Balearic business owner ‘disappointed' by update to travel list
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The Government announced last week that the Balearic Islands, which include Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca, will go back on the amber list from tomorrow, July 19.
During the latest travel list review, Mr Shapps announced the Balearic Islands will be added to the amber travel list.
The holiday hotspot was the only Spanish region that made it to the green list last month. For two weeks, the islands were a restriction-free destination for Britons who wanted to enjoy a relaxing holiday by the sea.
However, going back to the amber list means non-vaccinated UK travellers will now have to quarantine for 10 days on their return to the UK.
On Twitter, Mr Shapps said: “We’re also moving the Balearic Islands & British Virgin Islands to the amber list- previously on the green watchlist. Also, from 19/07 if you’re fully #Vaccinated in the UK you can return to England from amber countries and territories without needing to quarantine.”
The Balearic Islands were on the “green watchlist” meaning they could be moved to amber anytime if a spike in COVID-19 cases was registered in the region.
Earlier this month, and due to hundreds of school trips to the islands, a mass COVID-19 outbreak, which is still severely affecting the archipelago, was reported.
For this reason, the Government has decided to downgrade the islands to the amber list again, meaning that Britons that are not fully-vaccinated are now rushing to get back to the UK to avoid quarantine.
Britons are facing long queues in Palma de Mallorca airport, which this morning was packed with travellers trying to return home. Covid test centres in the main islands were also flooded as holidaymakers rushed to get the PCR test before travelling to the UK.
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Holidaymakers have criticised the Government for another U-turn on travel rules as they now race to get home.
A Briton currently in Ibiza said the whole experience has been “stressful”.
“First, there are a lot of tests, which do cost a lot of money and deadlines for test results before flying are tight. My wife’s filled out the form which she said were stressful.”
However, he explained that they “felt perfectly safe and at ease whilst there.”
“Staff at our hotel and in local restaurants and bars were very good. Not much different to the UK,” he said.
For fully-vaccinated Britons, the Balearics moving to amber is not much of a problem, as from tomorrow they will be exempt from quarantining on their return.
Another holidaymaker currently there and planning to stay said: “We only booked a few weeks ago, when Ibiza was put on the green watch list, but my husband and I are fully vaccinated and our kids are both under 12- so it turning to amber made no difference to us.”
She continued: “I find it difficult to comprehend how people were allowed to travel freely last summer with no tests and no vaccination programme, yet this year we are very restricted.”
Minister of Tourism for the Balearic Islands, Iago Negueruela, said that despite the UK’s decision, the Balearics “remain open”.
“Our tourism sector has already welcomed many British tourists back to the islands over the last few weeks and the Balearic Islands remain open.
“Travel is different this summer and we would like to continue encouraging visitors to travel responsibly, follow the local rules and take all the necessary steps to have a safe holiday.”
He continued: “The rise in infections is predominantly amongst young people and for the vast majority, there are no harmful symptoms.
“We continue to welcome our British visitors.”
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