UK defends quarantine decision after Spanish PM says it was unfair & an ‘error’


The UK says it “respectfully” disagrees with Madrid’s position on its call to impose a quarantine on travelers returning from Spain after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez accused it of making an “error” that was “not justified.”

Junior Local Government Minister Simon Clarke explained that a “75 percent increase” in cases confirmed in Spain last week was why the UK took such sudden action. 

“We respectfully disagree with the Spanish government’s position on this,” he told the BBC on Tuesday. 

Sanchez said on Monday that the UK’s sudden decision to make travelers returning from Spain quarantine for two weeks was “unfair” and that it was wrong to look at the Spanish Covid-19 infection rate as a whole instead of taking individual regions into account. 

“In most of Spain, the incidence is very much inferior to even the numbers registered in the United Kingdom,” he told the Telecinco TV network, adding that the government was “talking with British authorities to try to get them to reconsider.”

The sudden move left holidaymakers and the tourism industry reeling, as Spain had been on the list of ‘safe’ countries to which Britons could travel. On Monday, the Foreign Office also extended its travel advice for Spain, telling people to avoid travel to the Canary and Balearic Islands.

Both Spain and the UK have been badly hit with Covid-19. The UK has seen over 300,000 cases and 45,000 deaths, while in Spain, over 28,000 have died and more than 272,000 have contracted the virus. 

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