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Fears of an impending lockdown have been growing as the Omicron variant continues to surge across the world.
First discovered in South Africa, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been spreading rapidly across the UK, with many areas seeing infections rate soar to over 1600 infections per 100,000 residents.
Scientists believe that the variant is doubling every two to three days, and reports suggest that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering imposing new lockdown restrictions after Christmas in order to slow the spread of the virus.
For those who are unsure what this possible lockdown would mean for their upcoming travel plans, Essex Live have compiled a list of all the current Foreign Office travel advice for travel to Italy, Spain, France and Greece.
Italy will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record as the equivalent of a green pass.
If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from November 1, 2021, to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully.
Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
If you can show that you're fully vaccinated, you can enter Italy without needing to self-isolate.
But you must fill out the passenger locator form (EU PLF) before you enter Italy to get a QR code to show to your travel provider and Border Police. You can ask for a paper form if you do not have an electronic device.
You also need a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours or a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours before entering Italy.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you must fill in the passenger locator form, show evidence of a negative coronavirus test, notify the Prevention Department of the local health authority of your entry into Italy, travel to your final destination by private transport, self-isolate for 5 days and take another PCR or antigen test at the end of the isolation period.
The rules for entering Spain changed on December 1.
Before traveling to Spain, everyone, including children, must fill in and sign an online Health Control Form. If you do not complete this form electronically, you may submit it in paper format before boarding.
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On arrival into Spanish ports and airports, you must show the QR code issued when you completed the online Health Control Form before travel.
You must also show that you are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival and EU citizens and accompanying family members of an EU citizen (including those travelling for tourism purposes), residents of Spain, or those covered by one of the other exemptions listed may present alternative documentation to the vaccine certificate.
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.
You must show proof of being fully vaccinated to enter Spain from the UK if travelling for tourism purposes. If one of the exemptions listed applies to you, you may be able to present other documentation on entry.
You may also be subject to additional checks at the point of entry including a temperature check, visual health assessment, or testing on arrival.
Passengers may also be contacted and required to undertake a PCR, TMA or LAMP test at any point up to 48 hours after their arrival in Spain.
Requirements are country specific. You may get a minimum fine of €3000 if you do not comply with the requirements.
All those wishing to travel from the UK to France, regardless of vaccination status, can only do so for essential reasons, as defined by the French authorities.
French nationals, as well as residents in France, are considered to have an essential reason for travel.
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Travellers who are travelling for an essential reason must provide a negative coronavirus test taken within 48 hours of departure, provide contact details including the address they will be staying at, to the French authorities via an online form.
They must also complete an international travel form to prove the reason for essential travel and provide a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.
Upon arrival in France, all travellers must self-isolate for 48 hours, after which time a negative PCR or antigen test is required to exit self-isolation.
Without a negative test result, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.
HGV or van drivers arriving in France from the UK are able to continue doing so without providing a negative COVID-19 test to enter France.
New rules have been implemented for travel to Germany from 11.01 pm on December 22.
The rules include travellers from virus variant areas must have a PCR test no older than 48 hours at departure if being carried by plane, train, ferry or bus to Germany.
Rapid-antigen tests or other tests are no longer permitted.
Tourists are not allowed to travel to Germany from the UK but UK nationals who reside in Germany must demonstrate proof of residence on entry to Germany.
Permitted travellers entering Germany from the UK are required to complete pre-departure digital registration, regardless of vaccination status.
Permitted travellers from the UK to Germany aged six and over are required to have proof of a negative pre-flight test, regardless of vaccination status. This must be a PCR test.
The PCR test can be 48 hours old at departure if entering Germany via plane, ferry, bus or train. If travelling independently, such as in a car, the PCR test can only be up to 48 hours on entry (see ‘testing requirements’ below).
On arrival in Germany, all permitted travellers from the UK must quarantine at home for 14 days irrespective of their vaccination status.
- Boris Johnson
- Travel Advice
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