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Top five holiday destinations: What are the current travel rules for NI passengers?


Tenerife and the Canary Islands have now been updated to the highest level of Covid restrictions. (Stock image.)

Tenerife and the Canary Islands have now been updated to the highest level of Covid restrictions. (Stock image.)

The Trevi Fountain in Rome

The Trevi Fountain in Rome


Tenerife and the Canary Islands have now been updated to the highest level of Covid restrictions. (Stock image.)

As Northern Ireland holiday makers hope for a happier 2022 in terms of Covid restrictions, the Belfast Telegraph looks at the current travel rules for five of the most popular holiday destinations.

These include Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Greece.

As rules can change suddenly depending on the location, any passenger travelling from the UK is urged to check the Foreign Office website for the latest updates.

  • Spain

All passengers travelling to Spain from the UK, including children under the age of 12, are required to fill in an online Health Control form.

It can also be submitted by paper before boarding your flight.

Those arriving to Spanish ports or airports must then show a QR code that is issued to them after completing the form.

Fully vaccinated passengers are able to enter Spain from the UK without the need to test or quarantine.

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Tourists must show proof of their vaccinations, with exemptions allowed only in certain circumstances such as for essential travel.

Due to a rise in Covid numbers, stricter measures are now in place for the Balearic Islands which include Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.

Tenerife, part of the Canary Islands, also had restrictions increased from Monday after a surge in the virus.

The latest updates for travelling to the Spanish islands are available at the Balearic Island Tourism Board and the Canary Islands Tourism Board.

For anyone returning to Northern Ireland from outside the UK, there is no longer any need to provide proof of a negative Covid test 48 hours before departure if you are fully vaccinated.

Instead, travellers will be required to complete a passenger locator form and take a lateral flow or a PCR test on or before day two after their arrival.

If the test is positive, the traveller will be issued with a free PCR test

Those who aren’t fully vaccinated will need to show proof of a pre-departure negative test and self-isolate for 10 days after arrival.

A passenger locator form must also be completed as well as taking a PCR test on days two and eight after arrival.

  • Italy

Italy currently accepts the UK’s proof of Covid-19 recovery and vaccination record for those entering the country.

Regardless of your vaccination status, anyone entering the country may be subject to a random Covid test up to January 31.

Those who can show they are fully vaccinated can enter Italy without the need to self-isolate.

Other requirements for entry include filling out a passenger locator form as well as showing evidence of a negative PCR test 48 hours before arrival or a negative antigen test 24 hours before arrival.

Passengers who aren’t fully vaccinated must also fill out the passenger locator form and show evidence of a negative PCR test 48 hours before arrival or a negative lateral flow test taken within 24 hours before arrival.

Other requirements include notifying local health authorities of your arrival, travelling to your destination by private transport and self-isolating for five days.

After the isolation period, another lateral flow or PCR test must also be taken.

  • France

Anyone travelling to France from the UK should present a negative PCR or antigen test taken 24 hours before departure if aged 12 or over.

A 'sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form must be completed to say you are not suffering from symptoms or have had a close contact in the previous fortnight.

Those who are not fully vaccinated will need to self-isolate for 10 days, subject to police checks.

  • Portugal

Before travelling to mainland Portugal you must complete an online passenger locator card and be prepared to show a negative Covid-19 test certificate.

You may have a RT-PCR or an antigen test. Only those carried out by healthcare professionals are deemed acceptable.

Antigen tests must be completed within 48 hours of departure and RT-PCR tests within 72 hours of departure.

You should not use the NHS testing service, but instead book a recognised private test.

On arrival to Portugal, you will be temperature screened. If you show signs of being unwell you will have to take a Covid-19 test and stay at the airport until your test results are returned.

  • Greece

Anyone entering Greece will need to complete a passenger locator form, regardless of where they are travelling from.

You will also need proof of a negative Covid-19 case taken 72 hours before arrival, as well as proof of a negative antigen test taken 24 hours before arrival.

These requirements are compulsory for all travellers aged five and above.

The test provider must also be one of those approved by Greek authorities.

Those arriving may need to undergo a random Covid-19 test, if this proves to be positive you and those you are travelling with will have to self-isolate for five days.

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