Spain, Portugal, Greece & Italy FCDO updates as Government warns against amber list travel

Travel: Lisa Nandy calls for ‘more robust approach’

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From the Prime Minister to MPs, a number of Government officials have spoken out recently against Britons jetting off on holiday to “amber” list countries. Despite the warning against non-essential travel and the requirement to quarantine upon return home, a number of European countries are now allowing Britons to visit for leisure purposes.

PM Boris Johnson previously warned: “I think it’s very important for people to grasp what an ‘amber’ list country is: it is not somewhere where you should be going on holiday, let me be very clear about that.”

Meanwhile, speaking to Sky News on Monday, Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Lisa Nandy said the travel regulations have led to “confusion”.

She said: “We have had confusion and mixed messages and I can not see that will serve us well.”

What is the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice for Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy?

Spain

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.”

The nation remains on the UK’s “amber” list, meaning travellers returning from Spain must quarantine for 10 days as well as taking three separate pre- and post-departure tests.

Despite this, as of Monday, May 24, Spain has allowed Britons to enter the country with no restrictions.

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

“However, 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.

“In some parts of Spain, a negative test is required when checking into tourist accommodation.

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

“Quarantine and testing on return to the UK continues to apply.”

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Portugal

The FCDO is not currently advising against travel to Portugal, and since the nation is on the UK “green” list, travellers do not need to self-isolate upon return to the UK.

A pre-departure test before travelling home will be required though, as well as a test on day two of arrival.

Portugal has also mapped out specific testing requirements for holidaymakers.

“All passengers, excluding children up to the age of 2, travelling to or through Portugal in transit, must show a negative RT-PCR test result for SARS/COVID-19 at the time of boarding,” states 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.”

All passengers will also be subject to a health screening on arrival.

Those travelling to Madeira who have evidence of being fully vaccinated do not need to take a PCR test before travel.

Greece

Greece is currently on the “amber” list and therefore those returning to the UK will need to “self-isolate” for 10 days on arrival. They will also need to take the relevant pre-and post-departure tests as set out by the Government.

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.”

Despite this, Greece is allowing UK arrivals to enter for “non-essential” purposes.

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

“Travellers must fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) no later than 11.59pm of the day before arriving in Greece.”

It 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. 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,” adds the FCDO.

“The expenses of the accommodation in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state.”

Italy

Italy remains on the UK’s “amber” list for travel, and therefore anyone arriving into the UK from Italy must self-isolate for 10 days. They must also take three COVID-19 tests – one before their flight, one on day two of their quarantine and another on day eight.

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

However, Italy is allowing UK arrivals to enter for leisure purposes if they follow specific requirements.

The FCDO explains: “From 7 April, 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.

“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 30 July 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.”

Travellers arriving in Italy must complete a self-declaration form and call the COVID-19 helpline for the region they are travelling to within 48 hours to inform them of your visit.

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