Test, PCR, covid certificate… Guide to traveling abroad at Easter


The pandemic continues and there are countries without restrictions but others like Italy which still require the covid passport in public places

Joshua Garcia

This will be the first Holy Week since 2019 in which Basques can go abroad for travel and tourism. And although the pandemic has entered a phase with much less stressed hospitals, Spain and some European countries are maintaining restrictions for those going to fly or drive out. This forces you to plan the trip if you don’t want to be left behind.

At Bilbao airport, for example, they expect an intense Holy Week, with 741 flights from today to next Monday. In the clinic located in the terminal, managed by the company Arquimea, there is a lot of work these days. They work from 08:00 to 14:00, but they are considering opening in the afternoon as well to provide better service. The main reason is that they went from 50 covid tests per day to 100.

And it is that there are many countries in which analyzes with a negative result are still necessary to enter the country. Spain is also asking for a return test for those without a valid Covid passport. And, be careful, because many people have not taken the booster dose and, for this reason, do not know that this document has expired. The traveler must take into account that it is valid for nine months from the last puncture, unless he has been in contact with the virus later and was able to update the document with the recovery certificate.

Requirements change frequently and can be found here. Here is a list of the restrictions in force, as of April 12, in the various European countries.


To travel to Portugal, the valid covid certificate remains necessary. In case of non-disposition, the tourist must present an antigen test carried out 24 hours before departure or a PCR carried out within the previous 72 hours. Children under 12 do not have to contribute.


The situation in France is practically identical to that of Portugal. In the event of not having a valid covid certificate, the traveler must present negative tests. PCR 72h or antigens, in this case 48h before. Children under 12, exempt. The recovery certificate for having transmitted the disease less than six months ago is also valid.


It is the most demanding country with the tourist. To enter, in any case, you must complete a digital document and download a QR code. In addition to this, you must have a valid Covid certificate or antigen test (24 hours) or PCR (72 hours) or recovery certificate (no more than 180 days).

However, if you are not vaccinated, you cannot go inside bars, restaurants and many public places. It is possible to stay in hotels without the certificate but not to use common areas such as the gym or meeting rooms.

In addition to all this, children over 6 years old must follow the same rules as adults.


After Italy, it is perhaps the country with the most restrictions in all of Europe at the moment. If you do not have a valid vaccination certificate, a PCR or antigen is required, but you must be very careful with the recovery certificate, because it must have been diagnosed by PCR (antigens are not valid) and this test must have been taken between 90 and 28 days before travel. Neither earlier nor later are allowed.

Additionally, if you have recently traveled through a country with high risk or an increasing variant of the virus, the traveler may be required to complete a 14-day quarantine.


A Covid or recovery certificate (6 months) is required. Otherwise, PCR tests (72 hours) or antigens (24). One of the novelties is that it is possible to enter without any of this, passing a 10-day quarantine.

UK and Ireland

In both countries there are no entry restrictions. The UK attracts attention, which at the time was one of the most difficult countries to allow tourists to enter.


Also without restrictions. Even the mask is no longer compulsory in public transport.

Other countries without restriction

If you are a citizen of the European Union, you will not find any type of restriction in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Finland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Hungary, Iceland or Norway.

United States

It is necessary to be vaccinated to travel to the United States. The third perforation or reinforcement is not necessary, as the full initial set is considered sufficient. Of course, the presentation of a negative test (carried out one day before the flight) is mandatory. In addition, an affidavit is required.


European Union (EU), European Union, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, COVID-19, Coronavirus, PCR, Antigen test, Vaccines, covid-19 vaccines

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