The latest UK government “traffic light” system has been updated to include Spain’s Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, but the mainland and the Canary Islands remain unchanged at amber.
The new measures come into effect from tomorrow, Wednesday 30 June. The rest of Spain remains on the amber list.
Under the “traffic light” system, travel to amber list countries is not allowed for lesiure purposes and returning travellers must quarantine for 10 days.
Travellers returning from green list destinations must take a PCR test on returning.
The UK Minister Grant Shapps said: ‘We’re moving forward with efforts to safely re-open international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries.”
According to the latest Spanish official government epidemiological data show that the national average across the country is up slightly at 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The figures show wide regional variations, with the Balearics averaging 69 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days which is in fact higher than many mainland Spanish regions including Castilla La Mancha, Castilla Leon, Galicia, Extremedura and Murcia and only just below Madrid’s 80.
However the key summer holiday destination of Andalucia is more than double that at 164 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The Spanish average is now lower than that of the UK and due to the current Delta variant surge, the Spanish government have announced that UK travellers will need to show a negative PCR or proof of full vaccination from this Friday 2nd July.
Although Sánchez specifically referred to the Balearic Islands, the move affects travel by UK travellers to all parts of Spain.
“We are going to apply to British tourists who travel to the Balearic Islands the same restrictions that we place on the rest of Europe: they will need either to be fully vaccinated or have a negative PCR test,” he told the Cadena SER radio network.
The Spanish governments measures are in response to a growing call from other EU leaders for a full block or at least quarantine for travellers from the UK due to the Delta variant surge.
However Spain is hoping to steer a middle course between its earlier relaxation of rules and its more concerned EU partners in order to kick start the country’s struggling tourism sector.
The sector has been hit hard by the pandemic and freeze on international travel, accounting for some 14% of Spains GDP with the UK as its the biggest market.
Some 18 million Britons visited Spain in 2019 of which 4 million went to the Balearics.
According to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), the Delta variant is set to account for 90% of all infections in Europe by the end of August.