France travel: UK criticised over 'inconsistent' rules by MEP
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Fully vaccinated Britons will be able to jet off on holiday to amber list destinations from today without the need for quarantine upon their return home. However, in a shock twist last week, the Government amended this rule for France.
Furthermore, in response to rising Covid cases in the UK, a number of countries have tightened entry requirements for British arrivals.
What is the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice for popular European holiday destinations such as France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy?
On Friday, the UK Government announced that the quarantine-free rule for fully vaccinated Britons would not apply to those visiting France.
According to the Government, the decision was made due to concerns over the number of cases of the Beta variant, originally detected in South Africa, now in France.
In an update, the FCDO explains: “The amber list rules for fully UK vaccinated people do not apply to France.
“If you have been in France in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the standard amber list rules.
“This means you must quarantine for 10 days on arrival in England and take day two and day eight COVID-19 tests.
“You will need to book these tests in advance.
“When you complete your passenger locator form you must choose ‘No / Prefer not to say’ when asked if you are exempt from the requirement to quarantine and take a day eight test.
“This is under the section of the form titled ‘Your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status’.”
France has also put in place its own entry requirements for UK arrivals.
As the UK is currently on France’s ‘amber list’, unvaccinated Britons will only be permitted to travel for essential reasons.
The FCDO states: “Travellers who are not fully vaccinated will need to self-isolate for 7 days after arrival, then take another PCR test following this period of self-isolation.”
However, those who are fully vaccinated are permitted to travel to France and do not need to self-isolate on arrival.
“From 18 July, fully vaccinated adults no longer need to present evidence of a negative test result before travel,” adds the FCDO.
All of Spain is now on the amber list after the Government decided to move the Balearics from the green list.
Fully vaccinated travellers can now travel to the UK without quarantine restrictions but must follow the Government’s pre-and post-departure testing rules.
Meanwhile, Spain has stated UK arrivals must be able to provide either a negative COVID-19 test, or show evidence they are fully vaccinated.
The FCDO states that Spain will accept PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR tests.
These must have been taken “within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain”.
Vaccination must have been completed at least 14 days before travel.
The FCDO adds: “Spain will accept the UK’s solutions to demonstrate your COVID vaccination status. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.”
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Portugal is on the amber list, which means fully vaccinated travellers can side-step quarantine when landing in the UK.
However, in Portugal quarantine measures remain in place for unvaccinated arrivals.
Arrivals must also be able to prove they have taken a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel.
“If you have travelled from the UK to mainland Portugal, you must quarantine for 14 days in the place you are staying or at a place indicated by the Portuguese health authority, unless you can show you have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel,” explains the FCDO.
“Children under 18 are exempt from quarantine if they are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult.”
Greece is on the amber list, and therefore double-jabbed travellers do not need to quarantine on arrival into the UK.
The FCDO warns: “Anyone travelling to Greece must comply with the Greek authorities’ requirements, including completion of a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before you travel.”
Arrivals from the UK must be able to provide either proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, or proof of two vaccines received at least 14 days before travel.
“Travellers with proof of either are exempted from the need to self-isolate on arrival to Greece,” states the FCDO.
Greece will also accept proof of recovery from COVID-19 for entry.
“While the NHS does not provide proof of recovery records, evidence of a positive COVID-19 PCR test result taken between 30 to 180 days of your travel dates can be used,” explains the FCDO.
In addition, arrivals may be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival. If this test is positive, travellers will have to self-isolate in a quarantine hotel provided by Greek authorities. This expense will be covered by the Greek state.
While Italy is on the UK’s amber list, quarantine measures remain for UK arrivals hoping to visit the country.
The FCDO explains: “From 21 June to 30 July, on arrival in Italy travellers who have been in the UK in the previous 14 days must present a negative molecular or antigen test taken in the 48 hours preceding entry into Italy and fill in a digital localisation form.
“They must also self-isolate for 5 days, at the end of which they must take a rapid antigenic or molecular swab test for COVID-19 and test negative for release.
“Children under the age of six, from the UK, do not need to test but are not exempt from self-isolation.”
Everyone arriving in Italy must also call the nation’s regional “COVID-19” helpline within 48 hours, to inform them of your visit.
“Travellers arriving without a negative test will need to self-isolate for 10 days and undertake a test at the end of the isolation period,” adds the FCDO.
Arrivals must also complete an online digital form to be presented to Border Police at the Italian border.
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