Daily News 13th July 2021

Spanish tourism industry welcomes UK decision to lift the amber list quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers

The UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps, on Thursday confirmed that starting on July 19, UK residents who are fully vaccinated through the National Health Service will no longer have to quarantine when they return to England from amber travel list countries. Under-18s returning from amber list destinations will not be required to self-isolate either. Additionally, the recommendation against travel to amber list countries will be removed, though fully vaccinated adults will still need to pay for Covid tests before and after their return.

The news is highly welcome in Spain, where the tourism sector is fearing a new wave of cancellations as the delta strain of the coronavirus continues to spread. The Spanish government is expecting around 17 million international arrivals this summer – just 45% of those who came in the summer of 2019 but three times more than in the summer of 2020. A record 83.5 million tourists visited Spain in 2019. By comparison, there were 3.2 million between January and May of this year, a drop of 26 million from the same period in 2019.

Property sales in Alicante up by 118% in May, while property sales in the Region of Murcia reach an 11-year high

The latest figures published by the national government reports more than double the Alicante property sales in May compared to last year when lockdown severely affected all economic activity. In Murcia, figures show a total of 1,790 homes changing hands in the month of May, which is the highest figure since August of 2010. It’s no surprise that property sales have increased since the ease of restrictions, but what may come as a surprise is how quickly the sales are back to pre-pandemic levels.

Morocco adds travellers from Spain, France, and Portugal to the quarantine list

Spain, France, and Portugal are now listed as high-risk areas for Covid-19 and the Delts variant, which has led the Moroccan Ministry of Health to announce that travellers from these countries to Morocco will have to quarantine for ten days unless fully vaccinated. Travellers will also have to obtain authorisation to travel and present a negative PCR test carried out 48 hours before entering the country.

Spain is among the EU countries with the highest coronavirus infection rates

The relaxation of restrictions and the rapid spread of infection among young people are the two main causes behind the rising numbers of cases. Epidemiologist Mario Fontán believes that a mixture of several different circumstances has brought us to this current situation, among which are a certain social optimism due to the relaxation of measures, and the fact that summer is traditionally a time of greater mobility and participation in superspreading events. This all comes as economic sectors promote events from which to make their money, and social dynamics which offer no alternative activities. 

A researcher from the ISGlobal Health Institute, Quique Bassat, explained that there are two fundamental reasons why Spain is suffering from this new wave. The first being that young people have assumed risky attitudes, and therefore have an infection rate three times greater than the general population, and the second being the lack of control imposed by the authorities to reduce said risky attitudes.

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