<p>Ibiza is a favourite among British holidaymakers</p>

Ibiza is a favourite among British holidaymakers

Spanish holiday islands downgraded to amber in traffic light update

Changes will come into effect from Monday, the same day fully vaccinated arrivals from amber countries can skip quarantine

Cathy Adams,Simon Calder
Wednesday 14 July 2021 21:30
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The Balearic Islands of Spain were kicked to the amber list on Wednesday, in the latest reshuffle of the government’s traffic light lists for travel – a day earlier than planned.

Grant Shapps announced the islands’ move as part of the Department for Transport’s tri-weekly travel review, in which he also bounced the British Virgin Islands down to the orange grade.

The Spanish islands, which include holiday favourites Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca, officially joined the “green list” just over a fortnight ago. Territories rated green don’t require quarantine on return, but do still require a pre-departure lateral flow test and a day two PCR test.

The Balearics’ change in status to amber, which comes into effect from 4am on 19 July, will trigger a 10-day quarantine and two PCR tests for unvaccinated travellers aged 18 and over. It’s expected to kick off a stampede of Britons back to the UK to beat the quarantine deadline.

The change in status won’t matter to double-vaccinated Britons, however. From the same date, those who have been fully jabbed two weeks prior, as well as children under 18, will no longer have to self-isolate when entering England, Wales and Scotland from amber countries, but can follow green list requirements instead.

Younger holidaymakers will still be affected, as they are unlikely to have received their second vaccine dose when the new rules come into effect.

Soon after the reshuffle, fares from Spain’s Balearic islands to the UK soared as holidaymakers sought to beat the latest quarantine deadline. Prices for two Ryanair flights rose nine-fold in two hours.

An hour before the announcement, Ryanair’s morning and evening flights from Palma de Mallorca to Manchester were priced at just €14 (£12). An hour afterwards, Europe’s biggest budget airline was charging almost nine times more: €125 (£107).

Saturday’s mid-afternoon British Airways flight from Ibiza to London Heathrow was priced at €133 (£114). Within two hours, the same departure had risen to €255 (£220) – an increase of 92 per cent.

On the last easyJet departure from Menorca to Gatwick before the deadline, easyJet has just three seats left at €138 (£118) – about two-thirds higher than the pre-announcement fare. Passengers are scheduled to arrive at the Sussex airport at 10.30pm on Sunday.

The airline’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, hinted that easyJet may move more planes abroad. He said the carrier “continues to see good booking momentum for its intra-European flying and will continue to flex our capacity in line with where we see demand”.

Elsewhere in the update, the “red list” swelled to 60 countries, with Cuba, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone joining the risky country register. Holiday favourites the United Arab Emirates and Turkey retained their red status.

Hong Kong – which bars all UK arrivals – and Bulgaria joined the “green list”, while Croatia and Taiwan were bumped up to the “green watchlist”, which signals the territories are at risk of turning amber.

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