Irish tourists are seeing hopes of a summer holiday abroad starting to fade as the vaccine rollout continues to hit roadblocks.
But there is a path to visiting European countries through the EU Commission’s new Digital Green Certificate for vaccinated citizens.
And Spain has already committed to implementing the scheme as soon as possible, with Alfredo Gonzales, the Spanish General Secretary of Digital Health, saying the system should be operating in the next two months.
He explained: “It will allow for more people to arrive in a safer manner and facilitate the mobility of people in the European Union, guarantee public health protection and permit social and economic activity to resume free of charge.”
He added that the certificate will not be mandatory, but that it will allow hassle-free travel for European citizens.
However while non-essential travel abroad remains illegal for Irish people looking to return here, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said that this “may change” later this summer.
Here is the latest Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice for some of the most popular holiday destinations for Irish tourists:
Due to the very active circulation of COVID-19 and particularly of new variants, the French Government are advising against all non-essential travel until further notice.
A negative RT-PCR test taken less than 72 hours prior to departure is required for all those aged 11+ arriving in France.
Checks will be carried out upon boarding, and arrival, and passengers without a negative RT-PCR test will not be permitted to board. The French Government strongly recommends that anyone travelling to France from countries in the European Space (EU Member States, Andorra, Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway San Marino and Switzerland), self-isolate for 7 days upon arrival, and take a second RT-PCR test at the end of this self-isolation period.
Different measures apply for border workers and road transporters. All those travelling to France must complete and carry the correct Sworn Statement for International Travel, based on their country of departure.
All passengers arriving in Spain (mainland as well as Canary and Balearic Islands) from Ireland must:
- Present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival
- Submit a completed Locator Form. This form can be completed on-line via the Spain Travel Health website or app.
Spain has adopted the EU traffic light approach and, guided by ECDC data, maintains a list of high-risk countries. Spain classifies as high-risk those countries or regions that are red or grey on the ECDC map. This list is reviewed every fortnight.
As Ireland is included on this list of high-risk countries, passengers are required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test.
Anyone intending to travel to Spain is advised to confirm the conditions and restrictions that are in place with their tour operator, airline and accommodation provider before travel.
From 31 March 2021 to 6 April 2021 inclusive, all people travelling to Italy from EU member states, Schengen countries, Andorra and the Principality of Monaco are required to quarantine for five days on arrival, and then take a COVID-19 test, in addition to completing a self-declaration form before travel. This form, and further information on quarantine procedures, including a small number of limited exceptions, can be found here . Travel to Italy from San Marino and the Vatican City remains without limitations.
The government of each Italian region may impose restrictions on travellers from certain foreign countries or territories. All those intending to travel to Italy are advised to check whether any new provisions have been introduced by the authorities in their region of destination, either by directly contacting the local authorities or checking out their respective websites.
For passengers travelling from countries other than those mentioned above, entry into Italy depends on where you are coming from and the reason for travel.
Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions, with the exception of passengers coming from – or having stayed, in the 14 days prior to arrival – in a country that is classified as “high risk” of COVID-19 infection.
Passengers arriving from “high risk” countries will be required to provide a negative molecular test result (PCR) for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece.
An updated list of countries and territories for which a negative PCR test is required upon entry is available at https://travel.gov.gr
There are special measures in place in Greece to try to contain COVID-19. In particular, all passengers arriving into Greece from any place of origin must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) online at least 24 hours before entering the country. Failure to complete the PLF is an offence, and you will not be permitted to enter Greece without it.