Luton Airport chaos as Brits returning from Spain to quarantine ignore social distancing


Brits flying back from Spain have been greeted with further chaos with many holidaymakers ignoring social distancing at one UK airport.

Chaotic scenes filmed by one traveller show lengthy queues at Luton Airport moments after Brits landed and prepared to go into quarantine.

The UK government removed Spain from the ‘air bridge’ list on Saturday evening meaning that all people returning to the UK now need to self isolate for 14 days.

The FCO also updated its advice for the country advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain.

Furious passengers complained that “social distancing doesn’t exist” at Luton Airport.

The footage, filmed by a man returning from Spain on Sunday, captures a long line – with passengers not maintaining at least a one metre distance between each other.

He tweeted: “‘Social distancing’ in Luton Airport as we arrive back from Spain. Bring on quarantine.”

On Saturday, one holidaymaker tweeted: “Currently in Lanzarote. Social distancing and hygiene measures are outstanding with ridiculously low numbers of cases.

“Luton airport however was disgusting no sign of social distancing whatsoever.

“Absolutely insane with there being 767 new cases in the UK today.”

Another furious traveller posted: “I know most people are wearing a mask (although some still don’t understand that it needs to cover the nose too), but social distancing does not exist in Luton Airport… half an hour shoulder to shoulder in a security queue with everyone.”

Official government advice is to remain two metres at all times.

However, if not possible people should keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’ – meaning they should remain one metre apart while taking mitigating measures such as wearing a face covering, not sitting face-to-face and regularly washing hands.

The video follows the shock announcement on Saturday night that the government was removing Spain from the ‘safe’ list of countries, after a spike in infections.

Now all returning travellers – bar a few exceptions – must isolate for 14 days to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The shock announcement has disrupted the plans of 600,000 holidaymakers.

At Heathrow Airport today, a woman flying to Madrid said she felt “horrible” about the prospect of having to quarantine for two weeks on her return.

Giving her name only as Maria, she said: “I feel horrible. I get it’s for safety and everything, but if people are already taking measures then I think it’s so much of a hassle.

“I’m going to be there for just two nights, barely three days, so it’s not even a long time.”

The woman, who works in business and is from Reading, says she will work from home when she returns, adding: “If it would have affected my work, I would have to cancel the flight full stop.”

Health minister Helen Whately said so-called air bridges to other countries are constantly “under review” following the Government’s decision to reimpose measures on Spain.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said: “What we said throughout the time when we’ve put in place the policy on the travel corridors, the air bridges, is that we would need to keep those under review, that we would need to monitor the rates in other countries.

“That is exactly what we’ve done in Spain, so we are enacting the policy that we committed to doing.

“The rate was going up very rapidly in Spain and we had to take very rapid, decisive action.

“If we hadn’t taken that decisive action, I imagine you would be asking me ‘Why are there delays, why haven’t we taken robust action?’

“We have taken decisive action.”


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