The Spanish tourist industry breathed a sigh of relief last week, as the latest UK “traffic light” system was updated for travellers, maintaining Spain on amber.
There had been speculation that Spain was to be moved to an amber + or possiby red list due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.
However the latest Spanish Ministry of Health figures show that the infection rate has stabilised with many experts believing that the peak has been reached.
The UK travel market is the largest with some 18 million visitors to Spain in 2019.
The British Embassy in Madrid updated their facebook page for travel advice to avoid confusion for would-be travellers to the UK.
- Spain remains on the UK’s amber list. If you have been fully vaccinated in Spain, you will not need to quarantine when you arrive in England or take a day 8 test. You still need to take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel, book and take a day 2 test and complete a passenger locator form
- You must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) https://www.ema.europa.eu/…/treatment…/covid-19-vaccines. You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England. Please be aware that the UK does not recognise natural immunity for international travel at this time.
- You need to show your travel operator proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated with one of the authorised vaccines before you travel. This proof should be an EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) for Europe (digital or paper certificate), showing you’ve had a full course of an EMA-approved vaccination
- As a precaution against the prevalence of the virus and variants in Spain, the UK is encouraging people travelling from Spain to use a PCR test for their pre-departure test. There has been a change in advice, however, for returning travellers to take a PCR test in Spain within 72 hours of departure, rather than the cheaper antigen tests that had been allowed until now. However, PCR tests are not mandatory. Click here for further details under ‘Type of Test’.
The UK and the European Union have not as yet agreed a reciprocal vaccination passport
While travel within the EU has picked up since the launch of the EU Covid Digital Certificate system in July, the latest announcement from the UK do little to ” save the summer,” for the Spanish tourist industry which represents some 14% of Spain´s GDP.
The latest industry figures show that there were just 5.4 million visitors to Spain in the first half of 2021 – compared to the pre-Covid 2019 first half of of 38 million.
This in addition to the catastrophic 2020 figures which saw visitor numbers plummet by 80% to just 19 million, the lowest figures since records began 50 years ago.
The UK market is still a small fraction of its pre-pandemic numbers with just 273,333 visitors compared to 1.2 million French and 1.1 million Germans in the first half of the year.