LONDON – UK government ministers announced yesterday (Wednesday) under-18s and those fully jabbed in the UK are now exempt from quarantine. Likewise, those who have been vaccinated in the EU and US no longer need to quarantine. Spain remains on the amber list.
However, travellers arriving in the UK from Spain are now “advised” to take a PCR test. This is rather than the less expensive lateral flow tests. However, it appears this is NOT a mandatory pre-departure test but a “precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants from amber list countries”.
Government sources said British tourists should travel to Spain. And the latest advice suggested the risk was not high enough to merit a move to the red list. However, another review would take place in three weeks. “The message is that it is fine to go,” one Whitehall source said. This includes Spain, the Canary Islands, and the Balearic Islands (Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca)
Continue to be cautious
The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said the new rules were reopening a significant number of travel destinations. “While we must continue to be cautious, today’s changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe. This is good news for both the sector and travelling public,” he said.
PCR tests are helpful
In an interview with Kay Burley on Sky News, Shapps was repeatedly asked if the PCR test before returning to the UK was not compulsory. And if so, why would a family of 4 choose to spend that extra money. A direct answer was not forthcoming. Shapps continued to say, “PCR tests are helpful” and “so it´s just a reminder that those tests are particularly useful”. However, Burley did manage to make it clear when she said, “so only 3% of PCR tests are actually used to monitor the different variants”. She continued, “so I just want to clarify it for my viewers, they don´t need to spend that extra 500 quid unless they absolutely want to if they are a family of four.”
UAE, Qatar, India and Bahrain will be moved from the Red List 🔴 to the Amber List 🟠
All changes come into effect Sun 8th August at 4am.
See the full list of changes made today here 👇 [2/3]https://t.co/iYAJhsdm3y
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) August 4, 2021
Still concerns about Spain
All changes and updates come into effect on Sun 8th August at 4am.
However, in a final note of caution, the government has warned there are still concerns about Spain, the most popular summer destination for British tourists, and said it would keep the country under close watch. Although he did confirm the next set of travel changes were not due “for another 3 weeks”.