The tourism industry has breathed a collective sigh of relief after the Government of Boris Johnson has decided not to tighten restrictions on travel to Spain, which will remain in amber in the so-called traffic light system that determines the risk of coronavirus of international destinations . The recent increase in infections had triggered speculation about a potential reinforcement of the requirements upon return, but finally, the British with the complete vaccination schedule (73.2% of adults) will be able to visit Spain without having to quarantine upon return. . The only variation is the recommendation that the return preflight test be a PCR, rather than an antigen, although it is not mandatory.
The update of the travel list announced by the Executive is key for the Spanish sector for two fundamental reasons that guarantee to save the remainder of the summer campaign. The first is that the current distribution will not be reviewed for another three weeks, a margin that allows for practically all of August to be the business month for the activity; and the second, and more important in the long term, is that the decision seems to have tipped the balance in favor of the faction that was betting on facilitating foreign travel.
The Transport Minister himself, Grant Shapps, on Thursday urged citizens to take advantage of flexibility and book their vacations, a marked rhetorical change compared to the last few days, in which the internal debate of the Government had encouraged the worst fears of the industry. Among the options analyzed, was the possibility of incorporating Spain into the status known as amber plus, which until now had only been applied to France and meant isolation for ten days upon return, regardless of whether they were vaccinated.
Finally, in this latest review, the Ministry of Transport has decided to eliminate this intermediate category and, crucially, has abandoned the idea of constituting a new additional to reflect the imminent risk that a square in amber would pass to the dreaded red list, which imposes quarantine in hotels, with a cost that, in addition, will rise from the current 1,750 pounds (about 2,000 euros) to 2,285 (about 2,700 euros) as of August 12.
As it had transpired, this new range had been planned fundamentally for Spain or Greece, but the pressure from the opposing front, led by the Minister of Finance and, ultimately, supported by Boris Johnson himself, got the idea to be abandoned. before being born. All in all, the logistical challenge of putting Spain in the red would have been monumental, since there are not too many hotel rooms and, as the first British holiday destination, the volume of travelers who might have to be placed in hotels for ten days threatened to be impractical.
India moves up the amber scale
The announcement will apply, for now, to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as Wales has not yet decided whether it will follow the pattern set by the Johnson Administration, which has expanded to 36 places in green, that is, those that They only require a pre-departure test and a PCR on the second day. Germany, Austria and Norway are among the seven that have joined; while Mexico and the French overseas territories Reunion and Mayotte have suffered the opposite fate, since they have been added to the red list.
The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, have gone from red to amber, a crucial move for air traffic, given the strategic positioning of Dubai or Qatar as stopover airports on long-haul flights. India has also been put on amber, a decision that could prove controversial given the recent surge in cases.