Coronavirus: Spain to allow UK tourists without quarantine

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Media captionArancha González Laya: “British visitors can arrive freely and without the need for quarantine”

UK tourists will be able to visit Spain without having to quarantine on arrival from Sunday, Spanish officials say.

Spain’s foreign affairs minister has told the BBC that British citizens will be allowed to enter the country freely, without the need to self-isolate.

She said the decision had been made “out of respect” for the 400,000 Britons who have second homes in Spain.

But current rules state that anyone returning to – or entering – the UK still has to self-isolate for 14 days.

It is understood the UK’s quarantine restrictions will be reviewed on 29 June.

Spain’s foreign affairs minister Arancha González Laya said UK visitors will go through a “triple check” upon arrival to Spain.

They will be asked for their country of origin and to register “so we know we have a contact point to trace them”, she said. They will also undergo a temperature check.

“We want to make sure that we welcome visitors, but we want to do this in safety and security for them, as well as for the Spaniards,” she said.

Ms González Laya said discussions were continuing with the government about exempting Spanish visitors from the UK’s current quarantine travel rules.

“We do hope that [the British authorities] will be sensitive to the 250,000 Spaniards that are also living in the UK and would very much like to enter the UK without quarantine,” she said.

But she added: “We also respect that countries look at entry or exit restrictions on the basis of their own data.”

Spanish officials are also identifying locations in each of the country’s regions where travellers “will be isolated and treated” should they require hospital treatment, according to Ms González Laya.

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Many Britons have homes in Spain – and it is also popular with tourists

A government spokeswoman said: “The quarantine system is informed by science, backed by the public and designed to help prevent a devastating second wave of this disease.

“We are supporting tourism businesses through one of the most generous economic packages in the world, and continue to look at options to increase international travel, when it is safe to do so.”

The move follows confusion earlier in the week over Spain’s rules for UK travellers.

Spanish officials said on Monday that travellers from the UK would not have to quarantine on arrival from Sunday.

But Spain’s foreign affairs minister then said the country may impose a two-week quarantine on Britons, if the UK maintains its current travel rules.

The mixed messages began after Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez announced last weekend that Spain’s borders would reopen to travellers from all EU countries on Sunday 21 June – with the exception of Portugal.

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