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Holidays in Europe: Spain, Portugal, Italy… What you need to know before leaving

The countries organize themselves to welcome tourists as well as possible. (©Adobe Stock/Illustration)

A year after the disastrous summer of 2020, when every European was encouraged to visit their own country, the 2021 season promises to be a little easier on the tourism front.

PCR tests, sanitary pass, barrier measures, masks: countries are organizing themselves to best welcome tourists. Focus on Europe.

Countries classified in red by France

The French government has identified the countries where the Covid-19 virus is circulating very strongly. To enter, travelers must thus justify a compelling reason.

As of July 27, 2021, here is the list of countries classified in red:
Afghanistan, South Africa, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Indonesia, Maldives, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal , Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Democratic Republic of Congo, Russia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uruguay, Tunisia and Zambia.

Several European countries are put under surveillance: Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece. A test of less than 24 hours for unvaccinated people is thus required on departure from these countries.

SPAIN

The conditions to enter

Second world tourist destinationSpain, a country classified as “green” by France, hopes to welcome 45 million tourists in 2021, according to the target set by the authorities. However, certain conditions must be respected.

Thus, at the entrance, travelers are invited to complete a preliminary form, attesting to a full vaccination against Covid-19 for at least 14 days or the negativity of a PCR test dating back less than 48 hours.

Since June 7, Spain has also opened its borders to tourists from all over the world. fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated Europeans can come if they present a negative test (antigenic or PCR) issued within 48 hours or within 72 hours prior to arrival in the territory. You can also present a Covid-19 recovery certificate valid for 180 days after a first positive test.

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These obligations also apply to arrivals by land (for example from the border with France) for all travelers over 12 years old.

Consumers sitting on the terrace in a bar in Barcelona, ​​​​June 26, 2021.
Consumers sitting on the terrace in a bar in Barcelona, ​​​​June 26, 2021. (©AFP/Archives/Pau BARRENA)

What measures to respect on site?

If there is no more quarantine on the spot, wearing a mask is still compulsory in closed places open to the public, transport and in the open air “when the groupings of people do not allow respect for a distance of 1.5 m”, specifies France Diplomatie. The rule applies to all people over the age of six.

The bars and restaurantsbut also cultural places (theaters, museums, cinemas, etc.), are open indoors and outdoors but with a limited number of guests and the capacity of establishments, restrictions which vary according to the regions, competent in health and health crisis management.

Conditions set to change in part of the country since the Catalonia decided on Friday July 16 to re-establish a curfew in 161 municipalitiesincluding Barcelona and several seaside resorts, indicates BFM TV. Entry into force scheduled for the night of Friday to Saturday, for a curfew from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Restaurants and bars are invited to lower the curtain at 1 a.m. while nightclubs have been closed again since July 6. Other Spanish regions could follow.

► ITALY

The peninsula should welcome 6.7 million more foreign tourists this summer (+ 24.1%), but 65.8 million less than in 2019 when the 100 million mark was crossed.

The conditions to enter

Travelers from the European Union are no longer obliged to respect quarantine provided they present the famous European health pass proving a complete vaccination for at least 14 days, a cure or the negativity of an anti-Covid test of less than 48 hours.

Travelers will also have to fill out documents on site.

If you enter in Sicily, you will need to take a quick test. If it is positive, you will be placed in isolation and accompanied to a hotel or to a Covid home. For Pugliait will be necessary to register before your trip on this site of the Region.

Visitors in a lavender field in Sale San Giovanni, near Cuneo, in northwestern Italy, June 29, 2021.
Visitors in a lavender field in Sale San Giovanni, near Cuneo, in northwestern Italy, June 29, 2021. (©AFP/MARCO BERTORELLO)

What measures to respect on site?

Wearing a mask is no longer compulsory outside (unless it is impossible to guarantee social distancing), only in enclosed public places.

The whole country is considered a “white zone”, i.e. with a low risk of infection and there is no no more night curfew nor restrictions in restaurants and bars. Only the tables must be spaced one meter apart.

Large gatherings, however, remain prohibited.

► PORTUGAL

The Algarve, very popular with the British, is one of the most sought-after regions. The main influx of tourists is expected from July.

The conditions to enter

Passengers traveling to Portugal by plane, with the exception of children under 12, must present a full vaccination certificate or a PCR test (less than 72 hours) or antigenic (less than 48 hours) before boarding. Children under 12 are exempt from presenting this certificate or the result of a screening test.

On arrival, travelers must ” take a temperature (via a thermal camera system) on arrival at Portuguese airports (including those of the Islands of Madeira and the Azores)”, details France Diplomatie. They are also invited to fill out a form required by the Portuguese health authorities.

Tourists sit on the terrace of a restaurant in Portimao, Algarve, southern Portugal, May 17, 2021.
Tourists sit on the terrace of a restaurant in Portimao, Algarve, southern Portugal, May 17, 2021. (©AFP/Archives/PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA)

What measures to respect on site?

Since July 2, a nighttime curfew (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.) is in effect in the sixty municipalities placed at a high and very high risk level (including Lisbon and Porto).

A first phase ofeasing of restrictions applies as of August 1, 2021. Bars and restaurants will now be able to open until 2 a.m. A gauge of 66% of the capacity for cultural shows is imposed. For weddings and baptisms this gauge applies to 50%.

In these towns, restaurants, cafés and pastry shops close at 10:30 p.m.; on Fridays from 7:00 p.m., on weekends and on public holidays, the presentation of a negative test or the EU Covid digital certificate (“sanitary pass”) is mandatory for room service.

France Diplomacy

Access to hotels and other tourist accommodation on the territory is also conditioned by the presentation of the European health pass or a negative test.

Tourists must also respect the distancing rules and the wearing of the mandatory mask in particular.

► GREECE

According to Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis, around 150,000 tourists have arrived in Greece since the start of the season on May 14. The objective is to reach in 2021 around 40-50% of the revenues of 2019 (i.e. 18.2 billion euros). In 2020, revenues were only 4.28 billion euros.

The conditions to enter

Citizens of the European area, Schengen and assimilated, as well as permanent residents of around twenty countries including Canada, the United States, Israel, China, Thailand, Russia, Saudi Arabia… are subject to to certain regulations:

  • Complete an online locator form at least the day before their arrival in Greece
  • Present on boarding either a complete vaccination certificate completed at least 14 days before the trip, or the result of a PCR test or a negative test for coronavirus less than 72 hours or a negative antigen test maximum 48 hours before departure. arrival in Greece, or a certificate of reinstatement
  • Visitors may be subject to random antigen testing upon arrival at Greek airports.
Tourists visit the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis in Athens, June 4, 2021.
Tourists visit the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis in Athens, June 4, 2021. (©AFP/Archives/Aris MESSINIS)

What measures to respect on site?

Wearing a mask is compulsory indoors in public spaces, in transport and everywhere else in situations where the rules of distancing cannot apply. There is no more curfew since June 28. To visit the islands, travelers must present a negative PCR or antigen test, a self-test, or a vaccination certificate.

Cinemas, restaurants, shops, etc. are open but remain subject to strict health protocols (vaccination or screening tests).

► UNITED KINGDOM

The conditions to enter

Presentation of a negative test less than 72 hours old is mandatory to enter England and Scotland. “It can be a PCR test or an antigen test, provided that a threshold of specificity of 97% and sensitivity of 80% is respected”, adds France Diplomatie.

It should also be noted a mandatory ten-day quarantine for vaccinated and non-vaccinated people in a hotel or at home. You will also need to “take a PCR test on the second as well as the eighth day after the start of this quarantine period”.

If one of the tests is found to be positive, a new period of ten days in solitary confinement is required. However, you can perform an intermediate test after 5 days. If this test is negative, it ends the quarantine. To note that this 5 day rule does not apply to Scotland.

Please note that it is imperative to present the original test result certificate (in English, French or Spanish, translations will not be accepted).

Travelers will also have to present a document “including information relating to its origin as well as the place in which the quarantine period will be carried out”. the “passenger locator form” must be completed online.

An employee (d) takes the temperature of visitors wanting to board the London Eye, a tourist attraction on the banks of the Thames, in London, on May 17, 2021.
An employee (d) takes the temperature of visitors wanting to board the London Eye, a tourist attraction on the banks of the Thames, in London, on May 17, 2021. (©AFP/Archives/DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS)

What measures to respect on site?

There are still an average of 50,000 new cases a day in the UK. Yet Boris Johnson has stayed the course, all restrictions have now been lifted since July 19, 2021.

In the event of non-compliance with health instructions, travelers are liable to fines ranging from 200 to 10,000 pounds sterling depending on their nature and occurrence.

With AFP

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