Expat businesses in Spain furious over new UK self-isolation law

Published:  9 Jun at 6 PM
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British expats, business travellers and holidaymakers are praising Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary for defying the government’s self-isolation ruling.

After the shock-horror of the UK government’s decision to introduce a quarantine period of 14 days for international travellers and expatriates, Ryanair’s CEO is refusing to cancel flights to and from the UK. Thousands of Britons, he says, have already booked their August holidays, and cancellations now would cause travel chaos. The new rules came into effect on Monday, effectively preventing a return to the UK without having to go into quarantine, with EasyJet, IAG and Ryanairare all threatening legal action over a move they say will finally cripple the UK’s tourism industry.

Although the government is now in talks with Portugal and several other European countries as regards the introduction of air bridges allowing transportation to and from the UK , nothing is set in stone as yet. According to O’Leary, daily August flights to Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal are now full to overflowing with Britons simply ignoring the quarantine law. As with airlines all across the world, the re-introduction of international flights is expected to save UK-based airlines from bankruptcy, with the airlines affected considering legal action should the mandatory new rule not be cancelled.

Even so, the rule is expected to deter European tourists and expats from taking a chance and travelling to or from the UK at this point in time. Also furious about what they see is an unnecessary reaction to the pandemic in its present state are the thousands of British expat hospitality businesses in the affected countries who’re relying on a re-start of tourism for their financial survival.

Spain’s Balearic Islands have already received authorisation from the Spanish government for a new tourism pilot plan to begin next week. Some 2,000 to 3,000 tourists are expected to arrive, including a number from the UK and other overseas locations. To ensure the plan’s success, the islands’ quarantine regulation will be cancelled as from June 22. Certain regulations at airports and ports will be kept in place, with more details to be announced later this week.
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