Society 09/07/2021

France backs down and now says it is safe to travel to Spain

Germany includes Spanish territories in risk zone list but does not tighten restrictions

2 min
Tourists walking through the center of Barcelona wearing masks

BarcelonaGood news for the tourist business. From Paris, the French Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, has clarified the statements of the Secretary of State for European Affairs, who had recommended not to travel to Spain (especially in Catalonia) and Portugal and sent a message of reassurance to those who come on holiday to the Iberian Peninsula. "In Europe we have this system of health certificates that allows people who are vaccinated, who are protected, to travel. It is the message that must be retained," said the minister, picking up on the suggestion that his Spanish counterpart, Carolina Darias, has suggested: relying on this passport agreed by the members of the EU and set up, precisely, to facilitate mobility between states.

"Let there be no panic among people who have booked their holidays in Spain, Portugal or elsewhere. From the moment they have the health certificate, they are entitled to move and, obviously, we allow them to move," said Véran, who implied that there will be no tightening of entry conditions into France from Spain. In any case, President Emmanuel Macron and his government will review countries' risk status next Monday.

Germany toughens measures

On the other hand, a week after putting Catalonia on the blacklist, Germany has extended the consideration of covid risk zone to the whole state due to the increase in the incidence of the virus, while, on the contrary, the French government has reversed its recent recommendation to avoid visiting Spain and Portugal and now states that the covid certificate makes these two countries safe destinations.

Until now the lists of countries and regions published weekly by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) of virology considered Andalusia, Catalonia, Cantabria, Navarra, La Rioja, Euskadi and Ceuta risk areas, but not the Balearic and Canary Islands, the two main destinations of German tourists in Spain. However, the tourism sector is confident that it will not suffer from the cancellation of reservations, since the new cataloguing does not have direct repercussions for tourists because they will only have to present a negative antigen test if they are not vaccinated or a certificate of recovery if they have overcome the disease, as is already the case.

British euphoria

Despite the epidemiological situation in the UK, Boris Johnson's government is determined to remove all restrictions in force from July 19, which will mean that those returning from a stay abroad will not have to quarantine, as was now the case even for those who had received the full vaccination schedule. As would be expected, British airlines and tour operators are recording a rise in holiday bookings and, according to British Airways, searches for destinations have doubled, with the most sought after being Palma, Ibiza, New York, Antigua, Malta and Malaga.