Spain, Greece, France and Turkey latest travel rules ahead of half term

With half term and summer holidays on their way, many of us are planning trips abroad this year.

All covid travel rules were drawn to a close in the UK in March, and many other nations have also eased restrictions in recent weeks and months. There are now dozens of countries Brits can travel to without being vaccinated or having to take a test.

After so much time at home, many of us are clearly keen to get away. Airlines such as Jet2, TUI and Ryanair have already said bookings for places such as Spain and the Canary Islands have increased over the past few months.

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But for those of us who manage to go abroad, what are the rules? Do we need to show vaccination proof or take a test?

Will we still have to wear masks, or socially distance? As has been the case previously, the restrictions are slightly different depending on your destination.

Greece recently relaxed all of its covid rules. As of May 1, travelers arriving from the UK do not need to show a vaccine certificate or proof of a negative test any more. Unvaccinated visitors are also able to enter the country without testing prior to travel.

You no longer need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF). Travelers are still required to wear a protective masks in all indoor spaces, including aircraft.

However, some visitors may be asked to undertake a rapid lateral flow test on arrival in the country. If you test positive on arrival in Greece, you (and those you are traveling with) will have to self-isolate for at least 5 days at home or in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state.

If you have no symptoms on day 5, or your symptoms have improved (eg having no fever for the past 24 hours without the use of medicine), you will be allowed to end your quarantine. However, if you still have a fever you will be required to continue to quarantine until your fever drops.

Here, we take a look at the rules for other destinations that are popular with British tourists.

Spain

Spanish authorities have finally ditched rules that meant only vaccinated tourists could enter the nation.

The Spanish Government confirmed those who have not had a coronavirus jab can now travel to the country by showing a negative PCR or antigen test on arrival.

The new rules came into place on Saturday, May 21, in a bid to attract more tourists to Spain over the summer months, according to Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto. He said: “This is excellent news, much awaited by the tourism sector.”

According to the Daily Recordtravelers from EU and non-EU countries must present one of the following documents:

  • Certificate of vaccination against Covid – second or third / booster dose in the last nine months.
  • Certificate of recovery – issued in the last 180 days The certificate must have been issued at least 11 days after confirmation of infection with Covid by a PCR or antigen test
  • Negative PCR test – carried out in the 72 hours prior to departure to Spain, or negative antigen test results carried out in the 24 hours prior to departure to Spain.

France

There are a number of rules anyone traveling to France must follow.

The country has been plunged into lockdown three times, and some restrictions were recently reintroduced after cases rose steadily again. What you must do before entering France depends on your vaccination status.

Fully vaccinated travelers aged 12 and above must provide proof of vaccination status on entry to France. As of March 31, travelers from the UK aged 12 and above who are not fully vaccinated need to provide a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours or an antigen test result taken within 48 hours pre-departure.

All children under 12 are exempt from covid travel restrictions in France.

France will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record at the border. The French Government recognizes any vaccination certificates that conform to EU norms. This means your final dose must have been administered at least seven days prior to travel for Oxford / AstraZeneca, Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna or 28 days after a second dose of Johnson & Johnson.

If more than nine months have elapsed since your initial course, and you have not since received a booster, you will be considered unvaccinated and must follow the rules for unvaccinated travelers.

Turkey

Fully vaccinated travelers can enter Turkey without needing to test or quarantine. At least 14 days must have passed since your second dose of the vaccine and the vaccine must be approved by the Turkish Ministry of Health or WHO.

If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll need to show proof of a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before entry), rapid antigen test (taken no more than 48 hours before entry), or proof of a recent recovery from Covid-19 within the last six months, when entering Turkey. Children aged 11 and under are exempt.

You must wear a face mask at all times whilst in an airport, and for the duration of all flights, to and from Turkey. Face masks are no longer required outdoors or indoors once in Turkey, though social distancing remains in place.

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