SPAIN is planning on ditching its 14-day quarantine "as soon as possible," with aims for a complete end to lockdown across the country by the end of June.
The country's foreign minister said the requirement for visitors arriving from abroad to self-isolate for a fortnight is purely a temporary measure during lockdown.
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The plan is at odds with the UK government, which is implementing a 14-day quarantine imposed on arrivals at the beginning of next month, in the middle of lockdown de-escalation.
Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme, the Spanish minister Arancha González said: "We've had one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe but we've started to gradually deescalate – we started at the beginning of May and hope to end by the end of June.
"We see our quarantine as being a temporary measure while we deescalate our lockdown and try to keep Covid under control.
"The moment that we feel like the virus is under control, we will replace the quarantine with other measures at the border – they can be temperature checks, they can be random checks or they can be asking citizens for tests that have been performed certain days in advance.
"There are a variety of measures that we can use to control what happens at the border, it does not have to be a quarantine."
The UK government has been criticised by various figureheads in the travel industry for their plans to implement a quarantine so late in the crisis.
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has called the idea "idiotic and unimplementable."
The budget airline CEO has predicted that the rules forcing anyone coming into the country – even if they have returned from holiday – to self-isolate for two weeks will be over by June.
There had been hope this week that British holidaymakers would be able to skip the quarantine, after Grant Shapps confirmed ministers are looking at "air bridges" between countries with low Covid infections.
The Transport Secretary said that the Government were looking at allowing people to fly between countries where the spread of the virus is low.
After the plan was revealed, both Portugal's Algarve region and Greece announced that they would be interest in air bridge pacts with the UK.
But just a day after Grant Shapps's revelation, No10 poured cold water on the idea by saying they won't be introduced any time soon, according to reports.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said yesterday: "It's an option under consideration but not agreed Government policy."
A Whitehall source told The Daily Mail: "The quarantine rules will be reviewed every three weeks but I think people would be unwise to book a foreign holiday in the expectation that an 'air bridge' will open up in time for the summer holidays.
"It's the sort of idea you might look at as you exit a quarantine system. But we are just getting started."
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