UP TO 100,000 sun-deprived Brits are set to jet to Spain this week defying government warnings not to travel to amber list countries.
It comes after the Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez announced it would allow Brits to return without proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test, following the example of Italy and Greece.
Flights to Spain are expected to soar to 80 a day meaning an estimated 16,000 passengers are set to fly to the popular holiday destination despite the government warning.
There are scheduled flights from Heathrow to Ibiza, Barcelona, Palma, Malaga and Madrid on Monday.
Easyjet flights from Gatwick are also set for Ibiza, Malaga, Majorca and Lanzarote while Vueling has flights to Barcelona and Valencia.
Ryanair flies to Alicante, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Barcelona from Stansted airport, to Malaga from Luton, and to Majorca from Edinburgh and Manchester.
There are Tui holiday flights to Majorca from Newcastle, Cardiff and Manchester as well as Lanzarote and Tenerife from Manchester.
Tui is also flying to Menorca from Stansted, Gatwick, Birmingham and Cardiff and to Ibiza from Bristol, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham.
According to the Department for Transport’s traffic light system, Spain is on the amber list.
The amber list covers the most popular holiday destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece.
Return to the UK from amber-listed countries means travellers will need to self-isolate for ten days.
They will also have to take a PCR test on day two and day eight of self-isolation.
Despite the lift of the travel ban, ministers have urged travellers to avoid amber destinations.
The Foreign Office website said today: “We continue to advise against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands, but excluding the Canary Islands.
Boris Johnson’s spokesman said: “Our advice hasn’t changed in regards to amber list countries.
“We have been clear that people shouldn’t be travelling to amber list countries for the purposes of holidays.”
Education Minister Gillian Keegan told Times Radio: “Amber list countries are there for a reason – they are there so that you can travel for business, you can travel for particular situations such as funerals or if there are some specific care issues in your family.”
Their comments were echoed by Home Secretary Priti Patel who earlier today urged Brits not to travel to amber list destinations.
She told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “We’ve been in a pandemic and if I may say so, throughout the pandemic we’ve been taking the right approaches to protect the public when it comes to public health.
“Now, when it comes to travel, international travel, we have the traffic light system.
“That is there for a reason, in terms of red listing countries where we have variants of concern, all those types of things.
“We have measures in place to protect the public. When it comes to holidays, of course the public will follow the advice that comes out from the government, green listing for example.
“But that’s always under review. That list can change and will change.”
Currently, Portugal is the only major tourist destination on Britain’s green list, which means holidaymakers do not need to isolate on their return.
However, Spain’s Tourism Minister Maria Reyes Maroto said she was confident Britain’s favourite foreign holiday destination would get “green light” status soon.
Meanwhile, Germany has banned Brits from entering the country from midnight over Covid variant fears.