What's Happening With Covid At Your Favourite Holiday Hotspot?

Travel traffic light system aside, it pays to check the Covid situation at your destination.

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In the latest government changes for travelling abroad, several countries moved from amber to green, including Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway. France moved from amber plus to amber, while India, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain moved from red to amber.

The changes will come into effect from 4am on Sunday, August 8, giving Brits more holiday options than we’ve had in months. But what actually awaits us at these destinations?

By now you’re probably familiar with the traffic light system – and the various tests and quarantine times required for green, amber and red destinations.

But before booking a holiday, you might want to consider the actual Covid situation in the places you’re dreaming about.

Heading abroad?
NurPhoto via Getty Images
Heading abroad?

France (Amber):

Since June 20, there has been no curfew in place and there are no internal travel restrictions in France. Face masks remain obligatory in all public indoor areas. From July 21, you need to demonstrate your Covid-19 status (vaccination status, negative test or proof of recent recovery) to access events/spaces with over 50 people attending. From August 9 this will apply to a wider group of leisure activities as well as some public transport.

On return, there is no need to isolate as long as you’re fully vaccinated and have tested negative for the virus before and after travel.

The number of Covid cases in France has recently been on the up, with popular coastal areas reintroducing the compulsory wearing of masks.

The Delta variant is increasing hospital admissions across France, public health figures showed. The number of people in intensive care is now 1,331, compared to 978 a week ago. France has seen more than 112,000 Covid deaths so far.

Spain (Amber):

The Spanish government requires all arrivals to Spain from the UK to present on entry a pre-travel declaration form and either a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination. As it’s on the UK’s amber list, arrivals from Spain and its islands need to do a PCR test before arriving in the UK.

Towards the end of July, Covid cases across the country began to fall for the first time. The Spanish Health Ministry designates areas of Spain (including the islands) a risk level of 0-4.

  • Ibiza: Cases vary by location but Ibiza has recently seen a huge rise, with 1,814 cases per 100,000 of the population. The increase has made island officials consider employing ‘detectives’ to seek out illegal gatherings. Nightclubs are currently shut, with only bars open which can hold outdoor events while guests are seated at all times. Gatherings in bars and restaurants also have to be in small groups, as parties are banned. Those who organise such gatherings can face fines up to £513,000.

  • Mallorca: On Tuesday, the Regional Ministry of Health reported four more deaths from Covid and found 692 new positive cases of the virus. 460 cases of these were found in Mallorca, 142 in Ibiza, 81 in Menorca, nine in Formentera.

  • Tenerife: Tenerife is level 4, meaning capacity in indoor dining spaces is 50%, and tables must not seat more than four people, with proof of vaccination, recovery or negative tests required.

Portugal (Amber):

British travellers have to show proof of vaccination 14 days before travel or quarantine for 14 days after arrival if unvaxxed. Those older than 12 have to show a negative PCR or antigen test result, as well as a passenger locator form and get their temperature checked on arrival.

Within the country, you’ll have to wear your face mask in enclosed spaces and outdoors where it isn’t possible to socially distance. While indoors you must be two metres apart.

On Wednesday, Portugal recorded 15 Covid deaths, 3,202 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, and a reduction in hospital admissions, according to official data. The Directorate General of Health (DGS) reported 102 fewer cases, totalling 47,374. The DGS also reported that 3,290 people recovered in the last 24 hours, which increases the national total to 912,620 recovered.

Greece (Amber):

Arrivals into Greece have to provide either a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arriving (except those under 12), or a negative rapid antigen test within 48 hours, or proof of full vaccination 14 days before arrival. A rapid test may also be taken after arrival, with quarantine in a hotel for 14 days if positive.

Popular Greek islands such as Mykonos are seeing Covid cases rise, with health officials saying they are ‘one step away’ from enforcing strict restrictions. Greece is currently operating on a colour ranking, with green, yellow, orange and red indicating numbers of cases.

Mykonos, Los, Zakynthos, Tinos, Lefkada, Santorini, Paros and Rhodes are all deemed orange - with health officials keeping an eye on the number of positive cases.

The red category (level 4) means a curfew from midnight-to-6am, a ban on music and all events, restrictions on restaurants and bars, and seat-only service.

Face masks have to be worn in all indoor public and communal spaces, as well as proof of vaccinations in restaurants and bars. Groups of 10 can sit together outside and travel between Greek islands requires proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test.

Happy holidays!

Travel is the story of our summer. The rules (and traffic lights) are always changing, but one thing’s clear, we dream of being Anywhere But Here. This seasonal series offers you clear-headed travel advice, ideas-packed staycation guides, clever swaps and hacks, and a healthy dose of wanderlust.

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