Coronavirus quarantine for travellers from Spain: Angry UK holidaymakers talk of panic and confusion
The government announced the change just hours before it came into force.
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The news that people coming into the UK from Spain will have to isolate for 14 days has left thousands of holidaymakers angry and disappointed.
Saturday’s announcement gave travellers just a few hours’ notice before the rule came into force, affecting those coming into the UK from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands.
Pippa Stickler, who is due to fly home on Monday, said she and her partner are unable to get 14 days off work upon their return.
Tui cancels all flights to Spain and Canary Islands
She said: “My partner is in a hands-on job with only four days’ holiday remaining, so it has to be unpaid, and I can’t work from home so cannot be off.
“This news is awful and is too last minute. They should of given plenty of notice for this news. As if we weren’t in financial difficulty enough!”
Graham Woodhouse, who is due to return from Vera Playa today, said the government should have considered different rules depending on which parts of Spain people were coming from.
He told Sky News: “There needs to be some common sense applied as not all areas in Spain are the same.”
Another Briton, who gave his first name as Alan, is due to return to the UK tomorrow from Majorca and said: “I’m a retired police inspector and now own an electrical business which requires me to work all next week or my company collapses.”
British travellers at Madrid’s Barajas airport also felt they had no time to dodge the decision to take Spain off the safe-travel list made late on Saturday.
Emily Harrison, from Essex, who is flying to London, said: “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.”
Carolyne Lansell, who is travelling to Ibiza for 10 days before heading back to the UK, said: “We are quite frustrated by it to be honest, because it actually feels safer in Spain than when it did before we left the UK.
“Before we left the UK it wasn’t mandatory to wear face masks in a lot of places, but here nearly everybody is wearing them so it actually feels safer here.”
Chloe Harris, 23, from Kent, booked a last-minute trip to Lanzarote and arrived on the Spanish island on Saturday morning.
She said: “When I heard the news I was quite shocked because I thought they would have given us some warning. Even just some warning that this was something they were going to consider.”
Neil Hunter, 45, from Sittingbourne in Kent, booked a 10-day break to Lanzarote last December and was due to leave on Tuesday.
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 as I work as a train driver, and I don’t think my employer will accept me having to isolate due to going on holiday.”
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Rory Boland, editor of consumer magazine Which? Travel, said: “Many holidaymakers will be deeply angry that the government didn’t make this decision 48 hours ago, before tens of thousands of them flew off for their summer holidays in Spain.
“Many would not have travelled if they had known they’d face 14 days of quarantine on their return.”
The government’s move came after Spain logged 922 infections on Friday, slightly down from 971 the day before, with officials tracking more than 280 active outbreaks across the country.
The Spanish government has warned it could already be seeing a “second wave” of the coronavirus, as France, Germany and Belgium all reported steep rises in cases.