Spain holidays: Spanish travel restrictions dropped - when will cruises resume? FCDO update
Spain holidays have boomed this week with hordes of Britons jetting off to Spanish shores after the hotspot dropped all travel restrictions. What does this mean for cruises?
Spain cruises have been sorely missed during the Covid pandemic - so when can we cruise to the much-loved Mediterranean destination once more?
Hopes were boosted this week when Covid restrictions were axed.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice on Monday.
"From May 24, entry restrictions and testing requirements for arrivals from the UK to Spain no longer apply," the authority stated.
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The FCDO added: "All passengers entering Spain will still be required to complete a pre-travel declaration form."
Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said at a tourism fair in Madrid on Friday: “Spain will be delighted, very delighted to welcome all British tourists and tourists from some other countries with low Covid infection rates.”
However, it's vital British holidaymakers remember that Spain is not yet on the UK's green list.
The country is currently on the Amber list which comes with a number of restrictions for returning to England.
The FCDO explains: "Before you travel to England you must: take a COVID-19 test, book and pay for day two and day eight COVID-19 travel tests – to be taken after arrival in England, and complete a passenger locator form.
"On arrival in England you must: quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days, and take a COVID-19 test on or before day two and on or after day eight."
A number of Government officials have warned against travelling to Amber countries in recent days.
Boris Johnson told the House of Commons on Wednesday: “You should not be going to an amber list country unless for some extreme circumstance such as the serious illness of a family member. You should not be going to an amber list country on holiday.”
Many have ignored the advice, however, and the number of flights to Spain have rocketed since the ban on international travel was lifted on May 17.
There are hopes Spain will be added to the green list at the next review on June 7.
“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,” Spain’s tourism minister Fernando Valdes told Sky News.
"I have to suspect that on the next review that the UK Government can provide... Spain is going to change on its notification."
So, with Spanish travel easing - will holidaymakers be able to enjoy a cruise to Spain soon?
However, the Government has yet to officially give the green light for international cruises.
Domestic cruises are currently permitted but, regarding international cruises, the Government warns: "The FCDO advises against international sea-going cruise travel based on the latest public health medical advice.
The Global Travel Taskforce's report adds: "The UK government will restart international cruises alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the 'traffic light' system."
It is hoped that when more countries are added to the green list, cruises will be able to go ahead with confidence.
However, until more certainty is issued, cruise lines are being forced to come up with contingency plans.
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For instance, Riviera Travel has said it will axe Spanish stops from its Portugal and Spain itineraries should the country remain on Amber - but is optimistic the cruise will able to go ahead in the summer.
A CLIA spokesperson told World of Cruising: "The Global Travel Taskforce has stated it will restart international cruises, including to Spain, alongside wider international travel. CLIA welcomes this approach and is actively engaging with government and other authorities to determine a safe and successful restart at the earliest opportunity."
In further Spain news, today, the FCDO updated its travel advice for Spain regarding the Canary or Balearic Islands.
"If you are travelling to the Canary or Balearic islands from mainland Spain, you may be required to present a negative COVID test depending on the region you are travelling from," the authority detailed.
"You should refer to your travel operator and the local authorities in your final destination for guidance on domestic entry requirements."