Holidays: Italy, France, Belgium and Gibraltar restrictions – FCDO updates travel advice

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Holidays are no longer as simple as picking where in the world you want to go and buying a plane ticket. The coronavirus pandemic has taken a sledgehammer to global travel. Holidaymakers face a raft of restrictions whenever they jet away.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) regularly updates Britons on international changes.

The FCDO’s latest updates are for Italy, France, Belgium and Gibraltar.

A number of rules have changed in these destinations.

This is the latest travel advice.


Italy’s FCDO update concerns the wearing of face masks in public.

“The use of masks is mandatory in enclosed public spaces,” stated the FCDO.

“Some regions have also introduced mandatory wearing of masks in outdoor public spaces.

“You should pay close attention to signage when travelling and carry a mask with you at all times. For more information, check with the website for the region you are visiting.”


There has been a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases in France during recent weeks.

“The French Government has introduced a tiered alert system to indicate where COVID-19 is circulating actively,” stated the FCDO.

“These are i) alert zones; ii) high alert zones; and iii) critical alert zones.

“Many of France’s largest cities fall into one of these categories. Restrictions include the partial or total closure of bars and a limit on the number of people allowed to gather in public.

“To find out more about local restrictions, please refer to the French government website as well as local guidance.”


The Belgian Government has introduced a traffic light system of high, medium and low-risk regions.

“Travellers entering Belgium from high risk (red) regions will be required to take a test and to self-isolate for seven days, provided you take a test on day five and that test result is negative for COVID-19,” explained the Foreign Office.

“If you test positive for COVID-19 on day five, you will have to remain in self-isolation for a further seven days.

“You should check the map on the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (in English) for the latest information on affected regions. Check the map frequently, including both before and during your travel, as the zones are updated regularly.”


Gibraltar is toughening its stance when it comes to face masks.

“It is a legal requirement to wear masks in all enclosed indoor spaces which are open to the public – this includes retail shops, takeaways and hair and beauty salons,” detailed the FCDO.

The authority added: “You must wear a mask in bars, cafes and restaurants except when seated at a table eating or drinking, and masks must be worn in gyms except when exercising,”

“Those failing to wear a mask are subject to a fixed penalty notice of £100.”

Entry restrictions are also in place. “All travellers must complete an online contact tracing passenger locator form and inform the authorities if you have been in a ‘relevant area’ (does not include the UK) in the 14 days before your arrival in Gibraltar.

“All arrivals from ‘relevant areas’ must self-isolate for five days, and be swabbed on Day one and five of arrival into Gibraltar.”

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