Up to 1.5 million British Tourists will face quarantine after traveling to Spain.
In an emergency measure, the UK has removed Spain from their country safe list after it recorded 2255 new Covid-19 cases on Friday.
Spain had averaged only a 130 new cases per day in June before it reopened for tourism.
Ministers held a crisis meeting yesterday and removed Spain from the list of countries exempt from quarantine leaving British tourists facing 14 days of quarantine when they return home.
All British tourists who did not arrive home by Saturday at midnight will face the quarantine measure.
The quarantine measures apply to mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Island.
The Foreign Office is now advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain.
Stuart Rands, who is currently on holiday in the Andalucia region of Spain, slammed the government’s rules as “ridiculous” and said due to his three-day holiday, he now has to take two weeks off from work.
“The government has got this completely wrong,” Rands told ITV.
“It’s a big country, Spain and all the hassle that has happened is in the Catalan region and we’re in the Andalucia region, so why are we having to quarantine here when the spiking isn’t happening here makes no sense to me.”
The UK Department for Transport released an official statement regarding the removal of Spain from their travel corridor.
“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.”
“Protecting public health is our absolute priority and we have taken this decision to limit any potential spread to the U.K.,” the government said.
TUI, Europe’s biggest holiday company, said on Sunday it was canceling all holidays from the UK to mainland Spain up to and including August 9 following the updated travel advice by Britain.
The decision is likely to have a deep impact on Spain’s tourism industry. Last year, British holidaymakers made up 20% of all arrivals to Spain, higher than any other nation.
A spokesperson from the Spanish foreign ministry said that the country respected Britain’s decision, while stating that Spain remains safe, with only localized, isolated and controlled outbreaks.
Britain’s move followed Norway’s decision on Friday to impose a 10-day quarantine on people arriving from Spain. France, too, has advised travelers not to visit Spain’s north-eastern region of Catalonia.
Europe had reopened tourism just a few weeks ago, boosting the industry which had come to a standstill since the coronavirus outbreak. Spain, which had been badly affected by the pandemic, had started reopening its economy just over a month ago. The country has seen 28,000 deaths and more than 272,000 infections.
The Catalonian region reported 1,493 new coronavirus cases and three deaths on Saturday. Local authorities have shut down night clubs, and asked Barcelona residents to stay indoors.
Britain has been the worst-affected nation in Europe, with more than 328,000 cases and more than 45,600 deaths.