Travel Advice: Coronavirus & Brexit

Be Prepared for Post-Brexit and Coronavirus Travel

Coronavirus Information & Advice

All of our summer resorts in Europe are planning to open during May and June and we expect them to be ready to receive guests from the UK and Ireland. Resorts in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia will open all accommodation and facilities, including pools, restaurants and kids clubs, though they may operate under enhanced safety procedures.

On 7 May 2021, the UK government confirmed its plan to gradually reintroduce overseas travel from 17 May, supported by a ‘traffic light’ system of  guidance for the rules relating to re-entry to the UK from different countries, classified as ‘red’, ‘amber’ or ‘green’. A summary of the rules for each category is set out in the image below.

Most mainland European countries were classed as ‘Amber’, with only Portugal being ‘Green’. More countries are expected to be added to the green list at the next announcement, due by 4 June 2021.

FCDO Travel Traffic Lights

Important points to remember

The traffic light list and associated rules refers to entry to the UK, not entry to the destination country. Some destination countries may not allow entry from the UK, though we expect all of our direct destinations will. You may need to complete entry forms and show proof of appropriate negative Covid test results or vaccinations to enter destination countries. More info will be shown within the FCDO ‘entry requirements’ for each country.

At the current time, the plan to allow leisure travel to ‘green countries’ only applies to England. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are yet to approve any plans for leisure travel to any overseas destination.

Even in ‘green-list countries’, all travellers aged 11 and over will need to provide a certified negative Covid test result, taken between 1 and 3 days before returning to the UK. These can be lateral-flow type tests but need to be properly registered. We’re investigating how we may facilitate the ‘test to return’ process for our customers. Directions for testing in the destination countries will also be included within the FCDO ‘coronovirus’ and ‘healthcare’ info for each country. More information on the tests before returning to the UK can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-people-travelling-to-england

All households will have to complete Passenger Locator Forms and pay for private PCR Covid tests to be taken no later than 2 days after returning, including when returning from ‘green-list countries’. Details of private test providers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing

 

Anticipated UK travel advice from 17 May to 4 June

The expected rules from the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for re-entry to the UK and entry to our main destination countries is shown below, including links to FCDO country-by-country advice.

Country FCDO Advice* UK Entry Destination Entry FCDO Page
France Essential travel only
(Amber)
Negative Covid test
10 days self-isolation
+ 2 negative tests
Negative PCR Covid test (72 hours pre)
Self-declaration of absence of symptoms
7 days self-isolation + negative PCR test
France Advice
Spain Essential travel only
(Amber)
Negative Covid test
10 days self-isolation
+ 2 negative tests
Negative Covid test (72 hours pre)
Complete online entry form before arrival.
Temperature & visual health checks
Spain Advice
Italy Essential travel only
(Amber)
Negative Covid test
10 days self-isolation
+ 2 negative tests
Negative Covid test (72 hours pre)
Self-declaration of essential travel on arrival
14 days self-isolation + negative Covid test within 48 hours of arrival
Italy Advice
Croatia Essential travel only
(Amber)
Negative Covid test
10 days self-isolation
+ 2 negative tests
Negative PCR Covid test (48 hours pre)
Complete online entry form before arrival.
14 days self-isolation (7 with negative PCR test after arrival)
Croatia Advice
Portugal Essential travel only
(Amber)
Negative Covid test
10 days self-isolation
+ 2 negative tests
Negative PCR Covid test (72 hours pre)
Temperature and visual health checks
Evidence of essential travel need
Portugal Advice

*Where FCDO advice supports leisure travel at national level for the destination country, there may still be localised restrictions.

Firefly Holidays during the Coronavirus period: To ensure everyone’s safety, our team are all now working from their homes between 9am and 6pm daily. We have remained available every day by phone, email and chat, continuing to provide the same high standards of service to all our customers. Feel free to get in touch about anything at all but please bear with us if it takes a little longer for us to respond, or for any interruptions from children or animals in the background!

Updated 8 June 2021

coronavirus
Brexit Icon

Brexit and Travel to Europe

After officially leaving the European Union on 31 January 2020, the UK’s transition arrangements have now expired, leading to some changes to travel and holidays within Europe. Although no significant impact is expected, the differences are more than just that UK passports have become blue…

Our trade association, ABTA, has the latest information and advice: See ABTA’s Full Brexit Advice for Travellers

Passports and Visas

All British citizens must carry a full 10 year British passport valid for 6 months after the end of your holiday when visiting EU countries. All infants and children must also have their own passport. A visa should not be required for typical holiday periods.

If any members of your party need to renew or obtain a passport, we recommend you apply at least 12 weeks before your holiday. As of 7 May 2020 the UK passport office is advising of a 10-week application processing period. See www.gov.uk or call the UK Passport Office on 0300 222 0000 for advice and information. Citizens of other countries should check with the relevant authorities for passport and visa requirements.

UK citizens will no longer be able to use the EU or EEA lanes at passport control in airports or ports. Use only the ‘All Passports’ lanes.

Health Cards

In addition to taking out travel insurance for all members of your party we strongly recommend you carry a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) or GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) which will provide access to public healthcare systems in the EU and Switzerland. Check whether your EHIC’s 5 year validity has expired… if so, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC.

Driving in Europe

British photocard driving licenses remain valid for use in EU countries, but if you hold a paper license or a license issued in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man, you’ll need an additional International Driving Permit, which can be obtained from main Post Offices.

If driving you’re own car in Europe, you’ll need a ‘green card’ from your car insurance provider to validate your insurance in Europe. This is a physical card. Apply to your insurer at least a month before you travel.

Travelling with Pets

Each pet will need an Animal Health Certificate to confirm micro-chipping and appropriate vaccinations (including rabies). Talk to your vet well in advance and read more government advice on taking your pet abroad.

And Don’t get Caught Out…

  • Give yourself extra time at airports and ports, especially with additional Covid checks. Ports, ferry and tunnel terminals may also be busier due to increased checks on freight and commercial transport.
  • Don’t take meat or milk related products into Europe … even in the food you pack for the journey (baby-milk excluded).
  • Check with your mobile phone provider about roaming charges for phone and data use, as the European-wide agreements for these are no longer valid.
  • Remember that duty-free limits are back in place for alcohol and tobacco products, etc.