Holidays have been ruined for countless Britons this year. Many would-be jet-setters have seen their holiday destination removed from the ‘safe’ list and been forced to cancel or postpone their trip. With the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) changing rules regularly, it can be hard to keep up.
This is the latest FCDO travel advice for some of Britain’s most popular holiday destinations, France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal.
The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to France (including Corsica).
“This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks,” stated the Foreign Office.
Travellers should check separate travel advice pages for overseas territories of France.
“There has been a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in France during recent weeks, with a significant number of French departments now at ‘heightened vulnerability,’” the FCDO explained.
“In a number of areas, the French Government have brought in extra measures as a consequence. Check local guidance for more information.
“The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in France to leave at this time. You should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect yourself and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. Contact your travel operator if you have any questions about your return journey.
“If you are returning to the UK from France on or after 15 August, you will need to self-isolate on your return, unless exempt. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The guidance includes information on the rules if you’re transiting through France from another country to reach the UK.”
As for entry restrictions: “Arrivals by sea and air routes will need to complete a ‘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,” said the FCDO.
Italy remains one of the very few top holiday destinations for Britons that remains on the safe list.
Travellers do not have to quarantine on their return from Italy for now.
However, Sardinia has lately seen a spike in coronavirus cases and there are concerns, given the government’s latest travel corridor approach with Greek Islands, that the Italian island may soon be placed on the quarantine list.
Travel to Italy is subject to entry restrictions.
“Entry to the country is still forbidden for visitors who have stayed in or transited through a small number of listed countries in the 14 days before arrival,” explained the FCDO.
“You should download and complete a self-declaration from the Ministry of Interior before you travel to Italy.”
The FCDO “advise against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country.”
This advice is based on evidence of increases in cases of COVID-19 across Spain.
“The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in Spain to leave at this time,” stated the government.
“Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.
“If you are returning from Spain you will be required to self-isolate on your return to the UK, but the FCDO is not advising you to cut short your visit. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.”
For those who do travel to Spain and its islands, travel is subject to entry restrictions.
On arrival, travellers will be subject to the following three requirements:
– Provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with mandatory contact information and any history of exposure to COVID-19 48 hours prior to travel
– Temperature check
– Undergo a visual health assessment
Travel advice for Greece has become more complex in the past week.
Seven Greek islands have been removed from England’s travel corridor list but the remaining islands and mainland Greece remain ‘safe’ for now – however, the rules differ for Wales and Scotland.
The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to the islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos.
The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in the above islands to leave at this time.
“If you are returning to England or Northern Ireland from Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos on or after September 9, you will need to self-isolate on your return,” detailed the Foreign Office.
“If you are returning to Wales from the islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos (Zante), Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos, Crete, Santorini, Serifos and Tinos you are required to self isolate for 14 days.
“If you are returning to Scotland from Greece, you will need to self-isolate on your return.”
Entry restrictions are also in place. “If you travel to Greece, you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before travel,” said the FCDO.
“Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a 500 Euro fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.
“Every traveller, including children, must have their details included on a PLF. If you’re travelling with others outside of your household, you should all complete your own form. If you’re travelling together as a household, the Greek authorities ask for you to complete one form with all adults and children included. You can add additional members of your household at the top of the form before you submit.”
The Greek islands are also subject to differing locals measures so travellers are well advised to check ahead of travel.
Portugal holidays suffered a blow this week after the country was added to England’s quarantine list.
Except for the Greater Lisbon Metropolitan Area, mainland Portugal is currently in a state of alert, however, from 15 September, mainland Portugal will enter a state of contingency. This will bring the country in line with the measures currently in place in the Greater Lisbon Metropolitan area.
“The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to mainland Portugal,” explained the authority. “This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
“The autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores, are exempt from the FCDO advice against all non-essential international travel. This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
“The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in mainland Portugal to leave at this time.”
The FCDO continued: “If you are returning to England or Northern Ireland from mainland Portugal on or after 4am on September 12, you may need to self-isolate on your return. Check the latest guidance for England and Northern Ireland.
“If you are travelling to Wales from mainland Portugal, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days on your return (unless you are exempt). Check the latest guidance from the Welsh Government.
“If you are travelling to Scotland from mainland Portugal or the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days on your return (unless you are exempt). Check the latest guidance from the Scottish Government.”
Travel to Portugal is subject to entry restrictions.
“On arrival in mainland Portugal you will be subject to health screening,” stated the FCDO.
“If travelling to Madeira, Porto Santo or the Azores, you must take a COVID-19 test before you travel or on arrival.”
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