Reduce Quarantine With Better Testing Says McGrath

McGrath says immediate testing should be made available for those holidaymakers returning to the North from Spain.


McGrath says immediate testing should be made available for those holidaymakers returning to the North from Spain.

Concern has spread across the North following the announcement from the UK Government on Saturday that a two week period of quarantine was necessary on returning from Spain from holidays.

Many holidaymakers are devastated as this will disrupt their work and lives on a return back into the UK.

Recently there has been a increase in coronavirus cases again in Spain and the alarm bells are ringing in the UK.

SDLP Health Spokeperson Colin McGrath MLA has said that the decision to enforce an immediate 14-day quarantine on travellers returning from Spain highlights how volatile foreign travel restrictions are at present. 

The South Down MLA said: “This decision has been taken in light of the increased numbers of cases in a number of areas in Spain, with places such as Aragon and Catalonia seeing large increases of new cases.

“This will be a shock to people returning from Spain in the coming days as they will now have to make arrangements regarding work and other domestic matters and prepare for 14 days of isolation.

“I hope that testing will be made available quickly for these people so a quick result will enable them to return to work sooner.  

“Many people will now have to take the decision not to travel on their holidays and this will be a blow to them.

“I feel especially for families with children who may now have to explain why they cannot travel. 

“This highlights the benefits of a ‘staycationing’ and with the popularity of Spain will be a knock-on to the tourism industry there and to the travel industry here.”

Mr McGrath added: “Such decisions are taken in the interests of safety for all our community and I hope that people comply and adhere to the regulations.” 

Department of Health says travellers from Spain will have to quarantine for 14 days

Those travelling from Spain and its islands into the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, will now be required to quarantine for 14 days.

The decision to introduce a quarantine period has been taken following medical and scientific advice.  The new regulations will take effect from midnight tonight, therefore anyone arriving after that time must self-isolate.

Speaking about the changes Health Minister Robin Swann said: “The decision to remove Spain from the exempt list was not taken lightly. 

“I have always said I will move swiftly and take the necessary action to ensure our citizens are protected. 

“I have spoken with my counterparts across the UK today and we agree that the recent upsurge in new positive cases in different parts of Spain are a cause for concern.

“As of midnight tonight, anyone returning or visiting Northern Ireland from Spain, including its islands will be required to quarantine for 14 days. 

“I will continue to monitor the situation in Spain and other countries and make the changes to the regulations when necessary.”

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