What are the Covid rules for travel to the UK's top 10 holiday destinations this year?

Brits are desperate to get back into the sun.

As the UK's testing requirements for travel overseas relaxes, holidays abroad are beginning to look a lot easier in 2022.

Fully vaccinated passengers no longer need to take a Covid test on their second day back in the country while pre-departure tests have already been scrapped.

Covid regulations remain in some holiday destinations, which travellers will need to get check before they fly.

Here, we outline what those rules are in the top 10 holiday spots, according to the travel association ABTA, for 2022.


The top holidaying spot for Brits, if you're heading to Spain (whatever your age) you must complete a Health Control Form - either online and have your QR code as evidence, or on paper and submit before boarding.

As the UK is considered 'at risk', tourists aged 12 and above must show valid proof of being fully vaccinated (the NHS Covid pass via the app or an NHS Covid Pass letter).

Coronavirus: What you need to know

You must have had both jabs at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain. Your final dose must have been taken within 270 days before travel to Spain. If longer than that, you must be able to show proof of having had a booster jab. From Monday 14 February, Spain will drop its entry requirement for children over-12 travelling from the UK to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Instead, children over-12 who have not been doubled vaccinated will now be required to show evidence of a recent negative coronavirus PCR test taken within 72 hours of their arrival in Spain.

A Covid test (taken within 72 hours prior to arrival for a PCR, or 24 hours prior if its a lateral flow) will only be accepted for unvaccinated Brits if your reason for travel falls into one of the limited "essential" brackets. You can find out what those are here.

Even then, a test will only be accepted if you're travelling with a family member who is an EU citizen. If your reason for visiting is essential, recovery from the virus in the past six months may grant you access.

Person taking lateral flow Covid test. Credit: PA

United States

Travel rules to the United States (including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and United States Virgin Islands) were already strict pre-Covid.

As before, you'll need to get a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver to enter the USA as a visitor. There are limits on who can get an ESTA visa waiver.

On top of that, fully vaccinated travellers will need proof of being so. With that, you won't need to quarantine on arrival but it is recommended you take a Covid test within three to five days of arrival.

Brits will only be deemed fully vaccinated by US authorities if you've had your second jab at least two weeks before your trip. A booster dose is not needed at the moment.

If you've only had one dose and then recovered from a Covid infection, you're not considered fully vaccinated in the US.

If you've only had one dose and then recovered from a Covid infection, you're not considered fully vaccinated in the US.

The US will also accept the EU Digital Covid Certificate which shows a person is either vaccinated, has tested negative, or has recently recovered. Learn more about that here.

The Covid recovery certificate proves a person has had a Covid infection less than six months ago.

Before boarding a flight to the US you'll need proof of a negative Covid test (that's everybody over the age of two) taken in the past 24 hours and you'll also need to provide contact details to your airline.

You can get away with not having that test only if you've recently had Covid and have proof of recovery - so if you can show you've had Covid no more than 90 days before your flight.

If that's the case, you also won't be recommended to test three to five days after arriving in the US. 

If you're unvaccinated, there are limited exemptions that may allow you to travel to the US which can be found here.

If one of those does apply, rules on extra testing kick in and you'll need to quarantine. If you plan to stay for longer than 60 days, you may also need to get vaccinated while in the US.


To enter the UK's third most popular holiday destination, fully vaccinated passengers need to present a negative PCR or lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of departing the UK.

Those tests must be paid for privately, and must be taken by everyone over the age of 12. The test requirement is set to be scrapped, but France has not yet given details of when the change would take place.

A déclaration sur l’honneur must also be completed - a sworn statement to say you don't have Covid symptoms and haven't had contact with a confirmed case in the past two weeks.

A déclaration sur l’honneur must also be completed to get to France.

The same measures which apply to vaccinated adults are applied to anyone under the age of 18 who is travelling with them - whether vaccinated or not.

To be deemed fully vaccinated in France, you must have had your second Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca jab at least one week before travel. All adults who had their second jab over seven months ago must get a booster vaccine to go on holiday to France.

Unvaccinated passengers will need to:

  • prove why their trip is essential, and complete a form saying so.

  • before leaving the UK, if over 12, they'll need proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow test - not an NHS one.

  • quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in France - and provide their contact details and the address they are staying at via an online form before arriving in the country.

  • complete the sworn declaration too.

These rules also apply to unvaccinated minors (aged 12-17).

Children under 12 are exempt from all Covid-19 travel restrictions, but must still complete the sworn statement.


Everyone heading to Italy needs to fill in a passenger locator form and get a QR code to show authorities. Paper forms are available from Border Force.

Tourists heading to Italy can use their Covid pass to either show proof of recent recovery or proof of having been fully vaccinated - ie. having had your second jab within the past 180 days.

Fully vaccinated arrivals won't need to self-isolate but will still need evidence of a negative PCR test (taken within 48 hours before entering Italy) or a negative lateral flow test - taken within 24 hours before entering Italy.

If unvaccinated, or unable to prove legitimate exemption from vaccination, you'll still need the passenger locator form and tests as above. You will also need to notify the Prevention Department of the local health authority where you're staying of your entry into Italy - here's a list of regional numbers.

Tourists and locals mingle at sunset in Giardino degli Aranci in Rome, Italy.

You can only travel to your destination using private transport, and isolate for five days once there. You can only leave isolation if you take a negative PCR or lateral flow at the end of those five days.

Taking children with you? If you're fully vaccinated, any children aged between six and 17 who come with you won't need to quarantine but will need a negative PCR or lateral flow, as above.

Children aged five and under are exempt from testing.


Travellers of all ages must complete a passenger locator form before arrival and have an email with a QR code to show you've done it. You will be fined if not.

As of February 7, vaccinated tourists do not need proof of a negative test to enter Greece.

Unvaccinated travellers need to have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival, or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours before arrival.

For both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers, you might get picked out at random to take a rapid Covid test upon arrival. If positive, you'll need to isolate for at least five days.

The Greek government also "strongly recommends" you take either a lateral flow or PCR on both days two and four after arrival.


All entrants to mainland Portugal need to complete an online passenger locator form.

If you're fully vaccinated, you can enter mainland Portugal, Madeira and Porto Santo without needing to test. You must have completed the course at least 14 days and no more than 270 days before you arrive.If you're not fully vaccinated, you'll need either proof of a negative Covid test result - or your NHS or EU Covid recovery certificate dated no less than 11 days and no more than 180 days before you travel.

A little stricter on the testing than most countries, Portugal requires tests (lateral flow if 48 hours before departure, PCR if 72 hours hours) to be administered by a trained healthcare professional - so you won't be able to order one to your home.

As ever, you'll need to pay for these tests.

Children 11 and under do not need to take a test or show proof of vaccination or recovery to enter Portugal.

Portugal is a popular destination for holidaymakers. Credit: Pexels


Because the UK is currently deemed a "high risk" area by German authorities, passengers travelling from the country, jabbed or unjabbed, must complete pre-departure digital registration to enter Germany.

Fully vaccinated travellers can head there on holiday without having to quarantine.

To do so, all tourists aged six and above will need either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to arrival.

The NHS Covid Pass can be used as proof and fully vaccinated means people who have been double jabbed at least 14 days before arrival.

Germany does allow you entry if you've had one dose, then recently recovered from Covid.

Unvaccinated people cannot enter Germany for tourism purposes alone. There is a list of exemptions ranging from having citizenship, to having an urgent need for travel. You can see what constitutes an 'urgent need for travel' here.

If one of those exemptions does happen to apply, you'll need a negative Covid test result (PCR 48 hours before time of departure, or lateral flow 48 hours before time of entry) but you'll still need to quarantine for 10 days with test and release available after five days.

More information on the Federal Ministry of Health website here.


Australia had one of the world's tightest border controls during the pandemic. Currently, only Australian citizens and residents, their immediate and fully vaccinated holders of eligible visas are allowed to enter.

But from February 21 all fully vaccinated tourists and business travellers will be allowed to enter the country. If you are not vaccinated, you may require an exemption.Australia will ask for people to have had at least two doses of the vaccine, and only people medically exempt from the jab will be able to get around the rule.

Currently, a negative Covid PCR test result taken within 72 hours before arrival is required, except for arrivals from New Zealand.

And incoming travellers are required to complete an Australia Travel Declaration (ATD) at least 72 hours before departure. The form asks for proof of vaccination.

Each state within Australia may have extra rules and quarantine requirements for travellers, so it is worth checking them before planning your holiday.


Visitors to Canada will first need a an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter the country - you can apply for that online.

Fully vaccinated tourists are welcome provided they have no Covid symptoms. Canada has its own system, ArriveCAN, for entering your vaccination information and a quarantine plan in case you test positive upon arrival.

To be classed as fully vaccinated, you'll need to have received your second dose at least 15 days before entering Canada. One jab and recovery from Covid doesn't count.

These people will also need to provide proof of a negative PCR taken no more than 72 hours before leaving the UK - that applies to everybody over five-years-old.

As an alternative to the test, tourists can instead provide proof of a positive Covid test from between 14 and 180 days ago.

Fully vaccinated arrivals over the age of five (and who haven't had Covid in the past 180 days) may be selected at random to take a test upon arrival.

If you get singled out to take one, you'll need to either swab at the airport or take it to your destination in Canada to complete within 24 hours - and you'll need to quarantine until you get a negative result.

If it's positive - it's 10 days of isolation.

Many children got their second Covid vaccine doses over the Christmas holidays. Credit: PA

Children under 12 who aren't vaccinated, or aren't fully vaccinated, can travel with you but will need to complete pre-entry, arrival, and day eight tests - as well as steering clear of a lengthy list of places for 14 days. Again those tests aren't needed if they've had Covid between 15 and 180 days ago.

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children aged 12 to 17 will need to quarantine for 14 days and take all those tests.

Unvaccinated adults cannot enter Canada for tourism alone - there is, again, a list of exemptions and the government of Canada website has a good multiple choice quiz to see if any of these apply to you.


All arrivals to Turkey over the age of six will need to complete an online form a maximum of 72 hours before travelling. Travellers will also be subject to a medical evaluation for symptoms of Covid at the airport, including temperature checks.

Arrivals may also be picked out at random to take a PCR test.

If you're fully vaccinated, holidaying in Turkey is simple - no test needed, and no quarantine.

Fully vaccinated means you had your second jab at least 14 days ago.

If you're not fully vaccinated, it's still pretty simple.

You can bring proof of recovery from Covid within the past six months before arrival - available on the NHS Covid Pass.

Alternatively you can bring proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or a negative lateral flow within the past 48 hours - both paid for privately.

These rules are the same for children aged over 11. Under-11s can follow the rules for fully vaccinated passengers regardless of their vaccination status.