Portugal has opened its borders to flights from the UK from today – but Brits must still wait to travel on foreign holidays until the Government gives the go ahead.
The earliest non-essential foreign travel can resume for residents of the UK will be May 17 – a date that will need to be confirmed by the Government based on a number of factors in the weeks ahead.
If coronavirus rates continue to be suppressed, a traffic light system for foreign travel is set to be introduced to establish where is safest in the world to fly to from the UK.
Countries will be placed on a green, amber or red list which will determine the quarantine and tests you must follow on your return.
But what about the destinations themselves? What are the requirements for popular holiday spots like Portugal, Turkey and Spain?
We’ve taken a look at the current plans they’ve laid out for the summer, including whether you’ll need a Covid-19 vaccination or negative test result in order to be allowed to visit.
Check out the lists for European destinations and long-haul hotspots below, listed alphabetically. While each country has its own rules for entry, it’s important to note that it is illegal for non-essential travel from the UK until May 17 at the earliest.
The country has already reopened its borders to tourists. Anyone travelling will need to show provide proof of either a full Covid vaccination, a negative PCR test result, a negative antigen test or confirmation of recovery from Covid-19 within 180 days. You’ll also need to show confirmation of booked accommodation, and need to fill out an online form before you travel.
UK travellers who have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine will be welcomed from May 1 without needing to take tests or self-isolate.
France is allowing UK visitors to enter if they have had a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours before departure. However, they must currently self-isolate for seven days on arrival, before taking another test. No date has been confirmed for when measures will be eased.
Currently Gibraltar hasn’t reopened to tourists. Only registered Gibraltarians, residents of Gibraltar, Spanish nationals and residents in transit to Spain, and those working in Gibraltar can travel. However, its current rules mean that anyone arriving must show a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival, or take fast test at Gibraltar Airport.
The country is aiming to reopen to foreign tourists from May 14. Visitors will be required to have been vaccinated or to have a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before travel. Tourists could also be subject to random Covid testing.
Iceland has already reopened its borders to tourists and when the UK’s restrictions lift, it will welcome back those vaccinated against Covid-19. Those who can provide proof of prior infection will also be exempt from existing quarantine rules.
Fully vaccinated UK travellers will be welcomed from June 1.
In fact, Malta is offering to pay tourists to visit for summer holidays. As an incentive to boost tourism to the country, their government has announced a scheme where travellers will get up to £87 when they book to stay at a hotel for at least three nights in June.
Portugal is looking to reopen to Brits from May 17, the earliest date that foreign travel could resume in the UK and has announced that its flight ban will lift from April 17. It is likely that holidaymakers will be able to enter without restrictions if they show evidence that they have been vaccinated, have coronavirus antibodies or have received a recent negative test.
The country has said it wants to reopen its borders “as soon as possible”, but has not confirmed how or when UK holidaymakers will be welcomed. It is considering the use of vaccine passports from May.
Turkey expects to welcome UK holidaymakers this summer even if they have not been vaccinated or taken a recent test. It’s worth noting that the Turkish authorities are due to assess this plan in mid-April.
Anguilla will welcome holidaymakers back with no entry application fees or quarantine from July 1, provided they have been fully vaccinated against Covid. All visitors will still need to produce a negative result from test taken 3-5 days prior to entry.
From May 8 Barbados will be reducing quarantine time for vaccinated tourists to up to two days. Unvaccinated tourists will need to quarantine for five days, and then take a second test in order to be released.
All travellers will still need to provide proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of travel, and book into one of the government-approved resorts for quarantine, ahead of travel. You will also need to fill out an online form.
The Maldives are open to tourists. All visitors must present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 on arrival, taken within 96 hours of travel.
The country is open for international tourists and does not require them to be tested or vaccinated.
The islands are already open to tourists – vaccinated or not – who can show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken up to 72 hours before travel.
Anyone arriving into Thailand from abroad is subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, however these rules will be waived from July 1 specifically for vaccinated tourists in Phuket. Currently there are also plans for the whole of Thailand to reopen to vaccinated travellers from October with no need for quarantine. (Although there could be restrictions in place for countries with Covid mutations).
Tourists travelling from or through the UK and arriving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. However, it’s worth noting that the UAE is currently on England’s red list meaning any Brits returning to the UK will need to stay in a quarantine hotel. There is currently a ban on direct flights between Dubai and the UK.
Currently the USA has closed its borders to Brits. Anyone who arrives in the US by air needs to quarantine for at least seven days and take a Covid test between three to five days after arrival. For travel within the US, rules differ depending on the state.
It’s worth noting that entry requirements can change quickly during the pandemic. Always check the latest Foreign Office advice before planning, booking or going on a trip.