In the latest good news for Britons and the Spanish tourism industry alike, from 20th May the Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto has announced that Brits will be allowed to enter Spain, and that they will not be required to demonstrate the results of, or take, a negative COVID-19 PCR on arrival. However, there is a caveat to this good news: British visitors will only be able to enter the country without demonstrating a negative COVID-19 test whilst the UK maintains its current low rate of 50 infections per 100,000 people. If the number of cases in the UK rises above this figure, then the policy will be reassessed. Here’s everything we know about this new policy so far:
Spain Remains on the UK Amber List
Despite the fact that the Spanish tourism industry is keen to welcome back its UK visitors, unfortunately Spain still remains on the UK’s ‘Amber List’; this means that British tourists are able to visit Spain, but that they must quarantine in their homes for 10 days on their arrival in the UK, and take 2 PCR Covid-19 tests when they arrive in the UK too (they can be released from their quarantine once both tests, taken on day 2 and day 8, are negative).
It is worth noting that the British ‘traffic light system’ will be reviewed regularly, and therefore that whilst Spain is on the ‘amber list’ right now, it is hoped it will be moved to the ‘green list’ in time for the main summer tourist season. Britons visiting countries on this list do not have to quarantine on their return to the UK, however they do need to take a lateral flow test before they arrive in the UK, complete a passenger locator form, and take a PCR test within two days of their arrival in the UK, and this test must be booked before their arrival. Once this test is negative, no other action is needed. The next review of country categories will take place on 7th June and there is optimism that Spain will enter the green list at this point.
Spain has now administered more than 20 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, and six million individuals have received both of their required doses, meaning that they are fully vaccinated. As the vaccination programme picks up pace, case numbers will continue to drop, and therefore the likelihood of a reciprocal travel agreement being introduced between Spain and the UK becomes more likely.
Spain is Ready to Welcome Back Brits
As soon as Britons are ready to enter the country, Spain is ready to welcome them. In the official statement announcing that unvaccinated Britons would be welcome in Spain, Ms Maroto stated that “[this new rule] will allow the opening of the British market so they can come to Spain...theymcould come from May 20 onwards without a PCR if the incidence rates are below the range currently under review, which is around 50 cases per 100,000 people....We know what we have to do to allow British people to travel to Spain, which is to lower the cumulative incidence and keep on vaccinating."
For any Britons hoping to move to Spain or that have already booked their summer holidays to the country, this will be welcome news. The decision will also be hugely welcomed by those working within the Spanish tourism industry, which relies heavily on British tourism and which accounts for 12% of the whole of Spain’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Spain is the most popular destination for British tourists, with 18 million Brits visiting ever year pre-covid, so helping those tourists to return to the land of sun, sea and sangria is a high priority for the Spanish government.
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