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Shapps offers winter boost to Spanish tourism

A glimmer of winter light has shone onto Spanish holiday resorts, such as Benidorm, currently struggling as a result of the UK’s stringent quarantine laws.

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Under a radical overhaul of the British government’s coronavirus travel ban, the period returning travellers are required to self-isolate, would be shortened from 14 days to seven.

Addressing delegates at the ‘virtual’ ABTA travel sector conference earlier this week, UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, explained that under new plans, anyone arriving back in the country would be required to quarantine for seven days after landing, before taking a test and being released if a negative result is shown.

The minister, who ruled out testing at airports and ferry terminals, said, “We’re proposing a domestic test regime, where people land and wait a week, have a test and get early release.”

To prevent adding extra pressure on the NHS, the tests, which must be conducted ‘in person’, will be undertaken by the private sector and be paid for by the traveller.

Currently, anyone arriving in the UK from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days unless they have travelled from an exempt destination.

“We’re also proposing an internationally recognised system, in which Britain would be a trailblazer, where tests and isolation take place prior to travel and after travel and would require no quarantine,” said Shapps.

The measures described, “will result in significantly more people flying in the months ahead”, added the minister, which should bring welcome relief to businesses in Benidorm, who rely on British tourists each winter.

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