Just when there seemed hope of salvaging summer 2020, access to Britain’s top package holiday destination was effectively cut off on Saturday night (25 July) – only three weeks after it reopened.
With six hours’ notice, Spain was removed from the UK’s travel corridor list due to a spike in coronavirus cases on the mainland. Then came a fresh blow on Monday evening when Spain’s islands were added to the destinations to which the FCO advises against all but essential travel.
Those currently on holiday in Spain and its islands – including transport secretary Grant Shapps, who was caught out by his own department’s announcement – will have to self-isolate for a fortnight on their return.
The move has also posed difficulties for the UK’s two largest package holiday operators, Tui and Jet2holidays, with many customers in-destination or with future bookings.
To help you cut through the information overload and give your clients clear answers on the situation, we’ve rounded up all the latest on travel to and from Spain.
(This article was updated at 9am on Tuesday 28 July after the Foreign Office further amended its travel advice in respect of travel to the Balearic and Canary islands).
There have been more than 28,000 deaths from Covid-19 across Spain, and 272,000 cases.
On 20 June, only 363 new cases were recorded, but this had shot up to 4,581 by 20 July, prompting the UK government to act.
However, the number of deaths has remained in single figures for most of July.
In comparison, the UK has recorded 45,752 deaths and 299,000 cases, with 726 new cases on 20 July.
Anyone returning to England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland from Spain and its islands must self-isolate for two weeks.
The DfT explained: “People will still need to self-isolate when returning from anywhere in Spain, as well as the Canary and Balearic Islands, because self-isolation arrangements are put in place on the basis of risk to the UK as a whole.”
The FCO is advising against all non-essential travel to Spain and its islands.
It said the evidence was based on an increase in cases of Covid-19 in several regions, but particularly in Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia (which include the cities of Zaragoza, Pamplona and Barcelona).
In contradiction to the DfT’s edict, the FCO’s advice did not initially cover the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands because Covid-19 infection rates are lower there than mainland Spain. However, this advice has now been changed.