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The most popular destinations and the latest travel rules

This autumn has been kind to hopeful holidaymakers – the UK’s traffic light system has been simplified and travel to Britain’s favourite countries is back. So, where can I go? Here are the latest travel rules for the 10 most popular destinations.


Say the word ‘holiday’ and Spain might just come to mind. The national favourite among these top destinations is a sun-baked medley of vanilla-scoop beaches, scarlet-dressed flamenco dancers and stucco-clad colonial architecture.

Entry requirements for Spain

From December 1, 2021, only fully vaccinated Britons are allowed to enter Spain. Every passenger arriving in Spain from the UK needs to bring with them:

  • A pre-declaration travel form
  • A proof of vaccination

Returning to the UK

Before you travel back to the UK you must:

  1. Book and pay for a COVID test on day two
  2. Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you land

When you arrive in the UK, you’ll have to take your pre-ordered COVID test.

The situation on the ground:

Autumn is one of the best times to visit Spain as temperatures start to fall. It’s easy to travel around the country too, as there are currently no travel restrictions between municipalities and regions, and airports, trains and buses all operate a normal timetable. Medical tests, with the exception of the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, are no longer required and curfews are no longer in place. Hotels, restaurants, museums, and shops still follow safety measures and cleaning protocols, and masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces, on public transport, and outdoors when safety distance can’t be maintained. Marta Carnero, travel editor and writer

Live COVID-19 guidelines for Spain

The world’s tallest building towers above shiny shopping malls and some of the most luxurious hotels on the planet. But there’s more to the seven emirates of the UAE than Dubai, from its forward-thinking cultural capital Abu Dhabi to the parched desert of Ras Al Khaimah, backed by the Hajar Mountains – the highest mountain range in the region.

Entry requirements for UAE

Every passenger arriving in the UAE from the UK must:

  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken up to 72 hours before departure
  • Register their details on the COVID-19 DXB app
  • Complete and print a Health Declaration Form and a Quarantine Form
  • Buy health insurance that covers COVID-19

Note that you might be asked to do a random COVID test on arrival, and if you test positive, you will have to self-isolate in a government facility or hotel for at least 10 days.

Returning to the UK

Before you travel back to the UK you must:

  1. If you’re fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a COVID test on day two
  2. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel, as well as book nd pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken after arrival in the UK
  3. Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you land and provide a printed copy at the airport before departing the UAE.

When you arrive in the UK:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, you must take and send off your pre-ordered COVID test on day two
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days and take PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine
  3. The situation on the ground:

    It helps to be fully vaccinated to travel anywhere at the moment, and you will need to take a PCR test before you arrive, but everything is pretty straightforward and the airlines can give you all the information you need. The temperature in Dubai is starting to get a little cooler and it’s much easier to walk around outside or lie by the pool. It is never easy to travel around Dubai because of the limited public transport systems and the traffic building up quite heavily during rush hour. Though there are always taxis around and they are relatively cheap, so even if you need to sit in traffic for a while it won’t cost you the earth. In many places, masks are still mandatory and at times you have to wear it even when you’re outside. This can be a little stuffy given the temperatures outside, but you soon get used to it and generally it’s not for long periods of time. Everything in Dubai is either open or opening soon, and there are always so many things to see and do, especially with Expo 2020 running from October to March 2022, Dubai has really ramped up on the variety of activities for every type of guest. Or if you just want to lounge by a pool, there is a hotel pool or beach club for every type of person or mood you’re in! David Ogiste, founder of experiential agency Nobody’s Café

    Live COVID-19 guidelines for the UAE

Istanbul, Turkey, is one of the world’s greatest cities. From the moment you wake up to the call to prayer you’re immersed in a sensory overload of glittering bazaars, grilled-meat kebabs, and dizzying Byzantine architecture. Then there is Turkey’s ancient port city of Ephesus, the Aegean olive groves, golden coastline, and mirror-clear lakes surrounded by the Kaçkar Mountains.

Entry requirements for Turkey

Every passenger arriving in Turkey from the UK must complete an online form a maximum of 72 hours prior to travel as well as bring with them:

  • Proof of a full vaccination against COVID-19 (the NHS app is accepted)
  • OR proof of recent recovery from COVID-19
  • OR a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival
  • OR a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival

Returning to the UK

Before you travel back to the UK you must:

  1. If you’re fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a COVID test on day two
  2. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel, as well as book nd pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken after arrival in the UK
  3. Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you land

When you arrive in the UK:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, you must take and send off your pre-ordered COVID test on day two
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days and take PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine
  3. The situation on the ground:

    “Normal” life has returned to Turkey – restaurants, cafes, museums, shopping malls, and cinemas are open, and concerts, exhibitions, and markets are back on. You must wear a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor places and get the HES Code [a personal code introduced by the Turkish Ministry of Health for every resident and visitor to Turkey]. The HES Code makes it easier to do anything, including using public transport and shopping at a mall. Once you have it, you can go anywhere!  Ozge Ozkocak, social media manager

    Live COVID-19 guidelines for Turkey

Italy is a place of pilgrimage for the finer things. Here, the world’s greatest fashion houses rub shoulders with inimitable works of renaissance art and marble architecture, all fuelled by jet-black shots of espresso and some of the best gastronomy you’ll ever discover.

Entry requirements for Italy

Every fully vaccinated passenger arriving in Italy from the UK must:

  • Fill in a passenger locator form before arriving (you will receive a QR code to show at border control)
  • Show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test, taken within 48 hours of arriving in Italy

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must also:

  • Notify the local health authorities of your arrival
  • Travel to your accommodation in Italy by private transfer only
  • Self-isolate for five days
  • Take another PCR or antigen test after quarantining for five days

Returning to the UK

Before you travel back to the UK you must:

  1. If you’re fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a COVID test on day two
  2. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel, as well as book nd pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken after arrival in the UK
  3. Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you land

When you arrive in the UK:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, you must take and send off your pre-ordered COVID test on day two
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days and take PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine
  3. The situation on the ground:

    Tourism is picking up again and you can travel around Italy quite easily with a Green pass [a EU digital COVID certificate] or an equivalent certificate recognised by the Italian authorities. You’ll need this to travel domestically on planes, trains, ferries and coaches, and to enter the indoor areas of restaurants, theatres, cinemas, museums, wellness centres, sports competitions and public events. Nightclubs are open again but only at 50% capacity, stadiums at up to 75%, but museums, galleries and other culture venues are operating at full capacity. You must wear a mask in all indoor places, including public transports, and is highly recommended outdoors where it is not possible to maintain a safe distance.  Cristina Grifoni, travel editor and writer

    Live COVID-19 guidelines for Italy

Eating a piping hot pastel de nata custard tart from a 200-year-old Lisbon patisserie is one of Portugal’s purest pleasures. And there’s plenty more where that came from, whether that means gazing over the vineyards of Porto, surfing an Atlantic wave or tucking into a juicy cataplana (fish stew) beachside on the golden-lit Algarve coastline.

Entry requirements for Portugal

Every fully vaccinated passenger arriving in Portugal from the UK must:

  • Complete an online passenger locator card
  • Show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (the NHS COVID pass is accepted)
  • Entry rules may vary depending on the region you are visiting. Please refer to gov.uk for the latest advice

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must also:

  • Take a PCR test up to 72 hours before you travel or an approved antigen test within 48 hours of departure

Returning to the UK

Before you travel back to the UK you must:

  1. If you’re fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a COVID test on day two
  2. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel, as well as book nd pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken after arrival in the UK
  3. Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you land

When you arrive in the UK:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, you must take and send off your pre-ordered COVID test on day two
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days and take PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine
  3. The situation on the ground:

    October/November is a lovely time to visit Portugal and the Algarve in particular. Temperatures are around 23-25 degrees during the day and it is mostly sunny, though you might get the odd rainy day and it can get quite cool at night. The sea temperature around this time is also a lot more pleasant compared to the summer! Most restrictions were lifted at the start of October and you’ll need to show your COVID certificate if you’re going to a bar or a club, or a major event. In the Algarve, everything is open as normal. As of 1 October, restaurants, bars, etc, no longer have to close early. In cities like Lisbon and Porto, it’s easy to get around using public transport. In the Algarve, you should rent a car to explore the region. A lot of people tend to stay in resort areas close to the airport like Vilamoura or Albufeira, but you should visit Luz, Burgau and Sagres. The beaches there are amazing and you don’t get as many tourists. You no longer need to wear a mask, apart from when using public transport. Everything feels normal, especially now that they have removed most of the restrictions. It’s still a bit quieter than in previous years and it doesn’t feel overly crowded. Skyscanner

    Live COVID-19 guidelines for Portugal

The roots of Western civilisation are in Greece, and the country’s sun-bleached, colonnaded ruins are (literally) temples to Europe’s history. When you’ve marvelled at the monasteries of Meteora and the 2,000-year-old Parthenon in Athens, ferry hop between this top destination’s 227 islands, where there are enough scalloped, white-sand bays to have you swimming in turquoise shallows for life.

Entry requirements for Greece

Every passenger arriving in Greece from the UK must:

  • Complete a passenger locator form before arriving
  • Show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (the NHS COVID pass is accepted) OR a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test taken up to 48 hours before departure OR a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the 72 hour period before arrival into Greece OR proof of recent recovery from COVID-19
  • In addition, visitors to Greece may be required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival. If you test positive on arrival, you and those you are travelling with will have to self-isolate in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state.

Returning to the UK

Before you travel back to the UK you must:

  1. If you’re fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a COVID test on day two
  2. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel, as well as book nd pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken after arrival in the UK
  3. Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you land

When you arrive in the UK:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, you must take and send off your pre-ordered COVID test on day two
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days and take PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine
  3. The situation on the ground:

    Greece is beautiful in autumn and you can still eat outdoors at this time of the year. It is still mandatory to wear a mask in all indoor spaces across Greece, and on public transport. You can travel anywhere in mainland Greece, though local rules may vary especially on the islands. Restrictions are reviewed regularly, and vary from region to region. You need a proof of vaccination to go to a restaurant or a museum, so booking is highly recommended, and restricted numbers are in place to attend religious services.  Marianna Kourkouni, travel writer

    Live COVID-19 guidelines for Greece

Germany’s a cultural feast, from the pristine canals of Hamburg to the capital city Berlin, which thrums to techno drum beats and where vegan kebabs are almost as ubiquitous as Turkish ones. And outside of the cities, a landscape of thick forests, thermal springs, romantic rivers and Alpine glaciers await in this top destination, just begging to be hiked and cycled across.

Entry requirements for Germany

Every fully vaccinated passenger arriving in Germany from the UK must:

If you don’t have a full vaccination against COVID-19:

  • You may only enter Germany from the UK if you are a German citizen. Unvaccinated travellers who do not meet any of the exemptions cannot currently enter Germany from the UK.
  • If you are a German citizen or qualify for an exemption, you must complete pre-departure digital registration
  • Show a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test result taken up to 48 hours before departure
  • OR a negative PCR test result taken up to 72 hours before departure
  • OR proof of recent recovery from COVID-19
  • Quarantine for up to 14 days, with the option to leave self-isolation after five days if you test negative for COVID

Returning to the UK

Before you travel back to the UK you must:

  1. If you’re fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a COVID test on day two
  2. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel, as well as book nd pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken after arrival in the UK
  3. Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you land

When you arrive in the UK:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, you must take and send off your pre-ordered COVID test on day two
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days and take PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine
  3. The situation on the ground:

    Everything in Germany is open, but visitors must be able to prove they have been vaccinated, have recovered or have tested negative (the so-called “3G rule”) to enter some public spaces. However, regional regulations in Germany are as diverse as the federal states themselves. In addition, people are required to wear surgical masks or FFP2 respirators on public transport, in closed public spaces like shops, restaurants or airports, and in any situation where they might come in close contact with other people.  Izabella Meczykowski, travel editor and writer

    Live COVID-19 guidelines for Germany

There are many reasons why France is the most visited country in the world. It’s the birthplace of Chanel, champagne, Camembert cheese, cognac. Its geography spans snow-capped peaks, rolling vineyards, windswept surf spots and private Mediterranean coves. And that’s without even mentioning the leafy squares and street-corner cafe terraces of Paris, which might just be the most romantic city on earth.

Entry requirements for France

Every fully vaccinated passenger arriving in France from the UK must:

  • Complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) 
  • Show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (the NHS COVID pass is accepted)

If you don’t have a full vaccination against COVID-19, you must:

  • Complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) 
  • Show a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen or PCR test result taken up to 24 hours before departure
  • Self-isolate for seven days after arrival, then take another PCR test

Returning to the UK

Before you travel back to the UK you must:

  1. If you’re fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a COVID test on day two
  2. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel, as well as book nd pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken after arrival in the UK
  3. Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you land

When you arrive in the UK:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, you must take and send off your pre-ordered COVID test on day two
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days and take PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine
  3. The situation on the ground:

    Travelling to France is pretty easy at the moment. Borders are open to vaccinated travellers and those who meet the testing requirements. Locally, everything is open to visitors with a “pass sanitaire”, which is also used for boarding domestic flights or trains. Masks are not required outdoors but they must be worn indoors. Being in France at the moment resembles much of the life pre-Covid with a little organisation needed before starting your day.  Kiel Bonhomme, travel editor and writer

    Live COVID-19 guidelines for France

This lush-green island is famous for its breathtaking landscapes, from the spectacular Cliffs of Moher to the beautiful lakes of Killarney National Park and the well preserved sixth-century monastery on Skellig Michael island. But don’t forget its bustling cities: the capital Dublin is a living museum of historic castles, medieval cathedrals, Georgian streets and many hundreds of pubs.

Entry requirements for Ireland

Every fully vaccinated passenger arriving in Ireland from the UK must:

If you don’t have a full vaccination against COVID-19, you must also:

  • Quarantine at your accommodation for up tp 14 days, with the option of ending quarantine after five days if you take another PCR test and get written or SMS confirmation of a negative result.

Returning to the UK

Before you travel back to the UK you must:

  1. If you’re fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a COVID test on day two
  2. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel, as well as book nd pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken after arrival in the UK
  3. Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you land

When you arrive in the UK:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, you must take and send off your pre-ordered COVID test on day two
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days and take PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine
  3. The situation on the ground:

    Ireland is open to tourists and life is pretty much back to normal. A few restrictions are still in place, but, overall, travelling around the country is easy, and the lack of mass tourism makes autumn the perfect time to visit Ireland. You must wear a masks on public transports, in shops, and other indoor venues. Nightclubs reopen on 22 October but numbers are restricted, however live music and bar service are still not allowed. Just remember to keep your vaccine certificate with you and follow the rules before planning your visit to Ireland; fill up your Passenger Locator Form, adhere to the regulations in place, and enjoy your trip!  Veruska Anconitano, travel writer

    Live COVID-19 guidelines for Ireland

This vast land runs on the love of the great outdoors. The love affair starts with the crashing waters of Niagara Falls or the sky-piercing Rocky Mountains dipped in sugar-white snow. Before you know it you’re looking for whales, polar bears, moose or grizzlies on an expedition through forests, rivers and plains. And that’s before you’ve explored the great cities that make this a top destination: multicultural Toronto, historic Montreal, mountain-ringed Vancouver.

Entry requirements for Canada

Every fully vaccinated passenger arriving in Canada from the UK must:

  • Fill in their details via ArriveCAN
  • Show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (the NHS COVID pass is accepted)
  • Show proof of a pre-departure PCR test taken up to 72 hours defore arrival
  • Have no symtoms of COVID-19

Note that you might be asked to take a random COVID test on arrival.

Returning to the UK

Before you travel back to the UK you must:

  1. If you’re fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a COVID test on day two
  2. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel, as well as book nd pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken after arrival in the UK
  3. Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you land

When you arrive in the UK:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, you must take and send off your pre-ordered COVID test on day two
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days and take PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine
  3. The situation on the ground:

    Autumn is the best month to visit Canada – fall foliage is in full bloom and the tourist crowds have eased since the busy summer season. All the main attractions, restaurants, and other businesses are open, but most aren’t operating at full capacity. Masks are still required in all indoor spaces, including on public transport, but when it comes to Covid restrictions, each province and territory in the country has its own guidance. From November, travellers and transport workers will have to be fully vaccinated to travel domestically on a federally regulated passenger plane, train, or cruise ship. Major Canadian airlines have increased their domestic flight routes this year, and VIA Rail, Canada’s cross-country train, has reopened its most popular routes. Scenic routes on the Rocky Mountaineer are also up and running, taking travellers across Canada’s western provinces.  Jennifer Richardson, travel editor and writer

    Live COVID-19 guidelines for Canada


The world is waiting to be rediscovered, and these are just a handful of the top destinations that are calling you back. Book your flights, hotels and car rentals on Skyscanner and you’ll be ready to go.


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