BRITISH tourists have been warned against travelling to Spain unless it is essential in a last-minute u-turn.
The UK government removed the country from the safe list last month, with holidaymakers now forced to quarantine for two weeks on returning home.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
British holidaymakers have been told not to travel to Spain unless it is “essential”Credit: EPA
The government department’s official website says the decision was made after assessing the coronavirus risks in the country.
The website says: “From 27 July, the FCO advise against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country.
“This advice is based on evidence of increases in cases of COVID-19 in several regions, but particularly in Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia (which include the cities of Zaragoza, Pamplona and Barcelona).”
Non-essential travel includes holidays and short breaks abroad, with Brits urged to contact their tour operator or airline if they have a holiday booked.
British tourists in Spain will be forced to quarantine for two weeks when they return to the UK after a spike in coronavirus cases in the countryCredit: REUTERS
However, travelling for essential reasons is not banned, with those included in this able to escape the two-week quarantine.
- Essential UK and foreign diplomats that are on a mission, including intelligence staff
- Defence personnel, forces and contractors who are confirmed as exempt through the Ministry of Defence
- Border security and maintenance staff
- People who live in the UK but work in another country and travel between the UK and country of work at least once a week, and visa versa.
- People licensed to transport passengers by coach and bus internationally
- International freight and goods drivers, including post and medicine.
- Eurotunnel and Eurostar staff, pilots and air crew
- Industry and infrastructure specialists that are coming in for work purposes
- International prison escorts
- People essential to clinical trials and studies
While they won’t have to quarantine, individuals may still have to fill out the standard tracking form and must have official clearance that they can produce at the border.
The exemption is only if travelling is required – so even if you are one of these individuals, you still cannot go on holiday.
The decision has meant travel chaos for thousands of holidaymakers who have already booked summer getaways.
Neil Hunter, 45, from Sittingbourne in Kent, had booked a 10-day break to Lanzarote last December and was due to leave last Tuesday.
Tourists arriving on the Spanish island of Ibiza on Saturday – but now face two weeks in quarantine when they fly homeCredit: Bav Media
He said: “We were going as a family, my wife Amanda, and teenage daughter Bethany but to be honest, since this announcement, I’m unsure what’s going to happen.
“I work as a train driver and I don’t think my employer will accept me having to isolate due to going on holiday.
“I am insured, but unsure whether they’d accept that as a reason for not going, especially if Hays Travel don’t cancel for me.
“There’s no way I could afford to cancel myself.”
Chloe Harris, 23, from Kent, booked a last-minute trip to Lanzarote and arrived on the Spanish island on May 24.
The Foreign Office has warned Brits “against all but essential travel” to SpainCredit: AFP or licensors
She said: “When I heard the news I was quite shocked because I thought they would have given us some warning.
“We only booked the trip on Wednesday and we are only here for a few days.
“We had done our research and we knew that the island has only had a small number of Covid cases.
“I think a lot of people are going to rush to the airport, but because we are only here for four days, and we only arrived this morning, it doesn’t seem worth it.”
Employers are being urged by the Department for Transport to be “understanding of those returning from Spain who now will need to self-isolate”.
By Jacob Lewis, Deputy Travel Editor
THE Government’s rash decision to add all of Spain to the FCO’s no-go list has thrown the travel industry into complete chaos.
Not only is the move a massive blow for those about to jet off to Spain for their summer holidays but the change in advice will come as a disaster to an industry just beginning to get back on its feet.
While cases have been surging in Madrid and Barcelona, holiday hotspots with far fewer cases — such as the entire Costa del Sol — are now inexplicably also off limits.
If any airlines or tour operators continue to fly, holidaymakers visiting the UK’s most popular holiday destination would still technically be able to travel. However, with the FCO advising against all but essential travel, tourists would be forced to do so without insurance and would also have to self isolate for two weeks upon their return.
Holidaymakers whose holidays are…
Continue Reading: Source Link