Coronavirus: UK advises against non-essential travel to Spanish islands

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The UK is now advising against all non-essential travel to the Balearics and Canaries after Spain saw an increase in coronavirus cases.

Foreign ministry guidelines were amended on Monday to include both mainland Spain and islands such as Ibiza and Tenerife.

It came as a government source said talks were underway with Spain to grant a quarantine exemption to those returning from the islands.

A general quarantine policy for Spain began this weekend.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said the decision to change the advice for traveling to Spain and its islands considered “the impact of the requirement to self-isolate upon return to the UK”.

Speaking earlier, Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson said “No travel is safe during this pandemic.”

The infection rate in Spain is 35.1 cases per 100,000 people, while the UK is 14.7, according to the latest figures from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

Data up to July 19 suggests infection rates are lower in the Balearics and Canaries than in mainland Spain.

Among the thousands of British holidaymakers affected by the change in quarantine rules was Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who flew to Spain on Saturday as he knew a decision on the policy was due.

Mr Shapps said in a statement he would return to the UK this week to complete his quarantine and return to work as soon as possible.

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