.
- Upon arrival in France, all travellers must self-isolate for 48 hours, after which time a negative PCR or antigen test is required to exit self-isolation. Without a negative test result, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.
You shouldn’t use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country.
You should instead arrange to take a private test from a private coronavirus testing provider.
Adults travelling from the UK to France by Eurostar who are not fully vaccinated will be asked to take an additional Covid-19 test upon arrival at Gare du Nord (vaccination status will be checked ahead of departure at St Pancras). Anyone testing positive for Covid-19 will be subject to mandatory self-isolation for 10 days.
Since 11:01pm GMT on December 19, the UK has been designated as a virus variant area by Germany.
This means that:
- Carriers such as airlines are restricted to transporting a narrow range of individuals from the UK to Germany, including British citizens who are resident in Germany, and German citizens. UK nationals resident in Germany must demonstrate proof of residence at entry to Germany.
- Tourists are not allowed to be transported to Germany. There are limited additional exemptions.
- Permitted travellers entering Germany from the UK are required to complete pre-departure digital registration, regardless of vaccination status.
- Permitted travellers from the UK to Germany aged six and over are required to have proof of a negative pre-flight test, regardless of vaccination status. This must be a PCR test. The PCR test can be 48 hours old at departure if entering Germany via plane, ferry, bus or train. If travelling independently, such as in a car, the PCR test can only be up to 48 hours on entry.
- On arrival in Germany, all permitted travellers from the UK who arrive there must quarantine at home for 14 days irrespective of their vaccination status.
All permitted travellers aged six or over from the UK arriving in Germany need either a negative PCR test result that is no more than 48 hours old at the point of departure, if travelling to Germany via plane, train, bus or ferry.
If you are travelling independently, such as in a car, the PCR test can only be 48 hours old at entry into Germany.
The result of the test required by the authorities can be either in paper or electronic form in German, English, French, Italian, or Spanish.
Covid-19 entry requirements may change at short notice, and travellers to the UAE are strongly encouraged to check the specifics, including the time frames for undertaking Covid-19 PCR tests, before departure with their airline before they travel.
Residents, tourists and visitors travelling from or through the UK and arriving in the UAE must have a negative Covid-19 PCR test before departure and present the certificate at check in.
The PCR test needs to be taken no more than 48 hours prior to departure for arrivals to Abu Dhabi and with effect from today (Sunday, January 2), no more than 48 hours prior to departure for arrivals to Dubai.
Travellers arriving in Abu Dhabi will also be required to undertake a Covid-19 PCR test on arrival.
Travellers arriving in Dubai may be required to undertake a further Covid-19 PCR test on arrival and will have to isolate pending the result of this.
If you test positive for Covid-19 on arrival, depending on your symptoms and your accommodation plans, you may be required to self-isolate in a government facility, a hospital, your hotel or privately arranged accommodation for at least 10 days.
If you are transiting through the UAE to a country that requires a Covid-19 PCR test on arrival, then you must obtain a negative Covid-19 PCR test before travelling.
If you’re fully vaccinated and travelling from the UK, you can enter Spain without needing to test or quarantine regardless of your reason for travel.
At least 14 days must have passed since being fully vaccinated (with both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) before arrival in Spain. Your date(s) of vaccination must be specified and you need to have had a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency or by the World Health Organisation.
Children under the age of 12 years old don’t need to show proof of being fully vaccinated on entry to Spain.
You can only enter Spain for tourism if you’re fully vaccinated.
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If you’re travelling to Greece from the UK you’ll need to have completed a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before arrival there.
The form is required regardless of the means of transport you use to travel to Greece (including by ferry, road, rail or air).
You will also need one of the following:
- Proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival into Greece; or
- Proof of a negative Covid-19 rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory, undertaken within the 24 hour period before your arrival into Greece.
These requirements are compulsory for all travellers aged five and above.
In addition, arrivals into Greece may be required to undergo a rapid Covid-19 test on arrival.
If you test positive on arrival in Greece, you (and those you are travelling with) will have to self-isolate in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state. The length of time you need to self-isolate depends on your vaccination status.
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