Now we know what travel in the “new normal” is like – abysmally abnormal.
For lockdown-weary holidaymakers, it’s desperately frustrating and inconvenient news.
And possibly expensive too, with yet more unwelcome shenanigans over cancellations and refunds.
Tour operators and airlines will also be utterly dismayed, as their plans for a modest Spanish summer season look to be in tatters. Who is going to book an August deal to Spain now?
Nobody should go to the mainland with the FCO non-essential travel edict invalidating their insurance cover.
Not many will fancy the Balearics or Canaries, with that huge hassle of a 14-day quarantine on their return (if their flights aren’t cancelled first).
Just as the beleaguered UK travel industry was getting off its knees, it’s been hit by a Whitehall wrecking ball.
Of course, public safety must come first and if the best scientific data we have says there is a major risk of an imminent second wave in Spain, then I guess there is no choice.
But while there has been much (deserved) criticism of the Government’s dithering during this crisis, just giving six hours’ notice for the quarantine and non-essential travel alert – right before the weekend when many flights were scheduled – seems like panic, rather than decisiveness.
For British holidaymakers and the UK travel industry – and let’s not forget the one in Spain too – this is a real kick in the cojones.