The Department for Transport has issued new advice for travellers arriving into the UK from Spain and its islands, asking them to take PCR rather than lateral flow tests pre-departure.
In a statement the DfT said:
“Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
“UK clinicians and scientists will remain in close contact with their counterparts in Spain to keep abreast of the latest data and picture of cases in Spain.”
There had been speculation that Spain would be moved to the so-called “amber plus list” (where ten days of quarantine is required on arrival into the UK), amid concern over the number of cases of the Beta variant of Covid-19 in the country.
But yesterday’s announced changes – which saw France moved back to the amber list from amber plus – did not see any changes to Spain’s amber status.
As of August 2, fully vaccinated travellers from the UK, EU and US do not have to quarantine on arrival into England or Scotland from an amber list destination.
There currently appears to be no legal requirement for travellers to opt for PCR tests, which in general are more expensive than rapid lateral flow tests.
It’s understood the DfT is asking travellers to take PCR tests, as these can be sent for genomic sequencing in the case of a positive result to check for variants of concern.