SPANISH Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Monday morning new Covid rules for people arriving in the Balearic Islands – coming into force in 72 hours, arrivals must show a negative PCR test or be fully vaccinated.
The announcement comes as concern rises over the highly-transmissible delta variant of coronavirus and after a huge coronavirus outbreak across Spain linked to student holidays to Mallorca.
The premier said: “We are going to apply to British tourists who travel to the Balearic Islands the same restrictions we place on the rest of Europe – they will need to either be fully vaccinated or have a negative PCR test.”
He said there would be a 72-hour period of grace “so that tour operators and British tourists will be able to adapt to the new rules.”
The Balearics, including Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, are a traditional draw for British visitors. In 2019, four million enjoyed holidays on the islands, mostly on Mallorca.
And the islands are the only region that made the UK government’s green list and were considered ‘safe’ destinations. From June 30, holidaymakers will not have a 10-day quarantine on their return.
The remainder of Spain remains on Britain’s ‘amber list’ – they have to quarantine on return and take a Covid-19 test on or before day two and on or after day eight. In addition, a test is required before travel.
The delta variant remains responsible for under 1% of covid infections in Spain but experts say this is out of date as it can take up to four weeks to ‘sequence’ the virus and identify a mutation.
And following student ‘end of year’ trips to Mallorca, more than 800 infections have been diagnosed across nine Spanish regions and more than 2,000 youngsters are in isolation.