The United Kingdom has reinstated quarantine requirements for passengers coming from Spain. This comes as coronavirus cases increase in popular regions in Spain. Additionally, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the United Kingdom is advising against non-essential travel to mainland Spain.
Reinstating quarantine requirements
On July 25th, the FCO announced it was reinstating its quarantine requirements for passengers coming from Spain. This includes any citizens of the United Kingdom who went on holiday or some other excursion, and are returning to the country.
The quarantine requirement goes into effect on July 26th. All passengers arriving after midnight will need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. While several flights did depart hoping to get into the UK before the quarantine requirement hit, a number of them were unsuccessful and arrived just after the requirement went into place.
UK brings back the 14 day quarantine for Spain at midnight UK time. This means that the passengers returning from vacation in Spain on these flights, will have to spend the next 14 days in self quarantine. pic.twitter.com/g3chwSAw7X
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) July 25, 2020
Norway also recently reimposed a quarantine for travelers coming from Spain. However, Norway’s mandated quarantine for arrivals from Spain only last ten days.
What will this mean for travelers?
While some may continue with their travel plans, there are undoubtedly many who were hoping for a summer holiday that will not come true. If you are concerned about traveling with these requirements and want to cancel your bookings, or else amend them, you should reach out to your airline or travel agent for options.
Airlines will continue to operate flights to Spain. However, expect many to reduce their schedules amid the resurgence of a quarantine. This would be in relation to a decrease in travel demand. Unfortunately for airlines flying between Spain and the UK, this means one less tourist hotspot on which to operate flights and earn revenues. Some airlines, notably Ryanair, have taken strong stances against quarantine requirements.
As the coronavirus pandemic started to subside in Europe, the UK began to reopen travel corridors with countries where the virus had begun to wane. Previously, the quarantine requirement had the effect of mitigating any potential visitors or citizens from bringing in the disease and spreading in local communities. From areas where the virus had been controlled, the country dropped quarantine requirements.
The full list of exempt countries can be found here and includes some well-known tourist hotspots, including Australia, the Bahamas, Fiji, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Antigua and Barbuda, South Korea, and Vietnam.
Keep in mind, however, that just because the UK has not instituted mandatory quarantines for arrival from these countries, there may be additional processes, testing, or quarantines that you would need to undertake when you arrive in that nation. Many of these exempt countries have strict quarantine or testing procedures before allowing foreign nationals to enter the country.
The list will continue to change as the coronavirus pandemic remains uncontrolled. Many countries experiencing surges, such as the United States and Brazil, stay off the list. In places where the situation starts to improve, however, expect the UK to add more countries to the quarantine exemptions list.
Do you think the UK made the right move by reinstating a quarantine for passengers coming from Spain? Let us know in the comments!