Heathrow and Gatwick: Recent travel advice for Italy, France, Spain and Germany as Covid cases increase

If you are planning a winter trip, it is worth checking the current travel rules for the coronavirus.

Although the restrictions have been reduced in the few months, there are still plenty of guidelines to follow and each country has its own set of rules on arrival.

It is also important to remember that cases of coronavirus are increasing in height throughout Europe – Austria has even gone into complete lockdown.

READ MORE: London Covid: Britain’s chances of Christmas lockdown as Europe’s Covid case increases

Make sure you check the current travel rules and check with your airline before you travel so that you are fully prepared.

The Foreign Ministry’s travel advice below will cover you for Italy, France, Spain and Germany.


Dome-shaped roofs over Santa Maria di Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracol in Rome

Italy will accept UK evidence of covid-19 recovery and vaccination record equivalent to a green passport.

If you are traveling from the UK and can show that you are fully vaccinated, you can travel into Italy without having to isolate yourself if you also:

  • fill in Passenger Location Form (EU PLF) before entering Italy to get a QR code to show to your travel provider and border police. You can request a paper form if you do not have an electronic device

  • show signs of a negative PCR or antigen test, taken within 48 hours before entering Italy

If you are not vaccinated, to enter Italy from the UK you must:

  • fill in Passenger Location Form (EU PLF) to get a QR code to show to your travel provider and border police. You can request a paper form if you do not have an electronic device

  • show signs of a negative PCR or antigen test, taken within 48 hours before entering Italy

  • notify the local health department’s prevention department of your entry into Italy. Looks Covid-19 regional toll-free numbers for contact details of local Italian health authorities

  • travel to your final destination in Italy by private transport only

  • remain in self-isolation for 5 days

  • take another PCR or antigen test at the end of the 5 days of self-isolation

Children under the age of 18 do not need to be quarantined if they travel with a fully vaccinated parent and (for those over 6 years of age) have a negative PCR or antigen test.

Children under the age of 6 are exempt from testing.

Exemptions from testing may apply if you travel in Italy in a private vehicle for less than 36 hours or travel for proven reasons for work, health or absolute necessity, for less than 120 hours. Check The Ministry of Health’s website (in English). You still need to fill out a form to find passengers.

You can read more about the requirement to get a COVID-19 test on The Italian Embassy in London’s update page for covid-19 .


A lovely view of Paris

The UK is currently on the French amber list, which means that entry requirements are different depending on whether you are fully vaccinated or not.

Unvaccinated (or not fully vaccinated) arrivals to France from the United Kingdom will only be allowed to travel for essential reasons.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must have an important reason to travel from France to a country on France’s amber list.

Those who are not fully vaccinated must also present the following documents:

  • a completed international travel certificate to confirm their essential reason for the trip. In exceptional circumstances, the French Consulate in London may be able to assist with travel for a significant reason not included in the international travel certificate;

  • a completed “sworn statement” (declaration sur l’honneur) stating that they do not suffer from symptoms associated with coronavirus and that they have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the last two weeks, and that they will isolate themselves for seven days after arrival. This is available on the French Government’s website here ;

  • Arrivals from the UK who are 12 years or older must present proof of a negative test (PCR or antigen) taken within 24 hours of departure (departure of the first flight on connecting flights). Self-administered tests are not accepted. Arrivals from most other amber countries will need proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or an antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure.

Travelers who are not fully vaccinated will need to isolate themselves for seven days after arrival and then take a new PCR test after this period of self-isolation.

Since November 1, adults traveling from the UK to France with Eurostar who are not fully vaccinated have been asked to take a Covid-19 test on arrival at Gare du Nord.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be subject to mandatory self-isolation for 10 days.

Children 12 years of age or older who are not fully vaccinated and who are traveling with a fully vaccinated adult must present a negative test result (PCR or antigen).

However, they do not have to state a significant reason for traveling, nor do they have to isolate themselves on arrival.

Children aged 12 or over who are unvaccinated and traveling alone are covered by the same conditions for adults who are not fully vaccinated.

However, children who are 11 years or younger do not have to show a negative test result to travel.

Travelers who are fully vaccinated do not need a substantial reason to travel to France and do not need to isolate themselves on arrival.

Fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to show evidence of a negative test result before the trip.

Fully vaccinated travelers must present the following documents:

  • a completed “sworn statement” (declaration sur l’honneur) self-certifying that they are not suffering from coronavirus-associated symptoms and that they have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the last two weeks. This is available on the French Government’s website

  • proof of vaccination status


Valencia has so much to offer and has a lively cultural and food scene

The Spanish Government requires that all arrivals to Spain from the United Kingdom (excluding children under 12 years of age) present one of the following upon entry:

  • documentation certifying that you have completed a Covid-19 nucleic acid amplification test (eg PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR) within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain and tested negative. Antigen tests can only be used in certain limited circumstances;


  • proof of complete vaccination (with both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) at least 14 days before arrival in Spain (date / date of vaccination must be indicated), with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organization.

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All passengers (including children under the age of 12) traveling by air or sea must complete and sign an online health check form no later than 48 hours before the trip.

Spain will accept Britain’s covid-19 vaccination record. If you are traveling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must be from November 1 to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully.

It is important to note that your NHS meeting card from the vaccination center is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to show your vaccine status.

A recovery certificate – which is a medical document certifying that you have recovered from Covid-19 during the last six months before your trip – is not currently accepted for arrivals from the UK.


Germany has some amazing views like this one over Freiburg im Breisgau

Germany are currently in the middle of a “dramatic” fourth wave of Covid and may soon follow Austria as they face a lockdown.

The instructions below are correct at the time of writing but can be changed at short notice, so check before you travel.

The UK is designated as a “high prevalence area” which means you can enter Germany from the UK for all travel purposes if you are fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 may enter Germany without a negative test as long as they travel with at least one fully vaccinated parent.

These children are not required to provide any kind of proof but must be quarantined on arrival.

For them, the quarantine automatically ends five days after entry.

All travelers entering Germany from the UK must complete digital registration before departure, regardless of vaccination status.

For those who are eligible to enter Germany and who are not fully vaccinated, travel from the UK is generally subject to a 10-day quarantine with testing and release available after five days.

Both individuals who can prove recovery from the virus and those who have been fully vaccinated are exempt from quarantine requirements.

For exception lists, visit here .

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