British holiday makers are not convinced that Spain will remain on amber. | MDB files


After a relatively calm few weeks since the last travel traffic review by the British government which kept Spain on amber until the end of the month, British holidaymakers coming to Spain, or already in the Balearics on extended holidays, are now starting to get worried about what could happen when the next review is carried out on August 25 with any changes coming into force on August 29.

The last decision sparked a surge in last minute bookings to the Balearics but the Mallorcan Hotel Federation, for example, warned that while August, for the most part, was looking encouraging, there were already signs of bookings starting to tail of towards the end of the month.

And that, it appears, is because British holiday makers are not convinced that Spain will remain on amber.

That said, some tour operators and travel agents have reported strong bookings for the end of August and September, but as millions of British holiday makers have witnessed, the British government is capable of changing its mind over night, very few people have forgotten what happened to Portugal.

The British Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, made a “promise” at the last review that no knee-jerk changes will be made until the next review, but that has not stopped Britons making contingency plans and booking earlier flights in case they need to return before August 28 should the traffic lights change.

The main reason for the sudden panic is that fears are mounting that Spain could be put on the Government’s red list at the end of the month.

Figures released last week showed more than one in 35 of all travellers arriving in Britain from Spain test positive for Covid-19, leading to concern it is the holiday hot spot most likely to be hit with curbs when the government next updates travel rules.

If amber-list Spain was moved to the red list it will mean thousands of Britons on holiday there could be forced to quarantine in a hotel on their return for 10 days at a cost of £2,250, some left with no choice if they want to get back before the school term starts - hence why earlier return flights are being booked to beat the traffic light.

But, in the worst case scenario, the issue of air corridors will be back on the table because, when it comes to the Balearics, case number are falling, the vaccination programme is functioning extremely well and there is talk of the region being on the verge of emerging from the pandemic with the positively rate dropping to near the five percent benchmark.