Heathrow and Gatwick: final advice from the Foreign Office for Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Greece


Changes to the government’s travel system took effect today (October 4).

Vacationers will be happy to learn that there is now a new, streamlined two-tier travel rules system, with the Amber and Green Lists being scrapped altogether.

There is now only one list of ‘banned’ red countries that still requires travelers to self-isolate in a government-mandated quarantine hotel for 10 days when returning to the UK.

Testing and isolation restrictions have eased for most vaccinated passengers visiting countries not on the red list.

READ MORE: Heathrow and Gatwick: New travel rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people from October 4 and all countries on the green list

Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Portugal are not on the red list of countries.

So doubly vaccinated vacationers can fly to these countries and face fewer testing and isolation restrictions.

If you are fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a Day 2 COVID-19 test and complete a passenger locator form before traveling from these countries to England.

When you arrive in England from these countries, you must take a COVID-19 test no later than Day 2.

You are considered fully vaccinated if you have taken a full course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before your arrival in England. The day you received your last dose does not count as one of the 14 days.

Your vaccine should also be given as part of the UK vaccination program or an approved overseas vaccination program in a listed country, which you can check online. here.

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If you are not double hit, you must take a COVID-19 test three days before your trip to England and book and pay for the COVID-19 tests on Days 2 and 8, to be taken upon arrival in England.

You must also complete a passenger locator form before traveling to England from these countries.

When you arrive in England, you must self-isolate at home or where you are staying for 10 days and take your pre-booked COVID-19 tests on or before day 2 and on or after day 8.

Although travel restrictions have eased in England, it is also important to check entry requirements for Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Greece.


Magaluf Beach in Mallorca is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits
Magaluf Beach in Mallorca is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits

According to the Foreign Office, the Spanish government requires all arrivals to Spain from the UK to present a pre-travel declaration form and one of the following: a negative COVID-19 test; or proof of vaccination.

It is also important that all travelers follow the advice and restrictions of local authorities to control the spread of the coronavirus.

You can read a more detailed explanation of the entry requirements to Spain here.


Paris skyline with Eiffel Tower and rooftops
Paris is the capital of France

The UK is currently on the French Amber List and entry requirements are different depending on whether the traveler is fully vaccinated or not.

Travelers who are not fully vaccinated will only be allowed to enter France for essential reasons and must present the following: an international travel certificate, a completed “sworn statement” and a negative PCR or antigen test performed within 24 hours of departure.

These travelers must self-isolate for 7 days after arrival and have another PCR test after this period of self-isolation.

Fully vaccinated travelers do not need a primary reason to travel to France and do not need to self-isolate upon arrival.

And you only need to provide the following documents, a completed “sworn statement” and proof of vaccination status, if you are fully vaccinated.

You can find out more in detail here.


Portugal is on the government's orange list
The Algarve in Portugal

You can travel to Portugal for any purpose from the EU / EEA or from the UK.

NHS COVID Pass holders, who also do not have an EU digital COVID certificate, must take a COVID-19 test to enter Portugal.

This may be an antigen test performed within 48 hours of departure or an RT-PCR test performed within 72 hours of departure.

You should not use the NHS testing service to take a test to facilitate your travel to another country.

You must also complete an online passenger locator card in order to enter Portugal.

If you have a digital COVID vaccination certificate from the EU showing that you have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved COVID-19 vaccine or if you have a COVID recovery certificate from the EU, you are not required to take a COVID-19 test to participate.

However, you must be prepared to show a digital or hard copy of your COVID vaccination or recovery certificate when checking in for your flight and you must complete a passenger locator card online.


Ancient Italian town in a canyon of Puglia

You can enter Italy with proof of COVID-19 recovery or the UK vaccination record, which is equivalent to a green pass.

If you are doubly jabbed, you do not need to isolate yourself but you must complete the Passenger Locator Form (EU PLF) before entering Italy.

This will give you a QR code to show your tour operator and border police.

You must also present proof of a negative PCR or antigen test, carried out within 48 hours before entering Italy.

There are more restrictions on arrival for unvaccinated passengers, including the requirement to self-isolate for 5 days.

You can find out more here.


View of the town and bay of Parga in Greece. Parga is a popular tourist destination in Greece, Europe

If you are traveling from the UK to Greece, you must complete a passenger locator form prior to arrival.

You will also need to provide one of the following before traveling: proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test from an authorized laboratory, proof of be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have proof of recovery from COVID-19.

Greece will accept UK proof of recovery and COVID-19 vaccination.

You can find out more about the entry requirements to Greece here.

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