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Spain could move to UK Amber+ list next week, effectively ending the summer tourism season before it has even begun

Spain could move to UK Amber+ list next week, effectively ending the summer tourism season before it has even begun

Many in the British media now appear to believe that all of Spain will likely be classified as ‘amber plus’ during their next travel task force review, scheduled for next week. This has not, however, been confirmed by any official sources. It would mean that travellers of all nationalities from the UK would have to be confined for ten days on return, even if they have had double vaccination shots, which in practice would likely mean the end of this summer’s tourism season for the British, at least during the month of August.

High rates of infection in Spain and runaway levels of accumulated incidence, primarily of Delta variant, have been reported for weeks now, and so fears are growing that unless there is a significant change before August 2 that the whole country could well move in the wrong direction so far as British tourism restrictions go.

The review is due by next Tuesday and will consider various restrictions for people travelling from red, amber and green list countries. “We keep these measures under constant review and we analyse the most recent evidence and scientific data. Vaccines will definitely be analysed as a decisive element” Transport Minister Grant Shapps told the media, saying that the government plans to expand some exemptions from the amber list. The tourism industry is understandably very hostile toward the UK government.

Heathrow Airport warned yesterday that the UK was starting to lag behind its European rivals as a result of continued restrictions.

“The UK is emerging from the worst effects of the health pandemic, but is lagging behind its EU rivals on international trade by being slow to remove restrictions” said Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye.

Britain’s foreign secretary gave some cause for hope, as least regarding additions to the Green List, saying that, although British travellers would have to wait to find out the updated lists, “the momentum forward is positive”.

Dominic Raab told Sky News that travel is expected to open up more as other countries progress with their vaccine roll-outs.

“We’ve done the job we had to do domestically and as we see other countries catch up, if you like, I think we are increasingly confident that more countries will go either on amber or on to green,” he said.

Fully vaccinated US and EU travellers, it was announced on Wednesday, can avoid self-isolation when entering England from amber-list countries. Though as yet this does not apply to the whole of the UK. The update to the rules will take effect from 4am on 2 August.

Travellers will follow the same protocol as double-jabbed Britons entering the UK from amber destinations: they can forgo quarantine but must take one pre-departure and one post-arrival Covid test.

“We’re helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK,” said transport secretary Grant Shapps. “The changes will apply to fully vaccinated people with an FDA or EMA vaccine.”

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