Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Gibraltar adds new restrictions on UK visitors

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

With Portugal now off the UK Green List, Gibraltar is the only realistic travel option for anyone looking for a few days in the sun.

I am meant to be down there myself next week for a couple of days, to take a look at some of the options open to you.

With minimal notice, however, Gibraltar has placed added restrictions on visitors from the UK.

What has changed for visitors to Gibraltar?

At present, it is a very easy system.

You do not need any sort of test in the UK before you fly to Gibraltar. Instead, you take a free lateral flow test at the airport with the results texted to you within 60 minutes.

If you plan to return home within 72 hours, you can pay £30 to have the results of the free lateral flow test presented in a form that the UK Government will accept for your ‘fit to fly’ return test.

This means that the only tests required for a stay of 72 hours are:

  • the lateral flow test you take on arrival
  • the ‘Day 2’ PCR test you take back in the UK, which can actually be taken on Day 0, Day 1 or Day 2 and can potentially be taken in the Arrivals Hall of your returning airport if you are lucky

This changes on Sunday

From Sunday 13th June, unvaccinated travellers aged 12 or over (defined as anyone who has had fewer than two doses of the Pfizer or AZ vaccines) must show a negative test at the airport before they fly. The test result must also be uploaded into the Passenger Locator Form used by Gibraltar.

Any of the key tests are accepted – PCR, LAMP or high specification lateral flow – but it must be taken within 48 hours of departure.

If you have had both vaccinations, you do not need to do this. Instead, you must upload a ‘vaccination certificate’ into the Passenger Locator Form.

It is not yet clear if a screenshot from the NHS app will be acceptable proof of vaccination, as the Passenger Locator Form had not been updated at the time of writing. You may need to download the PDF certificate which is available via the app.

No time gap is required after your second vaccination. This is good news for me, because if I do travel as planned next week it will only be 9 days after my second jab. My second vaccination is already showing correctly in the NHS app so I should be good to go.

(For anyone who had the one-shot J&J vaccine, you do need to wait two weeks after vaccination before you will be allowed in without a test.)

This is getting a bit silly ….

If you are double vaccinated, this is not a lot of extra work, assuming that the NHS app is accepted as proof.

For everyone else, you may want to reconsider your trip.

After all, you will require:

  • a PCR, LAMP or high specification lateral flow test taken in the UK
  • a lateral flow test taken at Gibraltar airport
  • a 2nd lateral flow test taken at Gibraltar airport (assuming you are staying over 72 hours)
  • a PCR test taken on Day 0/1/2 of your return to the UK

…. in order to visit somewhere where the entire adult population has been offered vaccination.

I am still hoping that my trip goes ahead. There was virtually no hotel accommodation left when I booked a few days ago – my options are likely to have opened up, I think ….

You can find out more about the new restrictions on the Visit Gibraltar website here. Please double-check what I wrote above with the official wording, especially as it is liable to change, and change, and change ….

Comments (208)

  • MisterAirmiles says:

    Interesting that it’s Pfizer or AZ – what about Moderna?

    • Craig says:

      What it says on the Visit Gibraltar website is “A person is deemed to be fully vaccinated when they have received two doses in a 2-dose series COVID-19 vaccine (such as Pfizer or Astrazeneca vaccines) or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine (such Johnson & Johnson Jannsen vaccine). COVID-19 vaccines must have received regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK.”

      So, Pfizer and AZ are just examples of MHRA-approved two dose vaccines and Moderna is another one.

  • Mark says:

    The nhs app allows you to download a pdf copy of the vaccine certificate. That will probably be more acceptable than a screenshot.

  • Anna says:

    Sorry Rob, it’s my curse striking again as it was announced the day after I booked a 10 night trip! Expect to see it on the Amber list by the time we actually go 🤣

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      We are definitely all blaming you for this Anna ! You are establishing quite a track record 😉

      • WaynedP says:

        Well, Anna and Harry T may appear plausible targets for some individual destinations being pulled, but I fear the entire 15 months (and counting) global travel drought might well be my fault …

        After years of dragging a family of five around the world in the cheapest economy seats that money could buy, I finally signed up to my first BAPP in November 2019 followed shortly after that by Virgin Rewards+ in Jan 2020.

        Never bothered collecting points before that, as they would always expire before we got around to using or augmenting them.

        When I subscribed to HfP in late 2019, I had visions of 2+ flights per year, and never having to travel in Y again. Instead I’ve had one underwhelming return flight since March 2020, and that’s probably one more than many HfP regulars. I should probably ask Rob for a refund 😉

        I predict a return to normality only once universal karma is satisfied that my elevated Airmile Program status (gifted, not earned, by BA & VS) has expired unutilised 🤣

        Sorry to say that’s as far out as Jan 2023 at the moment 😫

        You heard it here first, Happy Friday everyone

  • Frances Morris says:

    Why silly? Being vaccinated doesn’t stop you having or transmitting the virus. The tests are for the protection of the country you are visiting.
    Vaccination works to prevent YOU getting seriously ill.

    • TimM says:

      Wearing a seatbelt doesn’t stop you dying in a car crash, it is a question of managing risks. Vaccines have proven to drastically reduce the risk of transmitting Covid. One thing you can be sure of, no one will never be completely safe. The number of daily deaths from Covid is now very similar to the number of daily road deaths. Should all car driving be illegal?

      People are appalling at understanding and managing risk. The Government approach is not data-driven but rather news and opinion poll driven.

      • Callum says:

        Great analogy that perfectly demonstrates the point you’re arguing against! Seat belts aren’t perfect, so a whole host of additional rules are put in place as well. Just like this.

        I don’t like to indulge the absurd comparisons between car deaths and Covid deaths (they are incomparable events – if you can’t comprehend why there’s little point explaining), but yes, I would like car driving to be restricted.

        • TimM says:

          As Theresa May writes in the Telegraph today, if you err on the side of caution every time a new Covid variant is found, we will never travel again. Covid is something, like flu, that we will have to live with forever.

          • Blenz101 says:

            Bring back Theresa! All is forgiven.

            Better still Tony has been popping up a lot recently. Oh for the days of competent government!

          • Will says:

            If we’d err’d on the side of caution when the first covid variant want found (border closed until further information discovered) we may not have needed many domestic restrictions and Australia is the proof of this.

            Frankly, we don’t understand the opportunity for a mutation to pose a risk and as such the only sensible policy is to attempt to get domestic restrictions lifted then sort out approach to ROW once covid isn’t needing us to apply restrictions at home. If the Indian variant had not made it to the UK, June 21st would probably still be no domestic restriction day.

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          What with COVID, elf and safety, carbon neutral you can be pretty sure that we will have banned pretty much everything shortly. What a horrid little irrelevant authoritarian country we are becoming

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          Oh and I forgot the normal health and food fascism!

        • Callum says:

          It’s not really typical though, is it….

        • Tim says:

          ‘… if you can’t comprehend why there’s little point explaining’… – Typical….

        • Char Char says:

          It is a typical response from you.

          • Callum says:

            What’s typical of me, to attempt to have consistent moral principles?

            Keep throwing your hissy fits all you like. Until you’ve spent weeks on end treating people writhing in agony gasping for air, I don’t think you’re going to understand my desire to avoid suffering at the expense of you having a nice foreign holiday.

            As I’ve said many times, advocate for yourself all you like. Everyone is inherently selfish and I openly admit I do plenty of things that fall under that category. All I ask is at least have the decency to be honest about it instead of pretending you’re a hidden genius who knows better than whole teams of highly skilled infectious disease experts because you’ve read a few articles and looked at some graphs…

    • Mike says:

      Wrong, being fully vaccinated massively reduces the chances of having or transmitting the virus (though does not eliminate the probability). Additionally, it does reduce the chance of getting seriously ill or dying (though does not eliminate them).

      • Freddy says:

        If the vast majority of the at risk groups have been vaccinated who on earth are we trying to protect here

        • George1976 says:

          It’s no us. It’s Gibraltar’s decision

          • David says:

            Exactly and Gibraltar has a finite hospital critical care capacity. You don’t get the averaging out effects of a large country. One outbreak could overwhelm if not managed. Virtually all new cases detected in Gibraltar (in residents, not visitors) are form people double vaccinated. This remains a pandemic, and the virus continues to mutate. This is prudent.

        • Callum says:

          Everyone?

          The more it spreads within the population the more it mutates. The more it mutates, the more likely it is to produce forms that are more damaging, spread more easily or even “circumvent” the vaccine.

          • Blenz101 says:

            It could equally mutate into something quite inert.

            80% of the U.K. have antibodies already.

            We are now vaccinating people with no significantly statistical risk of becoming ill.

            You are welcome to live you life isolating in fear waiting for a version of the virus to appear which can circumvent the vaccines. It hasn’t happened in the 175m cases tested for and detected so far, let alone the multiples of that figure that haven’t been identified via a test.

            Public consent for this nonsense is draining away. Decisions are taken on political fallout rather than data.

          • meta says:

            So what you are basically saying, the vaccines don’t work. Therefore we must all go back into lockdown and start from scratch as we need to produce a vaccine that is 100% effective against all current and future strains.

          • TimM says:

            Generally viruses mutate into something more transmissible but less harmful. There is an evolutionary interest in keeping the host alive.

          • Yuff says:

            And they’ll design one in a short space of time to combat any mutation.
            From zero infrastructure to a massively effective vaccine in 11 months.
            New vaccines fir mutations will be much quicker, lockdowns don’t work they just prolong the inevitable, vaccines do work we are seeing the proof today coming out of lockdown

          • Will says:

            And a partially vaccinated population is an ideal breeder for vaccine resistance, enough unvaccinated population to carry on circulating and enough vaccinated population to keep knocking out strains that the vaccine is effective against.

            Let’s hope we don’t get a mutant that evades the vaccine, but also acknowledge its a real possibility and if it happens we’re going back into lockdowns.

          • ChrisC says:

            Yuff

            The research and development of these type ofvaccines has been in train for the past 20 years. As has the building of the instrastructure to manufacture them.

            So they weren’t developed from nothing.

            Standing on the shoulders of giants and all that.

    • Char Char says:

      As usual the claims by the companies involved are hard to verify and questioning anything will result in a lot of people posting unverifiable claims as well as abuse from guardian fanatics

      • Callum says:

        Char Char – Oh the irony, throwing a hissy fit about “abuse” whilst making snide comment after insult…

        Meta – If I was saying that I would have written that. If you want to know that I’m saying then I suggest you read what I write. A very difficult task for most of you I know, but I believe in you.

        • Char Char says:

          I didn’t mean that you read the guardian but probably makes sense now.

          • Lord Doncaster says:

            Only rich people read the Guardian. Who else would fork out £2+ for a daily paper? Will stick to the less exotic papers for my morning read.

  • Bobby says:

    I’ve had both vaccinations, when I check in the nhs app it states that the QR code is only valid until June 21st. Not sure if it disappears at this point.

    • Stuart says:

      When you scroll down below the QR code, it states that the date is refreshed every 30 days to protect your data

    • TimM says:

      Yes this has been commented on before. As I am travelling to Greece tomorrow, I took the precaution of obtaining the paper version from 119 – there is a specific option to obtain proof of vaccination status for travel from the main menu. The paper version contains much more information and does not expire.

    • Bagoly says:

      Expiry 12 months (or 9 or 6) after second jab is undertstandable.
      Programming mistakes can muddle fields, and forget to add 1 to years.
      Is that actually 2022/06/02 or somesuch?

    • ChrisC says:

      Weird as yesterday mine said 7th December and others posted the same date as well.

      Now it’s 11th July.

      • Andrew says:

        Yes, I was also 7th December yesteday, now it’s 11th July…

        Just a bit odd that one of the digits has remained the same there. 7th Day and 7th Month. That looks like a UK/US Date format error that’s been swiftly corrected and with a little sleight of data so that it’s not an obvious 7/12/21 and 12/7/21.

        • Sandra says:

          Same here, had changed by yesterday evening from Dec to July – some sort of IT glitch perhaps? Which is why I don’t really trust giving a UK govt. department access to my data but in this case needs must!

  • Rosalie says:

    I’m fully vaccinated as I took part in a vaccine trial, Novavax which is waiting approval and like Moderns not mentioned on the list. I have a paper certificate. I’m booked to go end of Month to Gibraltar on a BA holiday booked quite some time ago. I’m thinking reading about the changes that I might still have to get a test before I go? I don’t have a problem with that but it’s just confusing.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      From the visit Gibraltar website, ‘COVID-19 vaccines must have received regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK.’ So you probably would need a test.

    • Tracey says:

      Disappointing that those that put themselves at risk by taking part in trials are not treated better. Thank you for your contribution.

      • John says:

        Err, it’s a trial because they don’t know if it works yet. Did people on the Pfizer trial complain in November that restrictions on them weren’t suddenly lifted

        • Cats are best says:

          They do know it works, results were published ages ago.

          Novavax has delayed submission for approval due to delays in getting manufacturing sites ready and passing assay for consistency.

      • FFoxSake says:

        You might have been in a placebo group…

        • Tracey says:

          People in trials are “unblinded” at the point when they would otherwise have received a vaccine, so they would know whether to have the routine vaccine or not. This is to ensure that anyone in trials isn’t disadvantaged by taking part.

        • Rosalie says:

          I have had 4 jabs since November upto and including April, 2 of which placebo, 2 vaccine, it was part of a crossover trial. I don’t know in which order I was given them, but I do know I’m fully vaccinated, just it doesn’t show on the NHS App. Anyone on trials has been advised its work in progress o be included in our NHS records, not just the one I’ve been on but the others too, including AZ trial participants. I’ve paid for PCR tests before to travel to the Canaries when we were allowed to travel there, so I have no problem with that, I also travelled to Gibraltar in November so know what I want to see and do whilst there. The changes to what is accepted as proof is what is confusing so to be clear I will be booking a pre-travel test for myself only as my husband can show his status via the NHS app as he was given AZ which is on the list as an approved vaccine. We will also be booking a day 2 test for when we get back to UK.

  • maccymac says:

    “…. in order to visit somewhere where the entire adult population has been offered vaccination.”

    Two mistakes here.

    1. The entire adult population won’t have been ‘offered’ a vaccination. There will be a significant number of people who cannot receive the vaccination for various reasons: they may suffer serious allergies, be pregnant, etc or they may not produce effective protection if they did receive it: immunocompromised or immunosuppressed eg due to certain active cancer treatments. By the very nature of their circumstances, if these vulnerable people caught the virus it would have serious consequences for them, and place additional strains on the Gibraltar health system, that already is under significant pressure.

    Those who are unvaccinated and want a holiday do not trump their right to life.

    2. There are those who infuriatingly still refuse a vaccine and remain at risk of COVID19. Even if, hypothetically, one has little sympathy for what befalls them, the already stretched health system and battered healthcare professionals are the ones who will have to deal with it and every unit of resource expended on COVID19 patients is a unit of resource taken from someone who has been waiting for treatment for months on a waiting list. Furthermore, an asymptomatic COVID19 patient who is admitted into a 6 bed bay risks infecting other vulnerable people around them who may not have been ‘offered’ the vaccine, much akin to sending a COVID19 patient into an unvaccinated nursing home.

    So no it is not ‘getting a bit silly’, it is a sensible approach that balances risk to vulnerable groups who cannot receive the vaccine, pressure on the healthcare system and revenue from tourism.

    • Gavin says:

      What significant pressure is the Gibraltar health system under? There’s currently 9 people who have tested positive for COVID there, and none of them are in hospital.

      • maccymac says:

        There are waiting lists, just like here in the UK, for elective and urgent treatments and clinic appointments that have been delayed due to COVID19.

        Believe it or not, COVID19 is not the only human disease that hospitals have to deal with.

      • Callum says:

        People said exactly the same thing about the NHS… Just because there aren’t that many cases there right this second, doesn’t mean there’s no need to try and keep it that way.

      • David says:

        Keep in mind Gibraltar has 20 critical care unit beds in hospital. When you are small you don’t get the averaging out effects of larger countries, where outbreaks can take longer to propagate, etc.
        Additionally, virtually all of the new cases detected in Gibraltar (in residents, not visitors) are among people who are double vaccinated. This is still a pandemic, the virus continues to mutate.

    • Anna says:

      Agreed, we will happily take the required tests plus we’ll be taking our own lateral flow tests which we’ll do every day. We think we pose a very low risk or we wouldn’t be travelling – both adults fully vaccinated, one of the two teenagers recently recovered from Covid and the all still practising social distancing/hygiene measures. We will mainly be sticking to our family bubble, no interest in packing into pubs or nightclubs these day, majority of waking time will be spent outdoors. I suppose we could be safer by not travelling at all, but then at what point do we actually re-start?

      • Freddy says:

        If you follow the government’s lead I would say you’d have to stay at home and only restart travel until the virus stops mutating and the entire globe is vaccinated. If we bring a mutant back to these lands were back to March 2020 apparently. So please stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives

        • ChrisC says:

          Then no one is going anywhere ever again as viruses never stop mutating!

          • meta says:

            It’s interesting, isn’t it? It as if everyone failed biology in school.

        • Anna says:

          They could legislate for that, but they haven’t. Why exactly should I stay at home when footballers, politicians and others are jetting off all over the world?

        • The Lord says:

          No thanks

      • maccymac says:

        If you feel comfortable travelling, I don’t see anything wrong with your approach. In fact, this is probably the way it should be for travel to most low risk countries/territories.

        There will always be the risk of variants escaping the protective effects of vaccines, but if you take a sensible approach, as you have described, to reduce exposure to that risk then I don’t think any reasonable person would begrudge you for travelling.

        I am sure there a plenty of small businesses in Gib who would welcome the custom!

      • Navara says:

        @Anna
        So the kids will need lateral flow tests on day 5 as you’re staying for 10 days. What happens if one tests positive? May be better to cut it to 7 days

        • Anna says:

          I thought that actually applied to all of us now? Yes, it’s a minor inconvenience and small risk but there aren’t enough seats now for us to cancel and rebook avios flights, and we’re insured so I think we’ll just take whatever comes! One of us could theoretically test positive at any stage so you just have to be prepared to adapt to whatever circumstances you find yourself in. One of the teenagers has recently recovered from Covid as well so hopefully that will reduce the risk even further.

        • Anna says:

          If one of us tests positive on day 5, then we were always going to test positive at the PCR return test stage, so possibly better to know sooner anyway.

    • Ariel says:

      I live in Gibraltar, and yes the entire adult population has been offered the vaccine

      its true that some wont have been able to take it for medical reasons, and then there are the anti-vaxxers…

      But certainly everyone was offered the vaccines – and the vaccination program was largely finished by the end of April

      PS we have been flooded with Brits 🙂

  • Tracey says:

    I wonder if this is to thwart people travelling from red countries from transiting through GIB to green wash their status.
    Anecdotally some people are travelling from India to GIB via London and then back to London, to avoid hotel quarantine.

    • John says:

      Yeah but I don’t understand how this isn’t detected when the government gets API from the airlines

      • Tracey says:

        Nor me, but it is going on.
        Separate tickets, maybe even separate passports.

        • John says:

          If they stay 10 days in Gibraltar it’s fine – but apparently some people even got away with doing a back to back in Gib….

          I hope anyone caught having done this gets the maximum fine, and if not a British citizen has their permission to live in the UK revoked permanently.

          • Paul Pogba says:

            India doesn’t allow dual nationality so Indians taking up British citizenship have to renounce their Indian status, so removing their citizenship for a criminal offence wouldn’t be possible as it would technically make them stateless. I say technically as most have a partial citizenship (OCI/U-visa).

          • Paul Pogba says:

            Also revoking citizenship for a quarantine breach is a bit too much for me, people on visas should be sent packing (“not passed probation”) but a citizen has been accepted into the nation.

    • Blenz101 says:

      Provided they spend 10 days in GIB they can travel freely to the U.K.

      The route back for ex-pats in the UAE to the U.K. to avoid the summer heat is 10 days in Mykonos to avoid hotel quarantine.

      So rather than staying in their own villa/condo (too hot outside) everyone spends time in high density hotels, bars in the evening and eating out 3x a day.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.