If you chose to take a holiday in Spain, bad luck. There has been a dramatic increase in the coronavirus in Spain where nearly 1,000 infections have been reported in the past two days, and quarantine is back on the agenda for those returning from holiday as of tonight.
People returning to the UK from Spain (including islands) from midnight tonight (25 July 2020) will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks, with the country removed from the travel corridors list.
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 UK.
People currently on holiday in Spain are encouraged to follow the local rules, return home as normal and check the FCO’s travel advice pages on GOV.UK for further information.
FCO is advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain – this does not cover the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands because travel advice is based on the risk to the individual traveller and COVID-19 infection rates are lower there than mainland Spain.
People will still need to self-isolate when returning from anywhere in Spain as well as the Canary and Balearic Islands because self-isolation arrangements are put in place on the basis of risk to the UK as a whole.
A government spokesperson said:
The Joint Biosecurity Centre together with Public Health England have updated their coronavirus assessments of Spain based on the latest data. As a result, Spain has been removed from the lists of countries from which passengers arriving in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are exempted from the need to self-isolate.
Protecting public health is our absolute priority and 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. Both our list of quarantine exemptions and the FCO travel advice are being updated to reflect these latest risk assessments.
Changes to the exemption for people returning from Spain will take effect from midnight tonight, meaning anyone returning from midnight tonight will have to self-isolate.
The government has made consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus, including if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country and not self-isolating becomes too high.
The devolved administrations have all taken the same decision today, so travellers arriving from Spain into all parts of the UK will need to self-isolate.
The government is urging employers to be understanding of those returning from Spain who now will need to self-isolate.
- Britain is not alone in tightening restrictions on travellers from Spain.
- Germany is also considering mandatory coronavirus tests for travellers returning from high-risk destinations, including Spain.
- Norway said it will reimpose a 10-day quarantine requirement for people arriving from Spain.
- France advised people not to travel to Catalonia.
- Catalonia reported 1,493 new coronavirus cases and three deaths yesterday.
- Residents of Barcelona have been urged to stay at home.