Spain turns 25 tourists away from Majorca straight after landing because they did not arrive on official holiday flights run by TUI
- The 25 tourists arrived on unofficial flights, meaning they were forced to leave
- Two official flights run by TUI had been organised for a trial scheme
- A total of 45 people forced to return after landing in Spain during lockdown
Spanish authorities have sent 25 tourists packing from Majorca straight after landing because they had not arrived on official holiday flights run by TUI.
It comes amid confusion as to whether the island is accepting foreign visitors or not as it launches a trial scheme for international visitors.
The 25 tourists, 10 flying from Munich and 15 from Zurich, were sent back on Monday, on the first day that the Balearic Islands opened for foreign tourists, from Majorca’s Son Sant Joan airport.
Spanish authorities have sent 25 tourists packing from Majorca straight after landing because they had not arrived on official holiday flights run by TUI. Above, tourists arrive in Majorca on Monday on the first day the islands opened for international visitors
However, the islands have only opened for a trial period, with two flights from the TUI group being involved in the scheme on Monday.
As the 25 were not on these flights, they were sent back to the countries they had come from as the Spanish authorities said they could not justify their trips.
Visitors arriving on flights which are not part of the trial scheme have to be able to justify their arrival in Spain, with working reasons, visiting dependent relatives or health reasons seen as acceptable causes for travel.
Among those sent back were families who had flown to Majorca for holidays, according to reports.
The incident comes amid confusion as to whether the island is accepting foreign visitors or not, Above, tourists arrive into Majorca on Monday on official TUI flight
The incident comes after a British passenger and two German passengers arriving on a flight from Munich were sent back from Majorca on Sunday.
Reports state a total of 45 people have been forced to return after landing in Spain during the country’s lockdown.
The trial scheme will see 1,400 tourists landing in the Balearic Islands on six designated flights this week as Spain seeks to boost its tourism industry during its de-escalation from coronavirus lockdown.
All of them have booked flights and hotels with operators selected by the government.
Reports state a total of 45 people have been forced to return after landing in Spain during the country’s lockdown. Above, tourists arrive into Majorca on Monday
The country will reopen its borders to most tourists on July 1st, but it remains to be seen if visitors from the UK will be welcome without a quarantine period on this date.
TUI have also had to cancel a flight for 200 German tourists to Majorca on Thursday after the company feared they would not be allowed to enter as the tour operator changed their airline from TUI Fly, which had been designated by the Spanish government as accepted, to Eurowings.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Spain has registered 244,328 cases of COVID-19 and 27,136 related deaths.
Spain threatens to quarantine holidaying Britons unless UK government drops own 14-day isolation rule for arrivals
By James Tapsfield, Political Editor for Mail Online
British holidaymakers face being quarantined if they travel to Spain unless the UK government drops its own restrictions, it emerged today.
Madrid has warned that ‘reciprocal’ coronavirus controls will be placed on travellers despite the country opening up to most of the rest of Europe from this weekend.
The news will heap pressure on ministers to think again about the 14-day isolation rule for arrivals in the UK, which has been condemned as pointless and damaging by many Tories and the aviation industry.
But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps seemed to reject the idea of a rethink this morning, saying there would be no change to the system until June 29 ‘at the earliest’. There have been hopes that ‘air bridges’ would be put in place with low-infection countries before then to salvage the summer for travellers.
Airlines have been gearing up for a new wave of British tourists, with easyJet offering cut-price deals and British Airways planning to restore half of its daily flights to Spain in July.
However, the UK Foreign Office is still advising against all ‘non-essential international travel’ – a warning which will invalidate most travel insurance policies if it is ignored – and returning Brits will face quarantine.
By contrast, thousands of German tourists have been lounging on Spanish beaches this week after they were encouraged to fly to the Balearic Islands in a pilot project.
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has brought forward the resumption of the tourist season to this Sunday, saying that recovery of the sector ‘is key for this government’.
Officials had suggested that the UK would be included in exemptions granted to all EU states.
But Spain’s foreign affairs minister Arancha González Laya said today that there is likely to be ‘reciprocity’ with the UK’s tough restrictions.
She told the BBC’s HARDtalk programme: ‘We will be checking what the UK will be doing and we will be in dialogue with the UK to see whether or not we should be introducing reciprocity as they have different measures than the rest of the EU.’
Ms Gonzalez Laya added that the situation was ‘fluid’ and she wanted to ‘engage in a dialogue with the UK authorities to make sure that we both take the message that best corresponds to the health situation, which today is a little bit better in Spain than it is in the UK’.
‘Hopefully by the time we open our borders, the UK would have moved forward also,’ she added.
It came as borders were thrown open across Europe as a raft of countries including Germany and France lifted three months of coronavirus checks.
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