‘Spain is very safe’- Brit traveller hits out at Johnson’s ‘laughable’ travel rules

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Although Spain’s Balearic Islands were placed onto the green watch list at the June 24 traffic light review, the Spanish mainland remains on the amber list. The news came as a devastating blow, with Britons still unable to visit holiday favourites such as Benidorm, Marbella and Alicante without having to quarantine on their return home.

However, before the traffic light system, Sarah Taylor, a travel PR specialist from London made the decision to go and spend the winter months with her parents who live in Andalusia.

Having experienced life in Spain during the pandemic first-hand, she has slammed the Government’s omission of the country from the green list as “ridiculous”.

It comes despite the fact Spain currently has fewer COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of the nation compared with the UK.

At the time of writing, according to Statista, this figure sits at 59.4 cases per 100,000 cumulative over the previous seven days.

In the same time, in the UK this period sits at 172.5 – a figure noted by Statista and being “the highest in Europe”.

Sarah told Express.co.uk her time in Spain felt “very, very safe”.

“Spain and Portugal and most of Europe they’ve been very stringent, probably even stricter than the UK in terms of masks,” she said.

“You’d have to wear a mask on the beach [during the winter] and they would have like police and helicopters to make sure you were wearing them.”

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Indeed, up until June 26, 2021, Spanish authorities made it illegal to be in a public place, whether indoors or outdoors, without an adequate face mask.

She continued: “You’d wear a mask on the street and it was mandatory on the beach.

“They even had one rule where if you were running, you have to wear a mask.”

Heightened cleaning measures are also apparent in public places such as shops and restaurants.

“They’re very careful. There is disinfectant everywhere, in every shop you go into.

“On a personal level, I just find it quite frankly ridiculous.”

Ms Taylor also points to Spain’s weather, as a benefitting factor in aiding social distancing.

“In the summer in Andalusia and the Costa del Sol, all of those coastal places you’re on the beach, outside. Its café lifestyle- you’re sitting outside at night.

“That’s the lifestyle of Spain.

“And from April onwards, that’s it. Everyone’s outside because you start getting into like 30-or 40-degree heat, you’re not going to be sat inside.”

According to Ms Taylor, the local Spanish people are “very aware” of the rules in place and why it is important to follow them, particularly after a tough winter.

“I think everybody’s just very aware,” she explained.

“I think because there have been so many deaths in Madrid it does affect everybody in the country and they’re all trying to be good, really.”

Recently, Spain has implemented new entry requirements for Britons who are not yet vaccinated.

Arrivals from the UK must give evidence of either a negative PCR test or proof they have been fully vaccinated.

If not, they now face 14 days of mandatory quarantine.

However, this development was only announced on Monday, before which Spain had welcomed back British tourists with open arms, despite the UK Government’s stance on travel to Spain.

The nation’s place on the amber list, from Ms Taylor’s perspective, is “laughable”.

“I honestly would ask where is England coming from that they can quite frankly dictate that other countries are less safe?

“I’m pretty sure we were one of the worst countries in Europe.

“To me, in my mind, it’s a little bit laughable.”

Ms Taylor believes the decision to keep Spain on the amber list could be one with “political” or “economic” motives behind it.

Her belief has only further been fuelled by Gibraltar’s place on the green list.

“Gibraltar is attached to Spain with thousands of Spanish and expats crossing that border every day to work in Gibraltar.

So if Spain is on the amber list it, therefore, makes no logical sense or reason as to why Gibraltar is on the green list unless its political and economic policy they are driving to boost the UK economy.”

Having travelled already, following the relevant testing and quarantine rules imposed under the traffic light system, Ms Taylor says safety wouldn’t be a barrier in stopping her from returning to Spain.

“If you’re going to the beaches and bigger places in the summer like Andalusia, then I don’t really see the issue if you’re taking the precautions and you’re being safe,” she said.

Ms Taylor added: “My final travel note is why bother with a vaccine if we still can’t travel?”

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