Spain has remained on the UK government’s updated ‘amber’ list of countries after the latest review of travel destinations by Grant Shapps, UK Transport Secretary. Portugal has also been downgraded from ‘green’ to join Spain on the ‘amber’ list.
Overall, no new countries have been added to the ‘green’ list, with Shapps stating that the move was a ‘safety first approach’ and to ‘give us [the UK] the best chance of unlocking domestically’.
'We simply don't want to take the risk as we come up to 21 June.'@GrantShapps explains the reasoning behind the government's decision not to add any countries to the UK's #COVID19 travel green list, and to move Portugal to the amber list.— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 3, 2021
Latest: https://t.co/HpB80jx5o7 pic.twitter.com/jbKrkirEIg
It means that UK travellers continue to be advised against all non-essential travel to Spain, based on the current epidemiological data and progress of the on-going vaccination programme. Returning to the UK from Spain still requires quarantine.
The decision to remain listed as amber was widely expected, but still comes as a blow to the Spanish tourism and hospitality sector, that is desperate to see the return of international travellers to kick start its recovery from the devastation of last year’s 80% decline in tourist numbers.
Steps had been taken recently by representatives of the Balearic Islands and Valencia region to investigate whether the UK government would consider looking at Spain on a regional basis when deciding on categorising destinations for safe travel. The current Covid incidence rates in both the Balearic Islands and Valencia region are low and comparable to the UK. Also read: Coronavirus in Spain figures (2 June).
Last week, regional leaders in Andalusia and Valencia also met with British Ambassador, Hugh Elliott, to discuss how and when the UK government may allow UK tourists to travel freely to Spain this summer.
Since Monday 24 May, Spain officially lifted restrictions for UK travellers to allow non-essential travel without quarantine or the need to provide a PCR test, although a health declaration form is required.
However, with the UK government still advising against non-essential travel to Spain, tourist numbers are not expected to increase significantly until this changes.
The UK’s green listed countries do not require travellers to quarantine on their return, although PCR tests are required within 2 days of arriving back in the UK.
The next review by the UK government is expected in three weeks, towards the end of June. Spain’s tourism sector will be monitoring incidence rates with increasing interest to determine when Spain may realistically re-open to UK tourism this summer.
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