Following an outbreak of new cases of COVID-19 in parts of Spain, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has reinstated its travel advisory for the country, warning against “all international travel except essential ”. Unlike when the pandemic first took hold in the world and travel bans were initially put in place, this time the FCO is not urging Britons to cut their stays short.
“A number of local COVID-19 outbreaks have been identified in Spain since the end of the state of alarm,” says the FCO.
“One of these epidemics affected parts of Catalonia (namely parts of the metropolitan area of Barcelona and the areas of La Noguera, El Segria and L’Alt Empordà), where local authorities have asked residents to leave their accommodation only for essential activities. ”
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Visitors are also reminded to follow the strict rules for face masks that are currently enforced throughout Spain.
Rules vary by region, although face masks are mandatory on public transport and in most indoor spaces across the country.
“The specific rules for using face masks may vary from region to region, so you should contact local authorities for advice. You must have a face mask on you and be prepared to wear it throughout your stay, ”advises the FCO.
Some parts of Spain have introduced strict new repercussions for those who break the rules.
On the Costa del Sol, fines have been introduced in an attempt to tighten security.
The new fines range from € 100 (£ 90.09) to € 600,000 (£ 540,564) and will include powers to close premises by breaking the rules for a period of up to five years.
Introduced yesterday by the Andalusian government, the measures apply to both Spanish residents and visitors.
British holidaymakers currently in Spain will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period upon their return to the UK.
The same rule applies to those who visit the Spanish Balearic and Canary Islands.
In recent days, Spanish authorities have suggested that the Canary Islands may soon be removed from the UK’s “red list”, however, so far the UK government has remained tight-lipped on any plans to do so.
“The government of the Canaries is convinced that the negotiations with the United Kingdom will bear fruit and that this week the quarantine for travelers returning from the islands can be lifted,” said the President of the Canaries, Ángel Víctor Torres.
Although the government has given no indication of how things might change in the weeks or months to come, the UK Department for Transport says the reassessment of the airlift list continues to be carried out every four weeks.
He adds that he can introduce “weekly changes, to reflect the changing landscape of international health”.