• Quote: ‘The Government urge travellers arriving in the UK from Spain to take a PCR test for the mandatory pre-departure test as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country’

By Andrew Atkinson

SPAIN remains on the UK Amber list of travelling following an announcement on August 5 – with caution aired for travellers to take a PCR test before they fly home.

The worst scenario fears in the travel industry that Spain, the most popular overseas destination for UK holidaymakers, could be added to England’s red list did not materialise.

There is no quarantine upon returning from Spain, but people will have to take a negative test before returning and a PCR test on day two back in the UK.

The Government announced it would keep its amber status, but urged travellers arriving in the UK from Spain to take a PCR test for the mandatory pre-departure test as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.

Tens of thousands of holidaymakers planning to travel to Spain were holding their breaths, due to Spain being touted as going onto the traffic light Red list.

The news of the Green status remaining, from that of red status, could potentially have cost £2,285-a-stay quarantine in hotels.

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will move from red to amber, with arrivals not having to spend 11 nights at quarantine hotels.

Despite Spain avoiding to join them, those flying back will soon face higher testing costs after Ministers urged holidaymakers to take a PCR for the mandatory pre-departure test, rather than the cheaper lateral flow alternatives, ‘as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country’.

The UK Government confirmed arrivals from France will no longer need to self-isolate, leading to a predicted surge in cross-Channel bookings, as traditionally more than four million Britons make the trip.

This despite there being a lack of accommodation.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The Government is committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we’ve made through our successful vaccination programme.

“While we must continue to be cautious, the changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Changes to the travel lists are based on the latest data and expert public health advice.

“The announcement demonstrates the need for continued caution, with additions made to the red list to help protect the success of our vaccine rollout from the threat of new variants”.

Seven countries will be added to England’s green travel list from 4am on August 8.

The news is deemed as ‘Summer holidays have been saved at the 11th hour’ after double-jabbed tourists will be spared quarantine from August 8.

Seven European countries, including Germany and Norway, were added to the green list of destinations.

From August 12, the rate for solo travellers isolating in hotels will rise from £1,750 to £2,285.

Additional adults sharing a room will see their bill rise from £650 to £1,430.

Children over the age of 12 are charged at the same rate as adults, while parents will have to pay an additional £325 for those aged between 5 and 12.

There are different rules for countries on the red, amber and green lists that also differ according to a traveller’s vaccination status.

Anyone returning from a green list country need only have proof of a negative Covid-19 test before travel, fill in a passenger locator form and take a test on day two after arrival.

The Government urged travellers arriving from Spain to take a PCR test wherever possible as their mandatory pre-departure test.

“UK clinicians and scientists remain in close contact with their counterparts in Spain to keep abreast of the latest data and picture of cases,” said a spokesperson.

Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said: “The extension of the green list is a positive step forward but the UK remains a long way off a full and meaningful restart of international travel”.