GERMANY has advised against all tourist travel to high risk regions of Spain over a spike in coronavirus cases.
Authorities have told travelers to avoid “autonomous communities of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarra” after Germans were some of the first welcomed back to Spain in June.
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Many European nations are seeing an increase in the number of virus cases as governments lift draconian coronavirus lockdown measures.
Spain recorded its highest infection figure since May 11 with 2,615 new cases last Thursday – followed by more than 2,000 cases a day since.
It comes after the travel bridge between Spain and the UK collapsed amid fears of a second wave.
The decision was sparked by ten Brits testing positive for coronavirus on their return.
And meanwhile Germany is also bracing itself for a second wave as one official warned the coronavirus was already back.
Germany’s daily case count hit 818 on Friday, its highest number since June 17.
German officials at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) – which is leading the country’s fight against the pandemic – warned measures need to be taken to stop the “marked exacerbation” in the outbreak.
The R rate – which estimates how many people one person with coronavirus infects – was up to 1.16 in Germany over the past week.
RKI head Lothar Wieler said: “We must prevent that the virus once again spreads rapidly and uncontrollably.
“The latest developments in the number of COVID-19 cases is of great concern to me and all of us at the RKI.”
Britain’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab has warned more countries could be axed from the UK’s safe travel list at very short notice.
Anyone who now travels to Britain from Spain will now face a mandatory two-week quarantine – much to the fury of holidaymakers.
Some 600,000 British tourists now face isolating for a fortnight when they return home from Spain – sparking fears of what it will mean for their jobs.
Junior health minister Helen Whately defend the decision to reintroduce quarantine, saying it was worth it due to the “sacrifices” made by the nation in lockdown.
Spain has however hit back as PM Pedro Sánchez described the UK’s decision to end the travel corridor as “misguided”.
Mr Sánchez said they are negotiating as officials desperately try to the summer tourism which is invaluable for the Spanish economy.
Majorca, Ibiza and Canary Islands are bidding to be excluded from the two-week quarantine as they hope to continue welcoming back tourists.
England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty addressed Cabinet’s “Covid-O” committee and called for Spain to be added to the quarantine list.
The “clincher” that convinced senior ministers to introduce the quarantine was when they were told that 10 Brits had tested positive for the bug since July 1 after visiting Spain.
Prof Whitty said the number was “statistically significant” and that Covid-19 cases in Spain had jumped by 75 per cent.
“It was a small number but it was statistically significant enough to cause concern,” a source who was briefed on the meeting told the Telegraph.
European nations had been hopeful of reopening after being ravaged by the virus in March and April as the epicenter of the pandemic shifted to South America and the US.
Governments had been keen to lift lockdowns in order to stave off the worst of the already devastating economic impacts from the pandemic.
EU chiefs last week announced a colossal coronavirus stimulus plan worth more than £670billion after four nights of talks.
However, many nations are reporting increasing virus cases – with France lamenting all progress in the fight against coronavirus has been “erased”.
France recorded 1,130 new infections last Friday as compared to just 81 when lockdown was eased at the end of May.
The health ministry said: “We have returned to levels comparable with those at the end of the lockdown period.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted the UK is taking “every reasonable step” to prepare for a surge in virus cases in the autumn.
Mr Johnson has previously described coronavirus as a “circling shark in the water” as he urged people to take precautions amid fears of a second wave in the UK – with scientists warning it could kill 120,000.
The PM has been keen to try get life back to normal as shops and pubs reopened while people were urged to get back to work following three months of lockdown first introduced in March.
The UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance meanwhile has warned of a “risk” of a new lockdown required come the winter.