Spain expects to be added to green list on June 7 as Brits arrive after the country lifted travel restrictions

SPAIN expects to be added to the green list on June 7 as Brits started to arrive after the country lifted travel restrictions.

The country’s tourism minister Fernando Valdes said Spain was not appropriate for the amber list.

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He told Sky News: "Right now Spain is doing a great effort not only in terms of vaccination, we have at least one third of our whole population with at least one dose… but also, we do have some holiday destinations which are very loved by British tourists such as the Balearic islands, Costa Blanca or Malaga, with our notification rates which are pretty low and by the same notification range of the UK.

“So I have to suspect that on the next review that the UK Government can provide… Spain is going to change on its notification.”

Spain lifted its travel restrictions for UK travellers today, with no testing requirement for arrivals.

Up to 100,000 Brits are expected to head to Spain this week, despite the country still being on the amber list.

Not only does this require a mandatory 10-day quarantine when returning to the UK, but the government has advised against holidays to destinations on the list.

Despite this, eager holidaymakers have descended with tourists already heading to UK airports after Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez announced it would allow Brits to return without proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test.

There are a number of flights heading to Spain with easyJet, Ryanair and TUI this morning, heading to destinations including Lanzarote, Ibiza and Majorca.

Brits have already started arriving at Malaga airport, without having to having to quarantine or have a negative test after landing, while others have headed to the beaches in the Canary Islands.

One member of a party of happy 20-year-olds who were flying to Malaga said: “We are really looking forward to it. There are nine of us.

“We have waited a long time for a holiday. We are going to have a great time. Of course we are all going to quarantine when we get back.”

One female passenger, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I've got a property in Malaga. I tried last week to get there last week but couldn’t get out.

“I have got a ticket now. It will be good to get away from the terrible weather.

“I am only going for a week. I will have to quarantine when I get back, but it will be worth it.”

Flights to Spain are now expected to soar to 80 per cent a day – meaning an estimated 16,000 passengers are set to fly to the popular holiday destination.

Despite the surge in flights, the PM and government have warned Brits not to travel to Spain as it remains on the amber list.

Return to the UK from amber-listed countries means travellers will need to self-isolate for ten days and will also have to take a PCR test on day two and day eight of self-isolation. 

The advice remains for Spain, according to the Foreign Office website today: "We continue to advise against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands, but excluding the Canary Islands."

Boris Johnson's spokesman said: "Our advice hasn't changed in regards to amber list countries.

"We have been clear that people shouldn't be travelling to amber list countries for the purposes of holidays."

While last week Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that people should not travel to amber countries except for essential reasons.

Education Minister Gillian Keegan told Times Radio: "Amber list countries are there for a reason – they are there so that you can travel for business, you can travel for particular situations such as funerals or if there are some specific care issues in your family."

Their comments were echoed by Home Secretary Priti Patel who earlier today urged Brits not to travel to amber list destinations.

She told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "We’ve been in a pandemic and if I may say so, throughout the pandemic we’ve been taking the right approaches to protect the public when it comes to public health."

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"Now, when it comes to travel, international travel, we have the traffic light system. That is there for a reason, in terms of red listing countries where we have variants of concern, all those types of things.

"We have measures in place to protect the public. When it comes to holidays, of course the public will follow the advice that comes out from the government, green listing for example.

"But that’s always under review. That list can change and will change."

Spain was left off the green list and won't be added until June at the earliest.

Spain's Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdes, said: "We are working on this list being compiled by regions. But it’s not a EU problem, it’s a UK problem because it should have the capacity to territorialize the world and not just Spain.

“We hope a re-evaluation of some regions take place soon. Spain, along with Portugal, is the holiday region that’s in the best epidemiological situation.

“There are competitors that have higher coronavirus rates and that gives us an obvious competitive advantage. We are confident Spain will be on the green light list in June."

Parents are also unlikely to be fined for taking kids to Spain during the half-term break and having to miss school while they quarantine, it's understood.

Kids may be given remote lessons and will have to work from home while they complete their quarantine if it runs into term-time, according to sources.

Currently, Portugal is the only major tourist destination on Britain's green list, which means holidaymakers do not need to isolate on their return.

But Boris Johnson wants to add "as many countries as possible" to the travel green list this summer, a top minister declared while tourist bosses in Spain want the UK to recognise the low coronavirus rates in areas like the Balearic Islands and Valencian Autonomous Community.

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