Travel news: latest Covid restrictions on Brits

Travel news: latest Covid restrictions on Brits
Image source: Getty Images

During this pandemic period, if you plan to travel outside the UK, it’s best to keep up with travel news. In the latest news, Spain’s Balearic Islands have been added to the UK’s green watchlist.

However, the prime minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, has confirmed that starting on Friday 2 July, Spain will demand a negative diagnostic test (PCR or antigen) or proof of full vaccination from UK travellers wishing to visit the islands. This is due to the country’s concerns over the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

What’s the Delta variant?

The Delta variant is a strain of coronavirus that was first detected in India. It has so far been found in more than 80 countries, including the UK.

Experts state that the Delta variant spreads more easily, meaning it’s more contagious. In the United Kingdom, a total of 75,953 cases of the Delta variant were sequenced up to 16 June. This was an increase from 42,323 cases the previous week. Specialists believe that the rise in a short space of time is the result of a high volume of travel.

In a recent interview, Prime Minister Sánchez said: “The cumulative incidence rate in the United Kingdom has been progressing negatively during these last few weeks. It is far above 150 cases [per 100,000 inhabitants] in 14 days, and that is why we have to take an additional precaution with respect to the arrival of British tourists to our country.”

Travel news: can I travel to the Balearic Islands from the UK?

Now that they’re on the green watchlist, you can travel to the Balearic Islands from the UK. However, British tourists must either:

  • Be fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organisation, with the second dose administered at least 14 days before travel, or
  • Present a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours before arriving in Spain

It might also be in your best interest to read the complete Spanish coronavirus travel requirements resource on the website.

What can I expect when returning to the UK from the Balearic Islands?

Following the travel news that the Balearic Islands will move to the green list from 30 June, if you are returning to the UK from the islands after that date, you’ll follow the green list rules.

Remember that the UK’s traffic light system is updated every three weeks, or according to changing risk levels. The Balearic Islands could move to the green list, but they could still move back to the amber list. The government recommends that travellers sign up for email alerts so that they receive notifications when changes occur.

Mainland Spain and the Canary Islands will stay on the amber list. It’s not recommended to travel to amber list countries, especially for leisure. However, if you are returning to the UK from a country on the amber list, you must follow the amber list rules.

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