What do quarantine rules mean for Spain travellers?

Scottish Government has reimposed restrictions, which have been in effect since midnight on Sunday.

A rise in coronavirus cases in Spain meant that as of midnight those arriving in Scotland from the country have once again been facing a 14-day quarantine period.

The Scottish Government reimposed restrictions, which had only just been lifted from Thursday, after the latest data provided “cause for concern”.

The decision, also made by the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Wales as well as the UK Government, has been made to reduce the risk of the transmission of the virus by travellers from Spain to Scotland.

The move has been described as “yet another blow” to holidaymakers by British Airways, while travel firm TUI said it was “incredibly disappointed” not to have been given more notice of the announcement.

TUI has said it will cancel all planned holidays to Spain in response to the announcement and customers will be contacted to discuss options.

Meanwhile, airline EasyJet said it planned to operate its full schedule in the coming days.

But what does the government’s decision mean for holidaymakers?


The measures came into effect from midnight, meaning that from Sunday all returning travellers will be have to isolate for 14 days.

The quarantine applies to people returning to any of the four nations of the United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Why now?

On Thursday, the Spanish health ministry reported 971 new daily infections, the biggest daily increase since Spain’s lockdown ended.
Catalonia became the latest region to crack down on nightlife, trying to halt new infection clusters.

The north-east region – home to Barcelona – ordered all nightclubs to close for 15 days and put a midnight curfew on bars in the greater Barcelona area and other towns around Lleida that have become contagion hot zones.

What has the Scottish Government said?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s advice has been “to be cautious about non-essential foreign travel” as measures relating to travel from overseas destinations can change at short notice – as it has done in this scenario.

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said protecting public health is the priority.

He said: “The decision to exempt Spain earlier this week, was taken when the data showed there was an improvement in the spread of the virus. But clearly the latest data has given us cause for concern to overturn that decision.

“We appreciate that this will be disappointing. However, we have always been clear we are closely monitoring the pandemic situation in all countries and that we may require to remove a country from the list of places exempt from quarantine requirements should the virus show a resurgence.

“It is still active and it is still deadly. Supressing the virus, preventing it from being transmitted and protecting public health is our priority.”


Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has called for the evidence behind the decision – a situation which he called “shambolic”.

In a letter to the First Minister on Sunday, he said: “I must ask again: why did you release the quarantine from Spain when the infection rate was many times higher than when you imposed the quarantine?

“If it was not safe to lift the quarantine measures three weeks ago, how had it been judged safe to do so earlier this week?”

He added: “Please publish the detailed science which led you to the decision about lifting the quarantine measures for Spain.”

Have you been affected by the latest change to quarantine rules? STV News would like to speak to Scots on holiday in Spain who will have to self-isolate when they return. Send an email to stv.news@stv.tv

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