Travel rules: latest restrictions in France, Ireland, Italy and the United States

This week has seen another round of travel restrictions imposed on travelers to the UK. Pre-departure testing is now required, in addition to self-isolation until a negative post-arrival PCR result is received. The new rules apply to fully vaccinated passengers.

The measures place the UK as an outlier among European countries in terms of onerous rules for vaccinated travelers. But other countries have also tightened restrictions in response to concerns over the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

These are the main changes.


The government has introduced a new “super green” pass, requiring the holder to be fully vaccinated or with proof of recent recovery. It will be required by all persons aged 12 and over to access most hospitality and leisure facilities until at least January 15.

The Foreign Office said: “Italy will accept UK proof of Covid-19 recovery and vaccination as the equivalent of a super green pass as long as it comes in the form of a ” a verifiable digital QR code.

“Your NHS vaccination center appointment card is not intended to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccination status.”

Skiers heading to Italy face an array of rules for the upcoming winter sports season.

The nation is divided into white, yellow, orange and red areas, according to the risks assessed by the Ministry of Health in Rome.

Most of the country is in the low-risk white zone, which does not have significant skiing restrictions. Two regions, Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, are in the yellow category. In both white and yellow zones, people aged 12 and over will need a “green pass” to access the covered ski lifts until at least January 15. The green pass is the basic health pass for Italy, to be obtained with proof of vaccination or a negative test.

A green pass is not necessary to access the ski lifts discovered in the white and yellow zones.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs specifies that “masks (surgical or FFP2) must be worn on ski lifts and in common areas.

“You have to maintain social distancing on the tracks and avoid gatherings. Eating and drinking on the ski lifts or boarding areas is prohibited.


Fully vaccinated travelers aged 12 and over must provide a negative test result (in paper or digital format, lateral flow or PCR) carried out less than 48 hours before departure to France.

The French Embassy in London warns: “Tests whose results are not certified by a laboratory (such as self-administered tests provided free of charge by the NHS) are not considered valid for travel.

This statement is intended to ensure that all tests are properly certified. Although it appears to allow self-administered testing from private sources, The independent recommends that travelers rely on professionally administered tests.


The Irish government makes it clear that self-administered tests are not allowed. It now requires all fully vaccinated arrivals aged 12 and over to provide either an antigen test (lateral flow) performed within 48 hours of arrival or a PCR performed within 72 hours of arrival.

“The test result must be certified and not self-administered,” says the official notice.

“If you are not fully immunized or recovered, you must present a negative or undetected PCR test performed within 72 hours of your arrival.”


As of Monday, arrivals in the United States must pass the pre-departure test on the day of travel or the day before. As a cheap and quick lateral flow test is sufficient, it can be performed at the airport on the morning of travel.

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