The government says the quarantine is necessary after Spain’s COVID-19 cases spiked last week.
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British tourists visiting Spain will now have to self-isolate for two weeks upon their return to the UK, raising questions over refunds and sick pay.
The quarantine measure, introduced on Saturday with four hours’ notice, includes anybody from the UK’s four nations returning from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
Sky News looks at what travellers should do if they are going to Spain or are in Spain already, and whether you will be covered by statutory sick pay during quarantine.
What should you do if you have a Spanish holiday booked?
The Foreign Office (FCO) is advising against all non-essential travel to mainland Spain and the Canary and Balearic Islands.
Abta, the UK’s travel trade association, has advised customers due to travel to the country imminently to contact their travel provider and for those with future bookings to keep checking the travel company or airlines’ websites.
Britons travelling anywhere in Spain or the islands should be able to get a refund or credit note from their travel company as most insurers will not provide cover if you go in light of the changes in travel advice.
Package holidays should also be refundable, depending on the operator, or you can transfer the holiday to another person.
Holiday operator TUI has cancelled all planned holidays to mainland Spain up to and including 9 August and all those to the Spanish islands up to and including 31 July.
All passengers that have already or planned to travel to any Spanish destination with TUI between 26 July and 9 August will be able to cancel or amend their holiday and will receive a full refund or the option to rebook.
Those with holidays booked to the Balearics or Canaries from 1 August and mainland Spain from 10 August will get an update from TUI on 31 July, a spokesperson said.
Bemusement at the Spanish seaside at UK's quarantine decision
Are the airlines still flying to Spain?
British Airways is still operating flights so will not be offering refunds if you cancel because of the quarantine, but will offer vouchers for future travel.
EasyJet will continue to run full schedules and customers no longer wishing to travel can transfer their flights without a fee or receive a voucher.
WizzAir is continuing to operate flights “for the time being” but could reschedule them and if they do cancel flights passengers can rebook for free with 120% of the fare in credit, or get a full refund.
Jet2 has announced the suspension of its flights to some holiday destinations in Spain, with Costa de Almeria, Alicante, Malaga and Murcia affected. The suspension will last until mid-August.
Ryanair will continue to fly between Spain and the UK and will not reduce the number of flights.
What should you do if you are already on holiday in Spain?
An Abta spokeswoman said the FCO has advised people already in Spain to continue their holiday as planned, so if holidaymakers decide to come back early they are not entitled to a refund.
For those on TUI holidays, managing director Andrew Flintham said Britons already in Spain will be able to return on their intended flight home but will have to quarantine.
BA, easyJet and WizzAir are not planning to cancel flights but passengers should keep an eye on their websites for changes as fewer flights may be running.
Will you be eligible for the government’s coronavirus sick pay during your two weeks in self-isolation?
No. The law states those who are self-isolating because they have returned to the UK from a country not exempt from quarantine, do not qualify.
That’s in contrast to people in the UK who have to self-isolate having picked up symptoms in the UK, who are eligible for statutory sick pay.
Speaking to Sky News, health minister Helen Whately urged people to work from home when they return from Spain and asked employers to “be supportive”.
Your employer may agree to you working from home for your two weeks of quarantine, or they may say you need to take two weeks’ annual or unpaid leave, a Citizens’ Advice spokeswoman told Sky News.
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Alternatively, they may refuse to give you annual leave and could treat the two weeks of quarantine as an unauthorised absence.
There are other options available.
Your travel insurance policy may cover you if you’re forced to take unpaid leave, but this will vary depending on the provider.