Spain, Turkey, Greece, Portugal & more – how nations will welcome back Britons this summer

Dr Hilary discusses travelling to Greece

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed May 17 as the day some overseas travel can resume. This key date will be largely dependent on the Global Travel Taskforce, which is working to determine how Britons can safely jet off to foreign nations.

Already the Government has announced a “traffic light system” will be in place, categorising countries as “red”, “amber” or “green” based on the Covid “risk” they pose.

Each category will carry its own requirements including varying levels of quarantine and testing.

However, holidaymakers will also have to grapple with entry requirements set out by their destinations too.

Countries are already working to decide what rules they will enforce, ranging from vaccination passports to testing upon arrival.

What are popular holiday hotspots such as Spain, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Portugal suggesting?


Spain has not yet confirmed how it will welcome back British tourists, but officials have said they are keen to reopen borders “as soon as possible”.

The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has said that the country is “progressively” preparing to welcome tourists back in.

However, he warned this won’t be until 70 percent of the Spanish population has been vaccinated

Mr Sanchez said: “Only mass vaccination will open the way to the normality we want.”

Despite this, Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism is hoping Britons will be back soon.

Fernando Valdés Verelst said: “The UK is among the countries with the highest vaccination rates in the world and we aim to have at least 70 percent of our adult population immune by summer so I’d say to British people, ‘Keep open your expectations regarding holidays in Spain’.”

It is thought the nation will introduce a vaccine certificate and is in support of the European Union’s (EU) vaccine passport plans.

The Balearic Islands’ tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, has said: “We have offered to become one of the first parts of Spain where the vaccine passport is trialled.”

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Portugal announced on Thursday that it would be reopening its borders to Britons from April 16.

The nation’s Secretary of State for tourism Rita Marques told an online conference the country would try “at all costs to avoid quarantines and additional COVID-19 tests” if the European Union’s (EU) COVID-19 passport plans move ahead.

Ms Marques said tourists should understand this summer would not be “completely normal”, but that the nation would “certainly bet on maintaining the basic principles of free movement of people and goods”.

It is thought that tourists will be able to enter the country without any restrictions, but those who are not fully vaccinated will need to show a negative coronavirus test taken within a specified period of time.


Greece has set out plans to reopen to tourists from May 14.

However, tourists will either have to be fully vaccinated, with proof, or show a negative coronavirus test taken within a specific period of time.

Tourists may also be randomly tested upon arrival at the airport.

“We will gradually lift the restrictions at the beginning of next week ahead of the opening on May 14,” a senior tourism ministry official told Reuters.


Turkey has detailed plans to welcome back British tourists with or without a vaccine.

However, those who are not vaccinated will most likely be required to show a negative COVID-19 test.

The Turkish authorities have set out a mid-April date to assess how they will reopen fully to tourists.

“I expect there will be no such requirement from British visitors as the UK government is rapidly, and impressively, rolling out the vaccination program for the whole nation,” Turkish health minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said.


Cyprus is set to welcome back Britons from May 1.

However, this will only apply to those who can prove they have received both coronavirus jabs.

Cyprus’ deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said these vaccines must be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

He added that tourists would be required to have received their second dose of the jab at least seven days prior to travel.

If they can do this, they will not be required to self-isolate upon arrival.

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