No foreign travel is 'risk-free', Downing Street warns

Downing Street has warned "no travel is risk-free" after a coronavirus quarantine requirement for people arriving in the UK from Spain was reintroduced.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said decisions on border measures and travel advice "can be changed rapidly if necessary to help stop the spread of the disease".

He went on: "Unfortunately no travel is risk-free during this pandemic and disruption is possible and so anyone travelling abroad should be aware that our travel advice and exemption list is under constant review as we monitor the international situation."

The Spanish Government said it is in talks with the UK about excluding the Balearic and Canary islands from its quarantine measures.

But Health Minister Lord Bethell said: "Within individual countries there is no way for us to control intra-country transport, it is therefore very difficult and challenging to have a regional exemption list, and that is why we've not been able to give exemptions to the Balearics."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice for visits to Spain.

It stated: "The FCO advise against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks in the country."

The change in the UK's policy on Spain over the weekend is being met with frustration from holidaymakers and travel firms. A woman from Reading, flying from Heathrow to Madrid to visit friends, said she felt "horrible" about having to enter quarantine on her return.

Downing Street added that holidaymakers who miss out on work because of the quarantine period may be eligible for Universal Credit or employment support allowance but not statutory sick pay.