Spain allowing UK tourists to enter from Monday - but country still on ‘amber list’
UK holidaymakers will be allowed to enter Spain again from next week, officials have confirmed.
The Spanish government announced the decision in an official state bulletin on Friday (21 May), saying it will follow the lead from Portugal and let UK tourists back in.
Portugal has already confirmed that UK tourists will be allowed to enter the country from Monday (17 May).
The update from the Spanish government was welcomed as “great news” by Antonio Mayor, President of the Benidorm, Costa Blanca and Valencia Region Hotel Association Hosbec, who said he expects many British tourists will visit Spain now the UK has been put on green light status.
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It has also been reported that lockdown restrictions are being easing in popular Spanish tourist spots like Magaluf and Ibiza, allowing visitors to visit bars and restaurants both indoors and outdoors again.
Can I travel to Spain?
While it is no longer illegal to travel abroad for holidays in England, Wales and Scotland, government advice recommends against travel to both amber and red listed countries for leisure purposes, with holidaymakers instead urged to only visit destinations on the green list.
Spain is currently on the amber list and as such, government guidance states that people should not be visiting the country, even though it is legal.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stressed that countries on the amber list are “not somewhere where you should be going on holiday”, with these destinations requiring stricter quarantine measures on their return.
If you do choose to travel to an amber destination for your holiday, you will be going against government advice and additional Covid checks will be required.
Anyone who has visited or transited through an amber country will have to:
- fill out a passenger locator form- provide a valid notification of a negative Covid test prior to travel- quarantine at home for 10 days on their return- take a PCR test on day two and day eight of their return
Travellers in England will be given the option of a “test to release” on day five to end their self-isolation period early.
If the result from your test is inconclusive you must continue to quarantine, or you can choose to take another privately provided test to find out if you can stop self-isolation early.
Anyone who fails to quarantine for the required period faces a fine of up to £1,000 for the first time in England, and up to £10,000 for further breaches.
The test to release scheme is not available to those travelling to Scotland.
Confusion over travel list
Holidaymakers wanting to visit countries on the amber list have been urged by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to have “a little more patience”.
The list currently includes several popular summer hotspots, including Spain, France, Italy and Greece, but travellers have been told to wait “as the world catches up with our vaccine programme”.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Shapps said: “There’s a heck of a lot of hassle involved. It’s expensive.
“We’re not at the stage of saying to people, go to those places on holiday, in fact, please don’t.”
Asked why holidays were still being sold to countries on the amber list, Mr Shapps said the government had moved away from a system where things were “banned and illegal” to a situation where people were expected to “apply a bit of common sense”.
However, no mention of avoiding leisure travel to amber list countries was mentioned in the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce report on 9 April, which set out the rules, leaving many holidaymakers confused over the rules.
EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren described the communication in relation to amber list travel as “very confusing to say the least”.
He said customers are going on holiday to amber tier countries as many people see an overseas break as a “top priority”.
The UK is “falling behind” other European countries which are “opening up at large scale”, Mr Lundgren warned.
He added: “We urge the Government to look at this data again and make sure that they also are following the rules and the conditions that they set up themselves.”