The Foreign Office is now advising against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands.
In a statement on Monday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 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.”
On Saturday it was announced that those returning to Scotland from Spain must self-isolate for 14 days following a spike in coronavirus cases.
Nicola Sturgeon defended her decision to reimpose the quarantine restrictions only days after putting Spain on a list of “air bridge” destinations.
She told STV News that the travel rules are “not set in stone”, highlighting: “We are dealing with a virus that does not behave entirely predictably so there is always going to be uncertainty.”
The decision comes after the Spanish government said it was 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.”
Travel firm TUI thereafter cancelled all holidays to the Balearic and Canary Islands in response to the FCO’s updated advice.
TUI’s decision runs from Tuesday, July 28 up to and including Friday, July 31.
Holidays to Spain’s mainland were were already cancelled from Sunday up to and including Sunday, August 9.
A spokesperson said: “All customers due to travel to Spanish destinations between Sunday, July 26 and Sunday, August 9 will be able to cancel or amend their holiday and will be able to receive a full refund or the option to rebook their holiday with a booking incentive.
“Customers with holidays to Balearic Islands and Canary Islands from August 1 and mainland Spain from August 10 will be updated on Friday, July 31.
“All customers currently on holiday can continue to enjoy their holiday and will return on their intended flight home.”
TUI said the health and safety of its customers and colleagues was its highest priority, and it “welcomes” travel advice that protects those that holiday with the firm.
The spokesperson added: “However, the UK Government must work closely with the travel industry as this level of uncertainty and confusion is damaging for business and disappointing for those looking forward to a well-deserved break.”
Meanwhile, Jet2 is advising customers heading to Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza not to go to the airport on Tuesday as it has ceased flights to those destinations.
Flights to mainland Spain have also been grounded.
A Jet2 spokesperson said: “Following the latest Government advice regarding travel to the Balearic and Canary Islands from the UK, we are advising customers who are due to travel to the following destinations – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza – not to go to the airport tomorrow as we are not operating flights to these destinations.
“This advice also applies to customers travelling to any of our destinations in mainland Spain. We will be operating our scheduled programme of flights back to the UK from these destinations tomorrow.
“This is an extremely fast-moving situation, and we will provide a further update tomorrow.”