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Spain, Portugal, Greece & France: FCDO updates as nations begin to welcome back Britons

Travel kick-started once again on May 17 under the Government’s “traffic light” system. While the Prime Minister has encouraged Britons to only travel to “green” countries, many European holiday hotspots have recently unveiled plans to welcome back UK holidaymakers, despite being on the “amber” list.
What is the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for Spain, Portugal, Greece and France?

Spain

Spain announced it will be welcoming back UK tourists for “non-essential” purpose, including leisure travel, from Monday 24 May.

What’s more, arrivals from the UK will not be required to present a negative COVID-19 test in order to gain entry, according to the Spanish Tourist Office in London.

However, Spain remains on the UK’s “amber” list.

What’s more, the FCDO currently “advises against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

Though the FCDO has updated the “entry requirements” for Spain, in a new update it warns: “No changes have been made to the level of our travel advice for any regions of Spain.”

The Government of Spain website explains all travellers from “risk” countries will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test in order to travel.

The UK is exempted from this list as of May 24.

According to the Government of Spain website: “All passengers arriving in Spain by air or sea must undergo a health control before entering the country.

“Those controls may include a temperature control, a documentary control and a visual control of the passenger’s condition.”

The FCDO adds: “From 00:00 on 24 May, current entry restrictions and testing requirements for arrivals from the UK to Spain will no longer apply.

“However, travellers from the UK should be prepared to present evidence of a negative test if they have travelled to a country on Spain’s list of ‘risk countries’ in the 14 days prior to travel.”

All Britons returning to the UK from Spain are required to self-isolate at home for 10 days, and take three Covid tests – once before departure and twice during their quarantine period.

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Portugal

Portugal is one of the few nations which has made it onto the UK “green list”.

This means Britons can jet off to Portugal on holiday without the need to quarantine upon their return home, however they must take a lateral flow or PCR test before they depart back to the UK.

The FCDO states: “Non-essential travel from the UK resumed on 17 May. Entry restrictions and requirements continue to apply.”

However, some entry restrictions apply.

The FCDO continues: “There are no restrictions on travelling to Portugal from England and Scotland.

“All passengers, excluding children up to the age of two, travelling to or through Portugal in transit, must show a negative RT-PCR test result for SARS/COVID-19 at the time of boarding.

“The test must have been taken within 72 hours of departure. Your airline is likely to deny boarding if you cannot provide this at check-in.”

All passengers travelling to Portugal will also be subject to a health screening on arrival.

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“If your temperature is 38 degrees Celsius or over or you show signs of being unwell, you may be required to take a further RT-PCR COVID-19 test and remain at the airport until you receive your test result,” explains the FCDO.

“You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

“Make sure you have a COVID-19 test that uses the RT-PCR methodology.

“Check your test result identifies the type of test taken and gives your name, date of birth, the date and time the sample was collected and the date of the result.”

Travellers returning from Portugal will not be required to self-isolate but will need to take a Covid test before departing back to the UK.

Greece

Although Greece is currently on the UK’s “amber” list for travel, the nation is allowing UK arrivals to enter for “non-essential purposes”.

The FCDO explains: “UK nationals are permitted to enter Greece if they are a permanent resident in the UK, Greece, another EU/EFTA state, or in one of the following countries; Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Russian Federation, United States, Serbia, Israel, North Macedonia, Canada, Belarus, Bahrain, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Ukraine or Saudi Arabia.”

Despite this, the FCDO continues to advise “against all but essential travel to Greece, except for the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

While Britons are allowed to enter Greece, they must follow strict entry rules.

“Anyone travelling to Greece must comply with the Greek authorities’ requirements, including completion of a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before you travel,” explains the FCDO.

“Arrivals from the UK must provide either; proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival into Greece, or proof of two COVID-19 vaccinations completed at least 14 days before travel.

“Travellers with proof of either are exempted from the need to self-isolate on arrival to Greece.

“Failure to provide proof of either may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel and will likely result in the Greek authorities refusing you permission to enter Greece.”

For travellers who live in England, they can prove their vaccination status by showing either the NHS app or their NHS letter.

“You should not use your NHS vaccine appointment card to demonstrate your vaccine status,” warns the FCDO.

The FCDO adds: “In addition, arrivals into Greece may be required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival.

“If you test positive on arrival in Greece, you (and those you are travelling with) will have to self-isolate in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state for at least 10 days.

“The expenses of the accommodation in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state. Local authorities will be able to offer further advice on self-isolation requirements.”

Travellers returning from Greece to the UK must self-isolate for 10 days and take one pre-departure test and a further two PCR tests during their self-isolation period.

France

France is currently on the UK’s “amber” list for travel.

The FCDO currently “advises against all but essential travel to the whole of France based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

Despite this, arrivals from the UK do not need to justify an essential reason to enter France.

This means Britons can visit for holiday purposes.

However, they must follow strict entry regulations.

“Arrivals from the UK will need to complete 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,” explains the FCDO.

“All travellers from the UK, including children aged 11 and above, will need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure.”

It adds: “Passengers arriving in France from the UK will also be required to self-isolate for seven days on arrival, before taking another PCR test. Exit from this self-isolation period is subject to a negative test result.”

Recently, France also put in place a new rule for people who are travelling to the country to stay with friends or family.

Britons heading to France to visit friends or family will need to pay a €30 fee, show proof of an invitation and be registered at the local town hall thanks to post-Brexit rules.

The UK is now regarded as a third country outside the EU, so visitors are required to show an acceptance certificate (attestation d’accueil) to prove they have been invited into the country.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “British nationals visiting France should be prepared to show proof of accommodation at the border such as a hotel booking confirmation or an ‘attestation d’accueil’ certificate, if staying with a host.

“British nationals should check FCDO travel advice for details of entry requirements and travel restrictions that may be in place because of Covid-19. Currently, the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to France.”

Britons returning from France must self-isolate at home for 10 days. They must also take one Covid test before their departing flight from France, as well as two during their self-isolation period once they are back in the UK.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Spain, Turkey, Greece, Portugal & more – how nations will welcome back Britons this summer

Greece

Greece has set out plans to reopen to tourists from May 14.

However, tourists will either have to be fully vaccinated, with proof, or show a negative coronavirus test taken within a specific period of time.

Tourists may also be randomly tested upon arrival at the airport.

“We will gradually lift the restrictions at the beginning of next week ahead of the opening on May 14,” a senior tourism ministry official told Reuters.

Turkey

Turkey has detailed plans to welcome back British tourists with or without a vaccine.

However, those who are not vaccinated will most likely be required to show a negative COVID-19 test.

The Turkish authorities have set out a mid-April date to assess how they will reopen fully to tourists.

“I expect there will be no such requirement from British visitors as the UK government is rapidly, and impressively, rolling out the vaccination program for the whole nation,” Turkish health minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Holidays: Green list countries to only be shared 'early May' – which nations will feature?

A number of travel experts have shared their insight into which countries will most likely be green in recent weeks.

Travel consultant Paul Charles previously predicted “islands in the Caribbean, for example, Malta, Gibraltar and possibly the USA,” would also “go green by next month”.

Looking further into the summer, the popular European holiday destinations will most likely make a return, too, despite the third wave concerns on the continent right now.

“I’m expecting later in the summer, probably from some time in July, but that’s just a prediction, maybe Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Italy, Greece, ad Cyprus will be on the green list and the testing will be a lot easier and cheaper,” travel expert Simon Calder told Radio 2 yesterday.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Carol Vorderman stuns in red leather outfit as she celebrates Wales’ Six Nations win

“She’s smart, and she and I have a lot of fun together. She’s got an IQ of 154, mine is 151, it’s great chatting to her, and we both love rugby,” he told The Sun.

Mark, 55, went on to add: “She’s great fun to be with. She looks fantastic, you’d never know she was 60.”

After seeing the remarks, Carol took to Twitter in view of her 458,500 followers, saying: “Lols… my mate @MarkLabbett being kind in an article this weekend [thumbs up emojis].”

Carol said earlier this year that while she is still single, she has been dating.

Huw Edwards' flag back for Six Nations amid BBC 'order' as Naga Munchetty 'likes' post

Naga’s Breakfast co-star Charlie Stayt pointed out that Mr Jenrick had a large Union Jack flag on display behind him in an interview with the Housing Secretary on Thursday’s programme.

“I think your flag is not up to standard size, Government interview measurements. I think it’s just a little bit small, but that’s your department really,” he commented.

Naga was filmed laughing into her hand and added: “There’s always a flag. They had the picture of the Queen, though.”

The Breakfast presenter later issued an apology for “liking” a tweet about the British flag.

Following online criticism, Naga has since received a wave of support from social media users accusing the government of sparking a “culture war”.

England beating France in Six Nations shows Eddie Jones must make Owen Farrell decision

Owen Farrell is enduring arguably the toughest period of his international career at the moment. The Saracens stalwart has come under fire in recent weeks as a scapegoat for England’s poor performances, with Eddie Jones’ side falling to embarrassing defeats at the hands of Scotland and Wales in quick succession.
The results have left England’s hopes of defending last year’s Six Nations victory in tatters, with their rivals on the other side of the Severn Bridge storming to the title having already scooped the Triple Crown.

The test of France, who remained unbeaten going into Saturday’s match, had the potential to turn England’s tournament from a mere disappointment into a full-blown crisis.

However, they produced a strong effort to see off the challenge and derail the charge of their opponents, fighting hard to secure a 23-20 victory at Twickenham.

Maro Itoje’s last-gasp try sealed the result, with his side coming from behind to end France’s hopes of winning the Grand Slam this year.

Although the England skipper’s performance marked a significant improvement on his recent showings, it is clear that Jones needs to seriously consider whether he is the man to continue leading the team.

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The Saracens star has been the target of considerable criticism ever since the opening day defeat to Scotland, with fans and pundits alike questioning his ability to inspire England to success after two mixed years as captain.

His players, for the most part, failed to deal with the threat of France hero Antoine Dupont at Twickenham, who orchestrated his side’s attacking game in a way that Farrell struggled to replicate.

He is undoubtedly still a world-class player, keeping his place in the side up to now on merit, and covered every blade of grass against France with his kicking game helping his side to pip their opponents on the scoreboard.

But England could benefit from a change in on-pitch leadership if they have serious ambitions of winning the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

Much of the focus going into Saturday’s encounter centred around England’s disciplinary record, which has been shocking under Farrell’s captaincy.

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Last year’s champions conceded 41 penalties in their first three Six Nations matches, with their inability to put a lid on infringements handing Wales victory in Cardiff two weeks ago.

The performance in this respect was much improved against France but the damage to their title ambitions had already been done.
 
Farrell’s own personal discipline is also rarely up to scratch, with the England centre known for his ‘tackles’ in the form of shoulder charges that often serve as red card magnets.

Handing the captaincy to another player would provide a new perspective, enabling Jones’ side to mount a fresh approach to the way they play.

The move would also lift some of the responsibility that has plagued Farrell’s efforts as of late.

He currently finds himself playing the combined role of captain, playmaker and media poster boy, with a new skipper able to take on some of the burden.

This would allow Farrell to allocate a greater focus to improving his game between now and the next World Cup, where he is likely to play a pivotal role in his country’s fortunes.

England great Lawrence Dallaglio suggested earlier this month that Maro Itoje or Jamie George would be more effective as captain than Farrell, highlighting the fact that the most successful sides in rugby history have had a forward as their leading man.

This could be a switch that has the potential to galvanise the squad, with the new skipper having plenty of time to settle in before getting a shot at World Cup glory in two years’ time.

Although Farrell managed to help England to an improved performance for the visit of France, it remains to be seen whether he has the ability to recover their form on a long-term basis.

The grass could be greener on the other side for Jones if he decides to revisit Farrell’s role once the Six Nations is over.

England boss Eddie Jones has uncomfortable reality to face up to amid Six Nations misery

As England pick over the carcass of their failed Six Nations defence, Eddie Jones has been served up an easy scapegoat in Pascal Gauzere but there is also unpalatable gristle to stomach closer to home – not least his side’s fading finishing power.
In their two meaningful matches in this season’s Six Nations England have yet to register a single point in the final quarter. For a team which prides itself on the destructive impact of their bench that statistic should make for alarming reading.

Not so long ago the England coach was making a song and dance about how his finishers, as he referred to them, were changing the sport.

Now the question is whether England’s finishers are finished.

England were in striking distance after an hour against Scotland, when they were five points down, and Wales, when they were level, but drew a blank thereafter and were beaten in both matches.

Even in the gimme game against Italy, England only won the last quarter 9-7.

So much for the stormtroopers coming from the sidelines to alter the course of the game – the impact from the England bench has been negligible bordering on negative.

If the theme of the Principality Stadium party was conceding penalties, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge and Dan Robson all received their invitations while Robson also threw the interception pass from which Wales substitute Cory Hill eventually battered his way over the line.

The contrast with the impact Wales’s subs made in Cardiff could not have been more vivid with Hill’s bonus-point try coming after Callum Sheedy had kicked the penalties which put Wales out of sight.

Test rugby is, as Jones is fond of reminding people, a 23-man game now and England’s depth has been affected by the absence of forwards Sam Underhill, Joe Launchbury, Jack Willis and Courtney Lawes. Livewire scrum-half Harry Randall is also injured.

But England, of all the teams in the championship, should be able to put out a strong bench regardless given the numbers available to Jones.

After choosing six forwards amongst his eight replacements, as has been his habit of late, the England coach left two of them unused. Kyle Sinckler was going well at the time so there was a case to overlook Will Stuart but if Jones did not have sufficient faith in teenager George Martin to put him on the field why did he pick him?

England had second row and back row cover on the bench in Ewels and Ben Earl. Where was the potential backline game-breaker Paolo Odogwu?

The uncapped Wasp has not featured at all in the championship yet and by the time England face France a week on Saturday will not have played any rugby for eight weeks.

Jones has plenty to ponder in his selection for France. Maybe he should start with No 23 and work backwards.

Spain & Portugal holidays: FCDO issues new update as nations tighten borders

Spain announced this week it would be further extending its travel ban on UK arrivals. Meanwhile, Portugal this week “re-assessed” its risk levels across the country, with restrictions tightening in certain regions.
It continues: “If you are resident in Spain, you should carry your residence document (the green paper EU residence certificate or the new TIE), as well as your valid passport when you travel.

“If you are not in possession of a residence document, the Spanish government has formally confirmed to the UK government that UK nationals who were legally residing in Spain before January 1, 2021, and as such are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, can present other documents to prove their residence status when entering Spain.”

However, all passengers travelling to Spanish airports from “risk countries”, including the UK, must present a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

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The FCDO warns: “Spot checks may be carried out on arrival to confirm travellers have undergone a COVID-19 PCR, TMA or LAMP test and have tested negative.

“A minimum fine of €3,000 may be issued to anyone who does not comply.”

There are also additional restrictions on entering Spain from neighbouring countries.

“While restrictions are in place you will only be able to enter Spain via Gibraltar if you are a Spanish national, you are legally resident in Spain or Gibraltar or a cross border worker,” the FCDO explains.

It adds: “From 31 January, Portuguese authorities will enforce border control checks at the land border with Spain.

“Only cross border workers, goods traffic and those entering or exiting Portugal to return to their usual place of residence will be granted passage. Rail and ferry connections between Spain and Portugal have been suspended.”

Britons returning from Spain to the UK will be required to self-isolate at home.

Currently, entry to Portugal, including Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores is limited to EU/EEA nationals and their family members, UK and other EU/EEA nationals who are official residents in Portugal or another EU member state, and UK nationals who are travelling for “essential purposes”.

The FCDO warns travellers to be prepared with “evidence” of the reason for their journey.

Earlier in the week, the FCDO also issued new guidance following a “re-assessment” of risk areas in Portugal.

New restrictions were put in place for Madeira and Porto Santo following an increase in Covid cases in some areas.

The FCDO explained: “If you arrive in Madeira or Porto Santo without an RT-PCR test, you will be required to take one at the airport and to repeat it five to seven days later.

“From the day you arrive in Madeira or Porto Santo until you receive the results of this additional test, you must remain in isolation.”

The autonomous region of Madeira is currently in a “state of calamity”.

Until further notice residents must stay at home on weekdays from 7pm to 5am and on weekends and public holidays from 6pm to 5am.

The autonomous region of the Azores is currently in a “state of emergency”.

Across the Azores, there are five levels of risk including “very low”, “low”, “medium” and “high”.

Each level has its own corresponding restrictions, however, at present all islands are classified as “low risk”.

However, the FCDO adds: “In response to an increase in the number of cases, there are restrictions on travel to and from the northern part of the parish town of Rabo de Peixe on the island of São Miguel until further notice.

“You should avoid travelling to or through this area of the town.”

Britons returning from Portugal to the UK will be required to self-isolate in a Government approved hotel.

Daily Express :: Travel Feed