International travel was slowly reintroduced to holidaymakers in the UK from May 17, when countries across the world were categorised by a travel traffic light system.
Countries were placed into green, amber or red, with specific testing and quarantine rules for each category.
However, that has now been simplified even further, with travel restrictions lifted to most destinations, with a select few remaining as ‘red list’ countries.
Confirming that travel restrictions were to ease, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the decision will allow people to ‘exercise personal responsibility.
‘These updates make travel abroad easier – boosting trade, tourism and reuniting friends and families.’
‘I am delighted that the safe reopening of travel allows people to exercise personal responsibility and visit more destinations across the globe’ she added.
With the half-term holiday approaching, what does this mean for holidaymakers currently hoping for a break in Spain?
Do I need a Covid test to fly to Spain? Entry requirements explained
Everyone aged 12 or over arriving in Spain from the UK must present either:
- A negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travelling
- Proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel
The NHS Covid Pass can be used as evidence of vaccination status if you are travelling from England or Wales.
If you live in Scotland you can download a QR code or request an NHS letter. There is a similar Covid certificate for Northern Ireland residents.
To go to Spain, you must also complete a health control form no more than 48 hours before travelling to Spain by air or sea.
Travel experts told Metro.co.uk that despite the simplified travel rules, the challenge holidaymakers going abroad face is staying on top of changing guidelines and permissible travel zones so that you don’t lose bookings of non-refundable deposits on flights and accommodation should a country’s status change.
‘Travel insurance companies are getting very strict in terms of people claiming a lack of knowledge as their excuse for a refund when their permission to travel to a country changed.
‘Remember, if you do have to quarantine on your return the costs of the 11-day isolation in a hotel will need to be added to the cost of your holiday and your time out from work!’
Will I need to quarantine on arrival in Spain?
There is currently no requirement for travellers from the UK to self isolate upon arrival in Spain.
Upon entering Spain, you need to show a pre-travel declaration form and proof of vaccination at least 14 days prior to arrival, with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organisation.
If you are not fully vaccinated you will need to show evidence of a negative test taken within 72 hours of travelling.
This applies to all travellers to Spain from the UK, with the exception of children under the age of 12.
What are the Covid rules in Spain?
Across Spain, rules still in place include the need to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces (and crowded outdoor spaces), maintaining a social distance of 1.5m and adhering to any specific safety measures put in place in hotels, bars, shops or restaurants.
Individual Spanish regions may impose their own restrictions, such as overnight curfews, limits on gatherings or on the number of people allowed at beaches or other public areas.
You should check with local and regional authorities ahead of travel and keep an eye on Spain’s entry requirements, detailed on the FCO website.
What do I need to do when returning to UK from Spain?
Currently, anyone fully vaccinated travelling into the UK must take a Covid test on or before day two of their arrival.
Anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated travelling into the UK must:
- Quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
- Take a pre-booked COVID-19 test on or before day two and on or after day eight if quarantine
From October 24, fully vaccinated people coming into England will no longer have to take a PCR test two days after arrival.
Instead, they’ll be able to take a cheaper and simpler lateral flow test.
PCR tests cost upwards of £50 per passenger – more than twice the price of many lateral flow tests.
This change only applies to England (correct at the time of publishing).
Scotland and Northern Ireland have indicated that they may follow England in regards to PCR testing, but Wales has said it has concerns.
Travel: Countries on the red list
There are currently seven countries on the red list, following an update on October 11.
- Dominican Republic