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Published on Sunday, June 21, 2020

We're off to sunny Spain






British holidaymakers are now able to travel to Spain without having to self-isolate, but they will have to quarantine in the UK upon return.


Spain's foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said: "We will allow British visitors to enter Spain just like the rest of the European Union or Schengen from June 21 freely and without the need for quarantine."


Visitors will have to undergo a temperature check, and will have to supply a contact point in case they need to be traced.


The announcement follows the end of Spain's state of emergency, which began on March 14 and ended on Sunday, June 21.


The foreign ministry said: "From this date, Spain will re-open its borders to European Union and Schengen-area countries (with the exception of Portugal where the restrictions will continue to apply up until 1 July), and travellers from the UK."


There had earlier been confusion about whether Brits would be included in the travel policy. Spain  later clarified that EU member states are also included, and that the UK is still part of this group during the Brexit transition phase.


Gonzalez Laya said: "We are doing this out of ­respect to the 400,000 British citizens who have a second residence in Spain."


The Spanish government hopes a reciprocal arrangement will be made so visitors from Spain will be exempt from the UK's current 14-day quarantine rule, although restrictions are not set to be reviewed until at least June 29.


There is currently no 'air bridge' agreement, but discussions between the two countries are taking place.


According to the Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson is also in talks with Portugal, Greece, and France, among other countries, which could benefit from air bridges as soon as mid-July.


Wizz Air celebrated the news by announcing its new network of Spanish destinations, including London Luton to Gran Canaria - the first of several new Spanish services from Luton this year - with flights to Fuerteventura, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Castellón starting in July and to Lanzarote in October.


Ryanair resumed its flights earlier than expected after Spain lifted its restrictions, with an East Midlands-Alicante and a Manchester-Tenerife service taking off on Sunday. The vast majority of the airline's operation will resume on July 1.


Meanwhile, Which? Travel warned travellers Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance remains against non-essential travel.


Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, said: "This is positive news for many UK holidaymakers who are hoping to get away this summer, however with the FCO still advising against non-essential travel upcoming package holidays to Spain won't go ahead, and it remains too risky to book.


"Some airlines seem determined to fly to Spain in the next few weeks despite the FCO advice, but carriers should continue to offer free rebooking to customers who would invalidate their travel insurance if they flew and face two weeks quarantine on their return. 

"The FCO must also, finally, provide some clarity on when its travel ban will remain in force until, so holiday providers and airlines know what dates it is appropriate to sell flights and holidays for."

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  • no one enforcing quarantine at home

    in UK

    By Michael Anderson, Monday, June 22, 2020

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