Holidaymakers hoping to head off to Spain this summer have been left frustrated after the government changed its travel advice once again.
As of 25 July, both the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Foreign Office (FCO) changed their tune on mainland Spain, which had previously been given the go-ahead for most UK travellers.
After a spike in Covid-19 cases, returning travellers are now forced to self-isolate for two weeks, and anyone venturing to Spain will find their travel insurance invalidated.
Holidaymakers to the Balearic and Canary Islands were to be spared the latter sanction though, as the FCO originally excluded the islands from its advisory against all non-essential travel.
Those already there or due to fly out in the coming weeks have vented their frustration on social media at the chaotic handling of the situation.
“So close yet so far,” tweeted Steve Allsopp. “Had written off our Mallorca holiday a couple of months ago, but actually looked like it might happen. God I hate this government. #joke #balearics #quarantine.”
Julie Young posted: “To all of those making comments about people shouldn’t book holidays ... ours was booked last August, a family of six in a countryside villa in Mallorca for four weeks with absolute minimal risk to others.
“Due to fly out on Saturday, cancelled with four days’ notice.”
Meanwhile, others have expressed confusion over why islands with low rates of coronavirus have been included in the reimposed travel restrictions.
— Steve Allsopp (@AllSteve1)July 28, 2020
One Twitter user commented: “Talk about overkill by the government! I get why there’s a 14-day quarantine for people coming back from their holiday in mainland Spain as there’s been a Covid spike there but why are they including Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca, where they’re Covid free?
“What a load of Balearics!”
Another user added: “I am in Mallorca at the moment. Everyone has to wear masks in the street as well as indoors. It feels much safer than the UK and has a lower rate of Covid-19. Why is there a quarantine on return?”
For prospective holidaymakers who have not booked a package holiday, there’s the extra difficulty of being told they may not be eligible for a refund.
“Right. So currently my family are unable to fly to Mallorca for our holiday because the FCO advises against all non-essential travel and we’d have to quarantine for 14 days, easyJet are not cancelling flights so we can’t get a refund,” said Darren Goat.
Watch video below
“Now we’re not even covered on the insurance because we had to redo everything when easyJet rearranged our first flights.”
He added: “I honestly don’t have a clue what’s going on, and don’t know what to do as our advice seems to be changing by the hour.
“I know there’s more serious things in the world than my family holiday, but screw it – I just wanted a few days with my family away from everything, is that too much to ask? Apparently in 2020 it is.”
The Balearics have had just 2,290 confirmed cases of coronavirus in total, while the Canaries have had 2,483.