Spain moving to amber plus ‘enormous inconvenience’ for expats – ‘clearly a concern’

Boris Johnson 'needs to step up for British expats' says expert

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Although the transport secretary said no new changes will occur until August 2, there is a risk Spain could move to “amber plus” after a spike in COVID-19 cases was reported in the country. This will make it more difficult for expats or any British holidaymaker when coming back to the UK. 

At the moment, fully-jabbed Britons can come back from amber country Spain without having to quarantine on their return.

However, this will no longer be possible if the nation is moved to the “amber plus” list.

Nigel Ayres, who runs Expat Network and currently lives in Spain, explained how the country moving to “amber plus” will make it “impossible” for him to return to the UK.

“I have not been able to visit the UK since February 2020 due to the travel restrictions.

“I had not seen our daughter who lives in London since then until we were able to arrange to meet her in Portugal during the brief period in May when the Government put Portugal on the green list,” he explained.

“The rules in Spain for much of the last year meant that if we had returned to the UK we would not have been able to get back into Spain as entry into Spain was restricted to Spanish citizens and residents.

“Now, the UK’s testing and quarantine requirements make it very expensive to return to the UK.

“Not just the cost of the tests but also the cost of having to rent somewhere for 10 days to spend quarantine,” Nigel continued.

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He explained: “The current Amber Plus for France is clearly a concern as Spain could be added at any time.”

Nigel continued: “Overall the constantly shifting rules have seemed arbitrary and have made it impossible to plan.

“Why require people who have been vaccinated to go to the expense and enormous inconvenience of having to quarantine for 10 days?”

Nigel explained how “frustrating” is to hear people complaining about not being able to go on holiday when he can’t even return to his own country.

“References to these restrictions impacting people’s holidays ignores the impact on people like us who have chosen for business and personal reasons to spend a period living and working in Spain,” he said.

“It is very frustrating to hear the talk of it being all about holidays when for us it is about seeing friends and family and dealing with personal and business issues back in the UK.”

Nigel is planning to return to the UK next month if Spain doesn’t get moved to the “amber plus” list.

However, the UK not recognising the EU digital certificate makes things even more difficult as he got his vaccine in Spain.

“We are both double-vaccinated here in Spain, but the current rules do not allow you to travel without quarantine unless you are double-vaccinated in the UK.

“If the UK does not recognise EU vaccination certificates we will again have to postpone our trip,” he explained.

France was the last country to join the newly created “amber plus list”, with the Government citing concerns over the Beta variant

At the moment, and according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) data, the cases of the Beta variant in Spain are five times higher than in France.

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