Bristol Airport boss critical of blanket quarantine rules for mainland Spain and islands

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The boss of Bristol Airport has criticised the Government's decision to enforce a blanket quarantine for everyone returning from Spain and its islands.

Ministers announced on Saturday (25 July) that holidaymakers returning from Spain, the Canaries and Balearic islands would be forced to quarantine for 14 days after fears of a second Covid-19 wave saw the European country struck off the UK’s safe list.

On Monday 27 July the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its guidance to travellers and advised against all non-essential travel to the whole of Spain, dashing the hopes of British tourists who hoped the ruling on the islands would be reversed.

Face masks are compulsory throughout the airport. Credit: ITV West Country

Immediately after the Government's announcement on Saturday, Bristol Airport's Chief Executive Dave Lees said, "Rather than imposing travel restrictions for the whole of Spain, a preferential solution would be a more targeted approach by introducing regional restrictions, this would be more informative for customers.

"Combining mainland Spain with the Canary and Balearic Islands does not reflect the very low infection rates of both the Canary and Balearic Islands and the distance of these locations from the mainland."

The airport confirmed passengers returning to the West Country will need to wear face masks, frequently wash their hands and fill in landing forms prior to arriving in the UK, before returning home to self isolate for 14 days.

Cait Jones from Brixham and her friend arrived back in the UK on Monday 27 July from the Canary Islands. She said the news ruined the rest of her holiday and she is not sure how she is going to cope with quarantine.

Bristol teacher Ryan Murphy is visiting his mother near Alicante. He booked a flight home for mid-August because of fears there could be a change in Covid-19 guidance.

Despite being prepared for it, he described the policy as "crackers".

Leanne Whittaker from Callington in Cornwall is also in Spain, visiting her holiday home with her husband and five children.

After hearing the latest news, they are now looking to cut their break short.

Spain's Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has since said the UK quarantine rules for travellers arriving from his country are "disproportionate".