‘Mad’ Spain quarantine rules exposed as Britons can find loophole says travel expert

Over the weekend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reinstated its travel warning for holidaymakers wit hopes of jetting off to Spain. Furthermore, it is now requiring all travellers returning from Spain, as well as the Canary and Balearic Islands, to enter into a period of quarantine upon their return home.


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However, according to travel journalist Simon Calder, there is a loophole to the “mad” regulations.

Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, Mr Calder made the suggestion that one way to avoid quarantine in the UK is to jet off on another holiday to a country where the same rules are not enforced.

He told presenters Ruth Langsford and Eamon Holmes his take on the FCO advice.

“The only way to reduce the two weeks of quarantine that you had to do when you get back here is to, believe it or not, is to leave the country again,” he said.

“To go to France or to Italy, or anywhere else you like and that way you reduce the quarantine.

“You can go to France, not only can you go to France, arguably you should do and an awful lot of people perhaps watching this from Spain will think ‘actually yeah let’s come back we will go into France or wherever’.

“Some will even think we will come back through France.”

He continued: “Now that doesn’t excuse you from quarantine but it does mean rather than being in quarantine stuck at home not being able to go out, not even to walk the dog, you are somewhere lovely in France.

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“So leaving the country is fine, you just say I’d love to quarantine for fourteen days but in fact, in a weeks time I am going to France so I will be off then.”

Presenter Ruth said she was “confused” by the situation.

“Do you mean to come home, start your quarantine and then pack your bags and leave again? “You’re not allowed to leave,” she said.

However Mr Calder pointed out that actually you are allowed to leave, should you already have another holiday booked.


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“It might sound mad,” he said.

“I’m just saying what the rules are, I’m not advising anybody to do anything.”

Express.co.uk contacted the Department for Transport, who own the self-isolation policy, and they confirmed Mr Calder’s statement was correct.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport clarified: “You can do that but only if you have something booked and you have to check the rules of that country.”

The Government website further explaines: “You will need to self-isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country that is not on the list in the 14 days before you arrive in England.

“This applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.”

However, if you already have plans to visit another country, you are under the guidance of the rules put in place by that specific nation.

The special advisory for travel to and from Spain was reinstated over the weekend following a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases.

The FCO now advises: “From 26 July, the FCO advises against all non-essential travel to mainland Spain based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

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