Spain predicted to stay on amber list after fears move to red list could 'collapse' UK hotel quarantine system

SPAIN is predicted to stay on the amber list next week after fears it could "collapse" the UK's hotel quarantine system if it turned red.

The government's travel review will take place next week, announcing the countries which are on the green, amber and red list.

Spain is currently on the amber list, although there were concerns it could turn red after a high proportion of its holidaymakers tested positive for Covid on their way home.

Latest figures published on Thursday, however, showed Spain’s 14-day average case rate is at 457 infections per 100,000 people – down from 604 the previous week.

Experts now believe the country will stay where it is on the traffic light system.

PC Agency's Paul Charles said there was "no chance" of Spain being moved to the red list, despite fears, adding: “Its infection rate is dropping fast, meaning any variants are very much under control.

“Spain’s rates are half those of France and its vaccine rate is 65 per cent fully-jabbed. British tourists there can rest easy.”

It's also feared there would not be enough hotels to quarantine the number of Brits who would need to return from the holiday hotspot.

Head of Mark Bratt Travel, Scott Hadden, told the i that moving Spain to the red list could also "risk the collapse" of the UK's hotel quarantine system, with too many Brits currently on holiday there.

He said: “There are far too many people in Spain to be put into hotel quarantine and I think the Government would not want to risk the collapse of that system."

If such a move did happen, Mr Hadden said he believed it would “cause short-term chaos due to vast numbers who would want to go home”.

“More interesting is whether the Government will use the data and see if there are any Covid hotspots or put a blanket ban on all of Spain and its islands,” he added.

Brett Parsons, a business travel consultant at Travel Counsellors, said he liked to think ministers would not put Spain on the red list, adding there would be “a lot of controlled chaos” if they did.

And data specialist Tim White said Greece, Portugal and Cyprus "shouldn't be going red" as cases continued to drop.

He also said that the Maldives could be moved from the red list to the amber list as infection rates have dropped, adding that "virtually all restaurants and bars are open air in resorts and there’s little threat".

However, he warned Morocco could be moved from amber to red due to tourists testing positive, while Mexico is unlikely to be moved from the red list anytime soon.

Many Brits are hoping Turkey will be moved from the red to the amber list, due to falling cases and it being a popular UK holiday destination.

Mr White cited the reluctance to do so being because of the lack of reliability of their data, and said that it was likely the UK was "suspicious" of the figures.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to make the travel announcement next Wednesday or Thursday, with the updates coming every three weeks.

The last travel announcement saw seven countries – Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Norway and Romania – added to the green list.

The controversial "amber-plus" list was also scrapped, putting France back onto the normal amber list, while the UAE was added to the amber list as well.

Mexico was added to the red list, along with Georgia, the French islands of La Reunion and Mayotte, while hotel quarantine costs increased to £2,285.

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