Downing Street Risked Causing More Confusion Among British Holidaymakers And Travel Firms Today Warning no Travel Is Risk-free Amid Fears Of A Wave Of Cancellations Sparked By A Shock U-turn On Quarantine For Arrivals From Spain
Downing Street risked causing more confusion among British holidaymakers and travel firms today, warning 'no travel is risk-free' amid fears of a wave of cancellations sparked by a shock U-turn on quarantine for arrivals from Spain.
No 10 was unable to provide reassurances that the decision to subject people travelling from the popular holiday destination to 14 days in isolation - having previously cleared them to bypass the health restriction - would not be expanded to other countries with a coronavirus spike.
It comes as Jet2 cancelled all holidays to mainland Spain and the Spanish islands from tomorrow until August 16, following the same move from TUI earlier today.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tonight cut short his own Spanish holiday and will arrive back in the UK on Wednesday to start his own quarantine period, admitting it 'doesn't feel right' to be relaxing while others are suffering.
The Spain decision, which gave holidaymakers five hours' notice on Saturday, is believed to have spooked many people who had booked trips in [/news/france/index.html France], [/news/italy/index.html Italy] and [/news/greece/index.html Greece] with operators already reporting 'lots of cancellations'.
This morning the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: 'Decisions on border measures and travel advice can be changed rapidly if necessary to help stop the spread of the disease.
'Unfortunately no travel is risk-free during this pandemic and disruption is possible and so anyone travelling abroad should be aware that our travel advice and exemption list is under constant review as we monitor the international situation.'
The Government has stood by its decision to strike Spain off the UK's list of safe destinations but the timing of the shift has sparked widespread fury amid fears it will be the 'final nail in the coffin' for some tourism firms.
Industry figures warned reimposing quarantine on Spanish travellers had 'put fear into people' as they warned the 'rug has been pulled from under our feet'. An estimated 600,000 British holiday makers have been caught up in the Spanish quarantine chaos, either because they are in the country or had booked a holiday.
Other experts said the Government had effectively pushed the 'nuclear button', putting at risk the entire foreign summer holiday season.
Health Minister Helen Whately today risked adding to the growing uncertainty over whether people should book foreign holidays as she suggested that ultimately holidaymakers will have to make their own judgements on whether it is a good idea to travel.
She said people hoping to go abroad will have to 'look very carefully' at the official Government advice and then 'weigh up the risks'.
The Foreign Office is now advising against 'all non-essential travel to mainland Spain' but the Canary and Balearic islands are currently exempt from the ban.
However, the 'blanket' quarantine rules apply to the whole of Spain, including those islands, prompting suggestions that the current guidance is confused.
The row over quarantine came as:
Ryanair today revealed losses of £168million during the coronavirus pandemic but sparked a row over refunds by insisting it will continue flying to Spain after UK tourists were told not to travel there.Labour has urged the Government to introduce 'smarter measures' at the border rather than a blanket quarantine for those returning from Spain. Ms Whateley said the Spain decision has been taken because the 'rate was going up very rapidly in Spain and we had to take very rapid, decisive action'.Holiday firm Tui has cancelled all holidays to mainland kynghidongduong.vn Spain up to and tour hồ ba bể từ hà nội including August 9.French health authorities said at the weekend that the country's R-rate was up to 1.3 and that daily new infections on Friday had risen to 1,130 - indicators resembling those seen in May, when France was coming out of its strict two-month lockdown. Spain was put on the UK's quarantine list at just five hours notice - but cases are starting to rise in other European countries.
France and Germany are the most at risk of another quarantine order, both popular holiday destinations for Britons
France's new coronavirus cases are also starting to rise - prompting fears that it will be the next country to be subject to a lockdown with no notice.
Belgium and Germany are also starting to see a rise in new coronavirus cases
Holidaymakers returning from Spain to the UK will now have to self-isolate for 14 days when they get back.
A beach in Mallorca is pictured on July 26
Passengers on a flight from Madrid arrive at Heathrow Airport yesterday after the Government announced Spain was being taken off the UK's safe travel list
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news halfRHS" data-version="2" id="mol-6354c6f0-cffc-11ea-9cac-e7690c7caf1f" website travel is risk free': No10 says quarantine country list could grow