Published on Monday, July 27, 2020

'People didn't even wear facemasks on train from airport - how will govt impose quarantine?'

One of the first passengers to fly home after the UK government took Spain off its 'safe travel' list at the weekend has described 'apathy' among passengers, who said new quarantine rules couldn't be policed.

James Cloote tried to get an earlier flight home from Malaga so he could arrive before the new rules came in at midnight on Saturday, after hearing reports the government was planning to take Spain off its travel corridor list.

But flights had 'all shot up in price as airlines tried to cash in, despite there being quite a few seats available', he said, so he stuck with the original plan of flying home on Sunday evening.

At Malaga airport, James said: "Staff were really pleasant at check-in and on the gate, stating that there were restrictions again in the UK. All the passengers were saying there is no way of the UK checking whether or not they are in quarantine, so the new rule was a waste of time.

"No-one was bothered. People were saying it couldn't be policed."

On arrival at Gatwick, James said no health checks were carried out and there was no mention of the changes to quarantine or the need to self-isolate for 14 days. No-one took the form he'd filled in giving details of where he planned to self-isolate.

And, despite the fact it's been mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport since 15 June, some returning passengers did not wear face coverings on the train home.

"I went from the airport to the train station with my face still covered and got on the train. The family sitting in front of me had taken their face masks off.

"I just feel it's a complete waste of time. Who will monitor returning travellers and how? If you can get back on a train from south to north London after the flight with no one checking if you have a face covering, there just seems no point.

"I'm really annoyed as I had plans on my return from Spain, which I've now had to cancel. I purposefully waited for travel restrictions to be lifted before I booked my flight to Spain, because I did not want to quarantine on my return.

"The whole travel industry has been trying to enhance confidence in travellers, yet it is now taking another dent for nothing.

"We are all now very nervous about booking flights in case the advice changes while we are away and, like me, you get yourself all worked up about your arrival back in the UK."

By Lisa James, Deputy Editor (UK)


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