Latest government travel advice for popular European holiday destinations including Spain, Portugal, France, Greece and Turkey

Noble Horvath

Once again the rules and restrictions around travel in and out of the UK during the coronavirus pandemic have changed. Westminster is set to introduce regional travel corridors to low-risk areas of tourist hotspots which would have otherwise had a blanket ban. While the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) […]

Once again the rules and restrictions around travel in and out of the UK during the coronavirus pandemic have changed.

Westminster is set to introduce regional travel corridors to low-risk areas of tourist hotspots which would have otherwise had a blanket ban.

While the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British nationals against all but essential international travel, there are is an exemption list.

As the 2020 summer holiday season draws to a close, some of the most popular holiday destinations remain off this ‘safe list’, while others are subject to measures on arrival.

We’ve taken a look at the current rules and restrictions in place at some of the most popular holiday destinations with British travellers. Each have their own regulations in place as each battles the global pandemic.

It’s a fast-moving situation, and advice is constantly changing.

But at the time of publishing, this is the latest advice from the UK government about travelling to Brit’s favourite summer holiday destinations.

Spain



a group of people sitting at a crowded beach: More holiday's have been cancelled


© Getty Images
More holiday’s have been cancelled

Holidays in Spain are still off, with the FCO advising against all but essential travel to both the mainland and the Spanish islands. This advice extends to resorts on the mainland, Balearic Islands and Canary Islands.

This is due to an increase in case numbers in the regions of Catalonia, Aragon, Pais Vasco and Navarro have reported a substantial increase in case numbers.

Anyone returning to the UK from Spain you will need to provide journey details and self-isolate for 14-days immediately on arrival – whether or not they have symptoms.

However those heading out to Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate, but they will be subject to temperature checks and health screening. Arrivals will also have to provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with mandatory contact information and any history of exposure to COVID-19 48 hours prior to travel.

Travellers are warned if they are over there, they should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect against Covid-19, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.

Portugal



a group of people on a beach: Albufeira Beach, Algarve


© Getty Images
Albufeira Beach, Algarve

Portugal, including Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores, is exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel if you live in England.

However rules are different for those living in Scotland or Wales. Those coming back to Wales from mainland Portugal will have to self-isolate. While those returning to Scotland from mainland Portugal or the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores will be subject to quarantine.

Those going out to mainland Portugal will be subject to health screening on arrival, while those travelling to Madeira, Porto Santo or the Azores, you must take a COVID-19 test before travel or on arrival.

Subject to the rules on social distancing and hygiene, most shops and services, restaurants, cultural venues, leisure parks and sports facilities are open.

Beaches are subject to measures on capacity and social distancing. Drinking alcohol in public places, except for pavement cafés and restaurants, is banned. Restaurants close at 1am; last orders are at midnight.

France



a clock tower in the middle of a road with Eiffel Tower in the background: The French government has indicated 'reciprocal' measures will be introduced


© AP
The French government has indicated ‘reciprocal’ measures will be introduced

The FCO advises against all-but-essential travel and anyone returning to the UK from the country must self-isolate for 14 days.

Visitors to France have to complete a declaration that they are not suffering from coronavirus.

Wearing face masks in enclosed public spaces is compulsory applying to those aged 11 and over. Local authorities in an increasing number of cities and regions – including Paris – have extended this to also include outdoor public spaces.

Failure to comply with these restrictions may result in a fine.

Masks are also mandatory on all forms of public transport.

Turkey



a group of people swimming in a body of water: Kaputas beach, Turkey


© Getty Images
Kaputas beach, Turkey

Turkey remains on the travel corridor list and is therefore exempt from quarantine measures for arrivals from the country.

However those planning on going out to Turkey will be subject to a medical evaluation upon arrival – and anyone displaying symptoms will be required to take a coronavirus swab test.

It is also required to complete a passenger locator form prior to arriving in Turkey.

When over there, it is mandatory that everyone over the age of two wears a face mask in public, and those that leave home without a face covering could be fined 900TL – or £94. People are required to wear a mask anywhere they are likely to encounter crowds – from places of business, museums and attractions to outdoor sites like beaches and parks.

In some parts of the country, laws are even stricter and you’ll have to wear a mask at all times outside your home so be sure to check the rules before you travel.

Greece



an island in the middle of a body of water: Santorini


© Getty Images/Flickr RF
Santorini

If you live in England, the Greek islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos (also known as Zante) lose their quarantine-exemptions on September 9. Anyone arriving back into the country after 4am will have to self-isolate for two weeks. Those returning from mainland Greece or any of the regions not listed are not subject to these restrictions.

There is different guidance for travellers returning to Wales or Scotland. If you are returning to Scotland from anywhere in Greece, you will need to self-isolate on your return.

If you’re returning to Wales from the islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos (Zante), Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos and Crete you are required to self isolate for 14 days.

However the government is not advising to cut any trip short and to return as normal.

If you do travel there, you’ll have to complete a Passenger Locator Form at least 24 hours before travel. Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a €500 fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.

The FCO advises that travellers to Greece may be required to take a test for coronavirus (COVID-19) as part of health screening on arrival and may be asked to undergo a period of self-isolation pending test results.

Visitors to Greece must also wear facemasks inside public places such as retail shops, food stores, hair salons, bakeries, offices and banks. It is also compulsory for them to be worn at supermarkets,on public transport, as well as during lifts, and taxis.

Those found breaking the rules face a fine of €150.

Local restrictions are in place on Lesvos island, Mykonos island, the Halkidiki peninsula and the Chania and Heraklion regions of Crete including nighttime curfews on food and catering establishments, and a ban on gatherings of more than nine people at one time. There is also mandatory use of face masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces.

Cyprus

If you do head out to Cyprus, there is no need to quarantine for 14 days on your return to the UK.

However there are a couple of requirements once you arrive out in Cyprus.

As of 1 August 2020, the UK is in Cyprus’ Category B. This means that tourists are permitted to travel there, but they need to provide a negative test on arrival, which has to be obtained within 72 hours ahead of travel.

The test result can be shown in the form of an email or SMS text message, but the result or confirmation of appointment must include the date and time when the test was taken.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance also states that travellers must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before travelling, which can be found online. Here, you have to upload your Covid-19 test result within 24 hours of your departure.

On top of this, passengers also need to take with them hard or electronic copies of the required documents.

The use of masks is compulsory in most indoor public spaces including supermarkets, bakeries, shops and malls, hospitals and other locations listed on the Cyprus government Information Office website. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in a €300 fine.

Malta



a small boat in a harbor next to a body of water: A view of the harbour in Sliema, Malta.


© Getty Images/iStockphoto
A view of the harbour in Sliema, Malta.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to Malta. Anyone returning to the UK from Malta will need to self-isolate for 14-days.

Those travelling into Malta from the UK will not be required to self-isolate but will be subject to temperature checks and random testing.

While in Malta, passengers on public transport, including the Gozo ferry and clients of commercial entities must wear face masks.

Museums and tourist sites, shops, gyms, hairdressers, swimming pools, restaurants and bars have re-opened but with restrictions on the number of customers allowed entry, a requirement to wear a mask and an ability to maintain social distancing.

Croatia



a large brick building with Dubrovnik in the background: Dubrovnik old town


© AP
Dubrovnik old town

While lockdown restrictions have largely been lifted in Croatia, the FCO is advising against all-but-essential travel to the country.

Anyone returning to the UK from Croatia will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period.

While in Croatia, it is mandatory for passengers to wear masks on public transport, taxis, shops and other commercial premises.

There have been reports of a number of coronavirus cases associated with visits to nightclubs. those in the country should exercise caution and follow social distancing rules when attending nightclubs or other busy venues.

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