‘The Pain in Spain’ dominated the front pages of the national newspapers this morning as millions of people came to terms with travel “turmoil” caused by the introduction of mandatory quarantine for travellers arriving from the Iberian Peninsula.
Holidaymakers returning from Spain expressed their shock and frustration at the sudden change in travel quarantine rules which require them to self-isolate again for two weeks.
One 24-year-old traveller from Surrey, who only gave her name as Hannah, told reporters at Gatwick that the sudden changes will mean she has to stay away from work for another week, adding that they wouldn’t have gone on a five-day break to Barcelona had they known.
“We didn’t go with the intention of being stuck in the house for another two weeks,” she said.
But others felt less than sympathetic to their plight, questioning why you would head abroad on holiday in the middle of a pandemic.
Spain recorded 280 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours on Friday, three times more than two weeks ago. Along with Britain it was one of Europe’s hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 28,000 people killed and over 272,000 infections.
As Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government “can’t give a guarantee” on travel plans, before adding that there was “an element of uncertainty this summer if people go abroad”.
The Telegraph reported that officials in both France and Germany have warned of possible new lockdowns as parts of Europe braced for a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
French health authorities said at the weekend that the country’s R-rate was up to 1.3 and that daily new infections on Friday had risen to 1,130 – indicators resembling those seen in May, when France was coming out of its strict two-month lockdown.
Sorry but we are in a global pandemic I have ZERO sympathy for people who decided to book a holiday and are now facing the consequences. What did you expect? The virus has been ravaging the globe for months but it would stop ‘cos you fancy a little swim in the sea? Dear lord.— Jennifer Rosellen (@JRosellenM) July 25, 2020
Back to normal
What’s more, people mustn’t assume that holidaying abroad will turn back to normal.
Travelling internationally, something we used to do so freely, will not look or feel the same for a long time, particularly while the virus is so prevalent.
Usual airport routines will be disrupted, masks will have to be warn throughout and even when you arrive at your destination the environment will be substantially altered.
It goes to show that anyone wanting to avoid holiday hell should not expect holiday heaven. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic; it’s time for a reality check.