- Advertisement -
Home Coronavirus Holiday chaos as UK tourists in Spain will have to quarantine for...

Holiday chaos as UK tourists in Spain will have to quarantine for two weeks due to Covid outbreak 

- Advertisement -

UK holidaymakers in Spain are facing a two-week quarantine after the country was hit by a new outbreak of coronavirus.

The quarantine will affect everyone who has gone on holiday to the Mediterranean country in the last week and those who are waiting to go on booked holidays.

Any tourists returning from Spain after 11pm on Saturday will have to quarantine for two weeks.

There are also fears that France could be the next country hit by a second wave of the virus. 

This come after King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain donned facemasks during a mass as part of their tour of the country.

The royal couple were pictured this morning at a mass to mark the Day of Galicia at the church of San Martino Pinario in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia.

It comes as Spain recorded 2,255 more coronavirus cases in 24 hours and Catalonia shut it’s nightclubs down for two weeks amid fears of a second wave.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have been travelling around the country to better understand the impact of the virus. Pictured at a mass to mark the Day of Galicia at the church of San Martino Pinario in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have been travelling around the country to better understand the impact of the virus. Pictured at a mass to mark the Day of Galicia at the church of San Martino Pinario in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia

The Catalan government went ahead with its threat to close discos across the entire region as the number of cases rose to 319,501 yesterday.

Nightclub owners were told they must shut their doors for the next fortnight.

The move comes as Spanish health officials admitted they could be dealing with a second coronavirus wave.

The regions of Catalonia and Aragon are the two worst-affected areas.

Five areas of Spain have now been put into lockdown to curb the spread of the virus; Catalonia, Zaragoza, Pamplona, Totana and A Marina. 

Meanwhile, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have been travelling around the country to better understand the impact of the virus. 

The Catalan government has gone ahead with its threat to close discos across the entire region as the number of cases rose to 319,501 yesterday. Pictured, Barcelona on July 19

The Catalan government has gone ahead with its threat to close discos across the entire region as the number of cases rose to 319,501 yesterday. Pictured, Barcelona on July 19

Barcelona earlier this week said it was reducing the maximum number of people who could use its beaches at any one time from 38,000 to 32,000 as officials urged sun seekers to avoid weekend peak periods.

Last weekend Barcelona residents were asked to stay at home wherever possible as town hall chiefs tried to encourage voluntary quarantine to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Catalan president Quim Torra admitted earlier this week his government was looking at the possibility of ordering the closure of discos across the region of nearly eight million inhabitants.

The move affects all establishments with disco or music hall licences. 

Respected Catalan daily El Periodico said the closure order also affected late-night pubs, although a tweet from regional health chiefs said simply: ‘The opening to the public of discos, music halls and nightspots licenced to put on shows has been suspended across Catalunya.’

This graph shows Spain's new coronavirus cases for the past two weeks. It recorded an additional 2,255 new cases. The large spike of 4,000 cases is a result of the country stopping reporting cases over weekends

This graph shows Spain’s new coronavirus cases for the past two weeks. It recorded an additional 2,255 new cases. The large spike of 4,000 cases is a result of the country stopping reporting cases over weekends

This graph of the entire coronavirus outbreak shows that cases are rising increasingly fast but are still behind the 9,000-a day at the peak of the outbreak 

This graph of the entire coronavirus outbreak shows the number of coronavirus deaths per day in Spain, and shows fatalities are yet to start increasing along with the rise in cases

Would you like a straw with that? Drug-dealers give away FREE face masks and snorting straws with grams of cocaine in Mallorca 

Health-conscious drug dealers have been giving away free masks to Brits buying cocaine in Mallorca, it has been revealed.  

The pushers, who operate in tourist hotspot Palmer and are flogging the powder for €100-a-gram, throw in a face mask and a special snorting straw ‘free of charge’ with each purchase. 

The new sales initiative was spotted by one stunned ex-pat who managed to capture pictures of the bizarre package.

The ex-pat, who did not want to be named, told MailOnline: ‘It was difficult to believe someone selling something so dangerous would be so concerned about health.

Drug dealers throw in a face mask and a special snorting straw 'free of charge' with each purchase

The pushers operate in tourist hotspot Palmer and are flogging the powder for €100-a-gram

Drug dealers, who operate in tourist hotspot Palmer and are flogging the powder for €100-a-gram, throw in a face mask and a special snorting straw ‘free of charge’ with each purchase

The new sales initiative was spotted by one stunned ex-pat who managed to capture pictures of the bizarre package. Pictured, snorting straws

The new sales initiative was spotted by one stunned ex-pat who managed to capture pictures of the bizarre package. Pictured, snorting straws

‘In Spain the authorities are extremely strict on masks. When you go into toilets you have to wear a mask, so the giveaway with the cocaine obviously facilitates going in there without a problem.’

They said the free tubes were being sold in multiple colours to help people keep track and avoid sharing with others.  

‘The tubes are to tackle the issue with notes now, which users usually have to snort the coke. Now they have got these tubes, which are even colour-coded so people don’t accidentally share them,’ they added.

‘I don’t know if this is something that all dealers are doing, but it certainly is enterprising.’

Photographs show the ex-pat holding four straws of different lengths and colours; blue, yellow, black and red.   

Advertisement

Spanish daily El Pais said the two-week ban, introduced at midnight, also applied to hotels with dance floors laying on musical entertainment.

Bars and restaurants in the areas where the highest number of Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the past few days, including Barcelona city centre and surrounding sleeper towns as well as municipalities in Girona further north including Figueres, have to close by midnight.

French PM Jean Castex has urged the country’s citizens to avoid travelling to Catalonia because of the health situation there.

Josep Maria Argimon, the secretary of Public Health of Catalonia, admitted its health system was facing ‘critical days.’

He added: ‘We’re not in critical days like in March, when our hospital intensive care units were full.

People sitting on beach towels on Cala de Alfacar, Menorca, earlier this week amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus cases in Spain

People sitting on beach towels on Cala de Alfacar, Menorca, earlier this week amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus cases in Spain 

‘Now what’s critical is that people follow all the rules and guidelines to ensure the spread of the virus slows down.’

The Catalan late-night entertainment shutdown follows a path being taken by other regions in Spain, although the Balearic Islands had been the only other one to take the draconian measure ahead of the spike of new cases.

Late-night bars in Murcia have been told they can only serve customers outside who are sat down in places like terraces where social distancing is guaranteed.

UK’s air bridge to Spain could be dropped without notice  

British tourists have been warned that a new travel system means air bridges could collapse at short notice leaving them facing a quarantine on return to the UK.  

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office earlier this month set out exemptions for a number of countries from its ‘all but essential’ travel guidance. 

It means that currently holidaymakers can travel to 74 locations without having to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the UK.

However Britain currently reviews all the countries on the ‘safe list’ every three weeks. But the government is expected to unveil a new rolling review list that means places could be on a ‘red list’ at very short notice, as reported by The Telegraph.

This means you could go abroad to a country on the ‘safe’ list for your holiday, but while away a spike in coronavirus cases could mean the government could place it on the ‘red’ list, meaning you would have to quarantine for 14-days upon your return. 

 

Advertisement

In Navarra, which includes the city of Pamplona where the famous Running of the Bulls normally takes place every year, emergency measures are being brought in which will include the closure of nightspots at 2am.

Officials in Madrid also said yesterday they were studying plans to bring in new limitations on the region’s nightlife which would revolve around reductions in the number of people inside and outside bars and clubs at any one time.

A lockdown in the municipality of Totana in Murcia, south east Spain was the result of a Covid-19 outbreak centred on a pub called Dubai.

More than 50 people at the nightspot tested positive for the virus.

Around 30,000 residents are affected by the Totana lockdown, with entry and exit into the municipality banned except in cases of extreme necessity.

Restaurants and bars are only allowed to open outside terrace areas with 50 per cent capacity.

It comes after France told its citizens not to travel to Catalonia. 

Norway has also re-imposed quarantine rules for people arriving from Spain while Britons have been warned that air bridges could be axed at short notice, leaving them vulnerable to two weeks of isolation when they return to the UK. 

Although the UK government kept Spain on its ‘green list’ of countries that do not require quarantines, officials have indicated that this could change without notice if the rise in Spanish cases gets worse. 

Some British holidaymakers are cancelling their trips and TUI has said it will cancel packages to Spain if returning travellers are forced to go into a 14-day quarantine when they return to the UK. 

France and Germany also today announced that all returning travellers will be given a free coronavirus test amid fears that the holiday season is driving a surge in cases on the continent. 

In response to the threat, authorities in the Costa del Sol have ordered people running along the beach to wear face masks. 

People doing sport had previously been exempted from using the face coverings across Spain.

But Mijas Town Hall has now said its Senda Litoral, based around a long boardwalk that connects existing paths and promenades and stretches across most of the municipality’s coastline, will be out of bounds to people practising sport unless they mask up.

The decision was taken after town hall chiefs were told social distancing could not be guaranteed.

Mijas, which lies between Marbella to the west and Fuengirola to the east, is a popular destination for British holidaymakers and home to thousands of expats.

It is believed to be the first local authority in Spain to make face masks obligatory in part of its public outdoor spaces for people out exercising.

The Senda Litoral is a project involving 14 Costa del Sol municipalities designed to connect more than 110 miles of coastline with existing paths and seafront promenades.

It raises the prospect other town halls along the famous coastline will follow suit, effectively banishing sports enthusiasts from enjoying seaside jogs at any time of the day.

The use of face masks in Spain has gradually been tightened up. They are now obligatory almost everywhere in public outdoors across the country, having been obligatory in public in closed spaces like shops as well as public transport for some time.

French health officials have recorded 4,724 new cases already this week, up from 3,922 from last Monday to Friday and 3,792 in the working week before that

French health officials have recorded 4,724 new cases already this week, up from 3,922 from last Monday to Friday and 3,792 in the working week before that

Madrid and the Canary Islands are the only two regions who allow people to ditch them in public spaces outdoors where social distancing can be guaranteed.

Exceptions on where they have to be used vary from region to region. Most places with coastline have exempted beaches but Andalucia which includes the Costa del Sol insists on their use on beaches unless sunbathers are sat on the sand or heading to and from the water for a swim.

One of Spain’s top health officials warned that the country could be suffering a second wave of coronavirus amid an alarming increase in cases that has sparked numerous local lockdowns. 

Deputy emergency health director Maria Jose Sierra has revealed her concerns over the spike in Covid-19 cases as the country recorded an additional 2,255 new cases today.

Brits cancel trips to Spain amid fears they will have to go into 14-day quarantine when they get back if airbridge is cancelled

British holidaymakers are cancelling their trips to Spain amid fears they will be forced to go into a 14-day quarantine when they return to the UK.

Sun-seekers fear the UK government may scrap its air bridge agreement with Spain amid growing concerns of a second spike.

Such a move would leave holidaymakers out in Spain facing two-weeks of self-isolation on their return to the UK – even though they wouldn’t have had to at the time of leaving.

It comes as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office today cut its three-weekly review of the 74 air bridges to just a week, while health officials in Spain have raised concerns over a second coronavirus spike.

One holidaymaker, Lynn Carratt, 39, says she has cancelled her trip to Spain fearing the government will take the country off the air bridge list when it reviews the scheme on Monday. 

One holidaymaker, Lynn Carratt (pictured), 39, from London, says she has cancelled her trip to Spain fearing the government will take the country off the air bridge list when it reviews the scheme on Monday

One holidaymaker, Lynn Carratt (pictured), 39, from London, says she has cancelled her trip to Spain fearing the government will take the country off the air bridge list when it reviews the scheme on Monday

Mrs Carratt, who is from London and is the director of PR firm E20 Communications, was due to fly to Majorca tomorrow for a week-long holiday with her husband, but has now swapped her flights from Spain to Greece.

She told MailOnline: ‘It is a worry. When the air bridges come up for review on Monday it does look like Spain is one of those countries that is a risk.

 ‘We didn’t want to be on holiday and on Monday Spain is taken off the list and then we will be forced to quarantine for two weeks.’ 

The couple will instead fly out to Crete tomorrow – just a year after they married in the Greek island of Santorini.

She added: ‘Greece only had something like 27 cases today across the mainland and the islands. Spain had 2,615 yesterday.

‘Anyone can catch coronavirus, it is just about being sensible and the right measures and protection to keep yourself safe.’

Another holidaymaker told MailOnline: ‘We were supposed to be in Spain now.

‘We had a month trip booked to spend with our daughter and son-in-law that lives out there.

‘But we cancelled it and even then when the air bridge was put in we did not re-book as fears because of this and obviously not wanting to risk catching coronavirus.’

Advertisement

Ms Sierra said: ‘We have important outbreaks. It could be a second wave. We’ll have to see what happens in the next few weeks.’  

In the past 24 hours, some 922 new infections were diagnosed, the ministry said, compared with 971 the previous day. 

France’s prime minister Jean Castex said ‘we strongly encourage French citizens to avoid’ going to Catalonia, which has seen nearly 8,000 new cases in the last two weeks.  

French health officials are also concerned about steadily increasing coronavirus cases in their own country, having recorded 4,724 new cases this week, up from 3,922 from a week earlier.    

Sierra’s comments mark the first time a senior Spanish health official has used the expression ‘ second wave’ since a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases following the end of the country’s state of emergency on June 21. 

The Spanish tourism industry, which accounts for around 12 per cent of the nation’s economy, now faces uncertainty after the country’s borders were reopened to tourists with great fanfare last month.  

And Spanish epidemiologist Juan Jose Badiola said he could not rule out a national return to the draconian state of emergency lockdown, when people were ordered to stay indoors unless it was to go to buy food or head to the chemist’s.

People wearing face masks walk along La Misericordia Beach, Malaga, earlier this week as Spain faces a fresh blow to its tourism industry due to coronavirus

People wearing face masks walk along La Misericordia Beach, Malaga, earlier this week as Spain faces a fresh blow to its tourism industry due to coronavirus 

He told Spanish TV station Telecinco today ‘I would like to think we don’t have to go back to that but I can’t rule it out completely because the rate of new infections is becoming very worrying.’

The region of Murcia sealed off 30,000 people in the town of Totana earlier this week, barring anyone from entering or leaving after 55 cases linked to a nightlife venue.

Elsewhere, restrictions have been tightened in Zaragoza and Pamplona while millions of people have been urged to stay at home in Catalonia, including in Barcelona. 

Brits WILL have to wear masks while exercising in Spain 

British holidaymakers wanting to go for a morning run along part of the Costa del Sol coastline have been told they too will have to wear face masks.

People doing sport had previously been exempted from using the face coverings across Spain.

But Mijas Town Hall has now said its Senda Litoral, based around a long boardwalk that connects existing paths and promenades and stretches across most of the municipality’s coastline, will be out of bounds to people practising sport unless they mask up.

The decision was taken after town hall chiefs were told social distancing could not be guaranteed.

Mijas, which lies between Marbella to the west and Fuengirola to the east, is a popular destination for British holidaymakers and home to thousands of expats.

It is believed to be the first local authority in Spain to make face masks obligatory in part of its public outdoor spaces for people out exercising.

Advertisement
People sunbathing at the La Misericordia Beach, Malaga, this week as the Spanish tourism industry faces uncertainty

People sunbathing at the La Misericordia Beach, Malaga, this week as the Spanish tourism industry faces uncertainty

In Galicia, the last movement restrictions were lifted in A Marina yesterday but 350 people are still under observation at home and four are in hospital after an outbreak in the area. 

Other Spanish health officials are more confident that the spurt in cases will decline.   

Tourism Minister Maria Reyes Maroto tried to put a positive on an increasingly worrying situation by insisting the health situation in Catalonia and Aragon, the country’s two worst affected areas, was ‘getting better’.

Which parts of Spain are facing new lockdowns? 

TOTANA: Murcia’s regional government put Totana back in lockdown with 30,000 people banned from entering or leaving the area after 55 cases linked to a nightlife venue. 

BARCELONA: Millions of people have been urged to stay at home in Catalonia and gatherings are restricted to 10 people. 

PAMPLONA: Restrictions re-imposed in Navarre’s capital with limited numbers in shops, bars and places of worship

ZARAGOZA: Zaragoza and some other areas of Aragon are back under ‘phase 2’ rules with gatherings limited to 10 people and bars ordered to close at midnight. 

A MARINA: Movement restrictions were lifted on Thursday, but 350 people are still under observation and four in hospital after a significant outbreak.  

Advertisement

Josep Maria Argimon, the secretary of Public Health of Catalonia, admitted its health system was facing ‘critical days.’

He added: ‘We’re not in critical days like in March, when our hospital intensive care units were full. Now what’s critical is that people follow all the rules and guidelines to ensure the spread of the virus slows down.’

France has said it would not rule out closing its border with the Catalan region of Spain as it experiences a ‘significant rise’ in infections, according to the French public health authority.   

Catalonia, which borders France, has been at the heart of a rebound in coronavirus cases since Spain lifted a nationwide lockdown one month ago.

Nearly 7,000 cases have been logged there in the past 14 days, accounting for almost half the nationwide total, though the rate has dropped in the past days. 

Norway has similarly warned that it may add Spain to its list of high-risk countries which would mean that all arrivals would be forced into a ten-day quarantine. 

Restrictions on late night bars and discos have been implemented in several Spanish towns and regions ahead of what is being seen as a critical weekend for Spain’s attempts to turn the tide in its battle against a second wave of cases.

Any nationwide return to lockdown would prove to be another blow to the Spanish economy after two thirds of tourists cancelled their hotel bookings this month. 

Cancellation rates are as high as 77 per cent among families and 70 per cent in the Balearic Islands which include Mallorca. 

At some hotels, the number of tourists cancelling holidays that they booked several weeks or months ago is higher than the number of new bookings. 

Elizabeth Keegan, director of tourism in Lloret de Mar, said: ‘We are getting cancellations from Britain, France and Belgium.

‘The 120 hotels here are about 65 per cent full and they are normally 100 per cent full at this time of year.’   

Spain has recorded more than 9,000 new cases in the last seven days after seeing only 5,000 in the previous week.

Women wearing face masks walk along La Misericordia Beach, Malaga, earlier this week amid the coronavirus crisis

Women wearing face masks walk along La Misericordia Beach, Malaga, earlier this week amid the coronavirus crisis

According to research by tourism group Dingus, visitors who booked their trips between two and four months ago have cancelled more than 80 per cent of their holidays. 

Cancellation rates overall are as high as 70 per cent in the Balearic Islands and 64 per cent in Spain as a whole. 

While tourists travelling alone have cancelled 54 per cent of their reservations, families have scrapped as many as 77 per cent of their trips, the data shows.   

The UK government has not made any changes in its rules regarding Spain, after scrapping the 14-day quarantine rule for people returning from Spain to England after July 10. 

Scotland also exempted Spain from its own 14-day rules this week after initially keeping it on the quarantine list. 

But it comes after British tourists were warned that a new travel system means air bridges could collapse at short notice leaving them facing a quarantine on return to the UK.  

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office earlier this month set out exemptions for a number of countries from its ‘all but essential’ travel guidance. 

It means that currently holidaymakers can travel to 74 locations without having to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the UK.

However Britain currently reviews all the countries on the ‘safe list’ every three weeks. But the government is expected to unveil a new rolling review list that means places could be on a ‘red list’ at very short notice, as reported by The Telegraph.

Portugal blasts UK for not following ‘facts’ as it’s left OFF quarantine-free travel list

Portugal vented its fury at Britain today as ministers refused to remove the popular holiday destination from its quarantine list.

Ministers updated a list of nations from which arrivals would be exempt from 14-day isolation this afternoon but the popular holiday destination was still missing from it.

It was left off when the system was launched three weeks ago amid fears at its level of coronavirus infections, promoting initial anger in Lisbon.

The refusal to change it today sparked further uproar in Portugal, which relies heavily on tourism, with foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva saying the decision was ‘not backed by facts’.

But five other nations have been placed on the approved air bridge list:  Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Caribbean islands’ nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The change will come into effect from Tuesday.

The need for holidaymakers returning to Britain from Portugal to quarantine for 14 days has particularly affected the southern Algarve region, popular among Britons for its sandy beaches and golf courses.

Other European nations including Ireland, Belgium and Finland have also imposed travel restrictions on Portugal.

But Spain remains on the UK list of nations cleared for quarantine-free travel, despite fears it is suffering a second peak of infections.

Advertisement

This means you could go abroad to a country on the ‘safe’ list for your holiday, but while away a spike in coronavirus cases could mean the government could place it on the ‘red’ list, meaning you would have to quarantine for 14-days upon your return. 

There are also discussions of’regional’ air bridges could be set up to allow people to travel to specific areas of countries where there are lower rates of coronavirus infections. 

The government of the Balearic Islands insists that the archipelago is ‘safe for residents and visitors’, but some tourists have become alarmed by the growth in cases. 

The ‘regional’ air bridges plan could see low risk areas identified in high risk countries which travellers would be able visit without then being subject to 14-day quarantine rules upon their return. 

Such a move would mean the end of outright travel bans on entire countries and represent a further easing of quarantine rules. 

It is thought the air bridge plan is being looked at as part of a review of current travel restrictions, with changes due to be announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Monday.  

The introduction of ‘regional’ air bridges could open up travel to tourist hotspots like The Algarve and Madeira in Portugal while keeping a ban on going to areas like Lisbon where coronavirus is more prevalent.  

It could also allow for the return of some travel to the US amid fears the national scale of its outbreak could result in a long term ban.  

A source told The Telegraph: ‘Regional air bridges are an option for countries with localised outbreaks. 

‘The US is a major issue. If you judge it nationally, the absence of travel could go on for months, which is where individual testing of arrivals could work.’

Gloria Guevara, president of the World Travel and Tourism Council, told The Times: ‘The establishment of air corridors between financial centres where infection levels are low, such as between London and New York, would provide a vital boost to business travel and aid the economic recovery.’  

Meanwhile, ministers are also believed to be looking at introducing coronavirus tests before or on arrival at UK airports in a further measure which could reopen travel to the US. 

Mr Shapps will set out on Monday any changes to the current travel rules and announce whether any countries will be added to the 74 which are already exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement. 

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

16,985FansLike
2,458FollowersFollow
61,453SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

Enormous black Eastern Rat Snake seen at NYC subway stop

A video of an enormous black snake slithering across a New York City subway platform caused quite the stir on social media this weekend...
- Advertisement -

Donald Trump pushes for Portland to bring in National Guard

President Donald Trump returned to weeks of attacks on officials in Portland after another night of street clashes and told them to bring in...

Woman, 91, is arrested over car crash that killed three-year-old boy as he walked with his mother 

An elderly woman has been arrested after her car mounted a pavement and killed a three-year-old boy who was walking with his mother. A red...

Coronavirus Relief Bill: Trump claims Democrats ready for deal

Donald Trump on Monday claimed Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi want 'to make a deal' on a coronavirus relief package but the...

Related News

Enormous black Eastern Rat Snake seen at NYC subway stop

A video of an enormous black snake slithering across a New York City subway platform caused quite the stir on social media this weekend...

Donald Trump pushes for Portland to bring in National Guard

President Donald Trump returned to weeks of attacks on officials in Portland after another night of street clashes and told them to bring in...

Woman, 91, is arrested over car crash that killed three-year-old boy as he walked with his mother 

An elderly woman has been arrested after her car mounted a pavement and killed a three-year-old boy who was walking with his mother. A red...

Coronavirus Relief Bill: Trump claims Democrats ready for deal

Donald Trump on Monday claimed Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi want 'to make a deal' on a coronavirus relief package but the...

Guardian Angels patrol New York amid growing safety concerns

The founder of the Guardian Angel's has vowed to have 60 members of their organisation patrolling part of Manhattan amid growing safety concerns.Curtis Sliwa,...
- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here