Here are the latest Covid rules and restrictions in Greece, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy if you are planning a holiday

JETTING off on a holiday has become a lot easier.

By Freddie Webb
Monday, 18th October 2021, 4:49 pm

The rules from returning to the UK have been relaxed – with holidaymakers no longer requiring a lateral flow to return to the country and then a day two PCR test as well.

It has been simplified to taking a lateral flow test after you arrive.

If you are planning on taking advantage of the relaxing of the rules and are considering jetting off to catch the sun, you might be wondering what exactly are the travel rules in any potential destination.

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Are you thinking about jetting off to popular spots like the Algarve. Picture: Ludovic MARIN/AFP/Getty Images

Some places have tighter Covid-19 safety measures than others, which tourists need to know before arriving.

These include mask-wearing rules, Covid passes and regional travel restrictions.

Here are the travel guidelines for Greece, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy.


To enter Greece, you will need a completed Passenger Locator Form, and present a QR code upon arrival.

You also need proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from Covid, a negative PCR test within the last three days or a negative rapid test within the last two days.

You can use the NHS Covid Pass as proof of vaccination or Covid recovery, as long as it is 14 days since you were fully vaccinated.

This pass is needed for travelling cross-country around Greece on planes, trains and buses.

If you’re unvaccinated, you will need to present a negative rapid antigen test from the last 48 hours.

Proof of vaccination is also needed to enter indoor public spaces such as restaurants, museums, nightclubs, and theatres.

This applies to closed public spaces such as restaurants, nightclubs, bars, cinemas, theatres, museums, and archaeological sites.

If you’re unvaccinated, you will need to present a negative rapid test from the last 48 hours, but certain venues can refuse entry to unvaccinated guests.

At present, it is mandatory to wear a mask in all indoor public places and public transport in Greece.

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Restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs are operating at 85 per cent capacity, and only serving seated customers at 10 people per table.

Archaeological sites and museums are also at reduced capacity.

Travelling in taxis is limited to three people in seven seater vehicles, or to four people nine seater cars, if you are not all part of the same family.


Fully vaccinated travellers need to provide proof of vaccination and complete a ‘sworn statement’ before holidaying in France.

Tourists from England and Wales can use the NHS Covid pass as proof of vaccination.

As the UK is on the French amber list, children aged 12 or over who are not fully vaccinated – even if they’re travelling with fully vaccinated adults – have to present a negative PCR test.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated can only enter the country for essential reasons.

They will need to complete a certificate of international travel, self-isolate for seven days after arriving and then take a PCR test.

Masks are not required in all outdoor public spaces, but there are some exceptions.

If you’re in large gatherings, queues, markets, and stadiums, you’ll need to wear one.

Masks are also compulsory for everyone aged 11 and over on public transport, and in taxis without a screen

To attend events and cultural landmarks which have 50 or more people, and leisure facilities such as bars, restaurants, museums and cinemas, you will need to use ‘pass sanitaire’ or health pass.

This is also required on public transport including planes and trains.

To get a ‘pass sanitaire,’ UK travellers can use the NHS Covid pass if they are fully vaccinated and it has been more at least 14 days since their second jab.

You can use a downloadable PDF file, an NHS letter physical document or a QR code from the NHS app as proof of vaccination,

Alternatively, you can provide a negative PCR within the last two days, or a document proving you’ve recovered from Covid within the last 11 days.

This applies to everyone aged 12 and over.

You can also connect and save your NHS QR code to France’s ‘TousAntiCovid’ app, which is recommended by the French government.


Tourists aged 12 and over have to present a negative PCR test within the last three days, or proof that you’ve been fully vaccination at least 14 days prior, before arriving in Spain.

The NHS Covid pass can be used as proof of vaccination when arriving from England or Wales.

You also have to complete a health control form two days before travelling.

When exploring Spain, everyone aged six or over needs to wear a face mask on all forms of public transport and at stations.

This also applies to indoor spaces with no household mixing and enclosed public spaces such as shops, restaurants, hotels and hospitals.

Social distancing measures are in place where you have to stay 1.5 metres apart at all times.

Masks are only compulsory outdoors when you cannot socially distance, such as concerts and crowded streets.

These face mask rules may vary between regions, so it’s advised that you refer to information from local authorities before travelling.

Hotels, bars, shops and restaurants will have specific safety measures in place and you’ll have to follow them.

Authorities in different Spanish regions also have the power to impose overnight curfews, limits on gatherings, limiting different household mixing inside private homes at any time.


To enter mainland Portugal you can use the NHS Covid pass – physical or digital – as proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated.

Evidence of Covid recovery between 11 and 180 days or a negative PCR test within the last 14 days can also be used.

Some airlines require a negative test before entering, so checking beforehand is advised.

You must also complete an online passenger locater card before travelling.

If you can’t provide proof of vaccination, you need to provide a negative antigen test within the last two days, or a negative PCR test from the last three days, before landing.

All tourists are health screened when arriving in Portugal.

If you show Covid symptoms or have a temperature over 38 degrees, you have to take a test at the airport and wait until you get your result.

No matter where you are, social distancing measures are in place at all times.

You will have to keep to a 1.5 metre distance and wear a face covering where you can’t.

Masks have to be worn by everyone aged 10 and over in mainland Portugal and The Azores, or aged 6 and over in Madeira.

You’re also required to wear a face covering indoors in places such as shopping centres, supermarkets, hospitals, cinemas, theatres, concerts and other events.

Everyone over the age of 12 needs to present an EU digital COVID certificate, or show negative test results to enter bars, nightclubs and large events.

These can be a negative PCR test within the last three days, a negative antigen test within the last two days, or a negative rapid test within 24 hours.

There are a few more restrictions to keep in mind.

Bars and restaurants have a 2am curfew, and most cultural facilities are at 75 per cent capacity.

Travel restrictions on islands such as The Azores and Madeira and Porto Santo may vary.

More information can be found on the Visit Portugal website.


Holidaymakers require a ‘green pass’ to enter and travel around the country.

This provides proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19, and is needed by everyone aged 12 or over.

You also need to fill in a passenger locater form so you can show a QR code to border police when you arrive in Italy, and provide a negative PCR or antigen test within two days of arriving.

Paper copies of the passenger locater form can be completed as an alternative.

If you’re unvaccinated, or can’t show you’re fully vaccinated, then you will have to self-isolate for five days, after notifying the local health authorities.

A green pass is also needed to move between regions on flights, trains, ferries or coaches.

It is also required to enter bars, restaurants, museums, places of culture, cinemas, theatres, concerts and sporting events.

The NHS Covid pass can be used as proof of vaccination as long as it has to have a verifiable digital QR code.

You can also obtain a 48-hour green pass if you present a negative rapid Covid test from a local pharmacy.

Regions have been colour coded by the Italian government based on their health risks.

The colours are white, yellow, orange and red, ranging from minimum to maximum risk.

You will need a green pass to travel between orange and red zones.

Yellow zones, with reduced health concerns, have mandatory mask wearing rules.

Anyone aged six and over has to wear a mask in all outdoor spaces where you cannot socially distance and indoors, regardless of the coloured zone you are in.

Bars, pubs and restaurants will have a sign indicating a maximum capacity, and some museums and exhibits have to be booked one day in advance to enter.

There are still limited capacities in shops, cinemas, theatres and at competitive group sport events.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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