The coronavirus crisis brought global travel to a grinding halt earlier this year, but as the world starts to ease lockdown restrictions Spain has announced it is open for holidaymakers once again. Spain was once one of the worst-hit nations in the world for COVID-19 infections, reporting almost 250,000 cases and more than 28,000 deaths. Although Spain will be allowing tourists as of this week, restrictions on foreign travel remain in place in the UK.
Can we go on holiday to Spain now?
As of June 21, Spain has officially ended its State of Emergency.
Spain is now allowing people from within the EU or Schengen area to visit for tourism purposes, without the need to quarantine upon arrival.
Some UK nationals have already arrived in Spain this week, and have been subjected to health checks upon arrival.
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Along with health checks, any visitors to Spain are also required to adhere to social distancing measures and additional mandatory requirements to wear face masks in public.
At the moment, Spain is in discussions over whether to allow visitors from nations outside of Europe.
The Spanish government is planning to outline later this week which countries will still be subject to Spain’s travel restrictions for the foreseeable future.
Spain is not free of coronavirus, with Spain’s health minister Salvador Illa telling Cadena SER radio there have been some small new local coronavirus outbreaks but they are under control.
Are the Foreign Office still advising against non-essential travel?
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is still currently advising against non-essential travel.
However, the FCO recently issued an update on Spain’s decision to allow visitors back to the country.
The FCO website states: “The State of Emergency (“Estado de Alarma”) declared on March 14, ends on June 21.
“From this date, Spain’s borders are open to European Union and Schengen-area countries (with the exception of Portugal where the restrictions will continue to apply until July 1), and travellers from the UK.
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“Arrivals from the United Kingdom are not required to self-isolate on arrival but will be subject to a series of three health checks.
“From June 21 travel between regions is permitted. Face masks are obligatory in public spaces.
“Social distancing measures and other safety precautions must be observed at all times.”
Although Spain is allowing tourists back into the country, the current UK restrictions could have major implications for anyone planning to travel abroad on holiday in the coming weeks.
The notion of an “air bridge” between the UK and Spain has been in discussion for some time, but has not yet come to fruition, so UK restrictions remain unchanged.
Currently, Brits will be expected to quarantine upon their return to the UK if they decide to travel abroad.
Until the UK starts to ease its own restrictions on foreign travel, the two-week mandatory quarantine remains in place for those travelling back from Spain.
If you decide to ignore FCO advice to travel abroad, it is important to bear in mind that the FCO’s current advice against non-essential travel will also impact on your ability to find travel insurance at this time.
Airlines are beginning to increase their flight numbers, but many flights remain grounded due to the FCO advice against non-essential travel.
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