When can I visit America? The Holiday Guru answers YOUR questions

When can I visit the U.S and what paperwork is needed for a ferry trip to Spain? The Holiday Guru answers readers’ Covid travel questions

The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions. 

This weeks issues tackled include the reopening of U.S borders to UK residents – and the travel rules for Spain, Germany and France. 

Q. Can you tell me whether there is any update on negotiations between the UK and U.S. to allow UK holidaymakers to visit?

Paul White, via email.

Vibrant: New York’s famous Times Square, which is currently off-limits to UK tourists

A. The current ban on UK citizens entering the U.S. is unlikely to be lifted before the end of the summer. This is mainly owing to American concerns about the Delta variant of Covid in the UK. Some industry figures, including Robin Hayes, the chief executive of the U.S. budget airline JetBlue, believe the ban could be in place for at least another two or three months.

Q. My wife and I, aged 70, are travelling to Spain by ferry at the end of August. How and when do we need to obtain the necessary form to get there? We are both double vaccinated.

Joe and Jean Byrne, via email.

A. You will need to complete a Spanish government form within 48 hours of your departure. The internet link is: spthm.puertos.es. After completing the form you will be sent a ‘QR’ (Quick Response) code, like a barcode, which you can either print out or keep on your smartphone to use at the border.

As you are fully vaccinated, you will not need to provide proof of a negative Covid test, but you will need evidence of your jabs through the NHS app.

Q. We wish to travel to Freiburg, in Germany, for an 80th birthday party in September. We fly via Basel airport, which is officially called EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. While Basel is in Switzerland, Mulhouse in France and Freiburg in Germany, the airport is technically in French territory.

We usually exit via the French gate of the airport, as this is the most convenient route to the autobahn leading to Freiburg.

So should we follow French Covid rules?

M. Briggs, via email.

A. This is complicated. Follow the French rules to start with, and then the German rules for entering Germany. Regulations for both can be found at gov.uk under the each country’s entry requirements page. There is more information at euroairport.com. 

The Guru answers a question from a reader who plans to travel to Freiburg in Germany

Q. We are due to fly to Germany on August 20 for a week to visit relatives. Germany is currently on the green list, but we still need to take a Covid test in Germany up to 72 hours before our return and a PCR test in the UK by day two, which would be Sunday, August 29.

However, we are due to fly to Spain on August 29 for three weeks to visit our new apartment. Is there any point in taking a PCR test, given that we are flying out of the country that day?

Kevin Cheal, via email.

A. You still need to follow the official procedure to enter the UK from Germany, as daft as that may sound. There are no special rules in this case.

Q. My wife and I are going to the South of France next week for a fortnight. I understand that, as we are fully vaccinated, we do not need to take any tests before entering France. But what tests are required for our return? Our local pharmacist says we don’t need any. Is this correct?

James King, via email.

The Guru clears up confusion over the rules for travelling to and from the South of France 

A. Your pharmacist is incorrect. You will need to take a lateral flow test (or ‘antigen’ test) 72 hours before returning and have proof of this to show your airline or ferry company. You will also need to complete a Passenger Locator Form to show at the UK border.

Within two days of your return, you must take a PCR Covid test. Your PCR test booking number will be required on your Passenger Locator Form. For more details, visit gov.uk/provide-journey- contact-details-before-travel-uk. 


If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email us at [email protected].

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