Abta has joined the Balearic and Canary Islands in lobbying the UK government to get the new 14-day quarantine requirement dropped.
The islands are included on the UK Department for Transport’s blanket requirement for all travellers returning from Spain to self-isolate. However, the FCO is only advising against all non-essential travel to mainland Spain, meaning that UK visitors can holiday in Majorca or Tenerife if they adhere to quarantine requirements on their return.
Ministers from both sets of islands were today urging the UK to establish air bridges. Following Saturday’s announcement, president of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres, called for the establishment of air corridors with the UK, pointing out Covid-19 cases there have amounted to only 5.8 per 100,000.
Abta urged the government to move as quickly as possible towards a regional approach to quarantine policy. “Such an approach might enable travel to the Balearics and Canary Islands, which are immensely popular destinations for British holidaymakers at this time of year,” a spokesperson said.
Abta has also urged better consultation with the industry after Saturday’s measures were introduced with just six hours’ notice.
The spokesperson said: “The announcements by the government relating to travel to and from Spain have major financial implications for travel businesses that are already under significant pressure. The costs associated with stopping and starting operations are considerable, and businesses need to be able to plan ahead with more conviction.”
Abta wants the UK government to share information with the industry more readily so that it can better understand decisions. It said “no specific information has been shared by the government as to the precise criteria or infection rates being used to determine policy positions, making it impossible for travel businesses to make more effective business decisions”.