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Signs of second wave of Covid-19 in Europe, says UK PM Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday said there are signs of a second wave of coronavirus in Europe after the UK removed Spain from the list of countries deemed safe to travel to and return from, making a 14-day quarantine mandatory for arrivals from there.

Spain has seen a spike in the number of cases in recent days, prompting UK officials to impose the 14-day quarantine on Britons and travellers arriving from that country. The decision has thrown holidays of millions of Britons into disarray.

Johnson said: “Let’s be absolutely clear about what’s happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic”.

“What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again”, he added.

Figures in the UK continued to plummet. As of Monday night, seven new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the overall figure to 45,759 and the number of cases to 300,111. Scotland did not report any death for several days.

UK’s decision to impose quarantine has riled Spanish ministers, who insist the rise in cases is limited to two or three regions, and claim that the country is in a better position than the UK. The quarantine has severely hit Spanish tourism industry.

Johnson defended the quarantine decision, adding: “These are decisions (about going on holiday to Spain and elsewhere) for families, for individuals, about where they want to go”.

The latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice on Spain says: “From 27 July, the FCO advise against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks in the country”.

“This advice is based on evidence of increases in cases of Covid-19 in several regions, but particularly in Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia (which include the cities of Zaragoza, Pamplona and Barcelona)”.

On Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez calling the UK’s quarantine decision “unjust”, minister of state for housing Simon Clarke said: “We respectfully disagree with the Spanish government’s position on this”, adding that there had been a “sharp increase” in cases in Spain.

“We obviously continue to work closely with them (Spain) and we wish them every success in managing this outbreak, but we’ve seen a very sharp increase in cases in Spain. A 75% increase in cases reported between the middle of last week and the end of last week. That’s why we took the action that we have,” he told BBC.

Source: Hindustan Times

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