Covid is becoming less of a barrier for Irish holidaymakers as plans are made for big summer trips in 2022.
Spain is the most popular destination for Irish sun-seekers and it shouldn’t be any different post-pandemic.
And while by summer the majority of Covid rules are expected to be gone in Europe, the Irish Foreign Office still has travel advice and warnings.
As far as Spain is concerned, the Irish are advised to exercise great caution.
They warn that levels of crime, namely pick-pocketing, are a problem while there are a number of other security issues – here are the main ones from the official ministry;
Safety warnings in Spain
“Public gatherings and demonstrations can take place with little or no warning.
“We recommend that you stay away from demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities.”
“There is a widespread threat of terrorism in Europe, and the threat in Spain is considered high. Since 2015, the Spanish government’s national terrorism alert level has remained at four (high) on a scale of 1 to 5.”
“There have been a number of serious accidents in recent years involving falls from balconies. Several have resulted in the death or serious injury of an Irish citizen. It is important to exercise caution when the use of hotel and apartment balconies, particularly if you have consumed alcohol or drugs and avoid taking unnecessary risks.”
“Most of Spain has a moderate crime rate. However, given the very high number of holidaymakers visiting Spain, extra security measures are in place in public areas at peak times, such as during summer and at Christmas you should be aware that in areas such as airports, bus stations, train stations, tourist areas and large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona there is a much higher risk of theft. shoot and assault.”
The Department advises;
• Do not carry your credit card, travel tickets and cash together – leave cash and valuables in a safe place
• Do not carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
• Avoid showing large sums of money in public and do not use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check that no one followed you after conducting your business
• Keep a close eye on your belongings and keep them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations
• Avoid dark, unlit streets and stairs, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible
date rape drugs
“Spanish authorities have warned against the use of date-rape drugs, including GBH and liquid ecstasy. Don’t inadvertently reduce your vigilance to these risks just because you’re on vacation.”
Local legislation and differences
“Alcoholic spirits are generally sold in significantly larger quantities in bars and restaurants in Spain than in Ireland. Consumption of alcohol in public places, except licensed bars and restaurants, is prohibited in Madrid, in the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. Failure to comply with these laws may result in a fine.”
“There have been deaths involving Irish citizens who have used illegal drugs in Spain. The Spanish authorities take possession of illegal drugs in any quantity extremely seriously and such activity can result in jail time. Majorca and Ibiza are particularly active in the fight against drug law enforcement, and are likely to bring charges for drug use or possession.”
“Everyone in Spain, regardless of nationality, must show ID when using credit and debit cards. You may be able to use a driver’s license or photocopy of your passport, but you may be asked to show your original passport.”
For more information check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.