Simon Calder discusses international travel ban
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Spain is set to lift its ban on travel from the UK at the end of March according to a Government spokesperson. Speaking at a press conference, Maria Jesus Montero said restrictions are being lifted following the UK’s vaccine progress.
The nation has already outlined plans to welcome back Britons who have been vaccinated.
It is thought the vaccine passport rules could come into action from May, in time for the May 17 target date for international travel.
Spain has also voiced its support for the European Union’s plans for a “digital green pass” for travel which will work much like a vaccine passport.
It is thought as well as vaccinated passengers, those who can provide a negative coronavirus test will also be allowed to travel.
Though Spain is lifting its ban on UK travellers, Ms Montero said its restrictions would remain in place for Brazil and South Africa until April 13.
At the time of writing, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) continues to advise against all non-essential travel to Spain.
While the decision from the Spanish government may spark some hope for future holidays, at the moment it makes little difference for Britons.
Under current lockdown rules in the UK international travel for leisure purposes is off the cards – and those who travel abroad without good reason will face fines of up to £5000.
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Those who do need to travel must fill out a government form explaining their reason for flying.
This must be presented to carriers before departure, in rules which came into force this week.
There are also a number of strict entry requirements in place for nations around the world.
Travellers heading to Spain must take a coronavirus test 72 hours prior to arriving in Spain.
According to the FCDO, this must be a PCR, TNA or lAMP test.
“You will also be subject to the additional three requirements at the point of entry,” continue the travel advice page.
“It is mandatory for all passengers travelling by air or sea to Spain to fill out and sign an online Health Control Form 48 hours prior to travel, providing the Spanish Ministry of Health with contact information details of any known history of exposure to COVID-19, and confirmation that you are able to provide evidence (electronically or hard copy) that you have undertaken a PCR, TMA or LAMP test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival and have tested negative for COVID-19.”
In the UK, new coronavirus rules are set to come into place which could have a further impact on opening up travel.
The new rules were published today, entitled Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021.
The document reads: “The Regulations also impose restrictions on leaving the United Kingdom without a reasonable excuse (regulation 8).”
According to the new law, no one can “leave England to travel to a destination outside the United Kingdom, or travel to, or be present at, an embarkation point for the purpose of travelling from there to a destination outside the United Kingdom” without a reasonable excuse.
The document also suggests anyone who leaves the UK without reasonable excuse could be fined up to £5,000.
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