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Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced plans to introduce new quarantine restrictions for UK arrivals unless they can provide evidence of being fully vaccinated or a negative PCR test. It comes amid growing concerns in the European Union(EU) over the spread of the Delta variant in the UK.
It comes just days before the Balearic Islands are placed onto the “green list” for travel, meaning UK holidaymakers will be exempted from quarantine on their return home.
Up until now, Briton has been allowing UK travellers to enter the country with no restrictions. This latest announcement has sparked fury among some Express readers, vowing “never” to return to the holiday hotspot.
One reader said: “It’s a great way to decimate your tourist economy.
“We all have to live with this thing, like it or not. I will never holiday in Spain again.”
Another added: “It [is] obvious that the Spanish et all don’t want or need your money or Brits come to that, so just stay away from the places.”
Despite this, Spain’s tourism officials have reinforced the value of its UK visitors and stressed that “British guests remain welcome”.
The new testing requirement for unvaccinated Britons is to “ensure the protection of both local residents and visitors” according to a spokesperson for The Spanish Tourist Office.
While Spain says it looks forward to welcoming British holidaymakers, Mr Sanchez justified this measure given that the data coming from the United Kingdom shows concerning infection rates “well above 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants based on the prior 14 days.”
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Not all readers were opposed to Spain’s decision, with some showing understanding for the Spanish PM’s decision.
“Moaning about others requiring tests is the height of hypocrisy,” wrote a commenter.
“For months all visitors from the EU have been required to quarantine on entry to the UK.
“Now we have a higher infection rate than EU countries we think they should welcome us with open arms.”
Many, however, remain unsatisfied with mounting restrictions, the cost of PCR tests and the risk of quarantine.
Instead, some readers say they are turning their attention to other holiday destinations.
“My money is being spent on some wonderful places in the UK,” said one reader.
“Shame really as I have always enjoyed lovely holidays on mainland Europe, but judging by some of the comments on various websites, they only wanted our money.”
A second added: “The good news for British holidaymakers is that we have some great tourist spots in the UK.
“Great beaches, great tourist parks, the ice cream is good, the beer too.
“What is there not to like? On top of which it will be a good economic boost for UK.”
Already UK holidays have seen a boost in popularity throughout the summer months, with the likes of the Lake District, South East Coast and Devon and Cornwall seeing a spike in domestic tourism.
Britons have also begun to turn their attention to other green list nations.
“Go to Gibraltar, [it has the] same sun and warmth,” recommended one Express reader.
Both British Airways and easyJet have ramped up capacity to Spain’s neighbouring Gibraltar.
While there are no exact figures available on how the nation’s tourism has benefitted from the green list boost, Gibraltar’s tourism minister Vijay Daryanani told the Observer “you can see a lot of movement in town and in our marinas and restaurants.
“People are booking with a lot of UK [phone] numbers, which is proof of a lot of people are coming from the UK.”
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