Furious holidaymakers in Majorca have raged at the decision to kick the Balearic Islands off the UK’s green travel list as they landed on Thursday.
Brits said they had resigned themselves to staying indoors for 10 days when get home because they were unlikely to beat the 4am Monday quarantine deadline.
Others admitted they thought the decision was a “joke” but were going ahead with their holidays as planned because the three-figure cancellation costs had left them with little option.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the Government’s traffic light change for Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera on Wednesday.
The move set up a re-run of the chaos witnessed in Portugal last month before it was moved from green to amber.
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It means holidaymakers who have not had both jabs at least two weeks before Monday’s deadline will have to quarantine when they return home from the only part of Spain that had gone green just over a fortnight ago.
The traffic light change takes effect the same day those with both vaccinations and the under-18s can travel to Spain and other amber list countries without having to self-isolate afterwards.
Flight prices from the archipelago are said to have soared as much as nine times in recent hours.
Rachel Simpson, 34, speaking after travelling to Majorca from Carlisle for a long awaited 10-day holiday with partner Tom Morgan, 35 and son Kaiden Simpson, 13, said: “It’s a bit s*** when we’ve forked out £700 for PCR tests and lateral flow tests to have to go back to the UK and quarantine.
“It’s stupid that the government are doing this when they’re getting rid of all the restrictions in the UK and it’s probably worse in England then it is here. Boris is a joke.
“People should be able to travel if they’ve had negative PCR tests and not have to quarantine when they go back. They shouldn’t make us do both.”
Warehouse operative Becca Camplin, 28, from Leeds, who arrived at Palma Airport less than 24 hours after the new traffic light announcement was made, said: “When I heard the news I didn’t want to come on holiday because of work and having to quarantine.
“But we booked it two years ago and I didn’t know anything about this until last night . I didn’t know what to do, but decided to go.”
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The Balearic Islands registered its highest level of Covid cases in a 24-hour period on Wednesday – 795 people – since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
The previous highest was on January 19 at the height of the third wave, with 776 cases in a single day.
A spokesman for Jet2holidays, reacting to the UK government decision to kick the Balearic Islands off the green travel list, said: “Hardworking customers and families continue to be judged by a different and stricter set of rules when it comes to taking their well-deserved holidays.
“Travel is not, and should not be, the preserve of the wealthy and powerful.”