The Balearic and Canary islands will remain on the UK’s quarantine list despite a Spanish minister insisting they were safe and pleading for their removal today.
Arrivals from islands including Ibiza, Majorca, Tenerife and Gran Canaria have been under orders to self-isolate for 14 days since last week, when they joined the Spanish mainland on the UK’s red travel list.
Madrid’s tourism minister, Reyes Maroto, said this morning that her government had sent Boris Johnson’s administration fresh data that showed it was safe to restart quarantine-free travel to both sets of islands.
Such a move would provide a boost for the thousands of Brits with holidays in the islands already booked but afraid that quarantine will affect their jobs on their return.
But No10 dashed hopes of a swift change this afternoon, with the PM’s spokesman saying there was no change to the quarantine advice.
He told reporters that ‘were some challenges in trying to look at this on a regionalised basis’ and made a decision ‘based on looking closely at the data’.
That suggests that the island chains are likely to remain under quarantine until it is lifted on the Spanish mainland.
Spain is leading Western Europe’s major countries with an average of 60 coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
While the country’s south and the Canary and Balearic islands remain in good shape, the regions of Navarra, Aragon, and Catalonia have registered more than 120 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day period.
This makes Spain’s northeast the biggest European hot spot along with parts of Romania, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Spanish Tourism and Industry Minister, Reyes Maroto, pictured in Madrid, Spain, 30 May 2020
Tourists in Benidorm last week, who are now subject to quarantine restrictions when they return to the UK
British Citizens arrive at the Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport after the UK imposed a quarantine on all travellers from Spain
Travellers could lose their holidays AND cash as airlines refuse to cancel flights to Spain
Airlines are refusing to cancel flights to Spain – despite the Government advising against all but essential travel.
The move means hundreds of thousands of British families are in limbo and at risk of losing thousands of pounds.
It also puts the airline industry at odds with the Government because it is ignoring a public safety edict.
The Government issued the travel warning after the emergence of a second wave of coronavirus in parts of Spain.
Customers would normally expect travel firms to cancel the flights and offer refunds.
But all the major carriers, which have suffered massive losses after the collapse of air travel, continue to offer the flights.
This means families will potentially lose their holidays and their money.
In an interview with La Sexta television, Ms Maroto said the islands have a ‘low incidence rate’ and that the UK should review its conditions for travel.
‘It is a decision of the British authorities, but we have given them all the arguments so that they can trust that their tourists are safe in Spanish destinations,’ she said.
‘If it is not the decision we expect, we will continue working with them.
‘For us, the best news is to have the destination open with the United Kingdom, which is our main issuing market.
‘We have the best protocols and are highly valued by the tourists themselves, who have transferred to their government that they feel safe in Spain. ‘
Last week, moments after the FCO hardened its stance on travel to Spain – forcing Britons returning to self-quarantine for two weeks.
It prompted prime minister Pedro Sanchez to blast the restrictions as ‘unjust’, claiming tourists would be safer in his country than the UK.
Tourists braced to enter quarantine spoke of their worries that the fortnight self-isolation could cost them paid work. It also struck fear in Spain, who felt the move could cut-off the country’s summer-holiday season.
An exclusive poll conducted by MailOnline revealed that a quarter of Britons were planning to alter their holiday plans after the shock decision to reimpose quarantine restrictions on Spain.
Some 25 per cent said they were considering changes and more than a third (34 per cent) said they were now less likely to book a foreign holiday at all amid fears that other popular destinations could follow in having punitive restrictions put in place.
Holidaymakers were given just five hours notice on Saturday night that those returning from Spain would have to self-isolate for 14 days following a spike in cases.
On June 22, the day after Spain ended a national state of emergency and restored free movement around the country, the health ministry registered 125 new cases in 24 hours. Six weeks later, the daily count has jumped, hitting 1,525 on Friday.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has claimed that tourists are safer in his country than the UK. These are the worst coronavirus hotspots in each country and the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people
The Spanish government and Britain’s travel industry trade body, the Association of British Travel Agents, argue it is not necessary for the Canaries and Balearics to be included in the quarantine, pointing out that infection rates on these islands are low
How do the worst infected areas in Spain compare to the UK?
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) over the last two weeks Spain has 35.1 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
This compares to 14.7 for the UK and 14.6 for nearby France.
The three worst affected areas in the UK currently are Blackburn with Darwen, Leicester and Oldham.
Blackburn with Darwen which has a rate of 75.2 per 100,000 people which is currently worst in the UK.
Leicester, which currently has a government imposed local lockdown, has 56 per 100,000 and Oldham has 50.5 per 100,000.
Spain also has specific areas that are seeing spikes in coronavirus cases, with the region of Catalonia particularly badly affected and well as Aragon and Navarre.
The current rate for Aragon is 160.1 cases per 100,000, which is significantly higher than any region in the UK.
Navarre has 79.2 cases per 100,000 and Catalonia has 63.1 cases per 100,000.
The data is from the data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control).
Sanchez criticised the government’s sudden decision to force Britons returning from Spain to stay at home for two weeks and called on the government to reconsider its decision.
Tourists braced to enter quarantine are worried the fortnight self-isolating could cost them paid work and there are fears the newly-imposed rules could kill off the summer holiday season.
Speaking moments after the Foreign Office hardened its stance and advised against non-essential travel to the whole of Spain, including the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, Mr Sanchez told Spanish TV station Telecinco on Monday night: ‘I think the UK’s decision is an incorrect one.
‘Spain is made up of a number of regions that have a cumulative rate of contagion that is lower than the European average as well as the UK average.
‘The Spanish tourist industry has acted very responsibly over the past few months and has transferred a message of security with regards to the health emergency we are experiencing.
‘It’s true that on a global level the coronavirus pandemic continues to show a very worrying development and at European level as well, but in Spain the spread of the virus is not occurring in a uniform way.
‘Sixty-two per cent of the new cases are occurring in two regions but in the majority of the country, the cumulative incidence of the virus is lower than the European average and the UK average.’
Under proposals being fine-tuned by Matt Hancock, returning travellers who test negative eight days after they land will be given the green light to break quarantine early two days later.
The additional two days is a buffer in case any symptoms arise, according to the Daily Telegraph which first revealed the planned reduction.
A source told MailOnline that trimming the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 is a ‘live discussion’.
Mr Sanchez added: ‘We are talking to the British authorities to try to get them to reconsider a decision which we think is mistaken if we take into account the epidemiological situation in Spain as a whole and specifically some of our tourist areas such as the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands as well as the Valencian Community or Andalucia.
‘In epidemiological terms, it would be safer to be in these areas than in the UK.
‘We are going to carry on talking because we are friends and we have many commercial and economic links as well as geopolitical links.
‘Rather than reproaches what we have to do is try and find a point of equilibrium that above all involves the UK making its decision based on the cumulative evolution of the virus in these regions which are tourist areas.’
It comes after the government extended travel restrictions to the Spanish islands and warned that other holiday destinations could follow.
The Foreign Office is now warning against ‘all but essential’ travel to the Balearics and Canaries, having already done so for the mainland.
Travel firm Jet2 responded to yesterday’s diktat by cancelling flights to all Spanish destinations and told passengers not to go to the airport.
Downing Street warned: ‘Unfortunately no travel is risk-free during this pandemic.’ Sources said there were ‘no immediate plans’ to change travel and quarantine advice to other countries.
But Croatia and Belgium are thought to be of concern, and ministers are also monitoring France and Germany.
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UK hospitals record another 12 coronavirus deaths with no fatalities in Scotland and Wales
UK hospitals recorded another 12 coronavirus deaths, amid warnings from the Health Secretary the country is at a ‘tipping point.
Health authorities today said there had been 12 fatalities in England, but none in Scotland or Wales. The figures for Northern Ireland have not yet been released.
The victims were aged between 62 and 98, and all had known health conditions, NHS England said.
The dates of the deaths were between April 30 and September 19, with the majority on or after September 18. Three other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.
It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned Britain is at a ‘tipping point’ as he refused to rule out a second national coronavirus lockdown if the public fails to follow social distancing rules.
Pictured: staff at a Coronavirus testing centre in Leicester today. Health authorities today said there had been 12 fatalities in England, but none in Scotland or Wales. The figures for Northern Ireland have not yet been released
With cases rising across the country, Mr Hancock said there was a danger the numbers could ‘shoot through the roof’ unless effective action was taken to halt the spread of the virus.
His warning came as the Government announced anyone in England who refuses an order to self-isolate could face a fine of up to £10,000.
The Health Secretary said that hospital admissions for the disease were doubling ‘every eight days’ and would be followed by an increase in the number of deaths.
‘This country faces a tipping point,’ he told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show.
‘If everybody follows the rules – and we will be increasingly stringent on the people who are not following the rules – then we can avoid further national lockdowns.
‘But we of course have to be prepared to take action if that’s what’s necessary.’
During a round of broadcast interviews, Mr Hancock said the Government had taken the decision to impose a legal duty on people to self-isolate if instructed as the data showed some were failing to do so.
At the same time ministers have said people on benefits in England will be eligible for a one off support payment of £500 if they face a loss of earnings as a result of being required to self-isolate.
Mr Hancock told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: ‘We will support people who do the right thing and we will come down hard on people who do the wrong thing.’
Boris Johnson has been desperate to avoid another nationwide lockdown amid concerns about the economic damage it will inflict just as activity was beginning to pick up again.
Large groups of walkers enjoy the warm sunshine as Police patrol Hyde Park in London on the first weekend of the Rule of Six being in place
However, as of Tuesday, around 13.5 million people across the UK will be facing some form of local restrictions as the authorities grapple with the disease.
Second wave of Covid cases in Europe is not causing deaths to spike compared with the peak in spring
A second wave of coronavirus cases in Europe is not causing deaths to spike.
Although cases in Spain have soared to almost 15,000 a day – leading to a new lockdown in parts of Madrid – the number of deaths remains relatively low compared with the peak in spring.
There were 240 deaths in Spain on Thursday – much lower than the 929 daily deaths reached in late March when there were a recorded 9,000 cases a day.
In France, another 13,498 cases were reported yesterday. But the latest 24-hour death toll – 154 on Friday – is much lower than in mid-April when there were 1,400 deaths but 5,500 confirmed cases.
The difference may be explained by an increase in testing in the countries in recent months, but could also be a sign that the virus is mainly infecting younger, healthier people who survive the illness.
Sweden, which did not impose a lockdown, continues to have a significantly lower rate of cases and deaths from Covid-19.
On Tuesday, Sweden had its lowest number of new cases since March. In April, Covid deaths in a single day in Sweden peaked at 115. Now, some days, that figure is zero.
Reported infections have been climbing steadily across most of Europe over the past two months, with more than half of countries seeing an increase of over ten per cent in the past two weeks.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is now pressing ministers to extend the controls to the capital, which he believes may be just ‘two or three days’ behind the hotspots of the North West and North East of England.
Mr Hancock said he was ‘very worried’ about the latest data which suggested Britain could be on the same path as Spain and France – where deaths and hospitalisations are increasing – without effective action.
‘I am very worried about this second wave. We have seen in other countries around Europe how it can absolutely shoot through the roof,’ he said.
‘When the case rate shoots up, the next thing that happens is the numbers going into hospital shoot up.
‘Sadly, we have seen that rise, it is doubling every eight days or so – people going into hospital – then, with a lag, you see the number of people dying sadly rise.’
Among the measures being considered by ministers is a temporary two-week ‘circuit break’ with tighter restrictions across England in an attempt to break the chain of transmission.
However, the Government is facing resistance from some senior Conservative MPs concerned that ministers are taking increasingly stringent powers with little or no parliamentary scrutiny.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful Tory backbench 1922 Committee, said he intends to table an amendment which would require the Government to put any new measures to a vote of MPs.
He told The Sunday Telegraph that he would take the opportunity to seek to amend the legislation when the Government comes to renew the emergency powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020.
‘In March, Parliament gave the Government sweeping emergency powers at a time when Parliament was about to go into recess and there was realistic concern that NHS care capacity might be overwhelmed by Covid-19,’ he told the paper.
‘We now know that the NHS coped well with the challenge of the virus and Parliament has been sitting largely since April. There is now no justification for ministers ruling by emergency powers without reference to normal democratic processes.’
Under the latest rules, from September 28 people in England will have a duty to self isolate for 14 days if they test positive for coronavirus or they are instructed to do by NHS Test and Trace because they have been in contact with someone with the disease.
Sir Keir Starmer said Labour would support the measures but warned that a second national lockdown was becoming more likely because the Test and Trace programme was in a state of ‘near collapse’.
‘Because the Government’s now effectively lost control of testing, it doesn’t necessarily know where the virus is. So if I was the prime minister, I would apologise for the fact that testing is all over the place,’ he told the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.
Mr Hancock, however, said he was not prepared to apologise, saying: ‘I will endlessly defend my team. They are doing amazing work day-in-day-out.’
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British expats in Europe ‘will be stripped of UK bank accounts in weeks’ after post Brexit rules
Tens of thousands of British expats who live in Europe risk having their UK bank accounts closed ‘in weeks’ due to post-Brexit rules.
Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among a number of UK banks that have starting giving notice to expatriate customers to say they will close their accounts at 11pm on December 31.
The end of the withdrawal agreement makes it a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ for UK banks to provide for British customers in the EU post-Brexit, with many simply choosing to pull their services.
Lloyds Bank confirmed it will be withdrawing services from Holland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal – a move that will affect 13,000 British customers [File image]
Banks are making their own decisions as to which EU countries to pull out of and which to continue operating in.
Lloyds Bank confirmed to The Sunday Times that it will be withdrawing services from Holland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal – in a move that will affect 13,000 British customers.
The bank, which is Britain’s biggest banking group, started writing to its customers living in these countries since August, telling them that their UK bank accounts would be shut on December 31.
Barclays also confirmed that its banking and credit-card customers living in the EU had started receiving letters.
One Barclays customer, who lives in Brittany, confirmed to the Sunday Times that she had received a letter saying her Barclaycard will be terminated on November 16, despite being a customer for more than 40 years.
Other Barclays customers living in Spain, France and Belgium have also confirmed that they received notice their Barclaycards will be cancelled.
Another expat said that in order to keep their British accounts, a number of their friends who also live abroad were giving addresses of family members in the UK.
Barclays confirmed that its banking and credit-card customers living in the EU have started receiving letters, giving them notice that their UK bank accounts will be shut [File image]
Upon the completion of Brexit and the UK’s departure from the EU, it will become illegal for UK banks to provide for British customers living the EU without applying for new banking licences.
The government has failed to negotiate post-Brexit banking rules and so pan-European banking rules, known as passporting, will no longer apply to these customers.
Rather than negotiate the specific banking rules of 27 member states, which has been described as a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’, some banks are closing their customer’s accounts.
In a statement, the Treasury said: ‘We expect banks to treat their customers fairly and provide timely communications to enable them to make appropriate decisions.’
‘However, the provision of banking services is a commercial decision for firms based on a variety of factors, including the local law and regulation of specific EEA countries.’
Two other major UK banks, NatWest and Santander have said that so far, they had no plans to close customer’s accounts but are ‘considering their options’.
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Couple who won Alaskan lodge on BBC show Win The Wilderness see their dream turn into a nightmare
A couple who won a remote lodge in Alaska after taking part in BBC show Win the Wilderness have seen their dream turn into a nightmare after the home’s former owner refused to give it up.
Emily Padfield, 37, and her partner Mark Warner, 53, from Warwickshire, competed against five other couples to win the three-storey property on the reality show, which aired in January.
To win the home, named Ose Mountain after previous owner Duane Ose, contestants had to do things including jumping into icy water and find and cook their own food whilst surviving in the wilderness.
The solar-powered ‘off-grid’ home, which was built from 2,000 spruce trees and is still unfinished, is 100 miles from the nearest road, has no running water and is an area populated by both wolves and bears.
But since signing the deeds to the property in June last year, the couple were told by Duane, 78, that he wanted it back.
Emily Padfield, 37, and her partner Mark Warner, 53, from Warwickshire, won a remote lodge in the Alaskan wilderness after featuring on BBC show Win The Wilderness. But despite being the legal owners, former owner Duane Ose, 78, now claims to want it back
Duane had previously lived there with his wife Rena, 76, who died in May after a heart operation, before retiring to Minnesota.
After their victory on the show, Mark and Emily had spent a month living with Duane and his wife and then returned to the UK.
But because of the coronavirus pandemic, they have been unable to return to Alaska to lay physical claim to the property, which legally belongs to them.
Shortly after Rena’s death, Duane became romantically involved with a woman called Ellie-Mae Blair, who he is pictured with on Facebook and claims to have married.
The couple competed against five other couples to win the property on the reality show, which aired in January. Pictured: Duane with his wife Rena, who died in May
Mark and Emily suspect that the woman may have influenced him and said he became ‘distant’.
He has since lashed out at the couple on his Facebook page in a deluge of vitriolic posts.
‘We’d been talking to him throughout lockdown, planning to go to Ose Mountain with him to scatter Rena’s ashes, but suddenly he was distant,’ Emily told The Times.
Mark added: ‘I said, ‘Duane, are you dissatisfied with us?’ I said, “Is Ellie-Mae talking to you about us? You really should take the time to meet her in person.”
The solar-powered ‘off-grid’ home, which was built from 2,000 spruce trees and is still unfinished, is 100 miles from the nearest road, has no running water and is an area populated by both wolves and bears
‘And that was the end of him communicating directly to us.’
Mark said that Duane now claims to want to return to the homestead, which can only be reached by plane.
He has also allegedly ignored emails and calls from Mark and Emily.
On his Facebook page, he has written, ‘Re Claiming My Legacy, My Home from faux foreigners who do Not Care for my Wishes [sic]’.
Shortly after Rena’s death, Duane became romantically involved with a woman called Ellie-Mae Blair, who he is pictured with on Facebook and claims to have married
In one post, he claimed Mark and Emily had ‘incited five weeks of aggressive harassment of an elderly man and a sweet caring woman who has helped me more than any one fb friend ever has.’
Emily said she and Duane had previously had a ‘really great’ relationship, explaining it had been ‘frustrating’ that they’re only able to communicate with Duane via social media and are convinced that Blair is behind the aggressive Facebook posts.
Mark said the posts contain words they had never seen Duane use and he could imagine Blair ‘banging her fingers through the keyboard.’
The couple believe that Duane never wanted to leave the property, which he built after 35 years ago after a trek through the wilderness.
The home is deep in the Alaskan wilderness and is only accessible by air
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