Spain could be next to follow France onto 'amber-plus' list, travel experts warn

Spain could be next to follow France onto 'amber-plus' list, travel experts warn
Spain could be next to follow France onto 'amber-plus' list, travel experts warn

Spain could be the next big holiday destination to be put on the so-called 'Amber Plus' list, travel experts fear.

The popular summer holiday destination, which attracted around 18 million UK visitors each year before Covid, may follow France on to the list. 

It means Britons will still have to self-isolate when they return to the UK from Spain and France even if they have been double-jabbed.

The Government is set to lift the 10-day home quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Britons returning from Amber List countries from tomorrow.

But in an unexpected twist, the Department for Transport announced on Friday night that the rule will not apply to France. 

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And Spain, as well as Greece, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, could also join France on the list - dubbed 'Amber Plus' - experts fear.

It comes as Britons have today been seen making a dash for the airports on the Balearic Islands, which are set to move from Green to Amber at 4am on Monday.

Speaking about possible changes, Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, told i: 'It is now known as an amber plus list, whether they like it or not.

'France is one of the big three countries we visit each year and I think the concern is the Government will be looking at Spain and Greece and potentially add those to the amber plus category.

Spain could be the next big holiday destination to be put on the so-called 'Amber Plus' list, travel experts fear. Pictured: Passengers return to Manchester Airport today from Ibiza ahead of the 4am change from Green to Amber

Spain could be the next big holiday destination to be put on the so-called 'Amber Plus' list, travel experts fear. Pictured: Passengers return to Manchester Airport today from Ibiza ahead of the 4am change from Green to Amber

The Government is set to lift the 10-day home quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Britons returning from Amber List countries from tomorrow. Pictured: British holiday makers queue at the airport in Ibiza ahead of the travel list changes

The Government is set to lift the 10-day home quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Britons returning from Amber List countries from tomorrow. Pictured: British holiday makers queue at the airport in Ibiza ahead of the travel list changes

It comes as Britons have today been seen making a dash for the airports on the Balearic Islands, which are set to move from Green to Amber at 4am tomorrow morning. Pictured: British tourists arrive from Ibiza to Manchester Airport today

It comes as Britons have today been seen making a dash for the airports on the Balearic Islands, which are set to move from Green to Amber at 4am tomorrow morning. Pictured: British tourists arrive from Ibiza to Manchester Airport today

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The summer holiday plans of thousands lie in ruins this morning, with people cancelling their planned trips to the Balearic Islands after they were axed from the green list while the cost of flights back from Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca soared nine-fold after last night's announcement

The summer holiday plans of thousands lie in ruins this morning, with people cancelling their planned trips to the Balearic Islands after they were axed from the green list while the cost of flights back from Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca soared nine-fold after last night's announcement

Families set to cross the Channel fear their holidays will be cancelled at the last minute - as 500,000 Britons already there face hotel quarantine 

Ministers are considering placing France on the 'red list' of countries – a move that would bring chaos and misery for 500,000 Britons estimated to be holidaying in the country this weekend.

The plan is being pushed by influential No 10 advisers – led by Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England – who fear the South African, or Beta, variant that is spreading in the country could evolve to evade vaccines.

The move would theoretically force returning travellers to pay £1,750 for ten days of quarantine in a hotel on their return.

The threat comes as thousands of devastated families cancelled their holiday plans yesterday after Ministers announced that double-jabbed Britons will still have to quarantine on their return from France after 'Freedom Day' tomorrow.

There was fury after it emerged late on Friday that France would be excluded from plans to lift quarantine rules for countries on the amber travel list.

But The Mail on Sunday has learned senior scientific and medical advisers want Ministers to go further and move France to red.

The suggestion was first raised at a top-level meeting at No 10 on Tuesday and was still being considered last night.

Ministers were presented with data that the South African variant is spreading rapidly in France and accounted for one in ten of all new infections.

There were also alarming warnings from some scientists that the AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective in protecting against the South African variant than other strains of the virus.

Despite the threat of the variant, thousands of anti-vaccine protesters mobbed Paris yesterday.

Only 1,073 Beta cases have been confirmed in the UK so far, compared with 216,249 cases of the Indian – or Delta – variant which took hold earlier this year.

A Government source last night said: 'If the Beta variant continues to spread it [France] will have to go red. We can't have it taking hold over here.'

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'I think we may see further changes as countries see higher infection rates.' 

The comments come as Britons were today seen making a mad dash to Ibiza airport ahead of the change in quarantine rules for the Balearic Islands.

The archipelago, which also includes Mallorca and Menorca, is going from the Green List to the Amber List from 4am on Monday morning.

The move comes after a spike in Covid cases, meaning the islands have a higher case rates than some red list countries. 

The case rate has rocketed to 519 per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days, which is lower than Red List Turkey's 82 per 100,000 case rate.

Meanwhile, it was today revealed that ministers are considering placing France on the 'red list' of countries – a move that would bring chaos and misery for 500,000 Britons estimated to be holidaying in the country this weekend.

The plan is being pushed by influential No 10 advisers – led by Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England – who fear the South African, or Beta, variant that is spreading in the country could evolve to evade vaccines.

The move would theoretically force returning travellers to pay £1,750 for ten days of quarantine in a hotel on their return.

The threat comes as thousands of devastated families cancelled their holiday plans yesterday after Ministers announced that double-jabbed Britons will still have to quarantine on their return from France after 'Freedom Day' tomorrow.

There was fury after it emerged late on Friday that France would be excluded from plans to lift quarantine rules for countries on the amber travel list.

But The Mail on Sunday has learned senior scientific and medical advisers want Ministers to go further and move France to red.

The suggestion was first raised at a top-level meeting at No 10 on Tuesday and was still being considered last night.

Ministers were presented with data that the South African variant is spreading rapidly in France and accounted for one in ten of all new infections.

There were also alarming warnings from some scientists that the AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective in protecting against the South African variant than other strains of the virus.

Despite the threat of the variant, thousands of anti-vaccine protesters mobbed Paris yesterday.

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