Spain, Portugal, France, Greece & Italy: Nations welcome Britons despite amber list status

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Holiday hungry Britons were left heartbroken after the lasted traffic light system update so no new countries added to the quarantine-free green list. What’s more, Portugal, one of the only accessible European destinations, is set to go onto the Amber list on Tuesday morning.

Despite the UK Government’s warning against travel to amber list nations, some countries are already welcoming back British tourists, with others outlining plans to allow select visitors to enter.

Here are the latest travel advice updates from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for Spain, Portugal, France, Greece and Italy.

Spain

Spain is currently on the UK’s amber list for travel, meaning Britons returning from the country must self-isolate at home for 10 days. They must also undergo a pre-departure Covid test, and two upon arrival in the UK during their quarantine.

The FCDO is currently advising “against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

Despite this, Spain is welcoming back British tourists without the need for a Covid test or vaccination.

“From 24 May, entry restrictions and testing requirements for arrivals from the UK to Spain no longer apply,” explains the FCDO.

It adds: “No changes have been made to the level of FCDO travel advice for any regions of Spain.”

There are some situations in which Britons may be asked to provide evidence of a negative Covid test.

“Travellers from the UK should be prepared to present evidence of a negative test if they have travelled to a country on Spain’s list of ‘risk countries’ in the 14 days prior to travel,” explains the FCDO.

“In some parts of Spain, a negative test is required when checking into tourist accommodation or when travelling to the islands from mainland Spain.”

All passengers entering Spain will be required to complete a “pre-departure travel declaration form”.

Portugal

Portugal lost its position on the UK’s green list for travel, and from 4:00am on Tuesday, June 8, the nation will be categorised as amber.

Britons returning from the nation will then be required to quarantine for 10 days at home, as well as undergo the associated tests.

The FCDO explains: “From 4:00 am on Tuesday 8 June Portugal will move to the amber list for entering England.”

It has not yet changed its travel advisory for the country of its archipelagos.

Despite the move, Portugal maintains Britons can continue to visit for leisure purposes as long as they follow entry requirements.

“All passengers, excluding children up to the age of two, travelling to or through mainland Portugal in transit, must show a negative RT-PCR test result for SARS/COVID-19 at the time of boarding,” explains the FCDO.

“The test must have been taken within 72 hours of departure.

“Your airline is likely to deny boarding if you cannot provide this at check-in. Check with your airline before you travel.”

Upon arrival, passengers will be subject to a “health screening” which will consist of a temperature check and potentially a further COVID-19 test.

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France

France is currently on the UK’s amber list for travel meaning those arriving in the UK will need to self-isolate and undergo pre-and post-departure testing.

The FCDO currently advises “against all but essential travel to the whole of France based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

In a major u-turn from the nation, however, France has said it will welcome back fully vaccinated Britons from June 9.

Travellers must prove they have had one of the approved vaccines using the NHS app, or with an official document from the NHS.

According to France’s regulations, full vaccination must have been completed within the two weeks prior to travel.

The FCDO explains “Some rules will be changing from 9 June. You can find further information on the French Embassy website.”

The travel advice page will be updated in “due course”.

However, non-vaccinated travellers will not be eligible to enter France unless they can prove an “essential reason”.

The FCDO adds: “Arrivals from the UK who are resident in France may need to show proof of residence.

“Those who are not French residents or EU nationals will need to complete an International Travel Certificate to confirm their essential reason for travel.”

All arrivals, whether vaccinated or not, will be required to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test.

Greece

Though some experts had predicted Greece could go onto the green list, the nation and its archipelagos remain amber.

As a result, those returning from the country must self-isolate at home for 10 days and take the relevant tests.

The FCDO is currently advising “against all but essential travel to Greece, except for the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

Greece, however, is allowing Britons to visit the country if they have been vaccinated or they can provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test.

“Anyone travelling to Greece must comply with the Greek authorities’ requirements, including completion of a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before you travel,” states the FCDO.

The PLF must be filled in no later than 11:59pm of the day before arriving in Greece.

The FCDO continues: “Arrivals from the UK must provide either; proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival into Greece, or proof of two COVID-19 vaccinations completed at least 14 days before travel (see Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status). “Travellers with proof of either are exempted from the need to self-isolate on arrival to Greece.

“Failure to provide proof of either may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel and will likely result in the Greek authorities refusing you permission to enter Greece.

“In addition, arrivals into Greece may be required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival.

“If you test positive on arrival in Greece, you and those you are travelling with will have to self-isolate in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state for at least 10 days. The expenses of the accommodation in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state.”

Italy

Italy remains on the amber list which means those returning from the country will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.

The FCDO is currently advising “against all but essential travel to the whole of Italy based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

“From April 7 entry to Italy from the UK is no longer restricted to Italian residents and those with absolute necessity. However, COVID-19 measures continue to apply,” explains the FCDO.

“If you wish to fly, you must present the airline with a negative COVID-19 rapid antigenic or molecular swab test taken no more than 48 hours before travel.

“From May 16 until July 30 there is no longer a requirement to quarantine on arrival in Italy unless travellers arrive without proof of a negative test.”

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.

Before travel, visitors must complete an online digital form.

“This will generate a QR code, which should be presented to your travel provider and Border Police if requested,” explains the FCDO.

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