British tourists should be able to return to Spain from May 20 without PCR tests

Speaking after the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Reyes Maroto pointed to the positive epidemiological data in the United Kingdom and expressed hopes that her country would soon be put on the “green list” of destinations

Passengers arrive this week in Madrid's Barajas Airport.
Passengers arrive this week in Madrid’s Barajas Airport.A. PÉREZ MECA / EUROPA PRESS

The Spanish minister for industry, commerce and tourism, Reyes Maroto, said on Tuesday that British tourists could begin to visit Spain once more from May 20 onward, provided that the authorities in the United Kingdom place the popular vacation destination on its coronavirus “green list” of countries.

Speaking at a press conference held after the weekly Cabinet meeting, Maroto said: “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.”

The statement comes ahead of the European Union’s plans to relax restrictions on non-essential travel from countries outside of the EU where the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants is lower than 100. In the UK, this data point currently stands at 48.

Currently, Britons cannot travel to Spain unless for a series of exceptional reasons, and if they can take the journey must present a negative PCR test on arrival in the country. Those returning from Spain to the UK, meanwhile, must also provide a negative test on arrival, quarantine for 10 days and take two Covid-19 home tests.

Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto during a press conference on Tuesday.
Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto during a press conference on Tuesday.TAK_K / EUROPA PRESS

Maroto added that citizens entering Spain from the United Kingdom from May 20 were likely to be excluded from the requirement to provide a negative PCR test on arrival given that the cumulative incidence of the virus in the country is currently very low. The vaccination process in the UK began earlier than it did in European countries such as Spain, and its progress has had a marked effect on the epidemiological curve.

The UK government last week announced the creation of a “green list” of 12 countries and territories to which its citizens will be able to travel from May 17 onward. These include Portugal, Gibraltar and Israel, but for now exclude Spain, France and Greece. The list is due to be revised every three weeks.

More than 18 million British tourists traveled to Spain in 2019, making up the biggest group of foreign visitors, according to news agency Reuters. The arrival of the coronavirus pandemic saw these numbers fall to just 3.2 million in 2020, with the restrictions on travel causing an 80% fall in international tourism to the country.

SPAIN AIM TO LIFT TRAVEL BAN FOR BRITISH TOURISTS FROM MAY 20TH

 2021/05/12 08:42:53  Written by Canarian Weekly  National

The Minister of Tourism for Spain, Reyes Maroto, said yesterday (Tuesday) that the member countries of the European Union are working to modify the ruling that regulates non-essential travel from outside the EU, to allow travel for British tourists  to Spain from as soon as May 20th.

In the press conference after the Council of Ministers meeting in Madrid, Maroto indicated that it is expected that the revision of this recommendation could be approved “around May 20th”, which would allow the opening of the British market to Spain, and added that because the UK incidence rate is below the range that is being reviewed right now, they could also be “excluded from needing a negative PCR test result to enter the country, due to epidemiological and vaccination data in the country.”

This would be good news for everyone as even though Spain is currently on the amber list for travel from the UK, it would mean holidaymakers only needing to meet the UK requirements as there would no test required to enter Spain.

Maroto concluded by saying that it is “good news” and that Spain is “very active” in the revision of the recommendation, of which “tomorrow there could be a first agreement.”

The minister stressed that the Government is working with the UK to take into account the regionalization of Spain and to separate the islands from the mainland, as there is an asymmetry in the incidence rates between the autonomous communities, and the evolution of the pandemic is transferred weekly in every region individually. “The Government knows what it has to do so that the British can travel to Spain, we have to continue lowering the incidence rates and continue vaccinating.

THE UK TAKES THE CANARY ISLANDS OFF ITS TRAVEL ‘BLACK LIST’

 2021/05/04 14:16:43  Written by Canarian Weekly  National

The British Government has removed the Canary Islands from the list of destinations to which it had so far advised its citizens against travelling to, unless for essential reasons, due to the incidence of the coronavirus. It is still illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays at the moment, but this is a massive potential boost ahead of pending announcements about international from May 17th.

As announced today in an update of the travel restrictions that appear on the British Government’s website, the Foreign Office indicates that “it advises against any non-essential trip to Spain including the Balearic Islands, but excluding the Canary Islands, based on the current risk assessment of Covid-19”.

Similarly, the Government has removed Portugal (excluding the Azores) and several Greek islands from this list, waiting for international travel to be allowed again via its new “traffic light” system by which it will classify countries in red, amber and green according to their epidemiological situation.

TENERIFE DROPS TO LEVEL 2 RESTRICTIONS, HOSPITALITY CAN RE-OPEN INTERIORS

 2021/05/04 12:28:01  Written by Canarian Weekly  Tenerife

The Minister of Health, Blas Trujillo, has announced this morning (Tuesday) that the Tenerife will drop to alert Level 2 after evaluating the epidemiological report made earlier today, which reveals an improvement in its indicators in recent days.

The change in level comes into effect today with the publication of the Traffic Light that marks the levels and epidemiological indicators of each island, according to the Ministry of Health in a statement.

Bars and restaurants may use 50% of interiors (with 4 to a table), 75% of exteriors (with 6 to a table), two people are allowed to sit at the bar together, and groups of 6 are allowed to meet from today. However, curfew remains at 11pm as it was extended for Level 3 just 10 days ago.

Tenerife will remain at this level of alert until next Tuesday, May 11th, when its indicators will be reviewed again to see if it remains at that level or if any changes should be made.

According to the report prepared by the General Directorate of Public Health of the Canary Islands Health Service, the average number of cases diagnosed on the island went from 97 in the period between April 14th to 27th to an average of 75 in the last six days, a drop of almost 25%

In addition, since April 25th, the Accumulated Incidence (AI) has been at medium risk and with a downward trend. The IA7 on the island has been at high risk since March 10th, where it has remained until the 24th. But with an average for this period of 78.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, on April 26th it began to decline to around 72 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, indicating a medium risk of virus transmission, a trend that has continued to be maintained.

The behaviour of this rate in people over 65 has gone along the same path, going from an average of 46.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants the two weeks before, to 28 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last five days.

Although the IA7 in Tenerife is at medium risk, it is the highest of all the islands and, therefore, is above the average for the Autonomous Community. Likewise, the traceability of the cases is good, since the positivity rate of PCR tests has also decreased.

The average number of patients admitted for Covid-19 on the island between April 14th and May 2nd is 113, somewhat lower than in recent days, which implies a low risk. However, hospital pressure is mainly focused on ICU occupancy, and although the percentage is decreasing, they are at medium risk, despite the fact that in the last two days the absolute numbers seem to have risen again.

THE UK IS STUDYING TOURIST TRAVEL TO THE CANARIES AND BALEARIC ISLANDS IN MAY

 2021/04/29 13:07:44  Written by Canarian Weekly  National

The UK Ambassador in Spain, Hugh Elliott, said in a press conference this morning (Thursday) in Palma that the UK Government is studying the possibility of British tourists being able to travel to the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands from May, if the incidence rates of the coronavirus are low enough, regardless of the epidemiological situation in the rest of Spain.

At a press conference, he confirmed that his Government has already received this request from the Balearic regional Government and said that it is “very well founded by the low level of infections in the islands after very strict restrictions”, with “quality information on the evolution of the pandemic“, and the fact that being ‘isolated’ with direct flights to the United Kingdom prevents the spread of the virus, as well as their scientific capacity to sequence the virus in the islands.

He said this morning that the British Government has taken this request “very seriously” and is studying the possibility of travel to the Canary Islands as well for the same reasons, as there is a “joint interest for British people to be able to travel to their traditional and favourite holiday destinations as soon as possible”.

In any case, he stressed, the UK Government will inform whether or not it allows its citizens to travel abroad from May 17th next week, and to which countries and under what conditions, such as the anti-Covid tests that they must present upon their return.

The president of the Balearic Islands Government, Francina Armengol, met with Hugh Elliott yesterday in Palma, on the UK Ambassador’s first official visit to the Balearic Islands since he took over the role, which the pandemic has prevented him visiting many areas.