Blow for holidaymakers

Spanish quarantine rules extended to islands

Barcelona

Barcelona has closed clubs and bars

UPDATE 27 JULY 6.30pm: The UK is now advising against all non-essential travel to the Balearic and Canary Islands after Spain recorded a rise in coronavirus cases.

Amid expectations that the islands may be exempt, Foreign Office guidance was changed to include both mainland Spain and popular destinations such as Ibiza and Tenerife.

A spokesperson said the decision was made in light of a separate requirement for travellers to self-isolate on their return to the UK from Spain.

Downing Street said: “No travel is risk free.”

Spain’s foreign minister has insisted the country is safe for tourists after the UK abruptly ordered people arriving from the country from midnight on Saturday to go into quarantine.

Infections have risen sharply in Spain recently as restrictions were eased. Some regions have now imposed measures including making face masks mandatory.

However, the Spanish authorities said outbreaks of new Covid-19 cases are isolated and under control.

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“Spain is safe for Spaniards and for tourists,” the foreign minister Arancha González Laya said.

The UK government and the devolved administrations agreed jointly to reimpose the restrictions.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that the decision was made after reviewing the latest data showed a second wave could be imminent after outbreaks in the northeast of the country.

A UK Department for Transport spokesman said: “We have taken this decision to limit any potential spread to the UK. We’ve always been clear that we would act immediately to remove a country where necessary.”

People currently on holiday in Spain should follow the local rules, return home as normal, and check the Foreign Office’s travel advice website for further information.

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