Brits returning from Spain to be ‘advised to get coronavirus tests’ amid fears of virus returning to UK


BRITS returning from Spain are expected to be told to get a coronavirus test within days amid fears that the virus may be reimported into the country.

Multiple sources confirmed a plan was on the cards to ask people coming back into the country from Spain to book in a test, even though they may not have symptoms.

It would be the first time Brits not working in the NHS or other key worker roles will be able to access a test without having reported a cough, fever or loss of smell or taste first.

Ministers are still finalising the details and the cut-off point for the advice, which is expected to be introduced in the coming days.

It could stretch back to July 23 – last Thursday. But cases have been shooting up in Spain for at least a week, The Sun revealed previously.

But it will stop short of forcing people, instead encouraging them to get one.

As of Sunday morning, anyone coming back to the UK from Spain or the surrounding islands has to quarantine for 14 days, in case they have picked up the bug.

They will have to stay home or risk a £1000 fine.

But Government officials are worried that people who came back to the UK in the days before the blanket quarantine was put in place could be slipping through the net.

There are also concerns that asking people to test at the airport – as Labour has called for – wouldn’t work as they may still come up negative before developing symptoms.

One source said: “The incubation period can be several days, meaning the virus wouldn’t show up at first.”

But leaving the decision too late will mean people may go back to work and spread the virus to others.

Ministers are set to launch an airwaves advertising blitz on Thursday across TV and radio to urge more Brits to get a coronavirus test.

The daily testing figures today revealed that just a third of the capacity was used.

Only 99,090 tests were processed, even though there was capacity for 338,585 tests.

A government source said: “People need to know that there are tests ready for them however slight their symptoms are. 

“We have a remarkable capacity now, and people need to take advantage of that.”

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez described the latest move to impose restrictions on travellers to the country as an “error”.

He claimed: “In most of Spain, the incidence is very much inferior to even the numbers registered in the United Kingdom.”

But local government minister Simon Clarke told BBC Breakfast: “We respectfully disagree with the Spanish government’s position on this.

“We obviously continue to work closely with them and we wish them every success in managing this outbreak, but we’ve seen a very sharp increase in cases in Spain.

“A 75 per cent increase in cases reported between the middle of last week and the end of last week. That’s why we took the action that we have.”

The news came as Boris Johnson warned today that Europe is on the verge of a second coronavirus wave.

And he hinted that the Government was worried about the risk of a second wave here.

Mr Johnson told reporters this morning: “Let’s be absolutely clear about what’s happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic.

“What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again.”

He added: “We just have to be vigilant and we have to be very mindful.”

The PM said it was a personal decision as to whether families wanted to risk going abroad this summer.

But Nicola Sturgeon said people should “very cautious” about going abroad on holiday and should consider having a holiday at home instead.


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