British holidaymakers returning from Spain have expressed their shock and frustration at the sudden change in travel quarantine rules.
assengers who arrived at Gatwick Airport on Sunday morning with a flight from Barcelona were among the first travelers to isolate themselves for two weeks.
Philip Bradby, 55, and Marina Wilson, 40, from Bournemouth, interrupted their trip to the Catalan city because of the imposition of the new quarantine requirement.
Speaking to the PA news agency at Gatwick’s North Terminal, Mr. Bradby criticized the government’s announcement of the change of government by saying, “I think it’s pretty poor they did it so immediately.”
He said he works in the aerospace industry, so the coronavirus pandemic has already had “a big impact on my working life”.
Ms. Wilson, who has a nine-year-old daughter, said, “They have basically changed the rules half way through, putting us in a very uncomfortable position and having to do a lot of things.
‘I was very upset because I now have to arrange childcare. Someone has to do the shopping for me. ‘
Another passenger who arrived on a two-day trip to Barcelona, who only wanted to be referred to as Sharon, said quarantine would be “clumsy” but would have little impact as she remains on vacation from work.
But the 50-year-old from London added, “It was just a shock, it would have been nice if a little more warning had been given.
“It just seems to be very fast.”
Another 24-year-old traveler from Surrey, who only gave her the name Hannah, said the change in the rules would affect family plans and her work.
“We were going back to work in early August, so I have to stay away for another week now,” she said.
When asked if she would have gone to Barcelona with her boyfriend for five days if they had known in advance of the quarantine rule change, she said, “No.”
“We didn’t go with the intention of being in the house for another two weeks.”
Thomas Wright, a 27-year-old carpenter from North London, who returned from a business trip to Barcelona, said the change to the quarantine rule will hit him “quite severely” because he will not be able to work.
“I suppose I should have honestly traveled with you to a later date,” he said.
“It bothers me a lot, because the last closure put a heavy load on the old head.”
53-year-old Jill Witte, who returned to the UK with her husband and two daughters, said the changes to the quarantine rule would have “a huge” impact on the family.
“We were shocked – it didn’t look like it was coming or we wouldn’t have left,” she said.
Ms Witte, who runs a kennel with her husband, said: “The children are on school holidays, so now they are not allowed to go outside.”
Seeing how quickly the quarantine rule changed, she added, “We didn’t get the option to come back for a deadline or something, it happened in hours.”