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Sun for some British tourists to start packing sun-screen as Spain says 'ola' to holiday-makers

However, Irish sunseekers will have to wait that little bit longer..

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Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly (Niall Carson/PA)

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly (Niall Carson/PA)

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly (Niall Carson/PA)

British holidaymakers are on their way to Spain after the government in Madrid confirmed that the UK would be added to its quarantine-free list from Monday. 

However, Irish sunseekers will have to wait that little bit longer as Minister Stephen Donnelly said details are still being finalized on a "comprehensive statement" on international travel to be issued next week.

Following Portugal’s lead which lifted a ban on non-essential international travel last week, the Spanish added the UK to its list of countries whose residents do not need to self-isolate upon arrival.

Northern Ireland was already on the list, but Spanish officials announced this morning that the rest of the UK will be included from midnight on Monday, May 24. However, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) page continues to advise against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canaries.

Spain is currently on the UK government’s ‘amber list’, meaning Britons must self-isolate for 10 days when they return and take two Covid tests during that time.

Spain’s announcement came after English holidaymakers were welcomed back to neighbouring Portugal last Monday, when the ban on non-essential international travel lifted.

However, with some of strictest travel curbs in the EU including advising citizens against non-essential travel, imposing fines on people travelling to airports to go on holiday and a two-week mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals from a number of countries, Ireland still has a long way to go.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister Donnelly said Ireland intends to "fully participate" in the EU digital Covid certificate that would allow fully vaccinated people to travel across member states this summer.

However, he would not be drawn on a possible date, saying only that it would commence as "early as possible".

He said the details are still being worked but when it is revealed to the public next week, he thinks "it will be well received".

When it is implemented the EU digital Covid certificate will mean those fully vaccinated will have unimpeded travel across the EU and eventually further afield.

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