UK reintroduces quarantine for travellers from Spain

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UK reintroduces quarantine for travellers from Spain
UK reintroduces quarantine for travellers from Spain

Both the Sunday Times and the BBC are saying that the UK government is set to announce that all travellers from Spain arriving after midnight (2300 GMT) on Saturday will need to spend two weeks in quarantine in case they are infected with coronavirus.

The move comes after a gradually increasing spike of infections in the country, particularly in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona both of which have seen cases surge. The Spanish health ministry reported almost 1000 new cases of the virus on Friday.

The UK government is expected to announce the change imminently.

Spain has warned that a second wave could be imminent as the government of Catalonia has closed all nightclubs and late-night bars in the region for the next two weeks and virtually all communities have introduced the mandatory wearing of face masks.

Cases of coronavirus have been on the rise again in recent weeks in Spain, prompting concern in several European countries. Indeed France is currently threatening to close its border with Catalonia.

On Friday Norway said it will re-impose a 10-day quarantine requirement for people arriving from Spain from Saturday, while France advised people not to travel to the Spanish region of Catalonia.

The UK government updated its list of countries exempt from the two-week quarantine rule on Friday, but Spain still remained on the list.

The Scottish government also announced on Saturday that it will also reintroduce quarantine measures for travelers arriving from Spain. “Having reviewed the latest data earlier today, the Scottish government is also reimposing 14-day quarantine for travelers returning from Spain. This reinforces the point that these matters are subject to change at short notice and so my advice is to be cautious about non-essential foreign travel,” Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote in a message on Twitter.

Britain’s health ministry had no immediate comment on the report, neither has there been comment from Spanish government officials although on Friday, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya insisted her country was safe to visit. “Spain is a safe country,” she told CNN television.

The UK government said public health was an “absolute priority”.

“We have taken this decision to limit any potential spread to the UK. We’ve always been clear that we would act immediately to remove a country where necessary,” a government spokesperson said.

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