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Fully vaccinated UK travellers can continue to visit amber list Spain and The Canary Islands without quarantines

Fully vaccinated UK travellers can continue to visit amber list Spain and The Canary Islands without quarantines

Great news for British travellers, particularly those who have been vaccinated as the latest review of the UK’s travel restrictions traffic light system were announced on Wednesday 4 August. Despite a week of speculation in the British press, Amber list Spain and The Canary Islands remain as the most popular holiday destinations where vaccinated travellers can visit and return without the need to quarantine.

Since mid May, the UK government’s travel task force have been separating destinations into a green, amber and red list, each carrying different restrictions for arrivals back into the UK.

For most Brits holidays and non-essential trips abroad have been severely restricted, and the regular reviews of each list, every three weeks, eagerly anticipated by would-be summer tourists, the beleaguered travel industry and summer holiday destinations alike.

With a relaxing of quarantine rules for arrivals into the UK from amber list countries announced back in July a small surge in holiday reservations is now expected to at least mitigate the losses of the last few months, with many holiday destinations hoping that there is still time to welcome British travellers, many of whom have been discouraged by the lack of certainty as Britain tries to return to some form of normality following their successful and continuing vaccine roll out.

On Wednesday 4 August it was announced that much-maligned amber-plus restrictions have been scrapped, with talk of plans for an “amber watchlist” shelved, meaning a return to the simpler three-tier system.

Seven countries have moved to the green list, having been judged to pose only low risk to UK public health: Norway, Solvenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Austria, Germany and Romania.

No countries have had to move from the green list to amber. Mexico, Georgia, Réunion and Mayotte all move from amber to the red list, where hotel quarantine is mandatory on arrival in the UK.

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE are all moving from Red to Amber, which will now allow quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated people.

Changes come into effect from 4.00am on Sunday 8 August.

The latest UK changes:Moving from amber to green: Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway

Moving from red to amber: India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE

Moving from amber to red: Georgia, Mexico, La Reunion and Mayotte

Moving from amber-plus to amber: France

Amber list Spain

UK Amber list Spain and The Canary Islands mean’s quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated holidaymakers             Image: Amadores Beach, ©

Anyone returning to Britain who has been in a red list country in the last 10 days, will only be able to enter the UK if they are a UK or Irish national or UK resident, and will have to stay at a quarantine hotel.

The British government also announced that the cost of a quarantine hotel stay is to increase, for single adult travellers rising from £1,750 to £2,285 as of 12 August, with a second adult paying £1,430.

This, say the British Government, better reflects the costs involved, including transport to the hotel, security, provision of welfare services and the two PCR tests which must be done on day two and day eight of the stay.

Children aged 5-12 will still cost £325 each; though it is free for children aged under five.

PCR testing for those arriving from Spain

Asked about PCR testing for arrivals to the UK from amber list Spain, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC’s Today programme that ministers are “not asking people to do anything different from what’s been happening in Spain”.

He emphasised, despite criticism to the contrary, that the British government were “not changing the rules”, after  The Department for Transport announced that “arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible” instead of the cheaper lateral flow tests. Shapps clarified saying that “virtually everyone is taking a PCR” to meet the government’s performance standards for the pre-departure test – adding that PCR tests helped scientists monitor variants.

The number of British Green list countries now rises from 29 to 36, however each destination has their own rules about allowing UK visitors – so being on the UK’s green list does not necessarily guarantee travellers can visit them easily, just that they can return without having to take tests before and after flying home.

Editor’s Comment:

Gradually, cautiously, British tourists are returning to some of the more popular resorts, like Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria. With the latest UK announcement it looks like summer season is finally beginning, just in time for August and September.
A recent surge in covid infections on the islands has also started to slow, and so long as everybody continues to maintain personal distance, and follows the very simple rules in force, there is now real confidence that Gran Canaria can now start to get back to business.
The pandemic is still a long way from finished, but with a little care and common sense we hope to be welcoming more and more people over the coming months, offering some small relief to our beleaguered tourism businesses.

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