SPAIN/UK. The UK government’s sudden decision to impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine period on travellers returning from Spain, effective yesterday, spells bad news for each country’s tourism and travel retail sectors.

Spain’s removal from the list of exempt countries follows “a significant change over the last week in both the level and pace” of COVID-19 infection in Spain, the British government said.

The rules mean that travellers arriving from anywhere in Spain – including the Canary and Balearic Islands – must self-isolate for two weeks upon their return.

The BBC reports on the UK government’s justification for its sudden quarantine ruling but the decision has been met with dismay in the travel industry. Click on image to read.

The UK government is also advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain. Travellers arriving into England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all bound by the new guidelines.

Aviation and tourism stakeholders called the decision a big blow. The UK’s leading tour operator Tui immediately cancelled all mainland Spanish holidays until 9 August. British Airways is still operating flights. Ryanair plans to run a full schedule of flights to Spain despite the government’s decision. And Jet2 Holidays is continuing to operate package holidays.