Is Spain On The Green Lost?
- Víctormanuel Paz
Spain was one of the popular European destinations absent from the green list announced by the Government last week. The initial list includes just 12 countries, with Portugal, Israel, Australia and New Zealand among those making the cut. Most of the world will start on the amber list when foreign travel resumes on 17 May , meaning people will have to quarantine for up to 10 days on their return.
Which countries have been granted ‘green light’ from 17 May?
UK “Green List” – The first key for international tourism to re-open in Spain, and for British visitors to be able to fly into Corvera Airport Murcia once again, hinges on the initial three-weekly review of the UK’s traffic light system, which determines which English tourists can book overseas flights for leisure purposes.
At the moment, only 12 countries and territories have been granted “green light” status from 17 May, including four in Europe: Portugal, Gibraltar, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Spain is one of the countries on the “amber” list, which means Britons are only permitted to travel aboard for justified non-leisure reasons, and even then they have to self-isolate at home for 10 days on their return to England (although this period can be reduced with a negative result, under the existing test-to-release scheme).
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet joined the system, but transport secretary Grant Shapps says their chief medical officers are in agreement about the core principles behind the initiative. Under the system, countries and territories are categorised as green, amber or red, based on the number of COVID-19 cases and the success of their vaccine rollouts.
- Travellers to destinations in all three categories are still required to take a private COVID-19 test before returning home to the UK (either lateral flow or PCR is accepted), complete a passenger locator form online , and take a second test on or before day two of their arrival back in England;
For “green list” destinations, travellers can avoid the requirement for self-isolation, while those returning from “red list” destinations have to go into hotel quarantine, at their own expense. Spain’s ministry of tourism said the decision had no immediate effect, as restrictions still applied for non-essential travel from the UK, but a spokesperson reiterated the government’s “conviction that this summer it will be possible for British citizens to spend their holidays in Spain” – and in June “we will be able to start the reactivation of international travel”.
Can I travel to Spain without a PCR test?
Amber list and rules – This covers the most popular UK holiday destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Greece. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said people “should not be travelling to these places right now”, but that this is likely to be updated “later this summer”.
- Those who go against that guidance must take two post-arrival tests from private companies on day two and day eight after arriving;
- They are also required to self-isolate at home for 10 days, although they can reduce that time if they take an additional negative test on day five;
UK travellers arriving in Portugal will have to prove they have had two doses of a vaccine at least two weeks ago, or they have to isolate for 14 days. UK tourists are allowed into mainland Spain without a negative PCR test, despite the country remaining on Britain’s amber list.
Germany is also on the amber list but, due to the Delta variant, travellers from the UK will only be admitted if they are citizens or residents – or have urgent humanitarian reasons such as an immediate family bereavement.
However, they must quarantine for two weeks, even if they test negative.