Spain and Greece tighten restrictions before British travellers arrive this summer

·2-min read

Holiday destinations Spain and Greece have moved to tighten Covid restrictions after experiencing an increase in Delta variant infections.

Both countries are among those expected to see an influx of British sun-seekers this summer but have been forced to reimpose coronavirus rules to tackle the spike in cases. 

Spain and Greece are on the UK’s amber list with quarantine-free travel coming into force for double-jabbed holidaymakers on July 19.

Night curfews have been reintroduced in more than 30 towns in the Mediterranean region of Valencia, including in the city of Valencia and popular coastal destination of Benicassim.

Spain has seen its case rate triple in just two weeks, prompting social gatherings of more than 10 people to also be banned. 

“The data are more than worrying, they are frankly very, very bad,” Catalonia’s public health secretary Josep Maria Argimon said.

Authorities in Greece blamed soaring infection numbers on people not coming forward to be vaccinated.

“After a year and a half, no one can claim ignorance about the coronavirus anymore,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

“The country will not shut down again due to attitude adopted by certain people... It’s not Greece that’s a danger, but unvaccinated Greeks.”

Watch: Balearics to go amber and Croatia green in changes to coronavirus travel lists

Unvaccinated people will be banned from bars, cinemas and theatres, after authorities . Restrictions will apply nationwide including on the Greek islands. 

It comes as Italy, Germany and Poland were understood to be among the destinations most likely to be added to the Government’s green travel list, according to an analyst.

Robert Boyle, former director of strategy at British Airways’ parent company IAG predicted that 12 countries could be put in the low-risk tier this week.

He said this includes nine European countries which are all “strong candidates”, consisting of Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland.

The travel lists are expected to be updated on Thursday. People arriving in the UK from green list destinations are not required to self-isolate.

Mr Boyle described Canada as his “top prediction” for moving into the green tier, as it has low rates of coronavirus cases and test positivity, and its vaccine rollout programme is “catching up fast” to the UK’s.

He wrote in The Telegraph: “It is hard to see a better candidate for the green list. The Canadian authorities continue to bar entry to Canada to British nationals.

“But so do Australia and New Zealand and they are on the green list. It may be a matter of timing though, as I’m sure politicians would prefer to announce a simultaneous relaxation of travel restrictions.”

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