Holidaymakers returning from Spain to Northern Ireland on Sunday morning will have to be quarantined for 14 days due to fears of a second wave in Covid cases.
The so-called “travel corridor” with Spain was closed from midnight.
The decision comes after Spain reported more than 900 new daily infections in the past two days.
The decision means that those returning from the popular holiday destination, including the islands, will have to isolate themselves for two weeks upon their return to Northern Ireland.
The decision to remove Spain from the exempt list was not taken lightlyRobin Swann
The move will come as a surprise to returning holidaymakers who left when Spain was on the safe travel list.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health said, “The decision to introduce a quarantine period was made after medical and scientific advice. The new regulations will take effect from midnight, so those arriving after that time will have to isolate themselves. ”
Health Minister Robin Swann said, “The decision to remove Spain from the exempt list was not taken lightly.
“I have always said that I will act quickly and take the necessary measures to ensure that our citizens are protected.
“I spoke to my colleagues in the UK today and we agree that the recent emergence of new positive cases in different parts of Spain is worrying.
“From midnight tonight, anyone returning from Spain or visiting Northern Ireland, including the islands, must be quarantined for 14 days.
“I will continue to monitor the situation in Spain and other countries and adjust the regulations if necessary.”
There are five flights arriving to Belfast International Airport from Spain on Sunday.
They include flights from Malaga, Barcelona, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza.
There are also three flights from the airport to Spain, with hundreds of holidaymakers from Northern Ireland.
The flights are operated by EasyJet, Jet2 and Ryanair.