In an interview with Times Radio, UK Business minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan explained that it was too risky to put Spain on the green list yet, saying: “The reality is, at the moment, amber countries are still not meeting the criteria for our scientists to say that they should be green.
“So the recommendation remains don’t go unless you have to, and remember that, if you do go, you will have to quarantine for 10 days and that will be monitored.
“The reason we ask people still not to go is because there is still too great a risk as far as our scientists are concerned.”
Spain officially lifted restrictions for UK travellers from Monday, with visitors no longer needing to take a PCR Covid-19 test, in the hope at soon, the gesture will be returned.
Fernando Valdes, Spain’s tourism minister, said to Sky News: “What I can say is that right now Spain is doing a great effort not only in terms of vaccination, we have at least one third of our whole population with at least one dose… but also, we do have some holiday destinations which are very loved by British tourists such as the Balearic islands, Costa Blanca or Malaga, with our notification rates which are pretty low and by the same notification range of the UK, so I have to suspect that on the next review that the UK Government can provide… Spain is going to change on its notification.”
Scotland has now also moved to the traffic light system for international travel, with those returning from green list countries required to take a coronavirus test though avoiding the 10-day quarantine period.
The Deputy First Minister said travel was only permitted for essential reasons.
Mr Swinney spoke to the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme explainging: "There are obviously many reasons why individuals have to travel, not all of it is about going on holiday, there can be essential family connections that people wish to pursue."
He continued: "We're trying to create pathways for essential travel but our advice to people is that they should observe that essential travel element, that we should not be undertaking non-essential travel at this particular time."
Asked about the fact many flights to popular holiday destinations are resuming, the Deputy First Minister added: "People have got to make their choices, we do live in a free society and we are trying to enable people to get back to some form of normality after a period of severe constraint.
"But we are appealing to people, given the fragility of the situation we are in, to exercise due caution and to take steps which will minimise the risk of any circulation of the virus and to minimise travel that is not absolutely essential in the coming period."
Nicola Sturgeon announced an easing of international travel restrictions earlier this month.
From Monday, the Scottish Government is also imposing temporary restrictions on travel to Bedford, Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen where there are outbreaks.