UK imposes Spain quarantine
Spain has been removed from the UK’s list of quarantine-free countries following a spike in COVID-19 cases. Just weeks after the green light was given for quarantine-free holidays to the popular holiday destination, people arriving into the UK from Spain will now need to self-isolate for 14 days.
The quarantine rule was announced on Saturday after an increase in cases of COVID-19 in Spain. Holidaymakers already in Spain can stay for the remainder of their trip, but must self-isolate for 14 days when they return to the UK. The rate of infection in Spain is currently 35.1 cases per 100,000 people, versus 14.7 cases per 100,000 people in the UK. The UK government had to act "rapidly and decisively" said health minister, Helen Whately, in order to avoid a second spike.
The quarantine rule applies to people returning from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. Returning travellers must provide an address where they will self-isolate and travellers who fail to do so can be fined. British holidaymakers in Spain have spoken to various media outlets about concerns whether, following the introduction of the 14-day self-isolation rule, their employers will allow them to work from home. Tour operators and airlines have also reacted to the news.
Managing director of Tui UK and Ireland, Andrew Flintham, spoke to media outlets about his preference for a "nuanced" quarantine policy that would allow people to travel to lower-risk regions. Spanish authorities are also hopeful about the introduction of air bridges with the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands and it has been reported that talks with the UK government are underway.
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