Spain: Paul Scully discusses amber list
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In recent months, there have been a number of stories of British tourists suddenly trapped in quarantine hotels in Spain upon finding they have a positive Covid test just days before they were due to travel home. With Britons testing regularly while abroad in order to facilitate travel, and the number of cases of COVID-19 surging across Spain, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice to explain what to do in the event of an unexpected positive test.
Spain is currently on the amber list, with double-jabbed Britons allowed to return home from the country without the risk of quarantine.
The FCDO is also no longer advising “against non-essential travel” to the nation.
With airlines resuming holidays, countless Britons have jetted off in recent weeks.
However, the FCDO warns: “No travel is risk-free during COVID.”
It continues: “Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example, due to a new COVID-19 variant.
“Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.”
As has already been the case for some holidaymakers, a positive Covid test means returning home in the near future is unfortunately off the cards.
“If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there,” continues the FCDO.
“You should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect yourself and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.”
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For those who are travelling to Spain, the FCDO advises Britons to “plan ahead”.
Britons should make sure they have access to money, understand their travel insurance policy and its coverage, and can make arrangements to extend the stay and be away for longer than planned if necessary.
It comes as Spain ramps up its restrictions in a bid to try and curb the spread of Covid.
At the time of writing, according to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), Spain has recorded 624.04 confirmed cases of Covid per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days.
Restrictions vary across Spain, the Canary and Balearic Islands, though all are beginning to tighten.
In Valencia, home to holiday hotspot Benidorm, a night curfew is coming into force. Restaurants and bars are now forced to close by 12:30am and gatherings are limited to 10 people.
“While the nationwide State of Emergency declared by the Spanish government on October 25, 2020, ended on May 9 2021, some restrictions and curfews remain in force and may vary between regions,” explains the FCDO.
“Handwashing hygiene, air ventilation rules and the use of face masks in enclosed public spaces and in some specific scenarios outdoors must continue to be observed at all times.”
It continues: “Regional governments retain legal powers to ease or tighten restrictions within their region if deemed necessary to control the spread of the virus.”
This could include “partial lockdowns; limiting the capacity and opening hours of retail, hospitality establishments and public events.”
The FCDO adds: “Local and regional restrictions may be introduced at short notice.
“You should consult regional incidence levels, refer to the advice of local authorities in your destination and ensure you are aware of the specific measures in place prior to travel.”
There are growing concerns Spain will be moved onto the “amber plus list”.
This will mean arrivals returning from Spain will face 10 days of self-isolation, regardless of their inoculation status.
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