Britain could lift its quarantine on travellers returning from the Balearic and Canary islands TODAY, Spanish minister claims
Spain’s tourism minister Reyes Maroto said Monday that Britain could lift its quarantine on travellers returning from the Balearic and Canary islands later today.
In an interview with La Sexta television, Maroto said her government had sent new epidemiological data to London, which she hoped would prompt the British government to revise its quarantine measures.
The minister told the broadcaster that the islands, in particular, have a ‘low incidence rate’ and that the UK should review its indicators.
Spanish Tourism and Industry Minister, Reyes Maroto, pictured in Madrid, Spain, 30 May 2020
Tourists in Benidorm last week, who are now subject to quarantine restrictions when they return to the UK
British Citizens arrive at the Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport after the UK imposed a quarantine on all travellers from Spain
Last week, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez blasted quarantine restrictions as ‘unjust’ and said tourists will be safer in his country than the UK.
Today, Maroto said: ‘It is a decision of the British authorities, but we have given them all the arguments so that they can trust that their tourists are safe in Spanish destinations.’
‘If it is not the decision we expect, we will continue working with them,’ she added.
‘For us, the best news is to have the destination open with the United Kingdom, which is our main issuing market.
‘We have the best protocols and are highly valued by the tourists themselves, who have transferred to their government that they feel safe in Spain. ‘
Sanchez criticised the government’s sudden decision to force Britons returning from Spain to stay at home for two weeks and called on the government to reconsider its decision.
Tourists braced to enter quarantine are worried the fortnight self-isolating could cost them paid work and there are fears the newly-imposed rules could kill off the summer holiday season.
Speaking moments after the Foreign Office hardened its stance and advised against non-essential travel to the whole of Spain, including the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, Mr Sanchez told Spanish TV station Telecinco on Monday night: ‘I think the UK’s decision is an incorrect one.
‘Spain is made up of a number of regions that have a cumulative rate of contagion that is lower than the European average as well as the UK average.
‘The Spanish tourist industry has acted very responsibly over the past few months and has transferred a message of security with regards to the health emergency we are experiencing.
‘It’s true that on a global level the coronavirus pandemic continues to show a very worrying development and at European level as well, but in Spain the spread of the virus is not occurring in a uniform way.
‘Sixty-two per cent of the new cases are occurring in two regions but in the majority of the country, the cumulative incidence of the virus is lower than the European average and the UK average.’