Travellers are once again welcomed in France and Spain, as both countries reopen their borders this week for travel and tourism.
Spain lifted border restrictions on June 7, allowing in vaccinated travellers from all over the world. At the same time, the government has lowered the entry barriers for non-vaccinated Europeans. While this segment of travellers have been able to enter Spain with a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 72 hours, they can from June 7 take a cheaper antigen test instead.
Over in France, the government has removed the need for Covid-19 tests for vaccinated European travellers, and is welcoming vaccinated tourists from most parts of the world with reduced restrictions. The relaxed rules will especially benefit travellers from Green zone countries – countries that have been successful in managing the pandemic – such as Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Singapore. Vaccinated travellers from Green zone countries are exempted from Covid-19 tests.
Vaccinated visitors from Orange zone countries, such as the US and Britain, will no longer need to serve arrival quarantines but must show a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival or a negative antigenic test within 48 hours. Unvaccinated children will be allowed to enter with vaccinated adults, but will have to show a negative test from age 11.
The resumption of international tourism in France and Spain follows European Union’s decision on May 21 to issue a digital health pass by end-June that returns travel freedom to residents in the region. Several European Union member countries, such as Greece, Germany and Denmark, have started to issue these passes ahead of implementation deadline.
While international travellers are now welcomed, they may continue to be subjected to compulsory PCR tests and quarantines upon return home.
Singapore residents, for example, are required to submit a negative PCR test 72 hours before departure from either Spain or France, clear a PCR test on arrival in Singapore, and serve a 21-day quarantine at a government-allocated facility at their own expense, during which two more PCR tests will be conducted.