News | Published July 29 2020

PM defends decision to reintroduce quarantine for travellers from Spain

Prime minister Boris Johnson has defended the government’s decision to remove Spain from its list of quarantine exempt nations, saying that there are indications that a “second wave” of Covid-19 cases is occurring in Europe.

Johnson added that the government had to be “swift” in its decision making and would not hesitate to take additional action where necessary.

He said: "What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again.

"Let's be absolutely clear about what's happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I'm afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic."

Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez had been critical of the UK’s decision to reintroduce a 14-day quarantine for travellers entering the UK from Spain, calling it “unjust” and founded on the “error” of considering the infection rate across the whole country.

Sánchez added that tourists in many part of Spain would be less prone to contracting Covid-19 than they would be in the UK, and said that his government was in talks with British authorities in the hope Westminster would “reconsider” its position.

Nevertheless, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its advice, advising against all non-essential travel to Spain and its territories, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, as well as reintroducing the quarantine.

Meanwhile, the German government has updated advice to its citizens warning against travel to three areas of Spain.

Responding to reports in the Telegraph suggesting that the 14-day quarantine window could be reduced, the prime minister said that the government was “always looking at ways in which we can mitigate the impact of the quarantine”.

He added: "At the moment you have got to stick with the guidance that we are giving, we have given the guidance now about Spain and about some other places around the world."

Johnson warned that should there be signs of a second spike in Covid-19 cases in any other country, the government would not hesitate to prevent travellers coming to the UK and potentially bringing the virus with them.

The PM explained: "It's vital that when people are coming back from abroad, if they are coming back from a place where I'm afraid there is another outbreak, they must go into quarantine.

"That's why we have taken the action that we have, and we will continue, throughout the summer, to take such action where it is necessary."

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon was in agreement that a “worrying resurgence of Covid” was evident in some parts of Europe and advised Scottish citizens against booking holidays under the assumption that quarantine measures in place when travelling will be the same as when they return.

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Authored by

Alexander Bridge-Wilkinson
Junior Editor
July 29 2020

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