Brits arrive in Malaga on first holidays after quarantine is lifted

The first UK tourists since the lifting of quarantine restrictions were pictured arriving in Malaga yesterday.

Residents of England, Wales and Northern Ireland can finally go on holiday again as, from yesterday, they no longer have to self-isolate on their return from a list of 73 countries.

The coasts of Spain are a popular option as visitors no longer have to quarantine on their arrival either – forming a so-called ‘air bridge’ with the UK.

But Scots may have to miss out on sun-soaked Malaga for now, as Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has only unveiled a list of 39 approved countries, which does not include Spain.

She said the ‘difficult decision’ had been driven by the evidence in relation to the prevalence of coronavirus.

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Other destinations English, Northern Irish and Welsh holidaymakers can visit include Italy, France and Germany – but not Portugal and the US.

Manuel Lobo Antunes, Portugal’s ambassador to the UK, wrote in The Daily Telegraph: ‘I make no attempt to hide my disappointment, or that of my government, in the fact that Portugal was not included on the list of countries whose travellers are exempt from quarantine on their return to the UK.’

It comes after British tourists were told to expect ‘90% of normality’ when they go on holiday, despite the pandemic continuing to rumble on.

TUI, the UK’s biggest tour operator, is running a limited number of flights and holidays to the Spanish destinations of Ibiza, Lanzarote, Palma and Tenerife.

Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK and Northern Ireland, said holidaymakers would need to be prepared for some changes as operations gradually begin again, but he was confident they would enjoy their trips.

He acknowledge people will need to observe local rules but will still ‘be able to enjoy the major amenities and the things that you really, really want’.

‘The 90% or the 85% of the normality of your holiday is going to be there,’ he added.

From Monday, the Balearic Government has ruled that face masks must be worn on its islands at all times apart from at beaches, swimming pools and while doing sports activities.

Travellers arriving to Ibiza have to fill in health check forms ahead of arrival and will have their temperature screened at the airport.

Under Covid-19 related changes, travellers can expect to see TUI flight cabin crew wearing masks and gloves while in the air as well as providing sachets of hand gel to passengers.

Current flight service on planes, that are regularly deep cleaned, does not include hot food or duty free, while QR codes will allow customers to access absent flight literature.

Passengers will be encouraged to check in online, refrain from moving around during flights and limit carry-on luggage to one small item.

But a YouGov poll has indicated those living in Europe would rather tourists visited from other European countries than the UK.

Between 40% and 54% of Spaniards say they would disprove of tourists from a group of European nations – but the figure rises to 61% for those from the UK.

The opposition to UK holidaymakers is 58% in Germany, 55% in France and 44% in Italy.

Each country would be more welcoming to other European nations, according to the research.

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