NEWS DIGEST 26.07.2020: UK re-imposes quarantine on Spain tourists

 

Today’s topical News Digest is brought to you via Google News. The United Kingdom government agency that manages travel regulations, the Foreign Office, has imposed a sudden two-week quarantine rule on all visitors arriving in the country from Spain, after the latter reported a surge in new coronavirus cases in several regions and counties. Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reports that the flash announcement by the Foreign Office has left UK holidaymakers scrambling to return home before things get worse. The Office has warned the public against making all but essential trips to Spain, which has now been removed from the government’s ‘safe travel list’. British tourists exiting Spain via the Madrid international airport were reported by the newspaper as having ‘reacted with anger and confusion’ at news the UK was pulling in its ‘air bridge’ with Spain. The regulations are also being supported by the transport department – ‘Everyone is panicking’: British tourists scramble to get home from Spain after bombshell two-week quarantine announcement (Mail Online News)

The BBC reports that the new quarantining rules will affect all travellers returning to the UK from Spain as of midnight today. The Spanish have reported 900 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday last week alone, and massive rises in infections detected in various cities in the Mediterranean country have left officials fearing that Spain is now due for the dreaded ‘second surge’ of the virus. Holidaymakers and other tourists from the UK in Spain have been advised to return home soon as possible and check the Foreign Office’s guidance on the escalating situation – Coronavirus: UK brings back 14-day quarantine for Spain (BBC News)

asphalt road near ocean under blue skies
Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

 

The new rules will affect tourists from all backgrounds, with not even the government’s own ministers immune. In fact, the UK’s transport minister, Grant Shapps, will have to endure two weeks of home confinement, as he is currently on holiday in Spain after flying out there yesterday for a family trip. Shapp’s unfortunate timing made him the butt of jokes by opposition members of parliament and commentators on government policy. Labour MP Diane Abbott tweeted following the revelation: “Various government ministers would have known in advance there was a possibility of imposing a quarantine on holidaymakers returning from Spain. “But apparently no-one bothered to tell Grant Shapps.” – Grant Shapps: Transport secretary on holiday in Spain mocked for being among Britons forced to quarantine (Evening Standard)

According to Sky News, estimates are that there are currently 100,000 British nationals currently vacationing in Spain, a popular holiday destination for the UK and with a large ethnic British community situated around its popular ‘Costas’ resorts. Sandra Dibble, one of the British tourists affected by the sudden ruling for a mandatory 2-week quarantine, was interviewed by Sky. She said she was angry that the British government had given no notice of their decision, despite ministers supposedly being aware of the rapidly declining situation in Spain for weeks. She said that some people could lose their jobs if they are forced to stay at home for two weeks when they needed to return to their work. People who are currently in Spain can still finish their holidays and stay as normal, but will have to stay home for fourteen days before they can go back to normal activities – Thousands of Britons in Spain will have to quarantine after shock rule change (Sky News/YouTube GB)

 

IMAGE CREDIT:

Dmitry Zvolskiy/Pexels.

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