Brits issued major travel advice update for Spain by Foreign Office

Brits hoping for a holiday in Spain have been given a major travel update by the Foreign Office.

It comes as Spain’s state of emergency is set to be lifted, allowing tourists from some countries to visit again.

Ahead of this, the FCO has changed its advice on entry requirements to Spain.

The advice now states: “The State of Emergency (‘Estado de Alarma’) declared on 14 March, will end on June 21.

“From this date, Spain will re-open its borders to European Union and Schengen-area countries (with the exception of Portugal where the restrictions will continue to apply up until 1 July), and travellers from the UK.

“This means that British nationals will no longer need to present a residency certificate to enter Spain.

“The Spanish Government has said that it is possible that UK travellers will still need to quarantine on arrival in Spain, but that decision has not yet been taken.

“Restrictions on travellers from outside the European Union and the Schengen free-travel area will be lifted from July 1 providing the countries they depart from have agreements with Spain.”

The change to the official advice follows 24 hours of confusion earlier this week on whether Brits would be allowed entry, reports The Mirror.

It was initially thought only members of the Schengen zone would be allowed entry to Spain.

The Foreign Ministry later clarified that EU member states are also included, and the UK is still part of this group during the transition phase.

But the UK Government’s decision to introduce quarantine measures for most travellers has proven controversial.

Officials warned that they may introduce similar measures in Spain just for Brits in retalitation.

In a BBC interview, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said: “We will be checking what the UK will be doing and we will be in a dialogue with the UK to see whether or not we should be introducing reciprocity as they have different measures than the rest of the European Union.”

She dubbed the situation “fluid” and said officials would “properly engage in a dialogue with the UK authorities to make sure that we both take the message that best corresponds to the health situation, which today is a little bit better in Spain than it is in the UK”.

“Hopefully by the time we open our borders, the UK would have moved forward also,” she added.

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated Spain’s tourism industry, which accounts for around 12% of Spain’s GDP and provides millions of jobs.

Tourism chiefs have blasted the potential quarantine measures and called for health checks on passengers instead.

Juan Marin, vice-president of the regional Junta de Andalucia government which covers the Costa del Sol area, warned it would harm the Spanish economy further.

The tourism chief has called for rapid coronavirus tests to be carried out after travellers arrive.

In an attack on Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez and his deputy leader Pablo Iglesias, he added: “Mr Sanchez and Mr Iglesias should listen to us more because we propose things with the aim of fixing problems.

“I said a month and a half ago that international tourism had died with the quarantine for international travellers. I don’t think the way forward is quarantine.

“For me it’s a health check before tourists come and a test here so they return in perfect conditions.

“A quarantine on British holidaymakers would do Andalucia great harm because the UK is our main international holiday market and average spending by British holidaymakers is higher than the rest.”

Currently, the Foreign Office warns against all non-essential travel abroad.

And travellers arriving in the UK face 14 days of isolation under mandatory quarantine rules – with fines threatened for anyone who flouts the rules.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the government is looking at the idea of “air bridges” with certain countries where cases of coronavirus are low.

These would allow Brits to dodge quarantine when arriving back home after travelling, as well as any isolation requirements in the selected country abroad.

On June 16, the Prime Minister said: “The reason for having the quarantine system is very simple: we don’t want to reimport the disease just at the moment when we’ve really got it under control in this country.

“But we’re certainly looking at air bridges and ways to ensure that people can safely go on holiday eventually.”

Source: Liverpoolecho.co.uk

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