Spain To Remain On Amber List?

Spain To Remain On Amber List

Spain To Remain On Amber List A beach in Huelva, in southwestern Spain. Ayuntamiento de Huelva (Europa Press) The Spanish tourism industry is breathing a sigh of relief after learning that the United Kingdom has not introduced stricter rules for Spain as part of an update to its traffic-light system for travel announced on Thursday.

Spain will for now remain on the amber list, meaning that fully vaccinated travelers may return from their Spanish holidays without the need to quarantine. A high coronavirus infection rate had fueled speculation that UK authorities might introduce more restrictions for returning travelers, but this has not been the case.

The only change is the recommendation that passengers take a PCR test before their return rather than an antigen test, but this is not mandatory. Spain is a major vacation destination for British tourists, who accounted for over 20% of all arrivals in 2019.

But tourism was reduced to near-zero last year due to coronavirus restrictions that included a three-month home confinement between May and June. And recent industry figures show that foreign tourist arrivals hit a new low in the first half of 2021.

The UK government said that no more changes to the traffic-light system would be made for at least three weeks. The new rules go into effect at 4am on August 8. The rules initially apply to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, until Wales decides whether to follow suit.

  1. Under the new updated travel list, some countries are moving from amber to red, including Mexico, while France has been taken off the amber-plus list, which meant that returning travelers had to quarantine regardless of their vaccination status;

Putting Spain on this list had also been a possibility that UK authorities ruled out in the end. English version by Susana Urra .

Will France be removed from the Amber List?

The Government is under pressure to remove France from the amber plus list for international travel and place it with Spain in the amber list, as fears over the Beta variant continue to decline. A stall in Covid cases and lower infection rates mean the country will likely shed its amber-plus status in Thursday’s travel review , experts have said.

  • “Not only am I fairly sure it will return to plain amber category, but this evening Covid-19 cases are down,” said data analyst Tim White;
  • “5,184 additional infections, just 113 lower than last Monday, but more significantly, the infection rate (four per cent) has started to fall;

” France is the only country on the amber plus list, meaning passengers returning to the UK must quarantine for up to 10 days regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. Its addition to the list last month caused uproar after it emerged the move had followed a spike in cases of the Beta variant on the French island of Reunion – 6,000 miles away from mainland France.

  1. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps found himself at the centre of a political tangle over the decision, with Clement Beaune, French Secretary of State for European affairs, branding it “excessive and frankly incomprehensible”;
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But skills minister Gillian Keegan threw weight behind suggestions the category could be scrapped on Thursday, telling Times Radio that the traffic light system should be simplified. “We have explored all options, looked at all options, but the most important thing is that the system is actually simple enough for people to understand,” she said.

  • It comes after the Government scrapped plans to introduce an amber watchlist earlier this week following backlash from Conservative ministers and the travel industry;
  • Countries added to the amber watchlist would have risked turning red at any moment and forced holidaymakers to quarantine for 10 days at a Government-approved hotel upon return to the UK;

But the Prime Minister said the traffic light system needed to be “user-friendly”, after industry experts warned a series of changes has sown confusion among holidaymakers. Spain had been rumoured to join the amber plus lis t, which would have forced even double-jabbed travellers to quarantine on return.

However, it is now likely that the Mediterranean country will remain on the amber list, in a major boost for around a million Britons currently on holiday there. Paul Charles, founder of travel consultancy the PC Agency, said: “It sounds like they’re going to revert back to the red, amber, green original traffic list.

”  “What consumers really need to hear is that there will be plenty more notice between any move of a country between one category to another, that is what is still putting people off,” he told Talk Radio. The idea was backed by more than 300 travel firms.

  1. In a letter to Boris Johnson, they said the “easy to understand policy would help the UK travel sector recover, build confidence quickly among consumers and still protect our country’s health needs with pre-departure testing”;

However, travel specialists have warned that flip-flopping over the five travel categories in place at the moment – including green, green watchlist, amber, amber plus and red – has already damaged hotel firms’ trust in UK bookings. Noel Josephides, director of Aito, the Specialist Travel Association, and chairman of tour operator Sunvil, said continued chaos over the traffic light system was not only destroying consumer confidence but causing operators to abandon British holidaymakers.

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“Suppliers just don’t trust us. They tell us: ‘You’ve cancelled in April, you’ve cancelled in May, you’ve cancelled in June and July. How do we know you’re going to operate in August?'” he told i. “They’ll say: ‘You’re telling us now that on Thursday, [the UK Government is] going to make further announcements.

Well, we don’t want your clients, thank you very much, because we prefer to take the Germans, the French, the Italians, the domestic market because at least we know that those bookings will be honoured. ” The next travel update due on Thursday will likely see a number of countries added to the green list.

Will the Mediterranean go back on the Amber List?

The Government is under pressure to remove France from the amber plus list for international travel and place it with Spain in the amber list, as fears over the Beta variant continue to decline. A stall in Covid cases and lower infection rates mean the country will likely shed its amber-plus status in Thursday’s travel review , experts have said.

  1. “Not only am I fairly sure it will return to plain amber category, but this evening Covid-19 cases are down,” said data analyst Tim White;
  2. “5,184 additional infections, just 113 lower than last Monday, but more significantly, the infection rate (four per cent) has started to fall;

” France is the only country on the amber plus list, meaning passengers returning to the UK must quarantine for up to 10 days regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. Its addition to the list last month caused uproar after it emerged the move had followed a spike in cases of the Beta variant on the French island of Reunion – 6,000 miles away from mainland France.

  1. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps found himself at the centre of a political tangle over the decision, with Clement Beaune, French Secretary of State for European affairs, branding it “excessive and frankly incomprehensible”;

But skills minister Gillian Keegan threw weight behind suggestions the category could be scrapped on Thursday, telling Times Radio that the traffic light system should be simplified. “We have explored all options, looked at all options, but the most important thing is that the system is actually simple enough for people to understand,” she said.

It comes after the Government scrapped plans to introduce an amber watchlist earlier this week following backlash from Conservative ministers and the travel industry. Countries added to the amber watchlist would have risked turning red at any moment and forced holidaymakers to quarantine for 10 days at a Government-approved hotel upon return to the UK.

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But the Prime Minister said the traffic light system needed to be “user-friendly”, after industry experts warned a series of changes has sown confusion among holidaymakers. Spain had been rumoured to join the amber plus lis t, which would have forced even double-jabbed travellers to quarantine on return.

However, it is now likely that the Mediterranean country will remain on the amber list, in a major boost for around a million Britons currently on holiday there. Paul Charles, founder of travel consultancy the PC Agency, said: “It sounds like they’re going to revert back to the red, amber, green original traffic list.

”  “What consumers really need to hear is that there will be plenty more notice between any move of a country between one category to another, that is what is still putting people off,” he told Talk Radio. The idea was backed by more than 300 travel firms.

  1. In a letter to Boris Johnson, they said the “easy to understand policy would help the UK travel sector recover, build confidence quickly among consumers and still protect our country’s health needs with pre-departure testing”;

However, travel specialists have warned that flip-flopping over the five travel categories in place at the moment – including green, green watchlist, amber, amber plus and red – has already damaged hotel firms’ trust in UK bookings. Noel Josephides, director of Aito, the Specialist Travel Association, and chairman of tour operator Sunvil, said continued chaos over the traffic light system was not only destroying consumer confidence but causing operators to abandon British holidaymakers.

“Suppliers just don’t trust us. They tell us: ‘You’ve cancelled in April, you’ve cancelled in May, you’ve cancelled in June and July. How do we know you’re going to operate in August?'” he told i. “They’ll say: ‘You’re telling us now that on Thursday, [the UK Government is] going to make further announcements.

Well, we don’t want your clients, thank you very much, because we prefer to take the Germans, the French, the Italians, the domestic market because at least we know that those bookings will be honoured. ” The next travel update due on Thursday will likely see a number of countries added to the green list.