As we move into 2022, COVID-19 rules and regulations regarding international travel have altered, with guidelines changing. How will this progress as a response to the new Omicron variant? Only time will tell. For those looking to plan holidays abroad or even visit loved ones, this can make things very confusing, so what are the latest guidelines when looking to travel to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and more?

When flying to any one of these countries, travelers are expected to wear a mask and practice appropriate distancing and hygiene measures, as they do in the UK. All Red List countries have, as of this point in time, been removed to make travel easier, though, again, this may change as the Omicron variant has become more prominent all over the world.

If you are leaving England to fly to Brazil, there are currently no travel restrictions in place. However, travellers must show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within the past 72 hours and a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of boarding. Proof of a COVID-19 vaccine is also necessary. Unvaccinated travellers will not be allowed to enter the country unless they quarantine for 14 days, and all travellers (vaccinated and unvaccinated) must complete an online Travellers Health Declaration form within 24 hours of travelling.

As a general rule, proof of vaccination status and a negative COVID-19 test is necessary for travel by air. These requirements may be more strict depending on where you are travelling to, with unvaccinated travellers having to abide by different rules.

When it comes to Europe, travel to Italy from England is currently permitted. Once in Italy, it is necessary to produce a certificate proving a negative COVID-19 PCR test or antigen test, and it is the responsibility of the traveller to produce this. Some countries, such as Portugal, require that this is carried out by a doctor or other medical professional, and self-administered tests are not considered valid.

It is also necessary for travellers to have a passenger locator form, and those arriving in Italy from overseas can be subject to random COVID-19 tests until at least the 31st January 2022.

If a traveller is looking to go to Spain, a Health Control Form must be produced (for adults and children under 12). Travellers can complete this either electronically before boarding a flight, or on paper at the time of travel. Unlike with other European countries, though, if a traveller is fully vaccinated, they will not need to produce either a negative COVID-19 test or be required to quarantine for any length of time. At least 14 days must have passed since the vaccine was administered, and for the vaccine to be authorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) or the European Medicines Agency.

It is only possible to enter Spain for tourism if the traveller has been fully vaccinated. However, it is possible to enter Spain for other “essential” purposes if unvaccinated, showing a negative PCR test taken in the past 72 hours.

As we can see, these rules vary wildly from country to country, with travel being considerably easier for vaccinated people than those who remain unvaccinated. Whether vaccinated or not, it is wise to check the rules and regulations regarding COVID-19 before travelling, as each country may change these restrictions in response to the escalating Omicron variant situation.

No matter if the traveller in question is travelling for tourism, personal or business reasons, doing so during the COVID-19 pandemic remains somewhat risky, so preparing for potential cancellations and changes in plans is wise.

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