Tourism

What are the travel rules for France, the US, and other popular destinations? – BBC News

Foreign travel is possible for people in the UK once again.
However, many countries are re-introducing restrictions in response to the new Omicron variant.
There are regulations about who can enter most countries, restrictions on what you can do when you get there, and rules to follow when you return home.
These are often changing quickly, so it's important to keep checking the Foreign Office guidance and tourist information for your destination before you go.
Here are some of the key things to know about travelling to some popular destinations.
All UK visitors to Spain aged 12 and over must be able to prove they’ve been fully vaccinated (with both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a one-dose vaccine) at least 14 days before arrival. You cannot only show evidence of a negative test or proof of recovery.
Spain (like all EU countries) will accept as proof the NHS Covid Pass, Scotland’s NHS Covid Status Pass or Northern Ireland’s COVIDCert NI app – these can be presented either in digital form on a phone, or printed (as long as it’s dated after 1 November 2021).
All travellers (including children) must also submit an online Health Control Form(in English), no more than 48 hours before departure. This will generate a QR code which needs to be presented (either digitally or as a hard copy) at the Spanish border.
If you’re travelling via Gibraltar, check the latest Foreign Office travel advice.
Wherever you are in Spain, you must observe social distancing of 1.5m (5ft). Everyone aged six and over must also wear a face mask in the following places (unless they have a medical exemption):
Some regions may have additional restrictive measures, including:
You should check with local and regional authorities for more details.
The Foreign Office has specific healthcare guidance for UK nationals visiting Spain.
For more details about travelling in Spain, go to the UK Foreign Office travel advice for Spain
Everyone aged 12 and over travelling to the UK has to:
Everyone aged five and over (11 and over in Scotland) must also take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, and self-isolate until they get a negative test result.
This test needs to be bought from a private provider (the UK government has a list of these), and booked before travelling to the UK (the test provider will give you a reference number which you need to complete your passenger locator form).
Travellers to the UK who aren’t fully vaccinated have to take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight PCR test – and self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. Unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period can pay for an extra test under the Test to Release scheme.
If you are fully vaccinated you can enter France from the UK as long as you:
France (like all EU countries) accepts as proof the NHS Covid Pass, Scotland’s NHS Covid Status Pass or Northern Ireland’s COVIDCert NI app – these can be presented either in digital form on a phone, or printed (as long as it’s dated after 1 November 2021).
If you are unvaccinated, you can only enter France for essential reasons (listed here – in French).
You must also show:
You will need to self-isolate for seven days after arrival, then take another PCR test at the end of that period.
Children from the UK aged 12 years old or over who have received only one vaccination dose are not regarded as fully vaccinated under French rules.
If they are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult, they will be required to present a negative PCR or antigen test result on arrival in France. However, they do not have to give an essential reason, or self-isolate after arriving.
Children from the UK aged 12 years old or over who are travelling alone are subject to the same conditions as adults who are not fully vaccinated, including the need to self-isolate.
Children aged 11 years old or younger do not need to present a negative test result to travel to France.
Face masks are required in all enclosed public spaces.
You also need to wear a mask in some outdoor public spaces, such as queues, markets, or stadiums.
Children under 11 are not required to wear masks.
Everyone aged 12 and over needs a “pass sanitaire” to attend large events and for entry to a wide range of venues including bars, restaurants, museums, or to use some types of public transport including planes and long-distance trains.
To qualify for a pass sanitaire you must have either:
You can get a pass sanitaire by presenting the QR code from your NHS Covid app if you come from England or Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland or by using a downloadable PDF certificate which is dated after 1 November 2021.
You can also generate a pass sanitaire by scanning and saving the QR code from your NHS Covid Pass or equivalent, into France’s “TousAntiCovid” app.
From 15 December, people aged 65 and over, who were vaccinated more than six months ago, will have to demonstrate that they have received a Covid booster jab in order to access the pass sanitaire. The NHS Covid Pass now records booster vaccines for users in England and Wales. The Scottish app will show a record of the booster from early December, and Northern Ireland’s is expected to follow in January 2022.
All nightclubs will be closed in France from Friday 10 December for four weeks in response to concerns over the Omicron variant.
From 15 January 2022, people aged 18-64 who have been fully vaccinated for more than seven months will also need to demonstrate they have received an approved Covid-19 booster injection to access the “pass sanitaire”.
For more details about travelling in France, go to the UK Foreign Office travel advice.
Everyone aged 12 and over travelling to the UK has to:
Everyone aged five and over (11 and over in Scotland) must also take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, and self-isolate until they get a negative test result.
This test needs to be bought from a private provider (the UK government has a list of these), and booked before travelling to the UK (the test provider will give you a reference number which you need to complete your passenger locator form).
Travellers to the UK who aren’t fully vaccinated have to take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight PCR test – and self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. Unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period can pay for an extra test under the Test to Release scheme.
If you are not fully vaccinated and travelling from France to the UK, you will have to complete a Certificate of International Travel before your departure.
You can travel to Italy from the UK without having to self-isolate, as long as you can prove you are fully vaccinated.
Italy (like all EU countries) accepts as proof the NHS Covid Pass, Scotland’s NHS Covid Status Pass or Northern Ireland’s COVIDCert NI app – these can be presented either in digital form on a phone, or printed (as long as it’s dated after 1 November 2021).
You must also:
If you are not fully vaccinated, you must also:
– notify the local health authority in the area where you are staying
Children under 18 do not have to self-isolate if they travel with a fully vaccinated adult and have a negative PCR or LFT/antigen test. Children aged five or under do not have to test.
The Italian embassy in London has more information – or you can consult the Italian Government’s online questionnaire (both in English).
If you are 12 or older, you will need a “green pass” to access many public spaces. The pass is also required to travel on most public transport between regions.
Until at least 15 January, a Super Green Pass will also be needed to access most hospitality and leisure facilities. This certifies full vaccination or recovery from Covid. People aged 12 and over will not be able to obtain this pass on the basis of a negative test. Children under the age of 12 are exempt.
If you have been fully vaccinated, the QR code from your NHS Covid Pass, NHS Covid Status Pass or Covidcert NI Pass will qualify as a green pass or super green pass. You can also present a paper version, as long as it is dated after 1 November 2021.
If you have not been vaccinated, you can obtain a temporary (48-hour) green pass by testing negative with a rapid Covid test available from local pharmacies and test centres. The test provider will print the test results and email you a code. You will need these to access a government website which will generate the temporary green pass.
Under-18s in the UK who have only received one dose of vaccine are not considered fully vaccinated, and they also have to obtain a 48-hour green pass by means of a negative Covid test.
You have to wear a face covering in all indoor public spaces, and outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible. Children under the age of six do not need to wear a mask.
Social distancing of 1m (3ft) must be observed, and gatherings should be avoided.
Museums and exhibits should be pre-booked at least one day in advance, and there is limited attendance at sports matches.
For more details about travelling in Italy go to the UK Foreign Office travel advice for Italy
Italy’s official tourism website also has useful information
To board a flight to the UK, all travellers aged 12 or over must be able to show a green pass. If you are unvaccinated, you must obtain a temporary green pass no earlier than 48 hours before your flight, by testing negative for Covid and filling in a government form (as described above).
Everyone aged 12 and over travelling to the UK has to:
Everyone aged five and over (11 and over in Scotland) must also take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, and self-isolate until they get a negative test result.
This test needs to be bought from a private provider (the UK government has a list of these), and booked before travelling to the UK (the test provider will give you a reference number which you need to complete your passenger locator form).
Travellers to the UK who aren’t fully vaccinated have to take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight PCR test – and self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. Unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period can pay for an extra test under the Test to Release scheme.
If you have been fully vaccinated:
If you have not been fully vaccinated, you cannot travel to the US, although exceptions are granted, for instance for children under 18 (the CDC has more details here). If you qualify as an exception, you will need to:
Children under the age of 18 who are not fully vaccinated do not have to self-isolate when they enter the US, but they must take a test 3-5 days after arrival (they should self-isolate if any symptoms develop or if they test positive).
It is now possible to travel to every state in the US if you are fully vaccinated.
Rules on social distancing and face coverings vary: check the relevant state government website before you arrive. Rules can also vary within individual states.
You need to wear a mask on airplanes, trains, buses and at airports, train stations and bus stations wherever you are in the US.
For more details about travelling in the US go to the UK Foreign Office travel advice for US
There is also more information on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website
Everyone aged 12 and over travelling to the UK has to:
Everyone aged five and over (11 and over in Scotland) must also take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, and self-isolate until they get a negative test result.
This test needs to be bought from a private provider (the UK government has a list of these), and booked before travelling to the UK (the test provider will give you a reference number which you need to complete your passenger locator form).
Travellers to the UK who aren’t fully vaccinated have to take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight PCR test – and self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. Unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period can pay for an extra test under the Test to Release scheme.
All travellers to Ireland must fill in an online passenger locator form before departure. It will be checked by air or sea carriers before departure and failure to complete it is an offence.
If you are travelling from England, Scotland or Wales, and you are 12 or over, you must show a negative Covid test result.
If you have proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid, you may show either a negative LFT/antigen test carried out no more than 48 hours before arrival in Ireland (not self-administered), or a negative PCR test which was carried out no more than 72 hours before arrival.
If you have not been vaccinated, and have not recently recovered from Covid, you will need to show evidence of a negative PCR test result, taken within 72 hours prior to arrival into the country.
Ireland (like all EU countries) accepts the NHS Covid Pass as proof of vaccination and/or recovery from Covid, along with Scotland’s NHS Covid Status Pass or Northern Ireland’s COVIDCert NI app – these can be presented either in digital form on a phone, or printed (as long as it’s dated after 1 November 2021).
There is no currently no Covid quarantine requirement in Ireland (unless you have been in a “scheduled state” in the last 10 days.
Children aged 11 and under do not need to take a PCR test before arriving in Ireland. Some adults are also exempt – more details can be found on the Irish government website.
If you are travelling to Ireland from Northern Ireland, you do not need to complete a passenger locator form, or provide any proof of vaccination, recovery status or negative tests as long as you have not visited any other countries in the last 14 days.
For more details about travelling in Ireland go to the UK Foreign Office travel advice for Ireland
Face coverings are compulsory for over-13s in shops, banks and post offices, in taxis, in bus and rail stations, and on public transport. The Irish government website has more details.
To gain entry to restaurants and pubs, you must show proof of vaccination or recovery. The NHS Covid Pass and other UK equivalents are accepted, but you may be asked for extra proof – for instance, photo id.
Children under 18 do not need proof of vaccination or recovery if they are with an adult, but they may be asked for proof of age.Children who are alone must show proof of vaccination or immunity.
Pubs, restaurants and licenced venues currently close at midnight. You must wear a face covering when not seated at your table, and at least one member of your group (which must not number more than 10 people) must give contact details to the venue.
Nightclubs and live entertainment venues must also close at midnight. You must wear a face covering when you are not drinking, eating or dancing, and tickets must be bought in advance at least one hour before arrival.
Cinema and theatres also require proof of vaccination or immunity.
If you’re travelling to the UK from Ireland, you do not need to complete a passenger locator form or take any Covid test either before departure or on arrival.
This is because Ireland is – along with the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man – part of the UK’s Common Travel Area.
You would only need to follow extra steps if you had arrived in Ireland from another country in the 10 days before flying to the UK.
You must complete a passenger locator form before travelling, which will give you a QR code.
Everyone aged 12 or over must also provide one of the following:
Greece (like all EU countries) accepts the NHS Covid Pass as proof of vaccination and/or recovery from Covid, along with Scotland’s NHS Covid Status Pass or Northern Ireland’s COVIDCert NI app – these can be presented either in digital form on a phone, or printed (as long as it’s dated after 1 November 2021).
You may have to take a rapid Covid test on arrival in Greece, with quarantine in a hotel for at least 10 days if positive.
You may also have to self-isolate if other passengers on your flight or ferry test positive.
Everyone over the age of five must wear a face mask in all indoor public spaces, crowded outdoor spaces, and on public transport.
Proof of vaccination is required to enter public spaces such as shops, restaurants (indoor and outdoor) and museums. You should be prepared to demonstrate your proof of vaccination when asked. The NHS Covid Pass and other UK equivalents are accepted.
If you have not been fully vaccinated or do not have proof of recovery from Covid-19:
From 13 December, if you are 60 years old or over and more than seven months have passed since your second vaccination dose and you have not received a booster, Greece considers your vaccination status expired. This does not affect you entering the country, but you will be classed as unvaccinated in public spaces and venues.
Unvaccinated children (between the ages of four and 18) also need to test negative to enter public spaces such as shops, restaurants (indoor and outdoor) and museums.
If you are travelling to any Greek island (apart from Lefkada, Evia and Salamina) you will need to show one of the following:
Some restrictions vary from region to region – you may need to check local guidance(in English).
For more details about travelling in Greece go to the UK Foreign Office travel advice for Greece
Everyone aged 12 and over travelling to the UK has to:
Everyone aged five and over (11 and over in Scotland) must also take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, and self-isolate until they get a negative test result.
This test needs to be bought from a private provider (the UK government has a list of these), and booked before travelling to the UK (the test provider will give you a reference number which you need to complete your passenger locator form).
Travellers to the UK who aren’t fully vaccinated have to take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight PCR test – and self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. Unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period can pay for an extra test under the Test to Release scheme.
Germany is currently introducing stricter curbs on anyone who has not been vaccinated, in response to rising cases of Covid.
If you can prove you have been fully vaccinated, you are allowed to travel from the UK to Germany for any reason, and without having to self-isolate on arrival.
Germany (like all EU countries) accepts the NHS Covid Pass as proof of vaccination and/or recovery from Covid, along with Scotland’s NHS Covid Status Pass or Northern Ireland’s COVIDCert NI app – these can be presented either in digital form on a phone, or printed (as long as it’s dated after 1 November 2021).
If you have not been fully vaccinated, you may only enter Germany from the UK if:
You will have to self-isolate for 10 days in these circumstances (test and release is available after five days).
More detail can be found on the Federal Interior Ministry website(in English). The decision on whether to allow entry will be at the discretion of border guards.
Unvaccinated children under 12  are allowed to enter Germany without a negative test as long as they travel with at least one fully vaccinated parent. They are not require to take any test, but they must self-isolate for five days on arrival.
All UK travellers to Germany must fill in pre-departure digital registration, regardless of their vaccination status.
People aged six or over must wear a medical-grade (FFP2) mask on public transport and in retail outlets.
You are also asked to maintain a 1.5m (5ft) social distance wherever possible in public.
Germany will accept the UK’s proof of Covid-19 recovery and vaccination record. If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must be dated after 1 November to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully, if domestic certification is required.
Entry to restaurants, cultural venues and non-essential shops is now governed nationwide by Germany’s “2G” rule. This means you must be able to prove you have either:
Unvaccinated people are currently limited to meetings with their own household and two other people.
Some Christmas markets, including those in Berlin and Munich, have been cancelled for 2021 although in other cities, such as Cologne, they are still going ahead.
More details on how these restrictions might affect your journey can be found on the German Tourist Board’s website.
For more details about travelling in Germany go to the UK Foreign Office travel advice for Germany
Everyone aged 12 and over travelling to the UK has to:
Everyone aged five and over (11 and over in Scotland) must also take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, and self-isolate until they get a negative test result.
This test needs to be bought from a private provider (the UK government has a list of these), and booked before travelling to the UK (the test provider will give you a reference number which you need to complete your passenger locator form).
Travellers to the UK who aren’t fully vaccinated have to take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight PCR test – and self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. Unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period can pay for an extra test under the Test to Release scheme.
You might also find this table useful. It shows Covid case numbers and vaccine doses by country.
When comparing figures from different countries, it's important to bear in mind that not all governments record coronavirus cases and deaths in the same way. You should also consider the population size of each nation.
Your device may not support this visualisation
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