Green list: Malta and Balearic islands among countries added
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A spike in cases in the Balearic Islands could threaten its place on the green list. The islands, which are part of the “green watchlist” could become amber soon as a mass COVID-19 outbreak has been detected due to due hundreds of school trips in the past days.
The Balearic Islands, which include Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, were added to the UK’s green list last week during the last traffic light system review.
Although it was considered a “safe area” for its low rate of COVID-19 cases, a spike has now been reported.
The islands have seen their average case rate double in 10 days to 300 per 100,000.
The small island of Formentera has the highest at 109 – the UK average case rate is 184.
This means the Spanish islands could move to the amber list soon, as the Balearics were added to the UK’s green “watchlist”.
Countries on the green “watchlist” can become amber without notice if there is a spike in cases in the region.
At the moment, British holidaymakers can enjoy quarantine-free travel to the islands with no need to quarantine on their return.
However, according to the traffic light system, they are “most at risk” of being downgraded to “amber” at short notice.
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The islands have begun vaccinating the 16-29 age group this week, which is believed to be driving the increase in infections.
The main cause, however, is believed to be thousands of students who have visited the islands on school trips this week, with over 20,000 returning home infected.
Dr Javier Arranz, a spokesperson for the Autonomous Committee for Infectious Diseases, said: “Young people who are not vaccinated are the ones who are becoming infected.
“We have to see how these numbers behave in the coming days as we take control of these outbreaks.”
The mass coronavirus outbreak is linked to end-of-year school trips in Mallorca.
This has led to over 500 positive cases in several regions of Spain.
There are 320 infected and 2,000 have been quarantined in the Madrid region alone, authorities said on Friday morning.
The trips took place between June 18 and 20.
The regional tourism chief for the Balearic Islands, Iago Negueruela, said that “this type of practices must not be tolerated.”
Although the islands have been on the green list for just a few days, the Government could move them to amber anytime.
Portugal, which was added to the green list in May, saw thousands of tourists rushing to get home after it was moved to the amber list with very short notice.
This comes after thousands of Britons arrived on the islands yesterday, on the official day the holiday spot was added to the UK’s “safe list”.
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