THE British government announced that fully vaccinated people travelling to England from ‘amber list’ countries will no longer have to quarantine from July 19 in a welcome boost for Spain’s tourism industry.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon stating: “For fully vaccinated travellers the rules for those returning from amber countries are not the same as those from green list,” he confirmed.
Travellers will still have to take pre-departure tests and will be required to take a PCR test on day two of their return.
The quarantine exemption only seems to apply to those who were fully vaccinated in the UK and can prove so with the NHS app or vaccination letter, and not those who have been vaccinated outside of Britain.
This means Brits who live in Spain and were vaccinated in the Spanish health system will still have to quarantine, a move that sparked fury among those desperate to return to visit family and friends.
Since the traffic light system was introduced in June, Spain has been categorised as an ‘amber list’ country meaning that non-essential travel is not recommended and forcing those who do fly in to undergo a mandatory quarantine of ten days as well as three PCR tests, one before flying, one on day two and one on day 8.
An early release system allows those to come out of quarantine after a further test on day 5. But the quarantine rules have put many holidaymakers off booking a visit to Spain so far this summer.
However, the Balearic Islands were categorised as a ‘green list’ destination in the last review which saw a boost in bookings to the islands from the UK.
Spain initially dropped all COVID-19 restrictions for British travellers in May but then with the spread of the Delta variant, re-imposed restrictions from July 2, requireing all over-12s travelling from the UK to Spain to providde a negative test or proof of vaccination.
In Shapps’s statement to the House of Commons on Thursday lunchtime, he outlined the rules for those under-18s returning from an amber list country.
“Children under 18 returning from amber list countries will not have to isolate nor take a day 8 test,” said Shapps (although they will be required to show a negative test taken before travelling and on day two of the return.)
He added that ‘those aged 4 and under are exempt from all testing’.
He explained that those returning can prove their vaccination record with either a vaccination letter or the NHS app and to fill it in on their Health Locator Form
Although initially the rule applies to travellers arriving in England, Covid travel rules have tended to be unified across the UK.
- Spain tightens rules on all UK travellers (including to Balearic Islands): PCR tests or double vaccination proof now needed
- Brits living in Spain ‘furious’ that new quarantine exemption doesn’t apply to those vaccinated outside UK