Spain bans unvaccinated Brit travellers aged 12 and over while France requires a negative test taken before departure under new Covid border rules amid Omicron fears
- Fresh restrictions are being brought in as a response to the new Omicron variant
- Non-vaccinated British travellers aged 12 and over banned from entering Spain
- Meanwhile France and Portugal demand tourists provide proof of a negative test
Families hoping for a winter getaway face heightened restrictions as Spain, France and Portugal tighten their border rules.
Fresh curbs are being introduced in response to the Omicron variant, with non-vaccinated British travellers aged 12 and over now banned from entering Spain.
From tomorrow, UK arrivals in France must provide proof of a negative Covid test – even if they are fully jabbed. And in Portugal, all holidaymakers must take a pre-travel PCR or lateral flow test.
Switzerland requires British arrivals to quarantine for 10 days.
Families hoping for a winter getaway face added restrictions as Spain, France and Portugal tighten their border rules because of the new variant. Pictured: Fuengirola, Southern Spain
Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, warned that the travel sector must not be used as a ‘punchbag’ by governments.
‘Whenever we see tightening of measures they are extra barriers which put off people from booking,’ he said.
‘Whether it is talk of quarantine or extra testing, these measures act as a barrier to people’s confidence.’
He said restrictions have ‘only been put in place because of the uncertainty over the variant itself’, adding: ‘That’s why we need a thorough conclusion urgently on this variant.’
England has no requirement for pre-departure tests, but all arrivals must take a PCR test on or before day two and quarantine at home until receiving a negative result.
A leaked paper from the Government’s SAGE advisors this week said pre-departure tests would be ‘valuable’.
Non-vaccinated British travellers aged 12 and over now banned from entering Spain
But Downing Street said yesterday there are ‘no plans’ to introduce them. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘We think Day Two tests are the right way.
‘It’s not a restriction we’re planning to introduce based on what we currently know.’
Business minister George Freeman said: ‘Omicron is live work every day, looking at the data.’
He added that governments are learning how to get the ‘balance right’ between health and the economy.