TUI, the UK’s largest tour operator, has canceled ALL flights to Spain after new quarantine rules were announced.
Spain has been taken off the government’s “safety list” – with British holidaymakers forced into self-isolation for two weeks upon their return from midnight last night.
TUI has canceled all flights scheduled to depart Sunday to mainland Spain and the Canary Islands.
The travel agency said it was “incredibly disappointed” at the short notice after the tourism industry shut down during the coronavirus lockdown.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK & Ireland, said the company will contact customers to arrange refunds or booking changes.
Customers currently on vacation will be able to re-enter their scheduled return flight, he said.
Mr Flintham added: ‘We are incredibly disappointed that we did not receive more notice of this announcement, or that this decision was not made yesterday as many Brits travel on holiday on weekends.
“We’re also looking to understand why the quarantine was issued for an entire country, including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, when the travel advice isn’t aligned (only applying to mainland Spain).
“It shows why clear regional travel corridors need to be considered.
“The health and safety of our customers and colleagues is always our top priority and welcome travel advice that protects those who vacation with us.
“However, the UK government needs to work closely with the travel industry as this level of uncertainty and confusion is detrimental for businesses and disappointing for those eagerly awaiting a well-deserved break. ”
British travelers returning from Spain from midnight last night are now required to spend two weeks at home.
A government spokesperson said: “Spain has been removed from lists of countries whose passengers arriving in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are exempt from the need to self-isolate.
“Protecting public health is our top priority and we have taken this decision to limit any potential spread in the UK. “
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And tourists have been told not to visit the European country unless it is “essential”.
The Foreign Office has warned vacationers against travel to mainland Spain – but the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands are exempt from these restrictions.
The government ministry’s website states: “As of July 26, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising against non-essential travel to mainland Spain based on the current Covid-19 risk assessment. “