Spain and her islands have suffered a major blow this week as it has been taken off the travel ‘safe list’. The government’s u-turn and the implementation of a 14-day quarantine on return was in response to increasing coronavirus rates in the country. The President of Spain’s Balearic Islands has implored the UK government to rethink its blanket ban on arrivals from Spain but this fell on deaf ears.
This is bad news for Spain, whose status as a much-loved holiday hotspot attracts around £8 billion in revenue from UK holidaymakers. But it is good news for Greece and Turkey.
While Tui and Jet2 Holidays have suspended their holidays to the Spanish mainland and to the Canaries and Balearics until mid-August, they have added more options to popular destinations in Greece and Turkey.
However, customers already on holiday can carry on as normal while those wishing to change their holiday can do so without charge, claim a full refund or switch to another holiday.
TUK UK Managing Director Andrew Flintham said:
“We call upon the UK Government to work closely with the travel industry and remove the ‘blunt tool’ approach to quarantine and consider the rapid introduction of regional travel corridors.
“The level of uncertainty and confusion created this week is damaging for business and customer confidence in travel.”
Tui has added flights to Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Zante over the weekend of 8-10 August, as well as to Antalya and Dalaman in Turkey. They are phasing in the Boeing 787 Dreamliners – usually operated for long haul journies – to help with anticipated demand.
Though Matt Hancock, UK health secretary has warned that new quarantine restrictions might be imposed at any time and at any moment he believed that Greece, which has controlled the virus well, is likely to be the “last man standing” in the Mediterranean.