Britain imposes quarantine for travellers from Spain

Britain on Saturday abruptly imposed a two-week quarantine on all travellers arriving from Spain after a surge of coronavirus cases, news wires reported. The British foreign ministry also announced it was recommending against all but essential travel to mainland Spain, a move likely to prompt tour operators to cancel package holidays and trigger claims against insurers.

Spain's Canary and Balearic Islands were not covered by the advice to avoid travel to the mainland, but holidaymakers returning to Britain from the islands will still be subject to quarantine on return.

Britain's government urged employers to be "understanding" towards staff who are unable to return to their place of work for two weeks after they return from holiday.

Britain accounted for more than 20% of the foreign visitors to Spain last year, the largest group by nationality. Tourism normally accounts for some 12% of Spain's economy.

The sudden British move followed steps this week by other European countries. On Friday Norway said it would re-impose a 10-day quarantine requirement for people arriving from Spain from Saturday, while France advised people not to travel to Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia.

Responding to the British measures, Spain said on Saturday it was a safe country with localised, isolated and controlled outbreaks of the coronavirus.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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