18th September 2021
'La Nova Mar Bella' beach, Barcelona.
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Spain remains on UK’s ‘amber’ list – joined by Portugal, down from ‘green’

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (16 June)

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’.  

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).

'La Nova Mar Bella' beach, Barcelona.
‘La Nova Mar Bella’ beach, Barcelona. (Vicente Zambrano González)

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.

Click here for all our reports related to Travel

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ALSO READ: Spain lifts restrictions for travellers from the UK from Monday 24 May

ALSO READ: EU to open borders to fully-vaccinated travellers – yet UK still has Spain on ‘amber’

ALSO READ: Spain not yet on UK’s ‘green’ travel list – and still requires quarantine on return

ALSO READ: EU to allow vaccinated US tourists to visit this summer

ALSO READ: Travellers with ‘Digital Green Certificate’ will not require PCR test or quarantine

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