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Petition Allow quarantine free travel from the Canary and Balearic Islands to the UK

Lift a blanket quarantine enforcement for Spain to mainland Spain only. Coronavirus in the Canary and Balearic Islands is not prevalent therefore you should be allowed to travel without return quarantine requirements.

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Government responded

This response was given on 21 October 2020

The JBC risk assessment indicates the risks to UK public health from travellers returning from Balearic and Canary Islands remains unacceptably high. We will keep the islands under regular review.

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The Government’s priority is to tackle the spread of COVID-19 whilst enabling a safe, sustainable and responsible return to tourism.

Decisions on International Travel Corridors are informed by risk assessments provided by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), working closely with Public Health England (PHE), using a methodology endorsed by the four Chief Medical Officers (CMO) of the UK.

JBC and PHE monitor over 250 countries, territories and islands daily to inform these risk assessments. Factors taken into consideration include:

• An estimate of the proportion of the population that is currently infected (this is known as ‘point prevalence’);

• Weekly case incidence rate taking into account population size of the country, territory or island;

• Trends in incidence, deaths, hospitalisations and intensive care admissions;

• Information on laboratory capacity, testing and contact tracing strategies, and test positivity rates;

• COVID-19 cases detected in the UK following travel to the country, territory or island (‘imported infections’);

• Qualitative information related to the reliability of reported data and the maturity of public health systems; and

• Public health measures in place and the enforcement of, and adherence to, those measures.

We keep our approach to border measures under regular review to ensure that they remain effective and practical. Accordingly, on 7th September, the Government updated the Travel Corridors policy to enable islands to be added to the Travel Corridor list, separate to their mainland countries, where the data supports it.

The latest JBC risk assessment indicates that the risks to the UK public health from travellers returning from Balearic and Canary Islands remains unacceptably high.

Decisions on international Travel Corridors are reviewed weekly. We will bring the Spanish islands onto the travel corridor list as soon as it is safe to do so.

In addition, the Government has set up the Global Travel Taskforce which will consider:

• How a domestic testing regime for international arrivals could be implemented to boost safe travel to and from the UK and allow UK residents to travel with confidence;

• What steps we can take to facilitate global business and tourist travel, including through bilateral agreements and multilateral forums by exploring with key international partners issues such as global common standards, testing models, “bubbles”, measures around enforcement, exemptions and other border management measures; and

• Beyond the above, what steps we can take to increase consumer confidence, ensure existing measures are being properly adhered to and restart international travel safely.

Public health is a devolved matter in the United Kingdom, therefore Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may take their own approach if they so wish.

Department for Transport

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