Politics

Blow to travel as Spain and Portugal announce strict travel rules

British holidaymakers planning summer trips abroad have been dealt yet another blow as Spain and Portugal announce tighter travel restrictions.

Any visitors to mainland Portugal will have to quarantine for 14 days unless they are fully vaccinated.

The new rule was introduced yesterday (Monday, June 28) due to growing concern about the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus first discovered in India.

Previously British visitors did not have to self-isolate as long as they provided evidence of a recent negative test.

The change comes just days after the UK government announced it was putting the Balearic Islands on the green list.

READ MORE:Brits could be banned from one European country even after having vaccine

Soaking up the sun on a beach in the Algarve, Portugal, feels a long way off right now

Portugal has toughened its rules for Britons, putting UK holidaymakers in the same risk category as those from South Africa, Brazil, India and Nepal.

The change does not apply to the island of Madeira.

Spain has today also confirmed that it will only let in British holidaymakers who are fully vaccinated or have a negative ‘Gold Standard’ PCR test.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made the announcement with the new rules set to come into force in the next few days.

The new rules for both countries will come as a big blow to many UK holidaymakers and the struggling aviation industry.

Mr Sanchez said the UK’s Covid figures were “worrying” because the accumulated 14-day rate was “well above 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.”

Spain opened up to British tourists at the end of May despite France and Germany unveiling tougher rules.

At the time Spanish Mr Sanchez extended his own personal invite to holidaymakers from the UK by announcing in English they could return with no Covid tests or vaccine requirements.

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Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya appeared to confirm last Thursday the country would snub Angela Merkel, who had been pushing to impose an EU-wide quarantine on British tourists, by saying holidaymakers from the UK would continue to be let into the country without having to quarantine.

She said at a press conference with her Panamanian counterpart Erika Mouynes after their meeting in Madrid: “At the moment we are maintaining the measures which enable British citizens to enter our territory.”

The Balearic Islands, which include Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca, move to green on Wednesday.

Island politicians had been urging the Spanish government to push for more tests “in origin” before UK tourists are allowed in, but nothing had been announced till today.


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