Questions and answers on the travel ban in France, Ireland and Europe
Travel to France, Ireland, Spain, Italy and dozens of other countries has been restricted due to the more infectious variant of coronavirus in the UK. Countries including France, the Netherlands and Belgium have started easing restrictions, with some travelers allowed to enter with proof of a negative covid test on entry,
Travel bans on UK residents from more than 50 countries are starting to ease. France has said residents and those transiting through the country for essential reasons can travel to France if they provide proof of a negative covid test. Several other European countries are likely to do the same, although rules differ on who can travel and what type of test you need.
With travel largely restricted to residents and/or those with an essential reason, it is likely that some ferries and flights will continue to be canceled over the coming weeks. Customers will receive a full refund, within seven days for a canceled flight or ferry and fourteen days for a canceled vacation package. All non-essential travel from Tier 4 to England, Scotland and Wales is prohibited throughout the Christmas and New Year season.
For those returning to the UK, the borders are not closed. Ferries from Ireland to the UK operate, as does reduced air travel from most destinations. Some countries have banned all travel to and from the UK for some time, although this is expected to ease as testing rules are introduced.
People living in Tier 4 in England and residents of Wales and Scotland cannot travel for non-essential reasons. You should be entitled to a refund, although some airlines refuse this and only allow rebooking or issue a voucher. It is still possible to travel internationally from Tier 1 and 2 in England, although you may be stuck with many canceled flights.
What we know country by country
Ban on travel to France lifted for some: Eurostar and ferry
The total ban on travel to France has been lifted. French nationals, EU nationals and residents of France or the EU (including UK nationals) can travel to France if they provide a negative covid test. There is also another list of exemptions, allowing people who do not fall into the above categories to undertake essential travel, such as certain lorry drivers and medical professionals.
Anyone traveling to France must take a covid test less than 72 hours before departure. Children under 11 are exempt. France said both antigen and PCR testing are acceptableeven if you have to use a Service provider approved by the French government. High demand for private testing means availability can be low.
Eurostar has restarted its services to Paris. DFDS, Stena Line and P&O operate ferries between France and the UK.
If your flight, ferry or train is cancelled, you are entitled to a refund. If the service is still running but you cannot go due to the above French restrictions or you are in a tier in England, Scotland or Wales which prohibits travel, the operator can only offer a voucher or a new reservation. Which? believes that customers should be offered a refund, and the competition regulator is investigating companies that refuse. If your refund request is refused, file a complaint with the company and the CMA.
Travel ban to Ireland: flights, Stena Line, Irish Ferries, Ryanair
Ireland has banned all travel from the UK to Ireland until the end of December, although travel could resume sooner if a test plan is introduced. All passengers, including Irish residents, with reservations on ferries to Dublin will not be permitted to travel. You can request a refund or a new booking. Ryanair, Aer Lingus and all other airlines will cancel their flights to Ireland. For canceled flights, you must be reimbursed within seven days.
Travel from Ireland to the UK can continue. Stena Line and Irish Ferries said scheduled departures from Dublin to Holyhead and Fishguard would continue as planned. Wales is currently in national lockdown, but you are allowed to transit through the country.
Anyone traveling to Northern Ireland who plans to stay at least 24 hours will be required to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. However, the new rules will not apply to those who regularly cross the border for essential purposes.
Learn more about refunds and ferry delays.
Ban on travel to Spain and the Canary Islands
Spain has banned entry into the country except for Spanish nationals and Spanish residents (including UK nationals). This ban is initially in effect until January 5.
If you live in Spain, you must bring your residence permit (the green EU residence certificate or the new TIE), as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but have not yet received your document, bring proof that you have started the registration process. Padron certificates, utility bills and title deeds will not be accepted by the Spanish authorities as proof of residence.
All passengers (except children under 6) traveling to Spain will be required to present a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within 72 hours of arrival. See Entry requirements for more details.
All package tours that were due to depart to Spain and the Canary Islands in the coming weeks will be cancelled.
Travel ban in Italy
Italy will not allow flights from the UK to enter Italy until January 6. It will also not allow anyone who has transited through the UK in the past 14 days into the country, but Italian residents can return home.
Travel ban to Portugal
From midnight on Sunday December 20, Portugal banned passenger travel to and from the UK, regardless of nationality, with the exception of Portuguese citizens and those legally residing in the country.
Travel ban to Poland
Flights from the UK to Poland are suspended, with the exception of repatriation flights organized by the Polish government. The end date of this ban is not yet known.
Which other countries have banned travel from the UK?
The list is growing rapidly. the FCDO is the most reliable source of up-to-date information. Below are the countries that have already introduced bans or indicated they will do so on travel to the UK: Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Latvia , Lithuania, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong. , Italy, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Kuwait, Morocco, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey
Crucially, some popular transit destinations, such as Singapore, have also banned anyone who has recently traveled to the UK from arriving to transit through the airport.
I am abroad. How will I come back?
For now, most flights, ferries and trains to the UK are still operating. You can always go home.
If you can, it would be a good idea to return to the UK early while the services are running.
Most airlines have had flexible booking policies in recent months, so it’s likely you’ll be able to rebook, although date changes will be expensive in the coming days.
If your flight is canceled and you are abroad, it is important not to accept a refund. The airline remains responsible for your return home, including flights with other airlines and on alternate routes. This liability ends if you accept a refund.
If you are on a package holiday you need not worry as your tour operator will ensure that you get home. Chances are you can finish your vacation.
What does Jet2 say about holidays and flights to Turkey and the Canary Islands?
Jet2 has suspended flights and holidays to Funchal, the Canary Islands and Turkey until January 5 inclusive. It will automatically cancel them and issue a full refund.
Customers who are already in resort can continue their holidays as normal and Jet2 will bring these people back to the UK as planned. The company will contact you to advise you.
What does Tui say about holidays?
The only Tui holidays affected by the travel ban are Madeira holidays. Therefore, he canceled the holidays to Madeira on December 21 and 24. Tui will be in touch with those affected to offer a full refund or the option to edit for free.
Tui customers currently in Madeira can continue to enjoy their holiday as planned – there is no need to fly out earlier.
I booked a trip. Should I go there?
Probably not. Those in Tier 1 and 2 in England can still travel and take vacations. At level 3, you are advised not to travel abroad, but this is not restricted.
Some countries have not restricted travel from the UK, meaning flights will likely continue to operate. However, they may introduce restrictions later on, potentially leaving you locked out.