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UK adds Spain to quarantine list: what does this mean for vacationers?

The UK removed Spain from the list of safe countries to travel to after concerns were raised that the European country had a second wave of coronavirus infections.

t means that those returning from the country will have to isolate themselves for two weeks after returning to the UK.

This is what it means for vacationers:

– When should holidaymakers isolate themselves?

The measure entered into force on Saturday at midnight, which means that all returning travelers will have to be quarantined for 14 days from Sunday.

It applies to people returning to any of the four countries of the UK – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

– Why is it being brought in now?

The government said the move follows a “significant change” over the past week in both the level and rate of change in confirmed Covid-19 cases in Spain.

The country has reported more than 900 new daily infections in the past two days.

Catalonia became the newest region to crack down on nightlife, trying to stop new clusters of infection.

The wealthy northeastern region – home to Barcelona – ordered all nightclubs to close for 15 days and put a curfew on bars in the greater area of ​​Barcelona and other towns around Lleida that have become infectious hot zones at midnight.

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The UK government has discouraged all non-essential travel to Spain (Lauren Hurley / PA)

– What should people do if they are already in Spain?

People currently on holiday in Spain are encouraged to follow local rules, return home and consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice pages at gov.uk for more information.

The FCO advises those who are already traveling in Spain not to leave.

Abta – the UK travel industry association – has advised customers in the country to continue their holiday and return as usual.

– What should holidaymakers do if they have booked a trip to Spain?

The FCO discourages all essential travel to mainland Spain.

Holiday operator Tui has said it will cancel all planned holidays to Spain in response to the announcement and that customers will be contacted to discuss the options.

Abta has advised customers about to travel to the country to contact their travel provider.

Meanwhile, airline easyJet said it planned to operate its full flight schedule in the coming days.

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Authorities tackle nightlife in Catalonia (Chris Ison / PA)

– Does the quarantine apply if the holidaymaker has been on a Spanish island?

Quarantine measures apply to those returning from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa) and the Balearic Islands, such as Mallorca and Ibiza, the Department confirmed for transport.

– What happens with travel insurance?

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said that it is “probable” that travel insurance for holidaymakers already in Spain will continue until they return home.

However, anyone who tries to travel to countries against FCO advice will make their travel insurance invalid.

The ABI said that people who booked a trip or took out travel insurance after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic may not be covered due to travel disruption or cancellation. In both cases travelers should contact their insurer.

– What about employers whose employees have to be quarantined?

Secretary of State Dominic Raab said that no employee who follows quarantine guidance should be punished by employers, including sick pay.

He said that if someone follows the law regarding quarantine and self-isolation, “no sanctions can be imposed against them.”

Labor wants the government to do more to quarantine workers.