ECDC places Spain and its Balearic Islands in the dark red zone

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Spanish beaches may be empty as ECDC places Spain in dark red zone. Image: Carlos ZGZ (Flickr -

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) places Spain and the Balearic Islands in the dark red zone. This follows a review of the latest epidemiological situation of EU countries.

This follows an upsurge in Coronavirus cases. Spain registered more than 500 infections per 100,000 inhabitants during the last 14 days, reports.

As a result, the ECDC advises against all unnecessary travel to the country and to the three islands, Ibiza, Palma, and Menorca.

Spain’s travel and tourism industry dealt another blow

Spain’s economy significantly relies on the travel and tourism industry. Consequently, Spain decided to open its borders for several arrivals from the European Member States without requiring them to undergo testing and quarantine requirements.

Despite Spain, together with the Balearic Islands, being categorised by the ECDC as dark red, individual countries remain responsible whether they want to impose measures against travellers returning from or travelling to mainland Spain or one of the islands.

Any changes to travel restrictions?

Austria announced stricter rules will apply to all persons returning from Spain. All persons entering Austria from Spain will be required to present a negative PCR test result upon arrival.

Germany has also imposed measures against arrivals from Spain. According to the German Federal Ministry of Health, all persons arriving from Spain need to present one of the three key indicators for a digital green pass.

As for unvaccinated travellers arriving from Spain, German authorities announced they must quarantine immediately and self-isolate for ten days.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged US citizens not to travel to Spain.

“The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Spain due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country,” the Department of State said.

UK restrictions specifically

The UK will be announcing changes to its red, amber and green lists later this week. Certain quarters are worried the government will move Spain into the newer ‘Amber plus’ category or even the red list.

Spain is currently on the UK’s amber list, meaning travellers need to self-isolate for 10 days upon their return. However, fully vaccinated people are exempt from this rule. In practice, this puts Spain practically on the green list since 56.5% of British residents have been fully immunised.

For now, London has scrapped its idea for an amber watchlist of countries at risk of moving to red, according to the BBC. This is good news for Spain. But the UK is also considering putting Spain on its amber plus list alongside France. That would force returning travellers to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status. The only silver lining is they would not need to pay for a quarantine hotel as those returning from red list countries do.


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