My title
How Coronavirus may affect your policy | Can I claim? Find out more

Spain terror threat raised to ‘severe’

  • Published on

Spain terror threat raised to ‘severe’ as 40,000 police deployed to tourist hot spots

 

Why such an increase in Police?

Every year, millions of tourists flock to Spain. The vast majority of them do not encounter any danger whatsoever. Spain is a remarkably safe country, just like many other countries in Western Europe. 

 

However, like Belgium, the UK, Germany and France, Spain faces the threat of international terrorism. Last month, Spanish security authorities heightened the country’s terror threat level and deployed more than 40,000 police across the country’s many tourist hotspots.

The threat comes at the beginning of the summer, just as thousands of Brits arrive in the country to enjoy the warm weather, beautiful cities, and stunning beaches. Authorities upped the terror threat to level 4 (out of a possible 5) indicating that the risk of an attack is “severe.” 

 

The security operation, involving more than 40,000 police, was designed as a show of strength designed to deter terrorists from attacking any sensitive tourist sites. The action is believed to come on the heels of recent threats made by ISIS, a terrorist organisation that has been significantly weakened through international efforts over the last five years. 

 

 

ISIS was responsible for two terrorist incidents in the city of Barcelona in 2017 when cars ploughed into groups of people on each occasion. The authorities in Spain believe that the terrorist organisation may be planning another attack and striking tourists from countries like the UK and Germany. 

 

What does the UK government say?

The UK government has not updated its advice to citizens regarding travel to Spain, although the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has stated that Spain will likely be the site of another terrorist attack in the future. 

The current UK government advice is for Brits travelling to Spain to take precautions, be vigilant, and follow the instructions of the Spanish police, should there be an incident. 

 

The fact that the Spanish government takes the threat so seriously is a clear indication that Spain is doing all it can to keep tourists safe during the peak holiday season. For holidaymakers, this should be reassuring. 

The likelihood of being hurt in a terrorist attack is minimal for people travelling to Spain. Some commentators, however, worry that ISIS is planning a Sri Lankan-style attack on British tourists staying in Med hotels. Authorities in Spain believe that there is a risk of an indiscriminate attack against tourists, which could potentially see dozens killed. 

 

The risk of attack, however, remains low. Spain, like all other countries in Western Europe, lives in the shadow of international terrorism. The latest action by police is in response to a specific threat made against Barcelona in a pro-Islamic State video found by Middle East research organisation MEMRI. 

The danger for tourists in Spain comes on the back of higher risk to UK citizens globally. The risk is nothing specific to Spain itself, but UK citizens who choose, as a group, to holiday in Spain.

 

 

Spain remains the most popular holiday destination for Brits of anywhere in the world. More Brits travel to Spain each year than French or Italians.

Holidays should be a time for relaxation and reflection. The increased presence of the Spanish Authorities will act as a severe deterrent for any terrorist activities thus reducing the threat. Our advice is to enjoy your trip, take time for yourself, family and friends but if you do witness suspicious activity to notify authorities immediately.

 

Auther
Louise Boxall

Louise Boxall

Louise has 10 years experience in Travel Journalism, Blog Writing and Research in the Travel Insurance sector. Louise’s goal is to provide interesting, informative articles on subjects we know will interest our customers.

Vaccine passport “a fact of life” says PM.

Published on April 8, 2021

  Start your quote    COVID-19 FAQ   As we prepare to leave the third government enforced lockdown behind us, one key issue is yet to be decided… How will the introduction of a...

Europe's third wave, will I need a vaccination passport?

Published on March 29, 2021

After Boris Johnson’s announcement that the UK was to enter its third lockdown on January 6th 2021, the prospect of a summer holiday felt somewhat unattainable. That all changed as England’s ‘ro...

Europe’s vaccine roll-out - when will it be safe to travel?

Published on March 23, 2021

It’s been a full year since England was put into its first lockdown due to Coronavirus and at the time there was very little known about the virus that was sweeping the nation. One year down the lin...

I was very impressed by the level of service.

They beat the competition by a country mile! Super happy and will most certainly be buying insurance with them again.

ERGO Customer - December 2019