FCO travel advice: Can you travel to Spain, France and Greece?

The newly renamed Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO – also known as FCO) is regularly issuing updates on international travel during the coronavirus pandemic. A list of countries are exempt from the current advice to avoid non-essential travel. However, over the past few months, the FCO have removed countries from the exempt list at a moment’s notice if coronavirus cases are deemed too high in a region.

What is the latest FCO advice for Spain?

Spain was one of the first countries to be removed from the FCO exempt list on July 26, 2020.

As of September 3, the FCO continues to advise against non-essential travel to Spain, which includes the Balearic and Canary Islands.

Anyone who visits Spain will be required to self-isolate for 14 days after returning to the UK.

Spain has its own entry requirements in place in light of the pandemic, so visitors will be expected to provide mandatory contact information and their history of COVID-19 exposure to Spanish authorities 48 hours before travel.

People travelling to Spain will also need to undergo a temperature check and a visual health assessment.

People visiting Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate upon arrival at the current time.

Upon arrival in Spain, visitors must follow the rules in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus – which includes the use of face coverings on public transport and in some public spaces.

What is the latest FCO advice for France?

As of September 3, the FCO advise against all but essential travel to France, including Corsica.

This means anyone who travels to France will be required to self-isolate upon returning to the UK for a period of 14 days.

The FCO explains: “There has been a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in France during recent weeks, with a significant number of French departments now at ‘heightened vulnerability’.

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“In a number of areas, the French Government have brought in extra measures as a consequence.”

For those currently in France, the FCO are not advising people to leave at the current time, but the advice of the local authorities must be followed.

There are entry requirements for visiting France, and rules are in place regarding the use of face masks in public spaces.

France was removed from the FCO exempt list on August 15, 2020.

What is the latest FCO advice for Greece?

Greece is currently exempt from the FCO advice against non-essential travel.

However in light of recent events, there has been some speculation Greece could be taken off the FCO exempt list, as more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Greece over the past week.

The Scottish government recently declared if you return to Scotland from Greece on or after September 3, you will need to self-isolate.

There may also be requirements for anyone returning to Wales from Zakynthos (Zante) to self-isolate for 14 days, and request a coronavirus test once they have arrived home.

Wales’ Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said there are six recent clusters of coronavirus cases, totalling at least 30 infections, linked to flights from Zante to Wales.

At least 16 people have tested positive for COVID-19 following a TUI flight from the Greek island to Cardiff Airport last week.

More information is available on the FCO and the Welsh government websites.

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