Updated rules for Irish tourists traveling to Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and more in the coming weeks



As the cold sets in, now is the perfect time to plan a fall getaway.

Like Ireland, many European countries are lifting the last of their strict restrictions, meaning you can enjoy some aspect of your vacation for the first time since March 2020.

Here’s a look at some of the current and planned restrictions for popular vacation destinations.


As of September 16, some of the permanent restrictions on the Costa del Sol have been lifted.

Most municipalities in the region have a level 1 health alert, which is the lowest level of risk.

This may increase depending on the number of recorded Covid-19 cases.

Cinemas, churches, theaters and sports venues can now admit their full capacity with social distancing.

Inside nightlife establishments, groups of no more than eight people are allowed to sit at the same table.

The exterior can have ten.

Stores and hotels have 100% capacity, while restaurants have 75%.

In Catalonia, the northeastern region of the country that is home to the capital Barcelona, ​​various restrictions apply.

Holidaymakers relax on Arenal Beach in Mallorca, Spain.

Six people are allowed per table inside, with a capacity of 50% inside and 100% outside. Indoor nightlife is closed, while outdoor events can open until 3 a.m. The dance floors are closed.

Cultural and sporting events have a capacity of 70%, while religious ceremonies have 50%.

Masks are no longer mandatory in outdoor spaces where social distancing is possible. They are always compulsory indoors or in enclosed places such as public transport.


Earlier this week, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced that almost all remaining Covid-19 restrictions would be lifted from October 1.

While wearing the mask is here to stay, other restrictions such as table limits will be lifted.

vacations in spain
Tourists enjoying the beach in Lagoa, Algarve, Portugal.

Vaccination certificates or negative tests will no longer be required in hotels or gyms.

Nightclubs and bars will be able to reopen for the first time since March 2020 from that date.

Stores, malls, fairs, amusement parks and water parks are all open.


Like others, Italian regions are ranked according to their level of risk in terms of infection rate and hospitalization.

White is the lowest risk, while red is the highest. Since August, all areas have been classified as white except Sicily, but an increase in cases may cause some to change.

In white areas, no restrictions are required. However, regions can contribute theirs, but none have yet.

Bars and restaurants are open for outdoor dining in the yellow areas. If an area turns yellow, an 11 p.m. curfew is instituted. Museums, theaters, concert halls and cinemas may open but with increased restrictions.

You must have some essential reason for traveling to and from the orange and red zones.

Masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces and public transport, while the mandate has been lifted for the outdoors. Social distancing is still a must everywhere.


Most restrictions have been lifted in France, with mask wearing if necessary and social distancing remaining.

A “Sanitary Pass”, the French equivalent of the EU Covid-19 digital certificate, is an important key to your trip. It shows that you have been vaccinated, received a negative PCR test, or have recently recovered from Covid.

This health pass will give you access to places of leisure and culture, as well as events for more than 50 people. It is also compulsory to enter bars, restaurants, shopping centers and hospitals. Yes

you are staying at a campsite or other holiday accommodation, you must show it on arrival.

The nightclubs reopened during the summer, as well as the Eiffel Tower.


Recent measures across Greece have included the introduction of proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid in order to enter cafes, bars and restaurants. This system will remain in place until the end of March 2022.

Those who are not vaccinated can visit museums, archaeological sites, cinemas and sporting events once they show a negative PCR test.

The beaches have capacity limits, with only two people allowed to sit under an umbrella at a time.

Curfews are also in place from 1:30 a.m. to 5 a.m.


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