With its gorgeous beaches, guarantee of sunshine and wide-range of affordable resorts Spain has long been the UK’s favourite holiday destination.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps gave an update on the UK’s green list on Wednesday 14 July, announcing that the Balearic Islands have moved back to the amber list after just over two weeks on the green list, due to rising Covid cases.
Mainland Spain remains on the amber list too. But what does this mean - and when is the next review?
What travel restrictions are in place for amber countries?
People returning from amber countries must take two post-arrival tests.
They are also required to self-isolate at home for 10 days, although they can reduce that time if they take an additional negative test on day-five.
Each country has its own entry requirements, so it's important to check these before travelling out of the UK.
From 19 July, fully-vaccinated UK residents and under 18s will no longer need to quarantine when returning from amber list countries.
Is Spain on the green list?
Popular destinations for tourists from England, including France, Greece, Spain and Italy, remain off limits.
The list includes the majority of Europe, as well as the US and Canada.
What about the Balearic and Canary Islands?
Spain’s tourist hotspots of Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera will be removed from the green list from 19 July due to concerns over rising Covid cases.
Speaking about the changes to the Balearic Islands on 14 July, Shapps told reporters: “Unfortunately when we put them on the green watchlist from then we’ve seen the rates double, and also the rates of positivity of these tests double, meaning that we’re going to have to move quickly.”
The new rules come into place from 4am on 19 July.
What are the rules for entering Spain?
For those travelling to Spain, there are a variety of rules which must be adhered to before entry to the country is permitted.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) explains that the Spanish government requires all arrivals to Spain from the UK to present on entry one of the following:
- a negative Covid-19 test
- proof of vaccination
Further requirements and entry restrictions may also apply if:
- you have travelled to a ‘risk country’ within 14 days prior to arrival in Spain
- you are travelling from mainland Spain to the Balearic or Canary Islands, or you are staying in tourist accommodation in the Canary Islands
- you are travelling overland (by road or rail) from France
All passengers entering Spain are still required to complete a pre-travel declaration form.
The Spanish government also requires all arrivals to Spain from the UK (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) to present on entry one of the following:
- documentation certifying that you have undertaken a Covid-19 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT - e.g. PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR) within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain and tested negative. Antigen tests are only accepted in certain limited circumstances
- proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain with a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency or by the World Health Organisation
If you live in England, Spain will accept the NHS COVID Pass or your NHS letter to demonstrate your Covid-19 vaccination status. If you live in Scotland or Wales, Spain will accept your respective NHS letter to demonstrate your Covid-19 vaccination status.
Spain, including the Canary Islands, is currently on the UK’s amber list, with the Balearic Islands also moving to the amber list from 19 July.
There are currently no plans to move Spain to the UK’s red list, but the Department for Transport (DFT) explains that “if conditions change in a country or territory, it can be moved from the amber list to the red list.”
A country or territory may also be moved between lists without warning if there is a sudden change in conditions.
When is the next travel update?
The government is expected to give its next travel update in early August.
Reviews take place every three weeks, with the first one on 3 June, the second on 24 June and the third on 14 July.
While reviews normally take place on a Thursday, the most recent one was on a Wednesday.
If the government follows it’s usual plan, it will make the next update of the travel lists on Wednesday 4 August or Thursday 5 August.
Changes tend to come into place the Monday following the announcement.