With today (April 12) the start of the next phase of easing the lockdown measures here in England, many are rushing to enjoy their newfound freedoms.

Non-essential shops, gyms, open-air hospitality, zoos, and theme parks welcome visitors today after being closed since before Christmas.

As Londoners enjoy the shift towards a sense of normalcy, many will consider their summer vacation abroad and the possibility of international travel.

Despite these new freedoms, current law still makes it illegal to travel abroad for vacations and entertainment.

Each country has its own set of rules and requirements for those who are exempt from the travel ban and who have a legitimate reason to travel.

Italy

From April 7 to April 30, entry to Italy from the UK is no longer limited to Italian residents and residents.

However, several Covid measures remain in place, such as the mandatory negative Covid test before traveling, which takes no more than 48 hours before entering the country.

Upon arrival in Italy, travelers must inform the local health authority and isolate themselves for a period of five days. At the end of the isolation period, expats will need to complete another Covid test.


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France

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Visitors do not need an essential purpose to travel to France.

Since March 12, the French government has eased restrictions on UK travelers, meaning expats no longer need to justify an underlying reason for entering the country.

Health and safety measures are maintained, such as the requirement that all travelers over the age of 11 must present a negative Covid test result.

Expats will also need to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival, before further testing.

All visitors to the UK will need to complete a ‘declaration of oath’ (announcement about l’honneur) to acknowledge that they are not experiencing symptoms associated with the Coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the last two weeks.

However, the health situation in France remains serious. A national curfew is applied from 7 pm to 6 am, when a certificate (self-certifying document) is required to leave the house.

Since April 3, the whole of mainland France has been subject to stricter restrictions, and certificates (self-certified documents) are required if you travel more than 10 kilometers from home. Non-essential stores have been closed and, as of April 5, travel to other areas has been prohibited except in exceptional or professional circumstances.

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Portugal

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Portugal has travel restrictions in effect

Travel to Portugal is currently restricted to EU / EEA citizens and their family members, UK citizens and other non-EU / EEA citizens residing in Portugal or another EU country.

UK citizens and other non-EU citizens can also travel to the country, but must travel for a specific primary purpose.

Those who meet these travel requirements must provide evidence of a negative Covid test conducted within 72 hours of departure.

The airline can deny boarding to passengers who do not present proof of this negative test.

Then, expatriates must isolate themselves for a period of 14 days at home in Portugal or at a location specified by the Portuguese National Health Authority.

Spain

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A popular holiday destination in Spain has health and safety measures

Passenger travel from the UK to Spain is restricted to EU and Schengen citizens, or those legally residing in the European Union or Schengen-related countries, or passengers who can demonstrate that their flight is necessary.

Before traveling to Spain, all passengers traveling by air or sea must complete and sign an online health check form at least 48 hours before traveling stating that they are not experiencing any symptoms of Covid.

All passengers over the age of six must submit a negative test that took no more than 72 hours prior to travel.

Anyone arriving in Spain without sufficient evidence of a negative test result can be fined at least € 3,000.

Upon arrival, travelers can undergo other health procedures, such as temperature checks and health screenings.

Currently, the government only allows essential travel abroad.