Covid travel update as France and other countries change rules for Brits

By Kate Lally

As Omicron cases spread rapidly across the UK, dozens of countries essentially banned UK citizens from visiting them - while others introduced new rules for Brits.

Last month, the French government said it was imposing a ban on all tourists whether vaccinated or not.

People were also not allowed to visit Germany, after its government designated the UK a "virus variant area."

READ MORE: Omicron symptoms: What to look out for and when they will strike

More and more countries are closing their borders to UK tourists - with a few of these having essentially stopped all international travel.

Other countries have implemented stricter rules for those entering from the UK.

Travel rule changes

France lifted its ban on British travellers on Thursday (January 13), after an announcement from French Secretary of State, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.

The removal of restrictions means British travellers will no longer have to show evidence of a "compelling reason" for their journey.

France's decision has been welcomed by travel companies, eager to get tourists flowing across the Channel, by plane, Eurostar and ferry.

Jet2 has said its flights to France will resume from January 22, while ferry operators are said to be reporting "red hot" phone-lines.

Brits can now also enter Germany again, though only those who are fully vaccinated.

If you’re not fully vaccinated you may only enter Germany from the UK if you are a German citizen, married to or the immediate family of a German citizen, serve in an "important role", or have an "urgent need" to travel to the country.

Morocco has extended its travel ban amid Omicron fears, with no visitors allowed to enter until at least January 31.

Spain currently allows any fully vaccinated Brits to enter without having to take a test or quarantine.

If you’re fully vaccinated and travelling from the UK, you can enter Spain without needing to test or quarantine regardless of your reason for travel.

Those who are not double jabbed can't enter the country, and proof of having had Covid-19 will not change that.

As of Christmas Eve, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez introduced the wearing of face masks outdoors in a bid to contain the strain - meaning tourists visiting the country may have to mask up for most of their holidays.

However, face coverings are not compulsory during exercise, on the beach or at the pool so long as social distancing of 1.5 metres is maintained.

Do I need to take a test before or when I return?

As of January 7, people returning to the UK no longer have to take a PCR test or self-isolate on arrival.

Instead, travellers will need to take a lateral flow test no later than the end of day two, the Prime Minister said.

People will still have to test either prior to or on arrival in a number of countries, so it is worth checking the guidance from the country you are visiting before you go.

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