Coronavirus: Boris Johnson warns of Europe ‘second wave’ in the middle of the row of Spain

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Media captionBoris Johnson defends adding Spain to the quarantine list

Boris Johnson warned that there are signs of a “second wave” of coronaviruses in Europe, as he defended a 14-day quarantine against travelers from Spain.

The prime minister said the government had to be “fast”, and that it would continue to take measures “where necessary.”

It comes after the Spanish Prime Minister called the UK’s decision to change the rules for Spain “unfair”.

Pedro Sánchez said that tourists in most regions in Spain would be safer from the coronavirus than in the United Kingdom.

The UK discourages all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands. It also removed Spain and its islands from the list of countries that are exempt from the 14-day quarantine rule.

Meanwhile, Germany also advised against traveling to three areas of Spain.

Speaking during a visit to Nottinghamshire, Johnson said: “What we need to do is take swift and decisive action where we believe that risks are beginning to bubble again.

“Let us be absolutely clear about what is happening in Europe, among some of our European friends, I am afraid that you are beginning to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic.”

It occurred when the UK reported 119 other coronavirus deaths, bringing the official death toll so far to 45,878, but the daily figure is usually higher on Tuesdays due to delays in reporting deaths over the weekend.

An additional 581 positive cases have also been reported across the UK, a small drop in recent days.

‘Follow the guide’

When asked about reports that the 14-day period could be shortened, as the Daily Telegraph reported, Johnson said, “We are always looking for ways to mitigate the impact of the quarantine.”

“At the moment when he has to continue with the orientation we are giving him, now we have given him orientation about Spain and about other places in the world.”

When asked if the 14-day quarantine period could be shortened, the transport minister, Baroness Vere, said the government was “looking at a variety of options”, including “evaluating people on certain days” after their arrival.

Ministers also “certainly look at” the idea of ​​restrictions on travel to regions rather than entire countries, he said during an urgent question in the House of Lords.

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The infection rate in Spain has increased in recent days.

Johnson said that if the UK saw signs of a second wave in other countries, it was the government’s duty to prevent travelers from returning and spreading the disease.

“It is vital that when people return from abroad, if they return from a place where I fear there is another outbreak, they should be quarantined,” he said.

“That is why we have taken the steps we have and will continue, throughout the summer, to take those steps where necessary.”

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon echoed Johnson’s concerns, saying “we are currently seeing a worrying revival of Covid” in European countries.

He cautioned potential travelers not to assume that quarantine measures would remain the same when booking a holiday as when they returned, adding: “I would not be booking a holiday at this time.”

The Health Department said there were a handful of suspected cases this month in which a person tested positive for the coronavirus after returning to the UK from Spain.

But he added that these were not an evidence factor presented to the ministers and that the decision to reintroduce a quarantine for those arriving from Spain was made due to the increase in infection rates there.

‘Mistake of the United Kingdom’

In an interview with the Telecinco television network, Mr. Sánchez from Spain said that his government was “talking to the British authorities to try to reconsider” the decision.

He said the UK had made a “mistake” in considering the infection rate for the whole country.

He added that “64.5% of new registered cases are in two territories” and in most of Spain the prevalence of Covid-19 was “much lower than the numbers registered in the United Kingdom”.

The infection rate in Spain is 47.2 cases per 100,000 people, while the United Kingdom is 15 years old, according to the latest figures from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

While the outbreak remains under control in many parts of Spain, certain areas, particularly Catalonia in the northeast, which includes the city of Barcelona and the neighboring region of Aragon, have seen a large increase in infections.

Data up to July 19 suggested that there were lower infection rates in the Balearic and Canary Islands than in mainland Spain.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, local government minister Simon Clarke said that “we have seen a very marked increase in cases in Spain.”

“A 75% increase in reported cases between the middle of last week and the end of last week. That’s why we took the steps we have.”

On Tuesday, the UK government added Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the list of countries that are exempt from the quarantine rule.

Travelers returning to the UK from anywhere not on the list, including Spain, must now insulate themselves for 14 days at a registered address.

People who do not self-isolate can be fined up to £ 1,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and those returning to Scotland could be fined £ 480, with fines of up to £ 5,000 for persistent offenders.

Government sources told the BBC that there are no plans to introduce testing at airports, and that the priority is to run the centers without an appointment.

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In Barcelona, ​​some companies are calm as residents are told to stay home.

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Tourism is important to the Spanish economy, with nearly 18 million trips made by British last year.

Some travel agents say they are struggling to understand the logic of the UK government’s advice.

And the parliamentarian Chris Bryant, who chairs the parliamentary group of all parties for Spain, said: “Why the Canary Islands, which are further from Barcelona than from Barcelona, ​​are in the United Kingdom, they are on the list, as well like continental Spain, just not. ” I do not understand

“And there are many, many regions of Spain that have much lower infection rates than many areas in the UK. I think this has been terribly mishandled.”

Labor said the government’s handling of the restrictions had been “chaotic,” urging it to intervene to protect jobs in the travel industry.

“The airline industry and passengers need clarity,” said shadow transportation secretary Jim McMahon.

Vacation companies Jet2 and Tui were among those that announced flight cancellations following the UK announcement.

EasyJet, British Airways and Ryanair said they would continue to operate full flight schedules to Spain, although EasyJet said their holidays would be canceled in the coming weeks.

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Among the thousands affected by the change in travel advice and quarantine requirements was Jason Ward, who was on vacation in Ibiza with his wife when he heard that the rules had changed.

The couple, from Stevenage in Hertfordshire, arrived on Saturday for a two-week holiday and now face having to isolate themselves for the same amount of time when they return to the UK.

“We are both key workers and have worked during the closure,” Ward told the BBC.

“We feel safer here than at home.”

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Jason Ward


Jason Ward said he felt safer in Ibiza than in the UK.

He called on ministers to “eliminate quarantine and allow companies here to have a chance to survive.”

Also affected was Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who flew to Spain on Saturday despite knowing a decision on the quarantine policy had to be made, and then said he would leave his family to return to the UK this week.

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