On Saturday night, the Department for Transport removed Spain from the list of countries and territories from which international arrivals are exempt from self-isolating requirements.
Coronavirus regulations mean that travellers have to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving back from a county outside the United Kingdom, except for an exempt few. Spain was on this exemption list, meaning people returning did not need to self-isolate however the Government have removed the location due to a recent ‘second wave’
The Spanish Health Ministry published data on the afternoon of Friday 24 July, which was subsequently reported on by the European Centre for Disease Control. Over 2,000 new cases were reported, confirming a pattern seen on the previous day. These new cases reported across the Thursday and Friday were 75% higher than those reported on the previous two days.
This pace of increase, together with the high seven-day case rate for Spain and the picture of increasing cases across most regions, represented a significant change. Ministers therefore agreed that urgent action was needed to protect the health of the British public.
The Government has been consistently clear since the commencement of its ‘Travel Corridors’ policy that it will act at pace if required to do so by the evidence.
Commenting, Christopher Pincher MP said:
“I know that requiring self-isolation by families, holiday-makers and business travellers arriving from Spain will come as unwelcome news to a number of residents. Many have had to delay their holidays and travel until now and we do not underestimate the effect this change will have. Simply put, COVID19 has changed and will continue to change the very nature of international travel and the job of our Government is to keep Britain safe and reduce as far as possible the risk of infection spreading back into the country. Though I know these quarantine regulations may be difficult for some, they are for the good of us all and I am pleased we have acted swiftly and clearly.
“I know there may be questions around refunds, insurance or the quarantine and answers can be found on the GOV.UK website or by getting in contact with me and my office on firstname.lastname@example.org”
For more information visit www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus