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Spain Removed From Travel Corridors Exemption List - Self Isolate Again For Two Weeks On Return

26th July 2020

Notice issued on 25 July 2020.

If you arrive in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland from Spain on or after 26 July 2020 you will need to self-isolate.

Spain no longer on travel corridor list, travellers arriving into England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from Spain from midnight tonight will need to self-isolate

people already in Spain can stay for the remainder of their holiday and will have to self-isolate upon return

FCO now advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain

People returning to the UK from Spain (including islands) from midnight tonight (25 July 2020) will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks, with the country removed from the travel corridors list.

Following a significant change over the last week in both the level and pace of change in confirmed cases, Spain has been removed from the list of countries where people do not have to self-isolate when arriving into to the UK.

People currently on holiday in Spain are encouraged to follow the local rules, return home as normal and check the FCO's travel advice pages on GOV.UK for further information.

FCO is advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain - this does not cover the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands because travel advice is based on the risk to the individual traveller and COVID-19 infection rates are lower there than mainland Spain.

People will still need to self-isolate when returning from anywhere in Spain as well as the Canary and Balearic Islands because self-isolation arrangements are put in place on the basis of risk to the UK as a whole.

A government spokesperson said:The Joint Biosecurity Centre together with Public Health England have updated their coronavirus assessments of Spain based on the latest data. As a result, Spain has been removed from the lists of countries from which passengers arriving in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are exempted from the need to self-isolate.

Protecting public health is our absolute priority and we have taken this decision to limit any potential spread to the UK.

We've always been clear that we would act immediately to remove a country where necessary. Both our list of quarantine exemptions and the FCO travel advice are being updated to reflect these latest risk assessments.

Changes to the exemption for people returning from Spain will take effect from midnight tonight, meaning anyone returning from midnight tonight will have to self-isolate.

The government has made consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus, including if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country and not self-isolating becomes too high.

The devolved administrations have all taken the same decision today, so travellers arriving from Spain into all parts of the UK will need to self-isolate.

The government is urging employers to be understanding of those returning from Spain who now will need to self-isolate.

From 26 July, the FCO advises against all non-essential travel to mainland Spain based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. Only the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa) and Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera) are exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel.

This advice is based on evidence of increases in cases of COVID-19 in several regions, but particularly in Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia (which include the cities of Zaragoza, Pamplona and Barcelona).

The FCO is not advising those already travelling in Spain to leave at this time. Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. If you are returning from Spain (including from the Balearics and Canaries) on or after 26 July you will be required to quarantine on your return to the UK, but the FCO is not advising you to cut short your visit. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.

PHE are continuing to monitor the situation in the Balearic and Canary Islands closely. Travellers there should continue to check this advice regularly.

The decision, also made by the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Wales as well as the UK Government, has been made to reduce the risk of the transmission of the virus by those travelling from Spain and arriving in Scotland.

The public health measures will come into effect from midnight tonight (26 July) and will mean those arriving in Scotland from Spain will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:"The decision to exempt Spain earlier this week, was taken when the data showed there was an improvement in the spread of the virus. But clearly the latest data has given us cause for concern to overturn that decision.

"We appreciate that this will be disappointing. However, we have always been clear we are closely monitoring the pandemic situation in all countries and that we may require to remove a country from the list of places exempt from quarantine requirements should the virus show a resurgence.

“It is still active and it is still deadly. Supressing the virus, preventing it from being transmitted and protecting public health is our priority."

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