As the CEO of Spain’s leading hotel chain and the president of the Exceltur alliance for tourism excellence, Meliá’s Gabriel Escarrer is a go-to source of opinion. Having last week criticised the Spanish government for a lack of “high-level diplomatic proactivity”, Escarrer is now hopeful of “common sense triumphing” with regard to the UK’s quarantine requirement. He may be hopeful, but he may not have been listening to all the noises emanating from the UK. While the aviation and tourism industries plead with the government, there is the need for containment of the virus in certain areas of England - as is the case with certain areas of Spain.
Given this renewed focus on containment and having made the quarantine decision, it could well appear inconsistent if there were to now be a rethink of the quarantine. There does, however, appear to be an assumption that there will be a rethink. What the basis is for believing this, I can’t say. It is not the impression I’ve formed. Yet one report at the weekend from the Spanish press stated that “everything points to the quarantine remaining for Spain, but with some safe health corridors with the Canaries and the Balearics”. Everything is pointing? Really? And this week, which is what the report implied? There was the opportunity for common sense last week, but it wasn’t taken. Why should it now triumph? Perhaps it will, but if it does, it will smack of inconsistency, and the Johnson government can’t afford even more of this.