Spain announce travel ban for UK flights amid coronavirus strain
New travel restrictions expected to come into force from February 15 will see all arrivals into the UK from “high risk” countries be forced to spend their quarantine period in Government approved hotel. Currently, 33 nations are on the “high-risk list”, however, more could be added in the future.
The list of “red zone” nations are reviewed by the Government on a weekly basis, and travel expert Paul Charles, CEO of The PC Agency, has suggested Spain could be soon included.
Ahead of this week’s review, Mr Charles speculated on Twitter the nation could be added due to a rise in coronavirus cases.
In a tweet, he said: “#Spain may be added to the high-risk list in the weekly review tomorrow.
“Infections have risen from 10,000 a day on 2nd Jan to 34,000 a day on 2nd Feb. Sadly, mortalities are rising sharply too.
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“Expert scientists tell me the chart has the hallmarks of variant seen in #Portugal.”
Although Spain was not added to the UK’s “high risk” list, Spain remains high in terms of global statistics for new cases of coronavirus.
“Better news – the red zone is shrinking and the amber zone growing,” said Mr Charles in his weekly coronavirus case chart review on February 4.
However, he added: “#Spain still second despite case falls.”
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Spain recorded 488.8 cases per 100,000 people cumulatively over the seven days prior to February 4.
In the previous 14 days, it recorded 1036.2 cases.
By comparison, in the same seven day period, the UK recorded 254.6 cases per 100,000 of the population.
In the same 14 days, it saw 632.0 cases.
The Government has yet to announce if any new nations will be added, however, countries currently on the “high risk” list include Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Though the hotel quarantine rules have not yet come into force, a Government source has hinted as February 15 as the start date.
The latest leak came from political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg. In a Tweet, she said: “Government sources confirm the hotel quarantine scheme for Britons returning from coronavirus hotspots will come into force on February 15.
“Announcement on this now expected soon.”
Speaking in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “To guard against this danger we must take additional steps to protect our borders against new strains of the virus.
“We have banned all travel from 22 countries where there is a risk of known variants including South Africa, Portugal and South American nations.
“In order to reduce the risk posed by UK nationals and residents returning home from these countries I can announce that we will require all such arrivals that cannot be refused entry to isolate in Government provided accommodation such as hotels for 10 days without exception.
“They will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine,” he continued.
“The department for health and social care is working to establish these facilities as quickly as possible.”
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