France state

Travel rules in Spain, Greece, France, Portugal for British tourists


The easing of some travel restrictions means many families can take advantage of traveling overseas for next week’s mid-term vacation.

Since early October, the requirements in Wales for a pre-departure test have changed.

You no longer need to take a pre-departure test before arriving in Wales if you are fully vaccinated and have not been in a Red List country for the 10 days prior to arrival.

Read more:All the latest coronavirus news here.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must have proof of a negative coronavirus test to travel to Wales.

Fully vaccinated people arriving in England from countries not on the Red List can take a cheaper and faster lateral flow test rather than the PCR version from October 24, it was announced.

The change to the second day after arrival test will come into effect for those returning from a mid-term holiday, with the Welsh government still considering whether to introduce the same changes in Wales. More details are here.

A PCR testing ‘travel test package’ must be booked prior to your return to Wales. The test kit you need when you arrive depends on your immunization status and the country or countries you visited before arriving in Wales.

  • Arrivals non-red countries if you are fully vaccinated, 1 test.
  • Non-Red country arrivals if you are not fully vaccinated, 2 tests.
  • All arrivals in Red List countries, regardless of their vaccination status, will need to book 2 tests as part of their managed quarantine package.

All travelers aged five and over must book a test package. You will need to show proof of your booked tests before boarding.

If you arrive in Wales without proof of a test booking you could be fined £ 2,000.

You will need to take a COVID-19 test on day 2 after arriving in Wales. The day of your arrival will be considered as day zero. This test is designed to help identify any potentially dangerous variant of Covid-19 as soon as possible. If you receive a negative test result, you will not have to isolate yourself.

Here are the rules in the most popular countries in Europe and what happens if you have symptoms of coronavirus while on vacation:


The national state of emergency was lifted on May 9, 2021, but some restrictions and curfews remain in place and may vary from region to region.

The use of face coverings continues to be compulsory for anyone over the age of six in all public transport in Spain in any enclosed space open to the public and outdoors where a social distance of 1.5 meters cannot. be respected.

The rules are that you must wear them:

  • In any enclosed space open to the public (e.g. shops, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, etc.)
  • In any interior space where people who are not from the same household mix
  • In any outdoor space where it is not possible to observe a 1.5m social distancing (e.g. crowded streets, concerts, public events, etc.)
  • On all forms of public transport, including planes, trains, trams, buses and the metro, as well as all transport stations, platforms and airports.

Regional governments retain legal powers to relax or tighten restrictions in their region if deemed necessary to control the spread of the virus, so it’s best to check the rules of the place you are visiting before traveling.

The specific rules on the use of face masks may vary from region to region. You should refer to local authorities for specific information on face covering requirements and exceptions where you are.

Penalties may be imposed if you do not comply.

If you think you have any symptoms, including fever or difficulty breathing such as shortness of breath or cough, you should stay in your accommodation and call your regional hotline. Most of the regional hotlines listed have English speaking staff.

If you are staying at a hotel or resort, your host may have a list of private doctors they can call to assess your symptoms and perform a Covid-19 test.

If your test is positive, you may need to enter a quarantine hotel. The UK government will not cover mandatory quarantine fees for UK nationals.


At present, it is compulsory to wear a mask in all indoor public places, in all regions of Greece.

As restrictions may vary, you should check the latest local guidelines.

  • Proof of vaccination is required to enter indoor public spaces such as restaurants and museums. You should be prepared to show proof of vaccination when asked.
  • You must use a face mask in all indoor public and communal spaces, including workplaces and on public transport;
  • Small numbers are in place for churches and religious services;
  • Unless all passengers are members of the same family, a maximum of three people are allowed to travel in a taxi or other private vehicle up to seven seats, or four people in a private vehicle up to nine seats.

If you are traveling by ferry, you will need to complete a health questionnaire and give it to the ferry operator before boarding. The necessary forms will be provided by the operator. Temperature checks can also be carried out before boarding.

If you think you have any symptoms, including fever or difficulty breathing such as shortness of breath or cough, you should avoid visiting local health facilities, but contact a doctor remotely to see if a test is recommended. . There will likely be a cost associated with this, for the appeal, exam and tests, which you will need to pay.

If you are staying at a hotel or resort, your host will have a list of private doctors that they will call to assess your symptoms and perform a test.

If you test positive for Covid-19 while in Greece, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test result. If you are symptomatic, you should continue to isolate yourself until you have had no symptoms for three days. At the end of this period, you will need to take an antigen test. If the result is positive, you must do another test 48 hours later. You can end your self-isolation once you have a negative test result.

You may be able to self-isolate in your current accommodation, or the Greek authorities will ask you to self-isolate in a state-provided quarantine hotel. Accommodation costs in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state. Local authorities will be able to provide additional guidance on self-isolation requirements.

If you don’t self-isolate or quarantine yourself when necessary, you can be fined by the Hellenic Police. The fine could be up to € 5,000. You must comply with any self-isolation or quarantine requirements.


Face masks are mandatory in all enclosed public spaces. It is no longer mandatory to wear a mask in all outdoor public spaces, with a few exceptions, including gatherings, queues, markets and stadiums.

Wearing a mask on public transport is compulsory for all users aged 11 and over, with fines for those who do not comply. The mask is also mandatory in taxis and private rental vehicles without a plexiglass screen.

Some travel operators such as airlines may specify types of masks to wear on board, such as surgical masks, and may encourage you to take spare parts for long journeys.

Certain modes of transport, such as country trains, will require passengers to demonstrate their Covid-19 status via the “sanitary pass”. You can find more information on how to access it from the French government.

People vaccinated in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can prove their vaccination status by presenting the QR code of the relevant NHS portal or by using the downloadable PDF certificate. You can also choose to scan and save your NHS QR code in the “TousAntiCovid” application from France.

Non-European vaccinated tourists can request a QR code for home use from the French government if they are traveling to France. To be eligible, you will need to provide the following supporting documents by email:

  • A vaccination certificate
  • A valid passport
  • Round trip tickets
  • A completed application form

Documents can be provided in PDF, JPG or PNG form, and sent to [email protected] The subject of the e-mail must be: COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE / LAST NAME First name / Date of arrival in France in DD-MM-21 format.

You will receive a QR code by email once the request is processed, which can then be submitted on paper or electronically.

Since June 20, there is no longer a curfew throughout France and there are no internal movement restrictions.

People participating in events and cultural spaces of more than 50 people will have to prove their status through the pass. From September 30, children aged 12 to 17 will also need it.

The French government advises people with possible symptoms of coronavirus to call 112. You should not go directly to the doctor or emergency services.


Social distancing and other security measures are still in effect and must be observed at all times:

  • Keep a social distance of 1.5 meters
  • Use a face mask in enclosed public spaces and outdoors where a social distance of 1.5m cannot be maintained
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly and use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • follow all security measures put in place by hotels, restaurants, bars and shops to reduce the risk of infection

You must present an EU digital Covid certificate to attend major cultural, sporting and corporate events and at the entrance to bars and nightclubs

If you do not have an EU digital COVID certificate, you can present a negative COVID test result, obtained by any of the following means:

  • Certified PCR test performed within 72 hours
  • Certified antigen test performed within 48 hours
  • Rapid antigen self-test performed within 24 hours and certified by a healthcare or pharmaceutical professional

If you need emergency medical assistance, call 112 and request an ambulance.

If you don’t feel well, but it’s not an emergency, call:

  • Continental Portugal: (+351) 808 24 24 24, press 9 for English
  • Madeira and Porto Santo: (+351) 800 24 24 20
  • Azores: (+ 351) 808 24 60 24

The COVID-19 test is carried out free of charge if you are referred by a doctor from the Portuguese National Health Service.

If you need a COVID-19 test to travel, you should make arrangements to take a private test.

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