With Spain and France blocking British families, it’s time to look east

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They can be oily-skinned, angry, intermittently selfish. But the way some countries treat our teens seems pretty unfair.

With the UK dropping testing requirements from 11 February, now is the time to start looking at our holiday options for next year. But while combing the rules, families with young teens will notice that there are some glaring omissions on their viable holiday map, with our favorite holiday destinations in France, Spain and Italy making things impossible or very difficult to to teens without itching.

We take Spain, the favorite holiday destination in the UK. It currently classifies Britain as “high risk”, meaning those aged 12 and over can only enter the country if they are fully vaccinated (two doses; or even a booster if more than 270 days have elapsed since the last dose). ), with no acceptable alternatives. as a negative result of the PCR test or a recovery test, as many countries allow.

The problem with this is that only 12% (around 300,000) of Britons aged 12 to 15 have received it twice, which means that right now 2.5 million teenagers (and their families) are effectively locked up. outside Spain. Not ideal, with a couple of mid-quarter weeks. And it’s worth remembering that many of these teens will really want to get vaccinated but can’t; The government advises that one should wait 28 days after taking Covid-19 to receive a dose, and many in this age group will have tested positive during the omicron wave.

Italy is there too. They are a bit more generous than Spain, as they will allow children under 18 to enter without a vaccination test, as long as they do a PCR test before entering. But unless you’re planning on staying in a villa for the rest of your trip or visiting friends, it doesn’t make much sense to drag your beloved teens. If you are 12 or older and not fully vaccinated, you will not be able to get the Super Green Pass. This means that while you enjoy your bowl of puttanesca with a glass of pinot grigio, your beloved youngsters will have to hide in the restaurant parking lot. Similarly, family skiing is off the charts in Italy unless you are hooked.

In France, you will be able to take in unvaccinated teenagers with a negative test result, but young people between the ages of 12 and 15 will have to take daily antigen tests (performed by a professional) to activate their ‘sanitary pass’. ‘. , and all persons aged 16 and over will only have a valid “passing vaccine” proving that they are doubly vaccinated or reinforced, if the second vaccine was not more than seven months ago. Without these documents, you will not be able to access the ski lifts, enter cafes, restaurants and museums, stay in many hotels or travel on long-distance trains.

So where does that leave us? If you’re looking for European sun, sea and sand, you’ll need to look at the eastern side of the Mediterranean, where countries are proving more welcoming to British families.

In Turkey, for example, unvaccinated teens can enter with a negative Covid-19 test result and will be able to enter restaurants and bars without a Covid pass. Egypt accepts a negative test instead of full vaccination for those over the age of six, nor does it have any vaccine passage system to visit covered sites. Greece will also host your children with a test, although unvaccinated children aged four to 18 will have to take a test every 48 hours to enter the covered establishments, which is not ideal but more generous than the 24 hours demanded by France.

There are many other countries that will host your unvaccinated youth. Mexico and Costa Rica will do so without the requirement of a negative Covid test before arrival, making them one of the most familiar destinations in the world right now (and lovely options for the medium term, if you’re in the market for a last -minute getaway). Closer to home, Switzerland has just eased restrictions on British arrivals, meaning those under the age of 16 can enter without any evidence as long as they are accompanied by a vaccinated adult.

We are long enough in the tooth with all these testing regulations to know that things can change and will change at any time. We are fast approaching a month and France, Italy and Spain could be rolling out the red carpet for our beloved British teenagers. Otherwise, their respective tourism boards will surely put pressure on their tourism ministers to make things easier for British families before Easter, or risk another blissful holiday season.

But for now, with the mid-February approaching, our three favorite vacation destinations are off the travel map for millions of families with unvaccinated teens. If that’s not something to be angry about, I’m not sure what it is.

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