Individual countries have their own covid entry requirements that are separate to the UK's traffic light system
The UK Government has determined it's own regulation with regard to international travel. This is set out in the country traffic light system which was introduced in May. This is a constantly changing list that includes rules for entering the UK after travelling from these areas.
However, most countries will also have their own requirements for entry and just because a particular destination is on the green list, doesn't mean it's easy to travel there or if you can travel at all. Confused? Well that may be the situation for a few weeks to come until enough of the world is vaccinated and international travel returns to normal.
At the time of writing, popular holiday destinations Spain, Portugal and Greece are on the UK amber list of countries. But what are the countries themselves asking visitors to do to allow entry? Being on the amber list means if you visit those countries you will have to take a covid test 72 hours before you return and on day 2 after arriving back. If you've had 2 doses of vaccine then you won't have to self-isolate providing the tests are negative.
Here is a summary of rules when visiting these countries.
If you travel to Spain you must present a negative covid test that's has been completed 72 hours before departing, or proof of being fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks before travel. This applies to everyone over the age of 12.
You must also complete a health control form. This must be completed online and is slightly different depending on whether your travel is by air or sea ferry. Full details and access to the online form can be found on the Spain Travel Health website.
If you are travelling across the border from France then you must have proof of a negative covid test, proof of vaccination or covid recovery.
There are different covid regulations in place depending on which area you visit. Most places require a face covering in enclosed public spaces and social distancing of 1.5 metres. Some attractions and accommodation providers may also ask for proof of vaccination or a negative test but this is required to travel anyway so would not create any more difficulties.
More information on covid rules across Spain can be found on the Visit Spain website.
If you travel to Portugal, you must also present a negative covid test that's has been completed 72 hours before departing, or proof of full vaccination at least 2 weeks before travel. If you can't provide this proof you must quarantine for 2 weeks. Children aged 12-17 must also provide a negative test result. Children under 12 are exempt.
All passengers over 12 must also complete a passenger locator form online. This can be completed 4 days before arriving in Portugal. The form can be found on this Visit Portugal page.
If you do have to travel to the country and have to quarantine, you can find all the relevant details and forms on the Portuguese border control website.
Social distancing of 2m is in place and you must wear a face covering in all enclosed spaces and outdoors where social distancing is not possible.
Some areas have reduced opening hours for restaurants and cafes and public transport is running at two thirds of normal capacity.
Attractions and cultural facilities are running at 50% capacity and taxis are only permitted to carry 2 people and must be seated in the back.
Alcohol can only be served after 9pm with a meal and many beaches have a one way system.
All accommodation has to have a covid plan. Information on this and other Portuguese covid measures can be found on this Visit Portugal covid-19 measures page.
Similar rules apply for Greece. UK tourists are welcome in Greece but before travelling you must provide one of the following:
These rules apply to all travellers over the age of 12. If any passengers on your flight or ferry journey test positive while in the country you may be asked to self-isolate.
Before travelling to Greece you must complete a passenger locator form online. This will generate a QR code which can be scanned on arrival. The details and form can be found on the official Greek Government travel page.
You must wear a face covering in all indoor public and communal spaces, including work places and on public transport.
Some Greek islands require proof of vaccination and/or negative test before travel from the mainland.
In some areas restaurants and tourist attractions may be operating at reduced capacity.
We are bombarded on a daily basis from the media about ever changing covid rules, regulations and official advice. When it comes down to it, at the end of July it's not as difficult as you may be led to believe to travel to a lot of popular destinations abroad. Yes, there is more faff around forms and in particular testing. But on the whole if you have been fully vaccinated you can quite easily enjoy a week in the sun-drenched Algarve or Spanish Costas.
The covid measures in place in amber and green destinations amount to no more in most cases than you would find if you visited Cornwall, The Lake district or the Scottish Highlands. So go on, book yourself that well earned summer holiday. And don't forget, before you travel check out the best euro exchange rates.