People arriving from Spain will now have to quarantine for 14 days when entering the UK, announced the Department of Health.
As Spain is reporting more than 900 new cases of coronavirus daily for the last few days. The UK has changed its quarantine rule for the visitors returning back from Spain.
Health Minister Robin Swann said the decision to remove Spain from the exempt list was not easy to take.
This decision will come as a surprise to returning holidaymakers who left when Spain was part of the safe travel list.
However, the government’s sudden decision is making it difficult for airlines to operate and plan their flights.
TUI is canceling all of its today’s flights to Spain. As it was following its policy of not flying customers to countries where they have to quarantine.
However, the airline is criticizing the government’s sudden decision and it issued a statement late last night.
Andrew Flintham, TUI UK and Ireland’s managing director said, “Due to the late announcement on Saturday 25th July from the UK Government regarding the change to travel advice for Spain. We have canceled all flights due to depart to mainland Spain and the Canary Islands on Sunday 26th July.”
“We will proactively contact all customers to either arrange a full refund. Or the option to rebook their holiday with a booking incentive.”
“All customers currently on holiday can continue to enjoy their holiday and will return on their intended flight home.”
“We’re incredibly disappointed that we didn’t get more notice of this announcement. Or that this decision wasn’t made yesterday, as many Brits travel on holiday at the weekend.”
“We also look to understand why quarantine has been issued for a whole country. Including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, when the travel advice isn’t aligned only applying to mainland Spain.”
“It demonstrates why clear regional travel corridors need to be considered.”
“The health and safety of our customers and colleagues is always our highest priority. And welcome travel advice that protects those that holiday with us.”
“However, the UK Government must work closely with the travel industry as this level of uncertainty and confusion is damaging for business and disappointing for those looking forward to a well-deserved break.”
The airline does not plan to cancel its flights over the coming days.
But customers may be able to transfer their flights to another day without a charge.
The airline tweeted last night, “We are monitoring the situation and continue to provide some flexibility for those who, if they no longer wish to travel, can transfer flights without a change fee or receive a voucher for the value of their booking.
“We plan to operate our full schedule in the coming days.”
The airlines will continue to follow its schedule of flights despite the mandatory quarantine requirements on all returning travelers.
A spokeswoman said, “While our flights continue to operate, this is sadly yet another blow for British holidaymakers and cannot fail to have an impact on the already troubled aviation industry.”