Spain preparing to ditch Covid tests for British holidaymakers

·2-min read
Canet De Berenguer Valencia - Kai Foersterling/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Canet De Berenguer Valencia - Kai Foersterling/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Spain is preparing to ditch its requirement for any British holidaymakers to present a negative Covid test upon arrival from May 20 following the UK’s success in reducing the infection rate.

The move means that any Briton travelling to Spain will not have to pay for a pre-departure PCR test, nor present a vaccination certificate to prove their Covid status.

It is dependent on the UK maintaining its Covid rate of infection below 50 cases per 100,000 people but means that Spain is one of only a tiny handful of countries where British holidaymakers could freely enter with any restrictions.

The main hurdle, instead, remains the fact that Spain is on the UK’s “amber list”, which means that any holidaymaker returning from the country has to quarantine for 10 days and take at least two PCR tests on days two and eight of their self-isolation.

There is no indication of when Spain may be added to the “green list”, which would mean that any returning Briton would not have to quarantine – although they do have to have a negative pre-return test and a further PCR test on or before day two of their arrival.

Watch: The world’s most unusual vaccination centers

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said the Government would continue a “cautious” approach to reopening the borders from May 17, when the ban on foreign travel from the UK is lifted.

He said that the public’s big fear would be to put the UK’s progress in combating Covid “at risk by going too fast”.

Most European countries are planning to require arriving holidaymakers to show either a negative Covid test result or a certificate to prove they have been fully vaccinated.

However, announcing Spain’s move, its tourism minister Reyes Maroto said: "It will allow the opening of the British market so they can come to Spain.”

She added: “They (Britons) could come from May 20 onwards without a PCR if the incidence rates are below the range currently under review, which is around 50 cases per 100,000 people.”

She also stressed that Spain must bring down its own infection rate to encourage the British Government to lift restrictions on returning travellers.

Watch: Where can I go on holiday?