British tourists planning to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee with a trip abroad are mostly opting for Spanish destinations such as Alicante.
According to a study by Mabrian Technologies, Spain leads the way when it comes to online searches for getaways that coincide with the 2 to 5 June holiday commemorating Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the British throne. The next four countries (in order) are Italy, Turkey, Greece and Portugal.
“Interestingly,” said Mabrian director of sales and marketing Carlos Cendra, “Spain is the clear winner during this festive break in the UK, despite not having the most competitive room prices, particularly when compared to Turkey. This shows that a destination is much more than just accommodation and that people are willing to pay more for a higher quality family experience.”
Lifting of Spanish Restrictions on Unvaccinated Tourists
The release of the study coincides with Spain’s decision to lift its restrictions on unvaccinated tourists from non-EU countries. Until now, visitors from “third countries” including the UK have not been permitted to travel to Spain for tourism purposes unless they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months.
Now, however (with effect from last Saturday), entry requirements for all tourists have been brought into line with those already applying to EU nationals and people travelling from associated Schengen area countries, meaning unvaccinated UK tourists only need a negative COVID-19 test.
As outlined on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s GOV.UK travel advice website, the new Spanish entry requirements specify that travellers from the UK for tourism must show valid proof of one of the following:
- Being fully vaccinated – with both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a one-dose vaccine – at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain.
- Negative COVID-19 test – either a PCR taken within 72 hours prior to departure, or an antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure.
- Recovery from prior COVID-19 infection in the last six months – with a relevant medical certificate or recovery record.
Children under 12 years of age are exempt from presenting any kind of certificate, and all travellers from the UK who can show proof of being fully vaccinated or of having recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months do not need to complete Spain’s Travel Health Control form. More details are available on the Spanish Ministry of Health travel pages.
Passport Expiry Warning
Meanwhile, travellers planning to visit an EU country (except Ireland) – or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican – have been advised by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office to double-check their passport and travel documents.
According to Schengen area passport requirements, a UK passport must be:
- Issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (“date of issue”)
- Valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave (“expiry date”)
“If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.”
Earlier this year, Alicante – gateway to the Costa Blanca – was named the sunniest city in Europe.