Covid test: Simon Calder says holidaymakers ‘ripped off’
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Many UK travellers choose the popular holiday destination of Spain for a spot of year-round sunshine. But the Mediterranean hotspot has recently changed its travel regulations so tourists will need to check all the rules before travelling.
The Spanish Government announced that travellers from France and Italy will now have to provide proof of double-vaccination before entering Spain.
Previously, only certain territories within France and Italy required proof of vaccination.
The Cote D’Azur, Brittany and Normandy within France and Tuscany and Puglia within Italy were regions that already required health documents to enter Spain.
Both European countries have recently been designated as high-risk by the Spanish Government after each has seen a rise in cases.
UK travellers planning to enter Spain from France or Italy will need to provide the relevant health documentation to gain entry.
Tourists who have not been double-jabbed will have to prove they have recently recovered from the infection or present negative test results to enter Spain.
The UK is also on the Spanish Government’s high-risk list and all British tourists will need to show proof of being double-vaccinated, a negative test result or a recent recovery.
The new Spanish regulations for tourists came into effect on September 6 and will be in place until September 12.
Spain is currently on the UK Government’s amber list. This includes all island territories, such as Canaries and Balearics.
Double-vaccinated travellers need to take a pre-departure test before leaving Spain as well as pay for a PCR test on or before day two after arrival to enter the UK.
Unvaccinated travellers will need to take a second test on arrival to the UK, on or before day eight and will also need to self-isolate for 10 days.
Although the Spanish Government’s state of emergency has ended, all travellers are advised to check for local restrictions and curfews.
The Costa Blanca region in Spain has recently lifted its curfew on nightclubs which can now open until 2.30am although other restrictions remain in place.
Current FCDO advice is for British tourists to make sure they have sufficient travel insurance before visiting Spain as well as to check local rules and regulations.
The present UK traffic light travel system is due to be reviewed by October 1 and travel experts have called for double-vaccinated travellers to be excused from taking tests.
A proposed two-tier system would combine the green and amber lists so double-vaccinated travellers would not have to take tests after arriving in the UK.
Gary Lewis, CEO of the Travel Network group, said of the proposed changes: “The traffic light system has been confusing for travellers and restrictive to the recovery of the travel industry.
“We welcome any move that makes travel easier and more straightforward for travellers.”
A Government spokesperson said: “Our international travel policy is guided by one overwhelming priority- protecting public health.”
Any changes to the current rules, including for travel to Spain, are expected on October 1.
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