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Gibraltar adds new restrictions on UK visitors

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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)

  • Doug says:

    A quick look at the Gibraltar regs suggest that a ‘fully vaccinated’ person should have had 14 days after their last dose. This makes sense as it requires time for the jab to develop sufficient anti-bodies (whether it is a single or a double jab).

    • Rob says:

      That’s not what the regs say:

      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.

  • Ernie says:

    Have you been to Gibraltar Anna?

    You’d make a great salesperson

    • Anna says:

      Yes, a few times, on day trips from Spain, we kept saying we’d like to stay longer and explore properly!

    • Jimmy Mac says:

      I lived in southern Spain in the early 2000’s and used to visit Gib, solely for its Tesco and Iceland.

      We used to call it ‘St. Helens in the sun’

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Gib is a fantastic anachronism – always worth a visit for that alone.

    Three comments:

    Take the cable car if it is running as soon as you arrive, because it can stop for high winds, random breakdowns etc.

    Try and visit Lower St Michaels cave – don’t confuse with the regular tourist Upper cave. It was one of our most memorable experiences anywhere. We had to book via the tourist information office, tours only ran as and when a volunteer was available.

    Finally, listen for the language: Llanito – a type of Adalusian-influenced Spanglish.

    Great place for a few days.

    • Optimus Prime says:

      “Take the cable car if it is running as soon as you arrive, because it can stop for high winds, random breakdowns etc.”

      Sounds like UK trains 🙂

  • Matarredonda says:

    Got married 6 years ago in Gib which is where John Lennon also did!
    2/3 full days will enable you to see everything in Gib
    Overbooking a massive problem at the moment. Elliot Hotel earlier this week was overbooked with 8 people without a room.
    Bookings com being blamed for overbooking so if be ook d through them do your checks
    Gib has a good Holiday Inn Express and the Caleta Hotel is worth staying at

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Can see availability on points at the Holiday Inn for every day in July, August and September!

      And direct Easyjet flights from Edinburgh on Tue and Sat. Think I am talking myself into a wee break!

      • Anna says:

        Do it – there’s also a fair bit of avios availability if a longer journey but in CE would suit (we like the huge BA luggage allowance).

        • Anna says:

          We’ve booked 10 nights at the HIE – we have 500k IHG points between us so did 1 room points and 1 cash.

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      I believe Sean Connery celebrated his nuptials in Gib too?

  • TimM says:

    I am sure none on this forum will have stayed at the notorious Toc-H youth hostel in Gibraltar. I was stuck there for a month while looking for my first sailing job. I did none of the obvious touristy things but got to know the marina and the bars very well indeed. I remember being shocked at the OTT British patriotism – not something I had encountered in my native Yorkshire. I would never return out of choice, unless it was to jump on another yacht going somewhere exciting.

    • Lord Doncaster says:

      You haven’t visited Doncaster, lad.

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Yes the fate of the expat seems often to be a xenophobic flag waver, curious isn’t it?

      • Jimmy Mac says:

        Indeed, they love their country so much that they have decided to live elsewhere. I guess it gives them something more to moan about.

    • David says:

      Gibraltar has changed massively in recent years. Also, I think many people from the UK can sometimes misunderstand the British element. (Some people get confused associating British with ‘UKish’ for want of a better term. Gibraltarians are very clear in their own identity as British citizens at home in Gibraltar.).
      I’m not sure when your visit was, but also keep in mind Gibraltar endured a closed border siege for over 13 years from 1969… it was only partially reopened in 1982, fully in 1985.
      And, with a hostile neighbour to the north in Spain not wanting Gibraltar teams to compete in sporting events etc as Gibraltar (to the extent of even having officials rip flags out of the hands of school children) yes that does make people quite firm in their own identity.

  • Londonsteve says:

    Does anyone have advice about the most cost (and time) efficient pre-departure test that will be accepted by the Gibraltar authorities? I’ve never considered travelling anywhere that requires a negative test on arrival; didn’t want the expense, running around and stress of potentially not receiving confirmation in time, or in the format expected by the destination. I booked Gibraltar expecting to only have to take a test on arrival, now I’ve found myself in the pre-departure test scenario I sought to avoid. I have no experience of any test provider, I’m also on a tight budget (partly why I was looking to travel to a ‘Green’ destination, to avoid all those PCR tests on return).

    • James Vickers says:

      Everyone has said to me how good express test is and they seem to have good reviews

      • Londonsteve says:

        Has anyone else noticed how they charge more from a Day 2 PCR test compared to a ‘Fit to Fly’ PCR test? It’s £99 versus £80. Randox Health charge £48 per PCR test which is a huge difference. Minded to go for an Express Test lateral flow for £35 on the outbound leg (results delivered same day) and a Randox PCR test on return, on the basis that if they lose the sample or don’t deliver the result by the timeframe promised, it’s no skin off my back.

        • Rich says:

          The Day 2 test needs to include genomic sequencing, I believe (UK Gov requirement); which Fit to Fly doesn’t.

  • Jonathan Setwarts says:

    I was in Gibraltar last week, testing really is very simple and straightforward (even though it makes no sense that you need to get tested if already vaccinated) as soon as you come out the airport on the right hand side and its free on arrival, my advice would be to sit at the front of the plane because it takes time to process each persons paperwork but if your at the front then there’s nothing to worry about. Theres not loads to see and do in Gibraltar, I personally highly recommend the sunborn but in the current travel circumstances its a great option and experience

    • Anna says:

      Thanks for this – how long does it take to get the result? Can you go to your hotel while you wait?
      We’ll be near the front of the plane but will have to collect luggage which might cancel out that advantage!

    • David says:

      You say it makes no sense, virtually all new resident cases in Gibraltar are from people who ARE double vaccinated.
      This is still a pandemic, the virus is still mutating, and the vaccine does not stop people spreading it.

  • Colin JE says:

    Unless I’ve missed something, there is no way that anyone receiving the jab in Scotland can prove it, except with a letter. Scottish NHS doesn’t show vaccinations on an app.

    • Graeme says:

      vacs.nhs.scot register with CHI number and user number from 2nd jab appointment and you download the letter as a pdf. All looks very official although this was the one that could be manipulated when it first came out!

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