From Monday, February 14, British minors between the ages of 12 and 17 (inclusive) can enter Spain with a negative PCR test. Until then only those fully vaccinated could do so. However, the Government changed its criteria after pressure from the tourist sector.
This decision on British minors is causing an increase in travel reservations from the United Kingdom. However, British professionals criticise that “it has come at the worst time”. Many schools are about to start the period of school holidays known as ‘half- term’. These holidays are similar to the Semana Blanca holidays in Spain.
Desicion has come at the worst time
Julia Lo Bue-Said is optimistic about the change in the Spanish criteria on British minors. She is executive director of Advantage Travel Partnership, the largest group of independent travel agents in the United Kingdom. Blue-Said is nevertheless critical of the impact of the postponement of the decision for so long. “It really has come at the worst time. The half-term has come upon us and thousands of families had no choice but to cancel their planned vacations in Spain. Instead, they opted for destinations that did not prohibit entrance to their children.
Competing destinations will benefit
Similarly, Brian Young, managing director of EMEA tour operator G Adventures, has asserted that “it is too late”, since “countless people have had to change their plans.” He believes other destinations like Turkey, Greece, and Egypt have benefited from the late decision.
Prior travel requirements for British minors
The Spanish government required Britons over the age of 12 to present a full vaccination certificate. The second vaccine had to have been carried out at least 14 days before arriving in Spain. However, in the case of adolescents, it appeared to be a more difficult requirement to meet. This is because they have been the last to receive the doses in the UK. Therefore, this was putting a brake on reservations. Especially in family tourism, and in the face of Semana Blanca (half-term holidays in the United Kingdom).