With the emergence and rapid spread of the new Omicron Covid variant in recent weeks, countries have scrambled to update travel rules.
A number of countries have changed their requirements, including the most popular European destinations for UK holidaymakers.
So, for those who wish to travel this Christmas, with family or otherwise, it is essential to keep abreast of any changes.
READ MORE:Latest travel restrictions for Ibiza, Tenerife, Mallorca, Corfu, Madeira and Crete
But with even the rules in the UK changing at a rate that can be difficult to follow, it’s a lot easier said than done.
But if you’re lucky enough to travel, we’ve got you covered here with all the rules now in place for those traveling from the UK to France, Belgium, Germany and Spain.
Anyone outside the EU traveling to France will need to show proof of a negative Covid, PCR or lateral flow test, taken up to 48 hours before travel if they are fully vaccinated, and 24 hours if not fully vaccinated.
Results must be laboratory certified to be accepted, so NHS self-test kits will not be valid for this.
Currently the UK is on France’s Orange List, so fully vaccinated travelers to France will not need to self-isolate upon arrival, but will need:
A duly completed “sworn declaration” form certifying that they do not show symptoms associated with the coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases during the previous fifteen days. This is available on the French government website.
Proof of vaccination status.
Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours before departure (PCR or antigen).
In addition to all of the above, the Amber List means unvaccinated travelers will only be accepted if their reason for travel is critical and will need to self-isolate for seven days after arrival, before taking another PCR test.
Recent reports suggest France will be looking to further tighten these rules for UK travelers, so keep checking until your travel day to make sure you comply with any new additions.
The UK is currently classified as a red (high risk) zone in the Belgian government’s travel color coding system.
If you do not have a Belgian, European or equivalent digital COVID certificate recognized by Belgium, such as an NHS COVID Pass or a certificate with a QR code from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland from North, you are considered unvaccinated by the Belgian government. and should meet entry requirements for unvaccinated travelers.
For vaccinated travelers who do not have a Belgian residence, you must:
- Complete a Passenger Tracking Form (PLF), unless you fall under a very limited list of exemptions listed on the Belgian government website (under Transport and International section)
- Do a PCR test no more than 72 hours before your arrival in Belgium, or a RAT test either the day before arrival or the day of arrival. This test must be negative
- Take a PCR test on day 1 after arrival and go into quarantine until you get a negative result
- Take another PCR test on day 7 after your arrival.
If you are domiciled in Belgium, you do not have to take a pre-departure test.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you should do all of the above plus:
- Carry documents proving the essential reason for your trip. You may need an essential travel certificate. Applications should be submitted to the Embassy of Belgium in the UK at least five days prior to your departure.
- Quarantine for 10 days after arrival, which you can complete on the 7th day if this test is negative.
All travelers entering Germany from the UK must complete a digital registration prior to departure, regardless of their vaccination status.
In Germany’s two-tier restriction system, the UK is referred to as a “high incidence area”. You can enter Germany from the UK for any purpose of travel if you can prove that you are fully vaccinated.
The supporting document must be provided in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish and include:
- Personal data of the vaccinated person (at least last name, first name and date of birth)
- Date of vaccination, number of vaccinations,
- Vaccine name,
- Name of the disease against which we vaccinated,
- Features indicating the person or institution responsible for vaccination or issuing the certificate, for example an official symbol or the name of the issuer
People who are not fully vaccinated can only enter Germany from the UK if they are German citizens; the spouse / partner / child under 18 of a German citizen; a resident of Germany; the spouse / partner / child under 18 of a German resident; play an important role; or have an urgent need to travel.
For those eligible to enter Germany who are not fully vaccinated, travel from the UK is typically subject to a 10-day quarantine with testing and release available after five days.
Before traveling to Spain, anyone traveling by air or sea must complete and sign an online health check form. If you do not complete this form electronically, you can submit it in hard copy prior to boarding.
Additional documents that you must present at entry when traveling from the UK to Spain are determined by the purpose of your trip:
- Tourism: You must prove that you are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before your arrival in Spain. If you are not fully vaccinated, you will not be able to enter Spain as a tourist.
- EU citizens and accompanying family members of an EU citizen, residents of Spain or those covered by one of the other exemptions listed may present alternative documents to the vaccination certificate. See Exemptions.
If you are fully vaccinated, you will not need to quarantine.
You may also be subject to the following controls at the point of entry:
- Pass a temperature control
- Get a visual health check
Anyone showing symptoms or not meeting any of the above requirements will need to be tested upon arrival and will be required to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols in place as determined by the local authorities at your destination in Spain.
You may also be contacted and required to perform a PCR, TMA or LAMP test at any time up to 48 hours after your arrival in Spain.
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Anyone, except those under the age of 12, arriving in Spain who has visited a ‘country at risk’ in the previous 14 days must meet the requirements of the Travel page of the Spanish Ministry of Health and COVID-19.
The Spanish government reviews its list of “countries at risk” every 7 days.
All of these rules and restrictions are subject to change as countries adapt to the Omicron variant, so be sure to regularly check the government travel advice until the day of your trip to avoid disappointment.
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