Heathrow and Gatwick: Latest travel rules for France, Italy, Germany and Holland as Austria locks down unvaccinated residents

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The pandemic has forced many of us to reconsider travel plans but many countries are beginning to relax the rules for foreign visitors.

However, some places still have strict rules to adhere to.

It can still be confusing learning all the restrictions, including whether masks are needed or if vaccinations are compulsory prior to entering a country.

Here are the current guidelines for France, Italy, Germany, Holland and Austria.

Austria recently announced a lockdown for around two million unvaccinated citizens.

Austria

The famous “Weihnachtsmarkt” (Christmas Market) in Salzburg Austria is popular with visitors (Image: DaveLongMedia / Getty Images)

If you are travelling to Austria, there are a few things to consider.

If visitors can prove they have been vaccinated (using UK proof of vaccine record), there is no need to self-isolate upon entering the country.

A PDF version of vaccination proof must be available after November 1 to be scanned on arrival.

Those who have not been vaccinated must have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior, a lateral flow test from within 48 hours, or be able to prove recent recovery from Covid.

Also, a pre-travel clearance form must be completed no more than 72 hours before entry to Austria and they must self-isolate for 10 days.

Travellers can leave isolation after five days by taking a PCR test with a negative result.

Vienna provides free hotels for visitors who have to self-isolate.

Face masks are compulsory on public transport and in public places throughout Austria.

Certain hospitality venues also require proof of vaccination or recent recovery from Covid to enter.

France

Paris skyline with Eiffel Tower and rooftops
France has strict requirements for entry (Image: Getty Images)

The UK is on France’s amber list, which means those who are unvaccinated can only travel for a set list of essential purposes.

Unvaccinated travellers must also complete an International Travel Certificate, a ‘sworn statement’ to state they do not have Covid symptoms, and must self-isolate for seven days upon arrival.

A negative PCR or antigen test is required 24 hours before departure.

Anyone who is unvaccinated and is boarding the Eurostar will have to complete a test at Gare du Nord and self-isolate for 10 days if the test gives a positive result.

Fully vaccinated travellers do not need an ‘essential’ reason to visit France and are not required to isolate or provide a negative test prior to travelling.

The sworn statement and proof of vaccination are necessary.

Face masks must be worn on public transport.

When returning to the UK, unvaccinated travellers must complete a Certificate to leave Metropolitan France.

Italy

The world-famous Leaving Tower of Pisa is popular with visitors

Italy requires a Covid pass, known as a ‘green pass’, for visitors but the country is accepting the UK’s proof of Covid recovery or vaccination record as an equivalent.

Vaccinated travellers are not required to self-isolate on arrival but must fill in a passenger locator form (EU PLF) and provide evidence of a negative PCR or antigen test within 48 hours of entering the country.

Unvaccinated visitors have the same requirements and also must notify the Prevention Department of the local health authority, isolate for five days, and take another test after five days.

They also need to take private transportation to their destination once in Italy.

Testing positive while in Italy may mean travellers have to stay in a quarantine hotel.

Public transportation still has mask-wearing restrictions and they are also to be worn in spaces where you cannot socially distance one metre from others.

Germany

Germany has some stunning views (Image: Elisabeth Schmitt/Getty Images)

The UK is classed as a ‘high incidence’ area, which means travellers may find it difficult to enter Germany.

Fully vaccinated visitors can travel to the country for any purpose provided they have proof of Covid recovery or vaccination and they do not need to self-isolate.

Unvaccinated people, however, may struggle.

To enter the country, they have to be a German citizen or resident, the spouse of a German citizen or resident, or have an urgent need to travel (which can be found on the Federal Interior Ministry website).

Provided they meet these criteria, visitors must prove their Covid status prior to arrival and self-isolate for 10 days.

There is the option to leave isolation after five days with a negative test.

Every traveller must complete a pre-departure digital registration.

Once in the country, masks must be worn in enclosed spaces and on public transport.

Proof of vaccination, recent recovery or a negative test is required to get into certain hospitality venues.

The Netherlands

You can visit Holland if you meet certain criteria (Image: KOEN VAN WEEL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Tourists from the UK can only enter The Netherlands if they are vaccinated as the UK is classed as a ‘very high-risk country’.

An NHS Covid pass is required alongside a negative PCR test from the prior 48 hours (or a negative antigen test from within 24 hours).

Travellers must self-isolate for 10 days with the option to leave after five days with another negative test result.

UK nationals who reside in The Netherlands can re-enter the country irrespective of their vaccination status, provided they have a residency permit or a certificate of application.

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Those flying to the country need a health screening form and a quarantine declaration form.

Once in the country, face masks are required on public transport and in indoor spaces.

The local advice is to avoid travelling during peak transport hours.

To enter public venues, Covid status has to be proven.

If in doubt, check gov.uk for all the latest travel rules.