Britons arriving back from Spain will have to quarantine for 14 days – after the government added it to the list of at-risk countries with just a few hours’ notice.
It means people arriving back from Spain, the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands from midnight – and those who have booked a summer holiday there – face the prospect of two weeks in isolation upon returning.
An announcement was made by the Department for Transport on Saturday evening, with the government asking employers across all four nations to be “understanding” of workers who need to self-isolate.
The Scottish government lifted its quarantine rules on Spain this week – but says it will now reimpose them.
A UK government spokesperson said: “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.”
The spokesperson added: “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.”
On Friday, Spain logged 922 infections, slightly down from 971 the day before, but officials are tracking more than 280 active outbreaks across the country.
The Spanish government has warned it could already be having a “second wave” of the illness, as France, Germany and Belgium all reported steep rises in their number of cases.
Spain joins countries such as the US, Portugal, Sweden, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Iran, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China on England’s at-risk list, meaning people returning have to quarantine.
It comes a day after five more countries were added to the list of countries that English holidaymakers could visit without the need to quarantine.
The full list of no-quarantine countries for English holidaymakers is below – while the list of Scottish exemptions can be found here:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- St Barthelemy
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Vatican City
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