Passengers arriving on the first flight from Spain to touch down at Gatwick airport have expressed their anger and frustration at having to quarantine.
With less than six hours’ notice, the Department for Transport ordered that all travellers returning from Spain must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.
The first flight to arrive on Sunday morning was the scheduled British Airways departure from Barcelona, which touched down shortly before 9am.
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One of the passengers, Johnny Pach, told The Independent: “We had a lovely holiday, really relaxing, and it’s all gone out the window now because we’re just going to be stuck at home.
“I’ve got this beautiful tan – I’m not going to be able to show it off to my family or anything like that.
“We’re supposed to go to Center Parcs next week for a lovely family occasion, and now that’s out the window.
“I’m really distressed, I feel really negative and anxious coming out of Gatwick now, because this isn’t what we had planned.
“What can you do? I’m just going to watch Netflix at home with the fiancee. I don’t know how we’re going to go to Tesco, but we’ll figure it out.”
A passenger named Sharon had been out in Spain seeing family for only two days, but must now self-isolate for two weeks.
“When I booked my trip, I checked the government advice and it said that Spain was OK to go to.
“An amber warning would have been useful. If I’d known this was going to happen, I would have re-evaluated going on my trip. It’s impacting on the rest of my summer.
“Especially after the lockdown and things starting to re-open, it’s a little disappointing to have to sit inside.
“The rest of my holiday is going to be rather boring and lonely, and lots of Netflix I should think.”
Sharon then left for Gatwick’s railway station, saying: “It seems a little bit ridiculous really: as soon as I get off the train I’ve got to go into self-isolation.”
In response to several spikes of coronavirus infection in Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia, the Foreign Office now deems mainland Spain “an unacceptably high risk for British travellers.” It advises against all non-essential travel there – but not to the Balearic and Canary Islands.
British holidaymakers in Spain are not being advised to leave. But anyone travelling to the mainland against Foreign Office advice will find their travel insurance is invalid.
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