Holidaymakers with plans to visit Spain face a second wave of devastation following the decision by the UK Government to remove Spain from the current travel corridor list. The decision was made by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to reinstate the exceptional travel warning to the country after a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
However, the though the blanket warning currently doesn’t affect the Balaeric and Canary Islands, visitors to the islands must self-isolate upon arrival back in the UK.
What’s more, the sudden U-turn on travel by the Government means many travel firms are having to reconsider packages to the popular holiday islands.
Officils in the region are now urging Boris Johnson to reconsider regulations for travel in line with epidemiological data, which they say are an example of how “safe” the hotspots are.
Speaking on BBC News this morning Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez issued a plea to the UK Government.
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She explained: “Efforts at the moment are focussed around excluding from the quarantine measures the Balearic and the Canary Islands for two reasons.
“Number one, these are islands they are very safe territories.
“Number two the epidemiological data is extremely positive well below epidemiological data in the UK.”
The Canary Islands have currently had 2,483 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, meanwhile, the Balearic Islands have recorded 2,290 cases.
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Though the cases are considerably lower than the figures in the UK, the Government has pushed forward with urging Britons not to pursue travel plans to mainland Spain, and imposed a blanket quarantine rule for travel to all Spanish terratories.
A Government spokesperson said: “The Joint Biosecurity Centre together with Public Health England have updated their coronavirus assessments of Spain based on the latest data.
“As a result, Spain has been removed from the lists of countries from which passengers arriving in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are exempted from the need to self-isolate.
“Protecting public health is our absolute priority and we have taken this decision to limit any potential spread to the UK.
Holidays to the Balearic and Canary Islands have been cancelled by some operators
“We’ve always been clear that we would act immediately to remove a country where necessary.
“Both our list of quarantine exemptions and the FCO travel advice are being updated to reflect these latest risk assessments.”
As a result, big-name holiday firms including TUI have axed holidays.
“TUI UK have taken the decision to cancel all holidays to mainland Spain up to and including Sunday 9 August 2020,” said TUI in a statement.
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“We know how much our customers look forward to their holiday abroad and some will be able to accommodate the new quarantine restrictions.”
Though this means inevitable cancellations ahead for would-be holidaymakers, it also means a sudden requirement to enter into quarantine for the estimated 600,000 British holidaymakers currently in Spain.
Speaking on BBC News this morning, BBC correspondent Andy Moore said: “I think a lot of people earlier this month when those travel corridors were established thought the door to foreign travel had been opened a little.
“Now a lot of people, especially in the travel industry, think that door has now been slammed shut in their face yet again.”
Britons caught flouting the quarantine regulations will face huge fines as a result.