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Roads blocked between France and Spain by Catalan separatist protesters

Catalan separatists have blocked traffic on two routes connecting Spain and France, on the fifth day of protests over the jailing of nine of their leaders, the transport ministry said on Friday.

Roads blocked between France and Spain by Catalan separatist protesters
Protests have been ongoing in Spain for five days. Photo: AFP

It said the demonstrators cut the AP7 motorway at La Jonquera near the city of Gerona in eastern Spain as well as the N-II road near the border.

The action followed a fourth night of violence in Barcelona, in which the separatists burned barricades and clashed with police.

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Hundreds of young protesters chanting “independence” set fire to improvised roadblocks in the centre of the city late Thursday, tossing Molotov cocktails at police, who responded by firing foam and anti-riot rounds, according to AFP correspondents.

The separatists have called a general strike and a mass rally on Friday against the Supreme Court's decision to jail nine of the separatist leaders for their role in a referendum banned by Madrid and a short-lived declaration of independence.

The court's decision has thrust the Catalan dispute to the heart of the political debate ahead of Spain's November 10 general election, its fourth in as many years.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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