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Reaction to British quarantine on travellers returning…

MADRID, July 26 – The British government announced late on Saturday that all travellers returning from Spain would have to undergo a two-week COVID-19 quarantine, dismaying holidaymakers and dealing another blow to the Spanish tourism industry.

Here’s how different groups and politicians reacted:

TOURISTS

* Luke Dawe, a British tourist speaking from a beach in Barcelona: “I don’t see the point, really, because there’s more measures here than in the UK at the moment anyway, so at the moment I think it doesn’t really make sense.”

* British tourist Emily Harrison, flying back to London from Madrid: “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.”

* John Snelling, 50, from Stratford-upon-Avon, on holiday in Menorca: “This is ridiculous. There are almost no cases here and there’s a far higher chance of contracting it when I get back to Britain.”

* Londoner Rich Lambert, waiting for a flight at Barcelona airport: “It’s a bit crazy considering the restrictions in place in Spain already are really good, with the masks, with disinfecting everything, with hand wash in the shops … I would be more concerned about catching coronavirus in London than in Spain.”

* Spanish telecommunications worker and London resident Jorge Riveiro: “Since the number of cases here in Spain is rising I think it’s probably a sensible measure and I was expecting it to be honest.”

SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER ARANCHA GONZALEZ LAYA

“Spain is safe, it is safe for Spaniards, it is safe for tourists.”

“As in every other country, we are seeing outbreaks, which are perfectly under control. Most new cases are asymptomatic.”

“Our dialogue efforts are focused for the moment around excluding the Balearic and Canary Islands from the quarantine measures.”

BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO SPAIN, HUGH ELLIOTT

“I know this is disruptive for travelers already in, or planning to come to Spain, but we had to take swift action to protect public health in the UK. We are now advising against all non-essential travel to Spain, and this is because of a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 in the last week. Please note that this travel advice does not apply to the Balearic or Canary Islands.”

UK FOREIGN MINISTER DOMINIC RAAB

“We appreciate the disruption for travellers, anyone that’s at risk of losing money needs to go and talk to their travel operator and look at their insurance. But we must take these measures to avoid the risk of reinfection into the UK, given the very serious spike in cases in Spain.”

HOTELS AND TOUR OPERATORS

* Toni Mayor, head of Valencia’s HOSBEC hotel association, which includes Benidorm, a resort that depends heavily on British tourists: “It’s not going to be easy, this upsets everything… It’s a shame because things were starting to look up and we had a lot of bookings coming in for August.”

“Hotels that were planning to reopen on Aug.1 won’t open now.”

* Maria Frontera, head of Mallorca´s FEHM hotel association: “We received the two announcements from the British government yesterday with shock and surprise.”

“It will mean a direct and negative impact on reservations. We request the Spanish government intervene and make clear that there are regions within Spain where the pandemic is progressing well.”

* TUI UK said in a statement: “We know how much our customers look forward to their holiday abroad and some will be able to accommodate the new quarantine restrictions. Therefore all those that wish to travel to the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands will be able to travel as planned from Monday 27th July.” (Reporting by Reuters staff Compiled by Nathan Allen and Clara-Laeila Laudette Editing by Ingrid Melander, Pravin Char and Frances Kerry)

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