By Ron Howells • 20 August 2021 • 19:52
Falling Covid cases boost Spain’s tourism ahead of next week’s UK government review.
Spain’s 14-day case rate has fallen in recent weeks signalling a boost for the tourism sector who feared British holidaymakers could avoid the country if it turned red at the next travel update.
The country’s average Covid rate currently stands at 604 infections per 100,000 people – down from 721 the previous week and 784 the week prior, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
British Holidaymakers were reportedly concerned that the country could switch from amber to red at the next travel review after data showed a high proportion of travellers returning from the country had tested positive for Covid.
More than one in 35 travellers arriving in Britain from Spain in the week to 4 August were found to have the virus, according to NHS Test and Trace figures published last week.
Ministers will keep a keen eye on updated figures due to be released tomorrow, as they weigh up changes to the traffic light system for international travel.
The next travel review is due next week, possibly on 25 August, with any new restrictions likely to come in from around 29 August.
The Government has insisted it will not add any additional categories to the traffic light system, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying earlier this month the travel scheme must be “user-friendly”.
Ministers have blamed the surge of cases of the Beta variant across Europe for a spate of flip-flop travel decisions over the past few weeks.
Travel Secretary Grant Shapps faced fury from French leaders last month over his decision to place France on the now-scrapped “amber plus list” following the discovery of Beta cases on the island of Reunion – 6,000 miles away from mainland France.
Scientists are concerned that the Beta variant, first identified in South Africa, could prove more resilient to available vaccines, all the major vaccine manufacturers are tweaking their formula’s to be more effective against the Delta and Beta mutations.
Spain has so far recorded 1,019 cases of the Beta variant, according to the Gisaid variant tracker – fewer than the UK’s 1,059 confirmed cases.
Holidaymakers are hoping that the low figure will mean Spain avoids being placed on the red list, with around a million Britons currently thought to be on holiday in the country.
Spain still remains the UK’s most popular foreign holiday destination, attracting around 6.3 million British tourists from July to September 2019.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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