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Coronavirus: Spain quarantine rule 'disappointing but needed'

Coronavirus: Spain quarantine rule 'disappointing but needed'”

However, foreign secretary Dominic Raab defended the move, saying that the United Kingdom "must be able to take swift, decisive action", or risk re-infection, a second wave, and another lockdown.

A government spokesperson said: 'Changes to the exemption for people returning from Spain will take effect from midnight tonight, meaning anyone returning from midnight tonight will have to self-isolate.

"The way in which this decision has been made in the last 24 hours is frankly shambolic", Labour health chief Jonathan Ashworth told Sky News on Sunday.

"It's really bad because it's just come all of a sudden, it's not given very much time to prepare, so everyone is now panicking", said Harrison, who is from Essex.

LONDON (AP) - Britain is advising people not to travel to Spain and has removed the country from the list of safe places to visit following a surge of COVID-19 cases.

The reintroduction of quarantine measures will apply to those returning from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, such as Mallorca and Ibiza, the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed.

"This is ridiculous. There are nearly no cases here and there's a far higher chance of contracting it when I get back to Britain", said John Snelling, 50, from Stratford-upon-Avon, who was on holiday in Menorca. There have been 297,914 cases and over 45,000 deaths from the virus in Britain since the pandemic began. It imposed very strict lockdown measures, gradually easing them earlier in the summer.

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The government response has been muted so far.

Travellers - including holiday-makers - arriving back in Northern Ireland from Spain will have to face a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

A total collapse of tourism from Britain would have a huge impact on the country's vital tourism industry, which accounts for some 12% of Spain's economy.

A Spanish foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Saturday evening that Spain "respects decisions of the United Kingdom" and was in touch with the authorities there.

"Following a significant change over the last week in both the level and pace of change in confirmed cases, Spain has been removed from the list of countries where people do not have to self-isolate when arriving into to the United Kingdom", the Department for Transport said in a statement. More than 18 million Britons visited Spain a year ago, accounting for one-fifth of all foreign visitors.

Antonio Perez, the mayor of the Mediterranean resort of Benidorm that is hugely dependent on British tourists, said it was a "tough blow". "There are holidaymakers in Spain at the moment confused and distressed, there are people about to go on holiday to Spain and the islands like Tenerife who are confused, and they don't know whether their employers will allow them to take two weeks' quarantine - the Government is just saying, "we hope that employers co-operate'".

Image: A woman stands at the EasyJet check-in desk at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Barcelona, Spain, July 26, 2020.



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