Health

UK imposes obligatory quarantine for arrivals from Spain

(Update 1: Adds Spain foreign minister statement)

Madrid Desk, Jul 26 (efe-epa).- Travel restrictions requiring anyone arriving in the United Kingdom from Spain to self-isolate for 14 days were reimposed by authorities on Sunday with less than 24 hour’s notice.

The UK’s Foreign Office updated its travel advice urging against all non-essential travel to mainland Spain amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, particularly in the regions of Catalonia, Aragon and Navarre.

The advice did not apply to the Canary Islands and the Balearics, which include Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca, but the government said people returning from the islands, which are popular tourist spots for Brits, would also have to self-isolate in the UK.

“The FCO is not advising those already travelling in Spain to leave at this time,” a statement said.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News that the government could “make no apologies” for taking swift action.

Officials analyzed Spain’s coronavirus data on Saturday afternoon and announced the restrictions, which came into effect midnight, by Saturday evening, he added.

“We must be able to take swift, decisive action, particularly in relation to localised, or internationally in relation to Spain or a particular country, where we see we must take action,” he said in the televised interview.

“We took the decision as swiftly as we could.”

The government has confirmed that the UK transport secretary Grant Shapps flew to Spain for a summer break on Saturday morning and will have to self-isolate when he returns.

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