Travellers returning to the UK from Spain now must quarantine for 14 days after the country was removed from the list of exempt countries following “a significant change over the last week in both the level and pace” of coronavirus in Spain. Express.co.uk has compiled a list of the most likely countries to follow suit and have mandatory quarantines reinforced.
What are the new quarantine rules for Spain?
The Government imposed an immediate two-week quarantine for anyone returning from Spain on Saturday night starting from July 26.
Ministers imposed restrictions on travel from Spain, including its islands, following new outbreaks of coronavirus which prompted Spanish health officials to warn of a potential second spike in infections.
The quarantine affects Britons coming back from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa) and the Balearic Islands (including Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera).
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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has now warned against all but essential travel to mainland Spain.
People already in Spain can stay for the remainder of their holiday, but from Sunday they will have to self-isolate for two weeks upon their return.
Travellers arriving into England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all affected by the new guidelines.
Travellers will be asked to provide an address where they intend to self-isolate for 14 days and can be fined £100 for failing to fill in this form with these details.
One in five eligible passengers will be called or texted to check they are following the rules.
Those who fail to self-isolate can be fined up to £1,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and those returning to Scotland could be fined £480, with fines up to £5,000 for persistent offenders.
Travellers from more than 50 countries deemed “low risk” did not have to quarantine when they entered England from July 10.
Another five countries including Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and St Vincent and the Grenadine will be added to the list on July 28.
The overnight quarantine announcement faced immediate backlash from travellers in or planning to travel to Spain in the upcoming weeks.
On Saturday night, tourists with trips booked to Spain this week said the sudden decision meant they were having to choose between work and a holiday.
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Spain has seen a surge in new cases of coronavirus in recent days, with one of its senior health officials warning that the country could be suffering a second wave.
Local lockdowns have been implemented including several areas popular with British tourists.
Spain recorded an additional 2,255 new cases on Friday following 2,615 on Thursday.
Last Monday, Spanish health officials reported the infection rate had tripled over the past two weeks.
According to the latest figures, Spain has had a total of 319,501 cases, of which 28,432 have died.
What other countries could see mandatory 14-day quarantines reimposed?
According to travel experts, France and Germany are the most likely to be removed from the UK’s quarantine-free travel list.
On Monday, the Care Minister Helen Whately said similar measures could be extended to France and Germany.
She told Sky News: “If we see rates going up in a country where at the moment there is no need to quarantine, we would have to take action because we cannot take the risk…
“We have to keep the situation under review. We have to keep an eye on rates in other countries.”
Government officials in both France and Germany warned over the weekend that fresh lockdowns may be necessary to prevent renewed outbreaks.
Health officials in Paris pointed to “the clear increase” in infections, with 1,130 new cases detected across the country on Friday.
France’s health ministry said: “We have returned to levels comparable with those at the end of the lockdown period.
“We have thus erased a good part of the progress made during the initial weeks since the lockdown was lifted.
“It’s more essential than ever to reimpose our collective discipline.”
France also instructed its citizens not to travel to Catalonia and Norway reimposing rules for people arriving from Spain.
According to the Telegraph, France’s rate has jumped 50 percent in a week from six to nine cases per 100,000 of the population.
Rising infection rates and new clusters have been reported across Germany.
German politician Michael Kretschmer, premier of the eastern German state of Saxony told the Rheinische Post newspaper: “The second wave of coronavirus is already here.
“It is already taking place every day. We have new clusters of infections every day which could become very high numbers.”
On Sunday, Germany began a free testing scheme for travellers returning from high-risk areas at several airports and officials have said there are plans to expand free testing to returnees from all destinations in the coming weeks.
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