Travelers arriving in the UK from Spain must now quarantine for 14 days, under new coronavirus travel rules set by the British government following a spike in COVID-19 cases in the European country.

According to the rules announced on Saturday, quarantine measures apply to those returning from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, such as Majorca and Ibiza, reports the BBC.

Offering Advice to Travelers Currently in Spain

Coronavirus Quarantine
Representational Picture Pixabay

It also said that people currently on holiday in Spain have been advised by the Department of Transport to follow the local measures, return home as normal, and check the Foreign Office's travel advice website for further information.

The Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain after it reported more than 900 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and warned that a second wave could be imminent as major cities have seen cases surge.

Travel Plans of Thousands Britons Affected

Among those affected by the new rules is Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who began his holiday in Spain on Saturday. He is expected to continue his trip as planned and isolate in line with guidance on his return.

Criticizing the new measures, British Airways said it was "disappointed", but it said its flights would continuing to operate. It said the move was "throwing thousands of Britons' travel plans into chaos", reports the BBC.

The Airport Operators Association said the new measures would "further damage what is already a fragile restart of the aviation sector which continues to face the biggest challenge in its history". Quarantine measures for UK travelers were first introduced in early June. But after pressure from the aviation and travel industries, the government and devolved administrations published lists of countries exempt from the rules.