Half-term holidaymakers from the UK are being penalised when travelling within the EU because of Brexit.
British families planning ski trips or breaks face Covid travel restrictions not imposed on EU citizens travelling within the bloc, who continue to enjoy greater freedom of movement.
Britons entering France are required to take a PCR or antigen Covid test at least 24 hours before arriving, whether they are vaccinated or not, while travellers from other EU countries face no such requirement.
All Britons, including children aged over 12, seeking to holiday in Spain must also be vaccinated – but not if they are travelling with EU citizens.
Spain will also not let in children with only one jab even if they have had Covid, because UK Covid recovery certificates are not recognised.
Italy requires travellers from the UK and outside the EU to have a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival or negative lateral flow swab within 24 hours, even if fully vaccinated, but not for those coming from within the EU.
‘British consumers are losing their freedom of movement’
Travel leaders blamed a “Brexit penalty”. Julia Lo Bue-Said, the chief executive of the Advantage Travel Partnership, which represents independent travel agents, said: “How can we be treated differently if we base it purely on vaccination status? Why are travellers from the UK being treated differently?”
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy the PC Agency, said: “Some countries are penalising British citizens because of Brexit. British consumers are losing their freedom of movement.
“People are so confused now about the restrictions in place to get to certain European countries that they are almost giving up on some destinations in Europe and choosing to go to other places. It will be Europe’s loss if they continue to put such barriers in place.”
It is not only southern European countries that have adopted such an approach. Sweden accepts proof of Covid recovery for unvaccinated travellers, but only if they come from within the EU.
Unvaccinated British travellers must take a test and self-isolate for 10 days after arriving in Denmark. Unvaccinated EU arrivals are, however, exempt from quarantine.
But Norway which is outside the EU, has reopened its borders to anyone from anywhere, regardless of vaccine status and with the same testing requirement.