UK Reimposes Quarantine for Spanish Arrivals, What Next?
Monday, 27 Jul 2020
The UK government have swiftly imposed a new two-week quarantine policy for all arrivals from mainland Spain in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.
After months of no travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UK government finally announced travel corridor agreements with over 50 countries last month; paving the way for British holidaymakers to once again venture abroad and aid airlines, and the travel industry as a whole, steps to recovery.
Now, the decision to quickly reimpose self-isolation measures on arrivals from Spain has thrown many summer holiday plans into chaos and is yet another blow for the industry. Tui, Europe’s biggest holiday company, has already decided to cancel all Britons’ holidays to mainland Spain up to and including 9 August.
Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said the government had to take “swift, decisive action” when data from Spain showed a coronavirus infection surge across 15 of its 19 regions. Continuing, Raab pointed to the risk of “reinfection into the UK” and the potential for another lockdown.
Fear will also have arisen in British tourists who have plans to travel to other European destinations, now knowing that they could potentially face the same turnaround at the push of a button.
The government is said to be prepared to act quickly, if needed, on other nations whose epidemiological situation runs the same course as Spain. Though there are currently no plans for “air bridge” agreements to be reversed with other European countries.
The Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England asses a number of different factors to determine a country’s quarantine data. Latest analysis does not place any other country at immediate risk.
Meanwhile, Spanish authorities have insisted Spain is safe for tourism and the country’s foreign minister points to the contact tracing system to reassure holidaymakers.
British Airways and easyJet have heavily criticised the UK government’s decision and there is currently no change to their flight schedules in or out of Spain despite the quarantine measures.
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