SPAIN is allowing Brit holidaymakers to return from MONDAY despite the country still being on the UK's amber travel list.
The Spanish government confirmed today that it would follow Portugal’s lead and allow UK tourists in.
It announced the decision in an official state bulletin.
Thousands of Brits are now expected to fly next week to Spain, traditionally the UK’s favourite foreign holiday destination, despite it being on the government's amber travel list.
The move comes days after transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the full list of green destinations which mean UK travellers don't have to quarantine on their return.
But Spain was left off that list – meaning it is on the amber list, which requires a 10-day home quarantine back in the UK – and won't be added until June at the earliest.
However, Spain's Tourism Minister Maria Reyes Maroto said she was confident Britain’s favourite foreign holiday destination would get "green light” status soon.
British holidaymakers planning to jet to Spain from next week are expected to have to show proof they have been vaccinated or present a negative PCR coronavirus test.
Spain’s veto on British tourists had been extended till May 31 before today’s announcement.
It was hailed as "great news" by Antonio Mayor, president of the Benidorm, Costa Blanca and Valencia Region Hotel Association Hosbec.
He added: “Everything that means opening borders and trying to normalise mobility is good news.
“We are delighted with the announcement. The important thing now is that the UK puts us on green light status.
“We expect many British tourists will now come to Spain – but green light status would encourage even more.”
Reyes Maroto said from Alicante that Spain had been "exercising a very active role within the European Union and campaigning for the updating of the restrictions on non-essential trips from outside the EU.
“As you know the British traffic light system is going to be updated regularly to take account of each country’s epidemiological situation.
“Taking into account the advance of the vaccination programme which is happening according to plan and the accumulated incidence of coronavirus is going down, we are confident Spain will soon enter the green list.
“We are convinced British tourists will be able to holiday in our country this summer if that is their wish.”
The Spanish Interior Ministry confirmed the move to put the UK on Spain’s non-EU exemption list, which also applies to Japan.
It said: “At present the European Union is debating a modification of the recommendation on a temporary restriction of non-essential journeys from outside the EU.
“It’s foreseeable that Japan and the UK will be included in the list of country exempted.
“Several EU states have already put those two countries in that privileged position.
“In light of all this, and after consulting with other government departments which are affected, [an] order is modified to include Japan and the UK on the exempted list.
“The modification will take effect from midnight on May 24.”
Boris Johnson wants to add "as many countries as possible" to the travel green list this summer, a top minister declared today.
Justice secretary Robert Buckland said the Government wants to make it as easy as possible for Brits to jet off for a break in the sun.
"We'll continue where we see the evidence to add countries or indeed sometimes to take them off if we see the evidence going the other way."
His remarks raise the prospect of more countries being added to the green list within weeks, with the next review due on June 7.
And even more destinations are also expected to be approved in a wider review of how the traffic light travel system is working on June 28.
Yesterday the transport secretary Grant Shapps said he's pushing for more holiday hotspots to be opened up as soon as possible.
He wants extra destinations to be made quarantine-free as their vaccination rates catch up with the UK.
There are calls for many favourite European haunts including Spain, France, and Italy to be opened up soon.
On May 19, the Sun Online reported that Brits faced postponing their trips abroad for another summer due to the uncertainty around travelling abroad.
The foreign travel ban was lifted on Monday, May 17, which allowed holidays to go ahead for the first time this year.
However, MPs have now said holidays abroad can only go ahead to green-list destinations, of which there are only 12 – four of which are letting Brits in.
The list of amber countries includes most of Europe, including holiday hotspots Spain, Greece, France and Italy.
Earlier this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that people should only travel to amber countries if "absolutely necessary".
Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: "It is not somewhere you should be going on holiday, let me be very clear about that."
Education Minister Gillian Keegan echoed both Mr Johnson's and Mr Hancock's warning, telling Times Radio: "Amber list countries are there for a reason – they are there so that you can travel for business, you can travel for particular situations such as funerals or if there are some specific care issues in your family."
The majority of Brits have been heading to Portugal as one of the few restriction-free holiday destinations.
Yet travel companies are already fearing that Brits may postpone their holidays for the second time this summer due to uncertainty.
Fuming – and bewildered – Brits have slammed the confusing rules.
One person wrote on Twitter: "Don’t want people to travel to Amber List countries? Put them on the f***ing Red List then. Jesus, it’s not hard."
Another person agreed: "If you can’t travel to a country on the Amber list then don’t have an Amber list – just have red and green and be clear about the messaging!"
One person said that they couldn't get a £1,700 refund on their holiday to Santorini, and would also need to fork out for extra Covid tests.
Someone else wrote: "Well waste of time with foreign holiday government advice don't use Amber list countries try telling the f***ing travel agents."
One woman explained: "I think part of the problem here is that airlines are flying to amber list countries so if you choose not to go, you lose your money."
Which countries are on the green list?
Countries which made it onto the UK’s green list have a low rate of Covid infections and a steady number of vaccinations being distributed.
- New Zealand
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island
Countries who made it onto the green list have a low rate of infections and a steady number of vaccinations being distributed.
Holidaymakers can now jet off to those 12 nations without the worry of quarantine restrictions, as foreign holidays have now restarted.
However, travel requires a pre-flight Covid test as well as a PCR test on day two of returning to the UK.
Amber countries require a mandatory 10-day quarantine at home as well as a Covid test on day two and eight.
Red countries will have to isolate for 10-days at a quarantine hotel, costing £1,750 per person.
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