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Published on Monday, July 27, 2020

Over 50,000 sign petition to remove Spanish islands from quarantine list

A petition to get the government to take the Balearics and Canary Islands off its quarantine list has been signed by over 50,000 people in less than 36 hours.

The petition was set up late on Saturday night after the UK government announced its was removing the Spanish islands from its air corridor - meaning holidaymakers must now quarantine for 14 days upon return to the UK.

Pressure is growing on the government to ditch its blanket policy in favour of a more strategic approach, amid concerns thousands of people who have booked to travel this summer - not only to Spain - may cancel because they fear their destination may be taken off the 'safe list' at the last minute.

The government defended its policy over the weekend, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab saying advice on destinations could change at any time.

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds urged the government to test, trace and isolate at borders, rather than ordering damaging blanket bans.

Questions have been asked as to why the travel corridor with Spain was suspended at such short notice. The Spanish authorities have insisted Spain is safe to visit.

Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency and a founder of the Quash Quarantine pressure group, said: "It's almost cancelled the end of the summer season. A lot of people are fearful the government will put quarantine in place for other countries. Companies won't be able to survive the winter."

TUI UK Managing Director Andrew Flintham described how a 'collective sigh of relief' on Friday - when there was no announcement by the government on changes to travel to Spain - changed on Saturday night when the government gave just a few hours' notice that new rules were coming into effect.

He told Radio 4's Today: "We have called for a regional policy so that, if there are very distanced areas where infection rates are lower and therefore safe travel can go ahead, which clearly travel advice says it can, we would look for a consistent approach. That's the way forward. We are asking for a risk-based approach."

Petition organiser Lee Sparrow said: "Many families booked their holidays without accounting for the 14 day quarantine and now will either have to cancel the holiday, which some people have saved up all year for and lose approximately £300 deposit or agree to 14 days unpaid leave from work which for some could be around £700. 

"It is unfair to limit holiday makers from travelling to safe islands when they have worked hard to save and need to relax after an awful and unprecedented 2020."

Sign the petition here.

By Lisa James, Deputy Editor (UK)

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  • Maybe it should be the other way round!

    Last week there were 12 Covid-related deaths in the whole of Spain compared with 426 in UK. Is this a Cummings-inspired plot to make Spain look worse than Britain? If anything, the Spanish should be considering banning visits by Brits (tongue in cheek!).

    By Roger Russell, Monday, July 27, 2020

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'WTM London abandons plans for live 2020 event' - Will Covid prove the end for WTM ?
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