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Spain, France and Italy could go on new amber watch list in next travel review

Countries such as Spain, France and Italy could be put on a new ‘amber watch list’ in the next travel review.

It would mean they are being closely monitored and in danger of moving on to the red list at any moment – which would force Brits holidaying abroad into an unexpected hotel quarantine costing £1,750 when they fly back.

The new plans were reportedly agreed in principle this week and could cause huge disruption to the peak summer holiday season in August.

READ MORE: France is ‘amber plus’ because of cases reported on island 6,000 miles away

Spain, Italy and France are said to be among the countries under threat of being placed into the new category next week, amid fears over the Beta variant, the Daily Mail claimed.

At present, Italy and Spain are on the amber list, meaning no quarantine for the double vaccinated and 10 days of quarantine at home for everyone else.

France, meanwhile, is on the amber-plus list – and the only country in that special category, where people have to self-isolate for 10 days on return regardless of vaccination status.

But another analyst believes Spain will next week join France on the amber-plus list instead.

Data expert Tim White believes this is due to NHS Test and Trace figures showing that 2.9 per cent of people arriving in England from Spain between July 1 and 21 tested positive for coronavirus.

Mr White said: “More worryingly for Spain is that 3 per cent of the samples had a variant not widespread in UK. So, from the data, my analysis is bleak.”

He described the decision on Spain’s status as a “huge call” for Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Spain is the UK’s most popular tourist destination.

“I cannot see Spain being put on red, but realistically amber-plus is likely, and likely for the islands of Spain, too, because of the very high infection rates,” Mr White added.

Others believe France will move from amber-plus back to the amber list when Transport Secretary Grant Shapps updates the travel lists on August 5.

Changes are likely to be implemented on the following Monday.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said he does not believe Spain’s status will be changed in the short-term as the Government wants to “move away from amber-plus” following criticism at the creation of the tier.

The number of coronavirus infections in Spain is “flatlining at the moment and starting to reduce a little bit”, Mr Charles told the PA news agency.

“That could be a sign that things are starting to improve. I think it would be a very brazen Government that would tell a million British tourists in Spain at the moment, and the Balearics, that they would have to quarantine on their way back.

“It would be a really tough decision. I can’t believe they’re going to do that.”

Mr Charles also predicted that the green list will be expanded, with potential additions including Bosnia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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