Heathrow and Gatwick: Latest Covid travel rules for Spain, France and Italy as Portugal eases restrictions

There’s finally some good news for Brits who may be hoping to plan a quick getaway somewhere warm and sunny over Valentine’s Day weekend. Portugal has announced that it will relax some travel restrictions for international arrivals in the country.

On Thursday, the Portuguese government announced it would remove the requirement for travelers to present a negative PCR test result provided they have demonstrated proof of vaccination from a recognized authority. The government has not said when this new rule will be implemented, but the current travel restrictions are due to expire on February 9.

The announcement comes a month after the Portuguese government began relaxing national Covid rules and allowing schools and nightclubs to reopen, and removing the need to test negative before visiting a medical facility.

With 90% of its population vaccinated, the country now has very few Covid-related deaths and hospitalizations, although infection rates are still quite high.

READ MORE: Latest Covid travel rules for Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Singapore

Lisbon could be your ideal Valentine’s weekend getaway, but don’t forget to check before you travel

But what is happening in the rest of Europe, including Spain, France and Italy, where Britons are hoping to vacation this summer?

We have reviewed the latest travel restrictions for these countries as they stand, but anyone considering a visit to these countries should always check before booking as the rules are constantly being updated.


All travelers to Spain, including children under 12, must complete an online health screening form before traveling. This can be done on paper or online. You will then receive a QR code to present at entry points.

If you are traveling from the UK for tourist purposes, you must prove that you are fully vaccinated, with the last dose of the vaccine given at least 14 days and no more than 270 days before your arrival. Evidence of recovery from Covid will not be accepted.

Fully vaccinated travelers from the UK will not have to show proof of a negative PCR test before travel. Unvaccinated British tourists will not be allowed to enter Spain. Children under 12 do not need to show proof of vaccination.

If you want to see the sights in Spain you will need to be fully vaccinated

Upon arrival, you may be subject to temperature screening and other health tests, including PCR tests within the first 48 hours of entering the country. Failure to meet the requirements if you come from a ‘risky country’, a list updated every seven days, can result in a €3,000 fine. If you do not meet the entry requirements, you could also be turned away by border authorities.

If you are a Spanish citizen, Spanish resident, EU citizen or family member accompanying an EU citizen (including UK citizens and other non-EU citizens traveling with family members of EU), you may be exempt from the above rules. entry provided you can provide a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of arrival, a negative antigen test result taken within 24 hours of arrival, or a medical certificate stating that you have recovered from Covid within the past six months. This includes tourist trips.

Those looking to travel from the Spanish mainland to the Balearic Islands may need to show a negative Covid test result depending on the region of Spain they are traveling from. Authorities in the Canary Islands may also ask to see a negative test result, regardless of which region you are from.


All vaccinated travelers over the age of 12 wishing to enter France from the UK must show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 48 hours of departure. The last dose of your vaccine must have been administered at least seven days before your arrival for you to be considered fully vaccinated.

If you are over 18 and your last dose was over 9 months ago without a booster, you will be considered unvaccinated. Unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12 will be required to provide a negative test result and self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival and be subject to police checks.

Unvaccinated children under 12 will be treated as if they are vaccinated if they enter the country with a vaccinated adult. Unvaccinated minors between the ages of 12 and 17 will be treated as unvaccinated adults.

France welcomes British tourists

Arrivals must also sign a “declaration on honour” attesting that they have not been in contact with a person who tested positive in the 14 days prior to their arrival as well as an EU-PLF form before boarding. Arriving travelers may also have to take another test on entry and face 10 days of self-isolation if they test positive.

If travel to France is absolutely essential and you are not vaccinated, you can identify the reason for your trip on an international travel form available on the French government website.


Travelers from the UK to Italy who can show proof of recovery and/or vaccination will be allowed to enter the country without having to self-isolate provided you have received a negative PCR test result in 48 hours prior to travel, or a negative lateral flow test result within 24 hours. British travelers to Sicily will be subject to a rapid lateral flow test upon arrival.

You could enjoy the sunset over the rooftops of Rome this spring

The last dose of your vaccine must have been administered within 180 days of travel to be considered vaccinated. Unvaccinated travelers must complete a passenger locator form to obtain a QR code which will be shown to their travel provider and border police and self-isolate for five days.

Unvaccinated children under 17 will not need to self-isolate if accompanied by a vaccinated adult, but those over six will need to show a negative test result.

If you are transiting Italy for less than 36 hours in a private vehicle, or traveling for work, health, or absolute necessity for less than 120 hours, you may be exempt.

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