Changes to Wales travel restrictions: How do they affect your holiday plans?

The relaxation of border restrictions came into effect at 4am on Monday. Credit: PA Images

People travelling to the UK from the United States and most European Union countries no longer have to quarantine upon arrival if they have been double vaccinated against Covid.

The relaxation of border restrictions came into effect at 4am on Monday 2 August, following a decision by the UK Government.

It said it hoped the move would "reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK".

The Welsh Government has said it ''regrets" the decision but has applied the same rule in Wales, adding that it would be "ineffective to introduce separate arrangements".

Welsh ministers have repeatedly encouraged people to 'holiday at home' this year.

So what are the new requirements, and how do they affect you?

Credit: PA Images
  • What is the new rule for double-jabbed EU and US travellers into the UK?

Until Monday, only travellers who have received two doses of a vaccine in the UK had been permitted to enter from an amber country - such as the US and most of the EU - without self-isolating for 10 days.

But UK ministers have decided to extend the exemption to those vaccinated in the US and the EU.

Those vaccinated in the US will also need to provide proof of US residency.

Exemptions do not apply to any country added to the UK's red list of travel destinations, which includes Turkey, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and the Maldives among several others.

  • Which European countries are included in today's changes?

Double-jabbed travellers will be able to enter the UK from any EU country without quarantining apart from France, which is subject to tighter restrictions due to its coronavirus situation.

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden are all within the EU.

The exemption from quarantine for double-jabbed travellers also applies to Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and Vatican City.

Those returning from France - regardless of vaccination status - must self-isolate for 10 days and take tests on day two and eight.

France has tighter travel restrictions due to its coronavirus situation. Credit: PA Images
  • What do I need to do before travelling into the UK from the US or those European countries?

Travellers will be required to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before the second day after their arrival.

Britons are still not permitted to enter the United States regardless of whether they have been fully-vaccinated or have recently tested negative for coronavirus.

What you will need to do if travelling from abroad into Wales

Travelling into Wales from a green list country

Those travelling into Wales from a green list country will need to provide their journey and contact details by completing a passenger locator form.

They will also need to show a negative Covid test for all travellers aged 11 or above, taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

They will then need to take a test on or before day two.

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Travelling into Wales from an amber list country

The requirements for travellers returning to Wales from an amber list country depend on their vaccine status.

The Welsh Government has said that those travelling to the UK who are double-jabbed must complete a passenger locator form before arriving.

They must also show a negative Covid test within three days before departure. Children under the age of 11 do not need to take this test.

In addition, travellers are required to have pre-booked a post-arrival test to be taken on day two - children under five are exempt from this.

The Welsh Government said people cannot book tests through a private provider.

Those arriving in Wales from an amber list country who are not fully vaccinated will need to follow the same steps as above, but also isolate for 10 days and take additional tests.

Under-18s arriving from amber countries (except France) do not need to isolate even if their parents are required to do so.

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Travelling into Wales from a red list country

People cannot travel directly to Wales if they have visited or passed through a red list country.

They will only be able to enter from those countries via a designated port of entry in England or Scotland and isolate for 10 days in a nearby managed quarantine hotel. 

There are no designated ports of entry in Wales.

They will also be required to show several negative Covid tests on certain days surrounding their travel.

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  • How about when travelling to popular holiday destinations?

Spain has its own travel restrictions on arrivals from the UK however it is likely they would not stop a fully vaccinated person entering the country.

If Britons can prove they've had their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine longer than 14 days before their arrival in Spain, or that they've tested negative within 48 hours prior to their arrival, then they will be able to enter the country quarantine-free.

The same rules apply for Spain's islands such as Ibiza and Mallorca.

Entry to Greece and its various islands is permitted without quarantine for people who can prove they've either been double-jabbed or have tested negative.

Unvaccinated people must show they've had a negative result from a laboratory PCR test taken within the past 72 hours, or a laboratory lateral flow test taken up to 48 hours before entry.

People arriving in Italy from the UK are subject to a five day period of quarantine, whether or not they have been vaccinated.

A coronavirus test must be taken on day five with a negative result in order to leave quarantine.

There are warnings that holiday plans could be disrupted by further proposed changes to travel restrictions. Credit: PA Images
  • Could my travel plans still be at risk?

UK Labour has warned that holiday plans for British travellers could be thrown into chaos if the government opts to introduce an additional category to the coronavirus traffic light system.

Ministers are reportedly considering whether an 'amber watchlist' should be added to the system, warning people that countries in that category could join the red list at short notice.

Reports suggest Italy and Spain could be the first on the amber watchlist.

The UK Government has said an amber watchlist would be another way of providing holidaymakers with additional travel information.