Spain, France, Italy & Greece: Latest travel rules for Britons – what you need to know

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Travel rules vary around the world, with different rules depending on whether or not a person is vaccinated. Since the beginning of the year, the entry requirements for Spain, France, Italy and Greece have all changed – with even more updates to come.  The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updates its travel advice pages frequently in line with changing travel rules around the world.

Here is the latest FCDO advice for Britons hoping to visit Spain, France, Italy and Greece in the coming weeks.

Spain

Spain recently made an exception for unvaccinated people hoping to enter the country.

Now, those who have tested positive for and recovered from COVID-19 in the previous six months can enter, showing valid certification.

Unvaccinated people who can not show proof of a Covid certificate are not permitted to enter Spain for tourism, though there are exceptions for children and those aged between 12 and 17.

Alternatively, arrivals must show valid proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain.

Some people may be required to show evidence of having received a booster vaccine.

The FCDO states: “If you completed your vaccination (with both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) more than 270 days prior to travel to Spain, you must be able to show proof of having received a booster jab.

“There is no requirement for 14 days to have passed between receiving your booster jab and entering Spain.

“Booster jabs can be administered at any time prior to travel to Spain.”

Travellers under the age of 12 do not need to show proof of being fully vaccinated, take a test prior to arrival, or show evidence of having recovered from COVID-19.

Travellers aged between 12 and 17 can enter Spain by presenting “documentation certifying that they have undertaken a COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test – NAAT (PCR or similar) within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain”.

Young people can also show their full vaccination or recovery certificate if relevant.

All arrivals, regardless of age or vaccination status, must complete an online Health Control Form before travelling to Spain.

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France

As of February 12, 2022, vaccinated travellers do not need to present a negative PCR or antigen test result before travelling.

Instead, fully vaccinated travellers must show evidence of their vaccine and complete a “sworn statement” self-certifying they are not suffering from COVID-19 systems and have not been around a positive case in the 14 days before travel.

In some cases, you may also be asked to complete an EU Passenger Locator form before boarding.

According to the FCDO: “France will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record at the border.”

Travellers aged 18 and over who had their full vaccine course over 9 months ago and have not since received a COVID-19 vaccine booster must follow the rules for unvaccinated passengers to enter France.

Unvaccinated travellers do not need to quarantine on arrival, but they can only enter France for “essential” reasons.

They must present a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours or an antigen test taken within 48 hours pre-departure.

A “sworn statement” and an international travel certificate to prove the “essential” reason for travel must also be completed.

This applies to all passengers over the age of 12.

Italy

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Italy no longer need to provide proof of a negative Covid test.

You can use the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record to demonstrate your vaccination record when entering Italy.

At least 14 days must have passed since your second dose of the vaccine before arrival in Italy.

The FCDO adds: “Travellers arriving from the UK can enter Italy with a primary vaccination certificate (both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a one-dose vaccine) which has a validity of 270 days from the date of the last vaccine or a recovery certificate with a validity of 180 days from the date of the first positive test.

“The primary vaccination certificate has unlimited validity in Italy for those who have had a booster dose.”

Alternatively, unvaccinated passengers can show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before entering Italy or a negative rapid lateral flow test taken within 48 hours before entering Italy.

Italy will also accept official COVID-19 recovery certificates showing a person has recovered from coronavirus in the previous six months.

The FCDO adds: “Regardless of your vaccination status, anyone arriving in Italy by air, land or by sea may be subject to random COVID testing on arrival.”

These rules apply to all travellers over the age of six.

Adult travellers will need to complete an EU Passenger Locator form, but children accompanying adults do not need a separate one.

Greece

If you arrive in Greece before or on 14 March 2022, you must complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before arriving in Greece.

From March 15 onwards, the PLF is set to be scrapped.

All passengers aged five years old and over can enter Greece either by showing proof of vaccination, a certificate of recovery from COVID-19 or a negative PCR or antigen test.

In terms of vaccination, the FCDO explains: “There must have been at least 14 days, and not more than nine months, since the completion of your primary vaccination for COVID-19.

“Booster jabs are not subject to the same time restrictions”

For those showing negative PCR results, the test must have been taken within the 72-hour period before arriving in Greece.

Alternatively, passengers can show proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory. This must be taken in the 24-hour period before arrival in Greece.

Some arrivals may be randomly selected to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival.

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