In a sudden and surprising move from the UK, following appeals to exclude Canary Islands from their quarantine requirements, the British Government travel advisory has now been amended, but not as had been hoped for. The new advice for British travellers is now to also avoid the Canary Islands for all non-essential journeys.
The move is bound to anger and further confuse a situation caused by the sudden announcement on Saturday that all returning from Spain would have to quarantine, despite the Canary Islands still being seen as safe to travel to, causing thousands to reconsider their bookings. A concerted effort to align the British quarantine restrictions with their advice appears to have backfired, on the basis that British tourists were unable to request refunds for cancelled trips while the advice still said it was safe to travel.
Tonight a Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘We have considered the overall situation for British nationals travelling to and from the Balearic and Canary Islands, including the impact of the requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK, and concluded that we should advise British nationals against all non-essential travel to the whole of Spain.’
Here is an excerpt from the official travel advisory updated less than half an hour ago:
This advice is based on evidence of increases in cases of COVID-19 in several regions, but particularly in Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia (which include the cities of Zaragoza, Pamplona and Barcelona).
The FCO is not advising those already travelling in Spain to leave at this time. Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.
If you are returning from Spain you will be required to self-isolate on your return to the UK, but the FCO is not advising you to cut short your visit. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.