'My heart sank' - Sunderland holidaymaker speaks of shock as Spain is added to quarantine list

A family on holiday in Spain has spoken of their shock after the country was removed from the UK’s quarantine-free list this weekend.

By Sarah Sinclair
Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 10:58 am

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A Sunderland family was among those Brits told on Saturday, July 25, that they would need to quarantine for two weeks on arriving home from their summer holiday in Spain.

The country has been removed from the UK’s list of safe destinations to travel to after it saw a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.

The decision was announced by the Government ministers on Saturday night, less than five hours before it came into force.

Paul and Lorna Thompson arrived in Benidorm with their daughter Lucy on Saturday.

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Holidaymakers who had not returned from Spain and its islands by midnight would be forced to quarantine for 14 days amid fears that the country was experiencing a second wave of Covid-19.

Lorna and Paul Thompson, who live in the Grindon area, arrived in Benidorm with their seven-year-old daughter Lucy on Saturday, July 25 – just hours before the announcement was made.

Lorna, who works for Sunderland AFC, told the Echo the family had just sat down for their evening meal when the news broke.

"My heart just sank, we’d only flown out that morning, I couldn’t believe it,” said the 43-year-old.

Holidaymakers are following the rules and wearing masks in public in Benidorm.

“I’m really surprised that they’ve had a second spike, the situation seems safe here.

“Everyone is following the rules and wearing masks everywhere.

"We have our temperature checked and hands – and even feet – sanitised when we go into bars and restaurants.”

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Spain added to quarantine list: What does it mean for UK holidaymakers?
The couple say they wouldn't have travelled if they had known they would have to quarantine.

Paul, who works for Nissan, will not be able to return to work and Lorna has had to make arrangements to work from home.

The couple will also have to find someone to look after their dog and arrange online shopping deliveries as the guidance states they must not leave home at all.

“It’s going to have a huge impact on us – our daughter’s only seven so she doesn’t understand,” said Lorna.

The family are among thousands to have flown out this weekend which marked the beginning of the school summer holidays.

"We just wish they had given people a bit more warning,” she added.

"We wouldn’t have travelled if we had known.”

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