Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia & Bulgaria FCDO advice following traffic light shake-up

Grant Shapps provides update on the UK travel list

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Eager holidaymakers remain at the peril of the Government’s traffic light list, with travel rules and restrictions changing at short notice. On Thursday night, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced the latest changes to the traffic light system.

In line with this, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice pages for an array of countries.

Among them were Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia and Bulgaria.

Here is the latest travel information for Britons hoping to visit the countries.


Mainland Spain and its archipelagos are now all on the amber list, following Thursday night’s announcement which saw the Balearics moved from the green list.

In its latest update, the FCDO explains: “Spain, including the Canary Islands, is on the amber list for entering England.

“The Balearic Islands are on the green list for entering England.

“From 4am on Monday 19 July the Balearic Islands will move to the amber list for entering England.”

As a result, unvaccinated Britons will need to self-isolate for 10 days upon their return to the UK as of July 19.

Britons who are fully vaccinated no longer need to self-isolate from this time.

However, regardless of vaccination status, all Britons must take a pre-and post-departure PCR test.

Despite the rule change, Spain maintains that UK arrivals are still welcome.

The FCDO explains: “From July 2, the Spanish government requires all arrivals to Spain from the UK to present on entry one of the following: a negative COVID-19 test; or proof of vaccination.”


Portugal remains on the UK’s amber list for travel, however, Madeira is on the green list.

The FCDO states: “Portugal, including the Azores, is on the amber list for entering England.

“Madeira is on the green list for entering England.”

Though visitors from the UK can enter Portugal, they must meet specific entry requirements.

“Travellers from the UK who have not been fully vaccinated must quarantine for 14 days on arrival in mainland Portugal,” explains the FCDO.

It adds: “All travellers, apart from children under 12, must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to or through mainland Portugal.”

In a new update for Madeira and Porto Santo, the FCDO states: “With the exception of children up to, and including, the age of 11, all travellers to Madeira and Porto Santo must complete and submit a traveller questionnaire.

“If you are travelling with a child aged 11 or under, include their details in your questionnaire

“Take an RT-PCR test 72 hours before travel and upload the test result to the traveller questionnaire or prepare to be tested on arrival, or obtain a COVID-19 vaccination status certificate.”

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Greece remains on the UK’s amber list for travel.

However, in its latest update the FCDO states it “no longer advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Greece, including all the Greek Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks”.

Unvaccinated Britons will still need to self-isolate on return from Greece, and all travellers will need to take two PCR tests.

Greece also has its own entry requirements for UK arrivals.

“Anyone travelling to Greece must comply with the Greek authorities’ requirements, including completion of a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before you travel,” explains the FCDO.

“Travellers must fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) no later than 11:59pm (local time Greece) of the day before arriving in Greece.

“Arrivals from the UK must provide either: proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival into Greece; proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory, undertaken within the 48 hour period before the scheduled flight; or proof of two COVID-19 vaccinations completed at least 14 days before travel.

“Travellers with proof of either are exempted from the need to self-isolate on arrival to Greece.”

The FCDO adds: “In addition, arrivals into Greece may be required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival.”


In a boost for holidays, Croatia is set to go onto the green list from July 19.

This means Britons will be exempt from quarantine upon their return to the UK.

In its latest update, the FCDO explains: “Croatia is on the amber list for entering England. From 4am on Monday 19 July Croatia will move to the green list for entering England.”

However, entry restrictions remain in place for Britons hoping to visit the European destination.

The FCDO explains: “UK nationals travelling to Croatia must present one of the following documents on arrival a negative COVID-19 antigen not older than 48 hours, or; a negative PCR test result not older than 72 hours, or;

proof of vaccination, or; a doctor’s certificate of recovery following a positive test result between 11 and 180 days prior.”

It adds: “If you do not have one of the documents listed above, and are not subject to a specific exemption, you will be required to take a PCR test or rapid antigen test upon arrival in Croatia.

“You need to self-isolate until the results of a negative test are received.”


Bulgaria was also added to the green list at the most recent update, meaning quarantine rules will end from July 19 upon arrival into the UK.

“From 4am on Monday 19 July Bulgaria will move to the green list for entering England,” explains the FCDO.

It continues: “From 1 July, Bulgaria introduced a new system of classification for travellers arriving in the country based on green, orange and red zones. The UK is currently categorised as an ‘orange zone’ country which means that if you are travelling from the UK to Bulgaria you are required to present one of three documents.

“A vaccination certificate indicating an approved vaccine schedule has been completed at least 14 days before arrival.

“A document showing a positive result from a PCR or rapid antigen test for people who have recovered from COVID-19.

“A negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before entry into Bulgaria or a rapid antigen test performed up to 48 hours before entry.”

There is also a chance arrivals could be tested with a rapid antigen test at random. Those who test positive will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

The FCDO adds: “Additionally, there is a mandatory 10-day self-isolation requirement for anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

“The isolation period starts from the date of the last contact with the infected person.”

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