Spain, Italy, Germany and France: Latest UK Foreign Office advice for travel

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Though holidays have been on hold for some time, the end of the current lockdown on December 2 and the reintroduction of the tier system means that some Britons may be eyeing travel once again. Whether it is to visit family over the Christmas holidays, or for essential reasons such as work-related commitments, many travellers may be destined for Europe.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is continually updating its advice in line with global developments.

This takes into account the coronavirus situation is various countries, as well as each nation’s individual entry requirements.

Spain, France, Italy and Germany are amongst some of the most popular destinations in Europe for Britons.

Here is the most up-to-date FCDO travel advice for each country:

Spain

Spain is a much-loved year-round holiday destination, however, currently the FCDO is advising against “all but essential travel” to the sunshine hotspot.

According to the FCDO: “The FCDO advises 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.”

Currently, there is a travel corridor set up between the Canary Islands meaning Britons returning from Spain no longer need to self-isolate.

However, the nation has recently implemented new entry requirements.

“On arrival, travellers entering Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate. However, from 23 November, all passengers (including children) travelling to Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries, as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control will be required to present a negative PCR test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, in order to enter the country,” explains the FCDO.

“The UK is currently on the ‘risk’ countries list and passengers arriving from the UK are therefore subject to this requirement.”

Travellers are warned not to use the NHS testing service to obtain a test in order to facilitate travel to another country. Private tests are recommended.

Britons will also be subject to three entry requirements on arrival including filling out an online Health Control Form 48 hours prior to arrival, a temperature check and a visual health assessment.

“Travellers to the Canary Islands will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test when checking-in to regulated tourist accommodation,” adds the FCDO.

There are also a number of strict coronavirus rules currently in place across Spain and the Canary Islands which visitors must follow.

These include rules on wearing face masks in public places, new curfews on bars and restaurants, and providing information to the nation’s track and trace service.

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Italy

Due to the assessment of COVID-19 risk, the FCDO is advising against all non-essential travel to Italy at the time of writing.

Arrivals entering in the UK from Italy will be subject to 14-days of mandatory self-isolation.

Italy also has its own strict entry requirements in place for UK arrivals.

The FCDO explains: “When you arrive in Italy from the UK, you must show evidence that you tested negative for COVID within the 72 hours before your travel.”

The NHS services should not be used for testing in order to facilitate travel.

“Alternatively, you can get a free test on arrival at some airports, or at a testing facility in Italy shortly after you arrive. If you test positive in Italy, you will be required to quarantine,” adds the FCDO.

“Your quarantine may last from 10 days to three weeks, so you should be prepared in case you test positive.”

Britons visiting Italy are advised to follow the advice of local authorities.

Masks must be worn in certain social environments, a nightly curfew is currently in place, and restaurants are limited to groups of four.

France

A national lockdown is currently in place in France due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The FCDO is currently advising against all non-essential travel to the country.

Arrivals into the UK from France also face 14-days of quarantine.

For those who need to travel to France for essential purposes, the FCDO has issued updated entry requirements as set out by the French government.

“Arrivals by sea and air routes will need to complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight,” explains the FCDO.

“Although there is no restriction on travel from the UK and most European countries, travel from most non-European countries is subject to entry restrictions.”

Within France, citizens must stay at home except for a short list of vital reasons.

Britons in France must follow the national rules.

This includes the use of an attestation (or self-certificate) when you do go out. A full list of reasons for leaving home and the required documents are available on the Ministry of Interior website, and through France’s digital app ‘Tous anti-Covid.’

Germany

The FCDO is currently against all but essential travel to the whole of Germany based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Britons will also face quarantine both on their entry into Germany and upon their return back to the UK.

As the UK is currently classified as a “high risk” country, arrivals into Germany must fill out a form prior to travel and then quarantine for ten days at their accommodation.

“After five days it is possible to secure release from quarantine with a negative test,” explains the FCDO.

“There are some exemptions from the quarantine requirement, including for frontier workers and individuals deemed to be providing essential activities.

“Precise rules are set by the federal states, so please consult the provisions applicable in the place where you are staying.”

There are currently specific rules set out in Germany in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

From November 2, limitations on social contact have been in place.

These include limiting household mixing, the closure of certain “non-essential services”, and a ban on hotel stays for tourism.

Face masks are also mandatory in many public spaces.

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