The UK government has taken Spain off its list of “air bridge” countries, after its rate of coronavirus infection tripled in two weeks.
Anyone travelling from Spain to the UK must now quarantine for 14 days, effective immediately.
The FCO has also advised against all but essential travel to mainland Spain amid fears the country is on the brink of a deadly second wave.
The decision has thrown the travel industry into chaos, with Brits currently in Spain now facing a mandatory two week quarantine they neither expected nor prepared for.
Health officials across Europe have been concerned that relaxing lockdown restrictions could lead to a second wave of COVID-19.
France, Germany and Belgium – all on the UK’s “air bridge” list – have all reported a steep rise in cases recently.
This has prompted fears more countries could be taken off the UK’s quarantine-free travel list.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said the government “couldn’t give a guarantee” that other countries wouldn’t be removed from the ‘safe’ list.
In an interview with Sky’s Sophie Ridge Mr Raab said: “As we found with Spain we can’t give a guarantee.
“All we can say is we’ve got this joint bio-security centre – you can see we monitor the risk in real-time.
“We take decisive, swift action and so there is an element of uncertainty this summer to people who go abroad and that’s why our advice is to follow the Foreign Office travel advice which will also link in with the quarantine principle, look very carefully at doing that.”
Here are some of the countries who have seen coronavirus spikes in the past few days.
Thursday 23 and Friday 24 July saw 1,000 cases a day reported in France – putting infections at a similar level to early May.
French Health Minister, Olivier Veran, said: “We cannot speak of a second wave, but one thing is certain, which is that we have seen a clear rise in positive cases, whereas [before] it had dropped for 13 [consecutive] weeks.”
President Emmanuel Macron chaired a meeting of the country’s Defence Council on Friday to discuss an increase in testing, and possible new border controls.
Meanwhile Germany reported 815 new cases on Friday, compared with 583 a week ago and 395 the week before.
German politician Michael Kretschmer told the Rheinische Post newspaper: “The second wave of coronavirus is already here.
It is already taking place every day. We have new clusters of infections every day which could become very high numbers.”
Belgium has postponed the fifth stage of easing lockdown measures, as the week of 14 July saw an 89 percent increase in cases.
The R number in certain regions in Italy has exceeded 1, leading to the temporary closure of squares and other public venues.
The Netherlands has also reported an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections: 987 new cases reported the week of 15 July, which is almost twice that of the week before.