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Holidaymakers stunned after United Kingdom removes Spain from travel safe list

Holidaymakers stunned after United Kingdom removes Spain from travel safe list”

Passengers arrive at the Gatwick Airport, as travel restrictions are eased following the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Gatwick, Britain, July 10, 2020.

Spain, one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, has had 272,400 cases and more than 28,400 fatalities since the start of the outbreak.

The measures come into effect from midnight tonight, and all returning travellers will be made to isolate for 14 days.

"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.

Responding to the British measures, Spain said on Saturday it was a safe country with localized, isolated and controlled outbreaks of the coronavirus.

The Foreign Office is now advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain.

The British move followed steps this week by other European countries.

The government announced on Saturday that holidaymakers returning from the Iberian nation will have to quarantine for 14 days after Spain reported more than 900 new daily infections in the past two days.

A collapse of tourism from Britain would have a significant impact on Spain's economy, where tourism accounts for 12 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

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Antonio Perez, the mayor of Benidorm, a resort on Spain's Costa Blanca that is hugely dependent on British tourists, said the British quarantine rule was a "tough blow".

"We've suffered a lot this year and then this happened".

Emily Harrison, a holidaymaker from Essex, also expressed her frustration at the government's announcement.

TUI, Europe's biggest holiday company, said it would cancel all holidays to mainland Spain up to August 9, while maintaining flights to the Balearic and Canary islands.

"I think 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, and I also think it ruins plans for everybody, so I don't really agree with that because it has come too soon, we haven't had enough preparation".

"We can't make apologies.we must be able to take swift, decisive action", British foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday in a local interview.

The Ministry of Health is particularly concerned about the situation in Aragon and Catalonia, where the regional authorities have urged residents of Barcelona to stay at home.

Britain itself has been the worst hit country in Europe by the pandemic, with more than 328,000 cases and an official death toll of more than 45,600.



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