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TRAVEL NEWS

UK ends Covid test requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers

The British government has from Friday brought an end to testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers, including the post-arrival Day 2 tests that travellers from Europe have previously been forced to pay for.

UK ends Covid test requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers
Photo: Sam van de Wal/AFP

Announcing the changes, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This country is open for business, people arriving no longer have to take tests if they’ve been double vaccinated.”

The new rule came into effect at 4am on Friday, February 11th.

The UK had already scrapped the requirement for pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated arrivals, so this change means that no tests at all are required for fully vaccinated arrivals. 

The Passenger Locator Form is still required, and must be completed before boarding transport to the UK, but passengers can upload proof of their vaccination status instead of a Day 2 test booking reference.

The UK does not require a booster shot in order to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated still require a pre-departure test and a Day 2 test, but will no longer have to quarantine on arrival or take a second PCR test after arriving.

Under 18s do not require any tests. 

Member comments

  1. The EU has completely ignored how well England and devolved nations have fared whilst removing restrictions. While in Germany could not imagine granting freedoms back to the people. And despite numbers the overloards are adamant its either worse or about to get worse.

  2. Looks like this text part is from previous regulation version, so should be amended.

    “However it is still mandatory to pay a private company for a Day 2 test, which is taken on or before the second day or your stay in the UK. Under current rules the Day 2 test can be an antigen test rather than the more expensive PCR tests, and arrivals do not have to quarantine while awaiting the results.”

    1. The new rules don’t come into force until Feb 11 so the article is stating what is currently in force.

    2. This will be scrapped from feb 11th or 12th for all vaccinated people.
      Unvaccinated are still required to book day 2 and day 8 tests. And isolation for 10 days. To be shortened to 5 with the purchase of an extra test.and entry into a government scheme.

      1. The UK also added that it will be scaling down travel restrictions for unvaccinated arrivals. From February 11, 2022, those who are not fully vaccinated, will only need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before the second day after they arrive in the United Kingdom, and fill out the PLF. Only those testing positive will have to self isolate.

  3. But then here in Germany I think you have to consider the death rate compared to the UK.
    Find more statistics at Statista
    We have nothing to shout about.

  4. In fact in the UK the number of covid deaths is nearly double that of Germany per million inhabitants. I feel much safer over here.

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TRAVEL NEWS

TRAVEL: Spain extends ban on unvaccinated non-EU tourists

Britons, Americans and other non-EU/Schengen travellers who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered from Covid-19 will not be able to visit Spain for tourism for at least another month, Spanish authorities have confirmed.

TRAVEL: Spain extends ban on unvaccinated non-EU tourists

The Spanish government has again extended temporary restrictions for non-essential travel (including tourism) from most third countries for another month, until June 15th 2022.

That means that non-EU/Schengen adults who reside outside of the EU and who haven’t been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or recovered from the illness in the past six months cannot go on holiday to Spain during the next month. 

Therefore, Spain continues to not accept negative Covid-19 tests from British, American, Canadian, Indian or other third-country nationals who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered. 

There had been hopes that the shorter two-week extension to the ban on non-essential travel issued on April 30th, as well as talk of the “orderly and progressive reopening” of the country’s borders, would mean that unvaccinated third country nationals would be allowed into Spain in May.

But in the end, Saturday May 14th’s state bulletin confirmed that Spain will keep the same measures in place for another 31 days, stating that they “will eventually be modified to respond to a change of circumstances or to new recommendations in the context of the European Union”.

Spain’s ban on unvaccinated non-EU travellers is arguably the last major Covid-19 restriction in place in the country, and other EU countries such as Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Czech Republic and Ireland are allowing unvaccinated tourists in.

This latest announcement by the Spanish government marks the umpteenth extension to non-essential travel from outside of the EU/Schengen area over the past two years of the pandemic, the previous one was due to expire on May 15th. 

But perhaps this extension is the most surprising, as the Spanish health ministry has modified its rulebook to treat Covid-19 like the flu and the country wants to recover the tourism numbers it had pre-pandemic.

The ban affects unvaccinated British tourists in particular, as the UK is still the biggest tourism market for Spain, but Britons’ non-EU status means they have to follow the same Covid-19 travel rules as other third-country nationals.

Vaccinated or recovered third-country travellers

Those who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 more than two weeks prior to travel to Spain will need to show a valid vaccination certificate with an EMA or WHO approved vaccine.

If their initial vaccination treatment was completed more than 9 months ago (270 days), they’ll need to show they’ve had a Covid-19 booster shot. 

As for non-EU/Schengen travellers who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months, they will need to show a recovery certificate to prove this

According to Spain’s Health Ministry, recovery certificates accepted as valid are those “issued at least 11 days after the first positive NAAT or RAT, and up to a maximum of 180 days after the date of sampling”, as well as being issued by the relevant authorities.

Exceptions

In early February, Spanish authorities also decided to start allowing unvaccinated non-EU/Schengen teenagers aged 12 to 17 to visit Spain for tourism if they provided a negative PCR.

Spain continues to have a small list of low-risk third countries whose travellers visiting Spain for non-essential reasons can enter without having to present proof of Covid-19 testing, recovery or vaccination. 

This is updated weekly and can be checked here by clicking on the PDF under “risk and high risk countries/areas”. 

READ ALSO: Can I travel to my second home in Spain if I’m not vaccinated?

If you’re not vaccinated or recovered, the exceptions for travel to Spain from third countries that fall under the non-essential travel restrictions are:

  • You are a resident in the EU or Schengen country.
  • You have a visa for a long duration stay in an EU or Schengen country.
  • You work in transport, such as airline staff or are in a maritime profession.
  • You work in diplomatic, consular, international organisations, military or civil protection or are a member of a humanitarian organisation.
  • You have a student visa for a country in the EU or Schengen zone.
  • You are a highly qualified worker or athlete whose work cannot be postponed or carried out remotely.
  • You are travelling for duly accredited imperative family reasons.
  • You are allowed entry due to force majeure or on humanitarian grounds.
  • And as mentioned earlier in the article, if you have a vaccination certificate that Spain’s Ministry of Health recognises, as well as for any accompanying minors (unless they’re under 12 years of age).

READ ALSO: When do I need to fill out Spain’s Covid health control form for travel?

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