1. Home
  2. Travel insurance
  3. Travel insurance guides

Travelling abroad: entry requirements for countries and Covid-19 insurance

We’re all itching to get away. But before you travel, check the restrictions for the country you’re travelling to. It’s also worth checking whether your travel insurance policy covers you for Covid-19.

person looking at departure board

 

Do travel insurance policies provide cover for Covid-19?

There are policies that can provide cover for disruption because of Covid-19 both in the UK and abroad. A travel insurance policy like this typically covers:

  • Cancellation if you or anyone you’re travelling with tests positive for Covid-19 2 weeks before you travel. 

  • Medical costs relating to Covid-19 while you’re away

  • Transport and accommodation costs if you get Covid-19 while you’re away. For example if you have to stay in your hotel and quarantine. 

In general, most travel insurance policies cover you if you catch Covid-19 before your trip or while you’re away. On typical policies though, this is where the cover would usually stop. 

A handful of insurers provide some cover for cancellations because of national or local lockdowns. You might be able to claim on some travel insurance policies if the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) advice changes before your holiday starts. 

Not all policies offer this type of cover though - you may even need to go to a different provider to get this as an added extra. Remember to check your policy details thoroughly to see what’s covered. 

Here are some examples followed by whether they’re likely to be covered on a typical travel insurance policy:

 

Scenario Covered by a travel insurance policy? 
You or a family member can't travel as you test positive for Covid-19.
Most do, unless travelling against government advice.
You test positive for Covid-19 overseas and need to extend the trip and/or get medical help.
Most do, unless travelling against government advice.
You or a family member can't travel as you’re told to isolate by the NHS - though this is no longer a legal requirement in England.
Some cover this – check with your insurer.
Government restrictions in the UK mean you can't travel, such as a lockdown or change in FCDO travel advice.
Few cover this – check with your insurer.
Overseas government restrictions mean you can't travel, such as lockdowns and quarantine on entry.
Generally not covered - though a few cover cancelling pre-booked accommodation. 
You can't go as you're not willing or able to meet quarantine requirements on return to the UK - if applicable.
Generally not covered - though a few cover hotel quarantine costs if you choose to travel.
Can't travel as you don't feel safe going.
Not covered – travel insurance doesn’t cover  'disinclination to travel'.

*Information taken from theidol.com.  

You should check all the details on your policy, not just those relating to Covid-19. Make sure you have proper cover for things like your luggage and emergency medical cover too.

Compare travel insurance

Get a quote

If you’re not vaccinated, you might not be able to get cover for anything related to Covid-19. This could include cancellations, emergency medical and repatriation expenses as a result of Covid-19.

 

What are the entry requirements for different countries?

Most countries listed here are accepting people who have had the vaccine with proof that they’ve been vaccinated. In most cases you can use your Covid pass to prove this, but each country varies.

You can’t use your NHS appointment card as proof that you’re vaccinated.

If you haven’t been vaccinated you might have to take extra tests before you travel. Some countries might not allow you in. Make sure you check the restrictions of the country you’re travelling to before you book. 

Some countries might still be enforcing masks and regular testing too. Make sure you check you have everything you need before you travel. 

The entry requirements listed are correct at the time of writing. Make sure you check the country before you travel.

 

What are the entry requirements for Spain?

If you’re fully vaccinated, you need to bring proof that you had your vaccine at least 14 days before your holiday. You should be able to use the NHS Covid pass for this. 

In a U-turn on its previous policy, the Spanish government isn’t allowing some unvaccinated tourists into the country. 

If you’re unvaccinated, you can only enter the country if you’ve recovered from Covid-19 in the last 6 months.

You can use a medical certificate or recovery record to prove your Covid-19 status. 

If you’ve recovered from Covid-19 in the last 6-months, at least 11 days must have passed since your first positive Covid-19 test.

The test should either be an NAAT (nucleic acid amplification test), PCR or rapid antigen test. You should be able to use the recovery certificate for up to 180 days after the date of the positive test. 

The record should have the following information:

  • Your full name

  • The date you first tested positive for Covid-19

  • The type of test you took, for example NAAT or rapid antigen test

  • The name of the country issuing the recovery record or certificate 

  • Documentary proof of the test 

Visit GOV.UK for the latest advice for travelling to Spain. 

What are the entry requirements for France?

If you’re fully vaccinated, you should show your Covid-19 vaccination record. You should be able to use your NHS Covid pass for this. 

Your final dose must have been at least 7 days before you travel.

If you have a Johnson and Johnson vaccine, then you might have to wait for 28 days before you travel. 

If you’re not fully vaccinated you should show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. Or show proof of a negative antigen test 48 hours before you travel. You have to pay for a private test, you can’t use the NHS for this. 

You might have to fill out an EU-PLF form before boarding too.

Children under 12 are exempt from all Covid-19 travel restrictions. Children aged 12 to 18 have the same restrictions as vaccinated and unvaccinated adults.

Visit GOV.UK for the latest advice for travelling to France

 

What are the entry requirements for the USA?

If you’re fully vaccinated, then the USA should allow you in. They allow holiday makers who’ve  had a Covid-19 vaccine that’s been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has more information on what vaccines the USA accepts. 

The USA should accept the UK’s proof of Covid-19 recovery and vaccination record or NHS Covid pass

You also have to show a negative Covid test even if you’ve been fully vaccinated. You should do this no more than 1 day before you travel to the US.

If you’re unvaccinated you won’t be able to travel to the US. Only US Citizens, US Nationals and US Lawful Permanent Residents are allowed to travel to the US unvaccinated.

Children under 17 don’t have to be vaccinated to travel to the US and children under 2 don’t have to take a pre-departure test. 

Visit GOV.UK for the latest advice for travelling to the USA

 

What are the entry requirements for Italy?

Like with a few other European countries, for vaccinated passengers you can use your Covid-19 recovery and vaccination record or the NHS Covid pass to get into Italy.

You should allow at least 14 days after the second dose of your vaccine before you arrive in Italy.

You can also use a primary vaccination certificate. This is valid for 270 days from the date of the last dose of a 2-dose vaccine or the only dose for a 1-dose vaccine. It’s valid indefinitely for those who’ve had a full course and a booster. 

You also have to fill out a passenger locator form

If you’ve had Covid in the last year you can use a recovery certificate or NHS Covid pass, which is valid 180 days from the date of your first positive Covid-19 test. 

The certificates are sometimes called a green pass or super green pass in Italy. You can find out more on the Ministry of Health website.

If you’re not vaccinated you should fill out a passenger locator form before you arrive in Italy. After filling out this form, you should get either a digital or paper QR code that you can show when you arrive.

You should also show evidence of a negative PCR test that you took 72 hours before entering Italy. Or a negative lateral flow test taken 48 hours before entering Italy. 

You can also use a Covid-19 recovery certificate that shows you’ve recovered from Covid-19 in the last 6 months. 

If you can’t show this, you have to use private transport to get to your destination in Italy and self isolate for 5 days. You then have to take a PCR or lateral flow at the end of the 5 days. If it’s negative, you can leave self-isolation. 

Children 5 and under don’t need to take a test to go to Italy. Children 6 and over should follow the same rules as adult passengers. You can include your children on the passenger locator form. 

Visit GOV.UK for the latest advice for travelling to Italy

 

What are the entry requirements for Portugal?

Vaccinated passengers don’t need to test before they travel to Portugal. To qualify as fully vaccinated you need to show a vaccination certificate.

This should show that you’ve had a  full course of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in Portugal but no more than 270 days before you arrive.

You should be able to use your UK Covid pass for this in paper or digital format. You won’t be able to enter Portugal without proof of your vaccination though.

If you’re not fully vaccinated you have to show proof of a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before you arrive in Portugal or a rapid lateral flow test taken 24 hours before you arrive. You have to have your test done privately. 

If you’ve had Covid in the last year you should also provide your Covid-19 recovery certificate. You can use your UK Covid pass for this. 

Children aged 11 and under don’t need to take a test or show proof of vaccinations.

Some islands off mainland Portugal require extra testing before arrival. 

Visit GOV.UK for the latest advice for travelling to Portugal.

 

What are the entry requirements for Greece?

If you’re fully vaccinated you can use the UK’s proof of Covid-19 recovery and vaccination record when you arrive in Greece. Your last dose must have been administered 14 days before you travel.

If you’ve had Covid in the last year, your recovery certificate should be valid for 180 days from the 14th day after the date of the first positive test result. 

Are you unvaccinated or don’t have a proof of recovery certificate? You have to take a negative PCR test 72 hours before your arrival or a rapid antigen test 24 hours before you arrive. 

Children under 5 don’t need to provide a negative test for entry to Greece. 

Unvaccinated children aged 5 and over need to follow the same requirements as unvaccinated adults.

Visit GOV.UK for the latest advice for travelling to Greece

For entry requirements for other countries visit the FCDO website


 

What else do I need to do before I book my holiday?

If you’re travelling to a country in the EU, make sure you check your passport’s expiry date.

For some countries - like Spain, Italy and France - they only allow you entry if you have 3 months left on your passport after the final day of your holiday. 

Reports have mentioned that this varies between airlines. Some might only allow you to travel if you have 6 months left on your passport. Make sure you check your airline's rules before you head to the airport.

It could also be worth paying extra for flexibility. Each country is at a different stage in the pandemic, so booking flexible flights and hotels means you could rearrange your trip if a sudden lockdown is imposed. 

Our holiday checklist can help you keep track of all the things you need to do before you travel. You might want to think about holiday car hire too.

Compare car hire excess quotes