The British government has insisted that it was “absolutely necessary” to reimpose quarantine restrictions on arrivals from Spain, after the change came into effect with just a few hours notice.
Everyone coming to the UK from Spain is now required to go into quarantine for 14 days and the Foreign Office has advised against non-essential travel to the Spanish mainland. Many thousands of travellers have been affected by the decision.
Labour described the way the decision was announced with little notice as “shambolic”.
The decision was made after what the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described as a “big jump” in coronavirus cases in Spain. The greatest concentration of infections is in the north-east of the country. Popular tourist areas in southern Spain, the Canaries and the Balearic Islands have lower infection rates.
The UK also warned holidaymakers that it could impose similar restrictions on other countries with little warning if necessary.
The decision is a serious blow to Spain’s tourism industry. Its government says the new coronavirus outbreaks are being controlled and the country is safe to visit. There have been almost three hundred outbreaks in Spain since the easing of lockdown there.
Mishal Husain presents BBC News at Ten reporting from business correspondent Katy Austin, Guy Hedgecoe in Madrid, Science Editor David Shukman and Political Correspondent Vicki Young.