BRITS are facing a summer holiday of chaos after the government introduced a last minute travel ban to Spain, which includes a mandatory two-week quarantine when returning to the UK.
It is thought more than 600,000 British tourists will be affected by the restrictions as many on holiday or having booked holidays face uncertainty as to whether their trip will go ahead.
The announcement on Saturday gave holidaymakers just four hours warning, after being put into place from midnight on Saturday.
Fuming tourists slammed the rules which mean that they must self-isolate for 14 days when back in the UK.
The updated Foreign Office travel ban covers mainland Spain but not the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands – although you’re still required to quarantine when you get back to the UK from all these destinations.
While similar quarantine rules are not yet in place when entering Spain, it is expected that the country will follow suit.
Here are the airlines which are still flying to Spain, and the airlines which have suspended flights.
EasyJet flights to Spain are still going ahead as planned, although they have cancelled package holidays until August 1.
Matt Callaghan, customer director of EasyJet holidays, said: “We’re really sorry for any disappointment caused to customers due to travel to mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, and the Balearic Islands in the next few weeks.
“We have taken the decision to cancel holidays to these destinations when we restart our operations on August 1.”
However, a spokesperson added” “We plan to operate our full schedule in the coming days.”
While flights are still operating, the airline is allowing passengers to move their flights free of charge, or accept a voucher for the full cost of the flight.
What is the current Foreign Office advice for Spain?
The advice from the government states: “From 26 July, the FCO advises against all non-essential travel to mainland Spain based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
“Only the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa) and Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera) are exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel.
“This advice is based on evidence of increases in cases of COVID-19 in several regions, but particularly in Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia (which include the cities of Zaragoza, Pamplona and Barcelona).
“Public Health England are continuing to monitor the situation in the Balearic and Canary Islands closely. Travellers there should continue to check this advice regularly.
“If you are returning from Spain (including from the Balearics and Canaries) you will be required to self-isolate on your return to the UK, but the FCO is not advising you to cut short your visit. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.”
Ryanair flights to Spain are still going ahead, despite the change in advice from the UK Foreign Office.
Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan said the airline has “no plans to cut capacity in the medium term” regarding flights between the UK and Spain
He added that they need to be “flexible” as an airline as more localised outbreaks are expected across Europe.
All TUI package holidays to mainland Spain have been cancelled until August 9.
However, holidays to the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands will still go ahead.
They said in a statement: “TUI UK have taken the decision to cancel all holidays to mainland Spain up to and including Sunday 9 August 2020.
“We know how much our customers look forward to their holiday abroad and some will be able to accommodate the new quarantine restrictions.”
Jet2 are not cancelling flights to Spain following the announcement.
They said in a statement: “We are still operating flights and holidays to four destinations in mainland Spain (Costa de Almeria, Alicante, Malaga and Murcia), which are open and are located away from areas which have been impacted by increased cases of Covid-19.
“In light of the updated advice from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we are in the process of reviewing options for customers due to travel to these four destinations.”
They added: “We are also continuing to operate flights and holidays to our destinations in the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands as scheduled.
“Because the FCO travel advice to these destinations remains unchanged, our usual terms and conditions apply. As always, we advise customers to purchase appropriate travel insurance before travelling.
“This is a fast-moving situation, which we will continue to monitor very closely.”
We’ve explained what to do if you want to cancel your holiday to Spain, and how to get a refund.
However, while you are likely to get a refund if package holidays are cancelled, experts say you may find it harder to get a refund if you have individual flights and hotels booked.
This is because most airlines are still flying to Spain, and hotels in the country remain open for tourists.