Spain was badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 272,000 confirmed cases and a huge 28,432 deaths. The country’s borders have been closed since March, and the huge evaporation of its glowing tourism industry has hit hard. And now, Spain could be in more trouble as a top health official warned the country could be suffering a second wave after a huge spike in cases in recent days.
As a result, Spain is expected to be removed from the Government’s list of safe countries to travel to.
The decision means those coming back from Spain will have to self-isolate for two weeks upon their return to England.
Scotland has already warned that Brits returning from Spain will need to self-isolate for 14 days on their return.
In a statement, Scotland’s Government said: “Spain will be removed from the list of countries exempt from quarantine requirements due to an increased number of cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last few days.
“The decision, also made by the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Wales as well as the UK Government, has been made to reduce the risk of the transmission of the virus by those travelling from Spain.”
And Westminster swiftly followed. The measures will come into effect from midnight tonight, and all returning travellers will be made to isolate for 14 days.
Tenerife holidays: Is Tenerife classed as Spain?
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The decision to exempt Spain earlier this week, was taken when the data showed there was an improvement in the spread of the virus.
“But clearly the latest data has given us cause for concern to overturn that decision.
“We appreciate that this will be disappointing. However, we have always been clear we are closely monitoring the pandemic situation in all countries and that we may require to remove a country from the list of places exempt from quarantine requirements should the virus show a resurgence.
“It is still active and it is still deadly. Suppressing the virus, preventing it from being transmitted and protecting public health is our priority.”
Tenerife holidays: TUI will cancel all planned holidays to Spain
Tenerife holidays: Tenerife is still controlled from the Spanish central government
TUI has also announced it would cancel all planned holidays to Spain, adding every customer already in Spain will be “proactively contacted to discuss their options,” a spokesman said.
But Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya insists her country is safe to visit.
She added that like many countries around the world, Spain “has outbreaks but the governments — both national and regional — are working to isolate cases as soon as they appear”.
But what does this mean for those in Tenerife? Or those who have booked their Tenerife holiday? Express.co.uk rounds up all you need to know.
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Is Tenerife classed as Spain?
Tenerife, which is part of the Canary Islands, is an autonomous region of Spain.
These islands lie just off the coast of northwest Africa, about 100km west of Morocco.
Tenerife is still controlled from the Spanish central government but has its own political management.
So chances are, your holiday could be affected.
Tenerife first opened its borders under Spanish Government orders on June 21, along with mainland Spain.
The island was then included as part of Spain when the UK announced its air bridges list earlier this month.
Express.co.uk will update this story when more information is made available.
Can I go on holiday to Tenerife?
As of 7pm on July 25, Britons are able to go on holiday to Tenerife. However, you will have to self-isolate for two weeks on your return as the country has been removed from the travel corridors exemption list, the Department for Transport has confirmed.
The Spanish Government updated its rules to allow British tourists to enter the country from June 21.
And the UK announced an airbridge scheme with Spain on July 10, meaning Brits could jump on a plan to Tenerife from that date,
The current FCO advice reads: “Restrictions on movement throughout the country have been lifted and travel between regions is permitted.
However, travelling to Spain or any of its islands – including Tenerife – isn’t quite as simple as it used to be.
For those hoping to catch some sun this summer, there are a few items to add to your check list on arrival in Tenerife. Tourists will have to:
- have their temperature taken
- state if they have had the virus in the past
- provide the contact details of their accommodation