Britain defends Spain quarantine move

British foreign minister Dominic Raab is standing by his government's abrupt decision to impose a two-week coronavirus quarantine on travelers returning from Spain, which has provoked anger and confusion among tourists returning home from the popular holiday destination.

[British tourist Carolyne Lansell, saying...] "We are quite frustrated by it to be honest, because it actually feels safer in Spain than when it did before we left the UK."

The measure has put the brakes on the plans of many either on vacation or planning to take one there and also hit hit hard at the Spanish tourism sector just as it emerges from months of lockdowns and travel restrictions.

The move to take Spain off a safe-travel list was announced late on Saturday and took effect just hours later, leaving travelers with no time to dodge it or plan ahead.

Emily Harrison is returning to the UK from Madrid.

"I think it's really bad because it's just come all of a sudden, it's not given very much time to prepare so everyone is now panicking, and I also think it ruins plans for everybody, so I don't really agree with that because it has come too soon, we haven't had enough preparation."

Raab defended the decision as a "real-time response" to a jump in coronavirus cases reported in Spain on Friday, the latest in a month-long resurgence in infections.

Spain had been on a list of countries that the British government had said were safe for travelers to visit - meaning tourists returning home would not have to go into quarantine.

In addition to the quarantine, the British foreign ministry advised against all but essential travel to mainland Spain.

Video Transcript

- British foreign minister Dominic Raab is standing by his government's abrupt decision to impose a two week coronavirus quarantine on travelers returning from Spain, which has provoked anger and confusion among tourists returning home from the popular holiday destination.

CAROLYNE LANSELL: We're quite frustrated by it to be honest, because it feels-- it actually feels safer in Spain than what it did in the UK.

The measure has put the brakes on the plans of many either on vacation or planning to take one there and also hit hard at the Spanish tourism sector just as it emerges from months of lockdowns and travel restrictions. The move to take Spain off of safe travel list was announced late on Saturday and took effect just hours later, leaving travelers with no time to dodge it or plan ahead. Emily Harrison is returning to the UK from Madrid.

EMILY HARRISON: I think it's-- it's really bad, because it's just come all of a sudden. It's not giving people much time to prepare. So everyone's now panicking. And I also think it ruins plans for everybody.

So yeah, I really don't agree with it. I think it's come too soon. We haven't had an enough of preparation.

- Raab defended the decision as a real-time response to a jump in coronavirus cases reported in Spain on Friday, the latest in a month long resurgence in infections. Spain had been on a list of countries that the British government had said was safe for travelers to visit, meaning tourists returning home would not have to go into quarantine. In addition to the quarantine, the British foreign ministry advised against all but a central travel to mainland Spain.