British Government may force travellers from other countries to quarantine.

British Government may force travellers from other countries to quarantine. archive photo.

21-04-2010Reuters/Toby Melville

Travellers from France and Germany could be next to be slapped with quarantine when they arrive in Britain.

The British Government is keeping an eye on coronavirus infections in both countries and constantly reviewing popular holiday destinations.

“We have to keep the situation under review and I think that is what the public would expect us to do,” said Junior Health Minister, Helen Whately. “If we see rates going up in a country where at the moment there is no need to quarantine we would have to take action because we cannot take the risk of coronavirus being spread again across the UK,” she said.

The question of widening the UK’s quarantine measures arose after the shock announcement that anyone arriving in Britain from Spain will have to self-isolate for 2 weeks.

A total of 9,835 flights are scheduled to leave the UK for Spain between July 26 and August 31, which equates to approximately 1.8 million passengers, according to Aviation data analysts, Cirium.

Tourists from Germany, France and the UK are the biggest spenders in Europe by far and the reinstatement of quarantine measures is devastating news for the Tourism Industry and Airline and Travel Company shares plummeted when the announcement was made.

EasyJet fell 13%, IAG, which owns British Airways, fell 7% and TUI Travel fell 8%.

Exemption

The Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are a favourite destination for British holidaymakers and the Balearic Government is trying to convince London that they should be exempt from the quarantine measure because the incidence of infection is extremely low, but Whately has her doubts.

“In some of the islands, the rate of infection is indeed going up, and there is also some movement of travel between the islands and the mainland, so we had to issue a clear policy that would best protect the United Kingdom,” Whately told the BBC.

TUI UK, which is part of the TUI holiday company, said it would cancel all holidays to mainland Spain up to August 9, but maintain flights to the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.

“What we’d really like, and I think we are going to need this going forward as the world evolves, is a nuanced policy,” TUI Managing Director, Andrew Flintham told the BBC.

The reinstatement of 14-days quarantine for travellers, tourists and Expats arriving in the UK from Spain has caused widespread chaos and anger across the entire Tourism Sector.

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