Misc 17/06/2021

London plans to soon eliminate quarantine for tourists who have received both doses of vaccine

Catalonia and the Balearic Islands could benefit from a measure long awaited by airlines and tourism companies

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Tourists in a hotel in Salou, in Tarragonès, last August.

LondonA glimmer of hope for the tourism industry in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the rest of Spain with travelers from the UK. The Johnson government is finalizing a plan for citizens who move to destinations currently classified as amber- all major markets preferred by the British in the European Union: Spain, France, Italy and Greece - but who have received two doses of the vaccine are spared from the obligation of a quarantine of ten days to return to their country.

However, it is expected that they will still have to undergo PCR tests in the country, both before leaving and upon arrival, in particular to detect new covid variants.

Several British media outlets are reporting this possibility this Thursday morning, which also coincides with the complaint that Ryanair and the company that owns Manchester, London-Stansted and East Midlands airports have filed against the government to suspend the traffic light system for travellers.

The lawsuit demands more transparency about how the government decides which territories qualify for the green list, which means they are safe places to visit. IAG, the group that owns British Airways and Iberia, among other operators, also supports the lawsuit.

In principle, and according to the timetable set by Downing Street, the classification traffic light system would have to be reviewed on the 28th of June. Among the decisions to be taken - it is fundamental for many British people to finally decide to risk travelling abroad - it has to be determined whether children under 18, who have not yet been vaccinated in the UK and who will not be vaccinated until mid or late August, will be exempted from quarantine.

Ten days ago, London's sudden decision to change Portugal's classification from green to amber caused a mass flight of tourists who were in the country to arrive in time in the UK before the mandatory quarantine came into force.

Pressure from the party and employers

Pressure from a section of the Conservative Party, were very unhappy about the postponement of Freedom Day until July 19th that Johnson announced last Monday, and from the heads of the airlines would have caused the consideration of the new plans. In this regard, last week, former Prime Minister Theresa May accused the government of having put in place a chaotic system of restrictions on international travel. She complained: "We are falling behind the rest of Europe in our decisions to open up... It is incomprehensible that one of the most vaccinated countries in the world is the most reluctant to offer its citizens the freedoms that these vaccinations should allow". Among those over 18, a first dose has already vaccinated 78.9% of the population, while the two doses have already been received by 57.8%.

London's possible opening especially shows the concern of the UK airline industry, which on Wednesday saw the European Union add not only member states but the United States and Hong Kong to its list so that visitors with a full vaccination can avoid both testing and quarantine.

So far, the British traffic light system only includes 11 countries and territories on the UK's green list, of which only Iceland, Gibraltar and Israel are, in practice, relatively viable holiday destinations.

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