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Coronavirus: Tui warns against blanket quarantine measures

Beach in Majorca

Image copyright
Reuters

The UK’s biggest tour operator, Tui, has urged the UK government not to slap blanket quarantines on whole countries.

The call came after it was announced that people arriving in the UK from Spain would be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK and Ireland, said the government should have a “regionalised” policy.

That would mean only travellers returning from coronavirus hotspots should be forced to quarantine.

The UK imposed the restriction over the weekend after a spike in infections in some Spanish regions, including Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, and Aragon.

The French government has been telling its nationals to stay away from Catalonia, while Norway has imposed a new 10-day quarantine on all travellers arriving from Spain.

‘Unchecked’ movement

Tui has cancelled all mainland Spanish holidays until 9 August.

It has said that customers due to travel to all areas of Spain between 27 July and 9 August will be able to cancel or amend holidays and will be able to receive a full refund or the option to rebook their holiday with a booking incentive.

However, it adds that people with holidays from 10 August will be updated on 31 July.

Mr Flintham told the BBC that the government was “rightly nervous” about people’s ability to move “relatively unchecked” around countries which had a spike of cases in certain areas.

However, he said most holidaymakers stayed in one place when they got there and should be safe if they were not in high-risk areas.

“They do not go travelling around wider Spain and then they come home again,,” he said.

“Everything in life has risks, but it’s about taking a proportionate risk-based approach.”

Mr Flintham said that despite the option of seeking a refund, people were determined to go on holiday somewhere.

He added: “Most of our customers that we’ve spoken to so far, they really want to get away, so they’re rebooking something else.”

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