Spain announce travel ban for UK flights amid coronavirus strain
Spain and the Canary Islands have faced a rollercoaster when it comes to holidays – so what is the latest travel advice? A new blow was dealt today when Canaries hotspot Lanzarote announced it was closing its borders over rising cases of covid. The Canary government says the island, including neighbouring islet La Graciosa, will rise to alert level four starting at midnight on Saturday due to the “seriousness” of coronavirus cases on the island and especially the “speed” in the transmission of infections.
Public health chiefs say the coronavirus level at seven days has multiplied 25-fold in just over three weeks and has exceeded the threshold of what is considered a “very high risk”.
A week ago, Lanzarote went from alert level two to level three, as a consequence of the increase in cases after the Christmas holidays, before now entering level four.
In the last 14 days, Lanzarote registered 698.67 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The island today recorded two deaths and 77 new cases, bringing its total to 2,820, of which 948 are still active.
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A spokesman for the executive, Julio Pérez, said “the outlook is very worrying” and though this forced them to take new restrictions which would affect the economy, the priority was to tackle the rise in infections.
“Lanzarote has a very worrying outlook due to the speed with which infections increase as well as other indicators,” he said. “
“For this reason, we must face the health situation and that is why we have created level four today that we did not have until now to further toughen the intensity of the restrictions.”
There will be a curfew between 10pm and 6am and social gatherings are reduced to a maximum of two people and non-essential economic activity will cease at 6pm.
In addition, there will be restrictions on the entry and exit of people to and from Lanzarote, except for justified cause.
Residents are being urged to work home from home, bars and restaurants will close at 6pm, shops have to cut numbers inside to just 25 percent and the capacity on beaches and in pools is also being cut.
Perez said restrictions elsewhere in the Canaries had paid dividends, such as in Tenerife where the previous red alert has been downgrade to level 2 thanks to a decrease in coronavirus cases.
He stressed the new regulations in Lanzarote did not amount to confinement as mobility was still allowed but he urged citizens to stay at home when possible.
Britons are currently unable to enter Spain.
“On December 22, 2020, Spain introduced travel restrictions on passenger travel from the UK by air and sea,” explains the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
“These measures have been extended until 6pm (GMT+1) on February 2, 2021 (5pm / GMT in the Canary Islands), with the exception of Spanish nationals and those legally resident in Spain.”
The authority continued: “International transit through Spanish airports by passengers on flights departing from the UK is permitted on presentation of a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival into Spain. See Transiting Spain.
“Travellers arriving from the United Kingdom are not required to self-isolate on arrival in Spain.
“However, from November 23, 2020, there are some requirements for testing on arrival for those travelling by air and sea.
“Spot checks may be carried out on arrival to confirm travellers have undergone a COVID-19 PCR, TMA or LAMP test and have tested negative.
“A minimum fine of €3000 may be issued to anyone who does not comply.”
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.
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