Coronavirus: 'We've paid for Spain trip so we may as well go'

By Sandish Shoker & Victoria Hicks
BBC News, East Midlands

  • Published
Passengers arrive at the airport for holidays
Image caption,
Several flights have continued to head to Spain despite UK government travel advice changing

The government has warned against non-essential travel to Spain following a rise in coronavirus cases.

The announcement earlier this week that people returning to the UK from Spain would be required to quarantine for 14 days left holidaymakers with a dilemma: Should they follow the safety advice and scrap the holiday they have spent months looking forward to?

Or, should they go ahead and travel anyway, despite the potential health risk and the prospect of invalidating their travel insurance?

At East Midlands Airport, there appeared to be plenty of people in the latter camp.

'Plane is more dangerous than Spain'

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Adam Spinos said he was worried about the flight but not about being in Ibiza

Adam Spinos, from Long Eaton, Derbyshire, who was flying from East Midlands Airport to Ibiza, said he was more worried about being on the plane than at his destination.

"I've checked everything that's happening over there and the situation, and it's fine," he said.

"I just want to see how the plane goes and the precautions staff take so people don't get too drunk and behave, which will make me feel more confident."

Mr Spinos said he decided to continue his holiday as he had never been to Ibiza.

"I just want to experience it, with caution of course and the sun, the beach and just relax a little bit... and we have promised ourselves a mojito," he added.

On Tuesday, airline Jet2 cancelled all five of its departing flights from the airport to Spanish destinations and said it was contacting customers abroad to discuss options about returning.

'I'm entitled to travel'

Image caption,
Shona Lille said she was "entitled to travel" so was determined to take the flight to Spain

Shona Lille, from Sheffield, said she was "itching" to get away to Ibiza.

"I'm excited," she said. "I'm a traveller and should be in a different country every single month but I haven't been anywhere since last year.

"I will stick to the guidelines, and wear my masks where I have to wear them so I'm doing everything. I just feel that I have the entitlement to travel and I will travel."

The travel trade association, ABTA, said FCO advice is issued "for good reason" and travellers need to be aware their travel insurance will be invalid.

Spokesman Jonathan Smith said: "We wouldn't advise that people go against the foreign office travel advice but flights are still operating and people that do choose to go should be aware of the risks involved.

"If they have travel insurance [which they should] then it will most likely be invalidated if anything happens to them while they are on holiday."

'We've paid for it so we may as well go'

Image caption,
Kieron Brookes is travelling having fully understood the advice

Kieron Brookes, from Liverpool, also taking a Ryanair flight to Ibiza, said he understood the advice but was willing to take a risk.

"We have booked it all and we have paid for the thing so we might as well go for a few days," he said.

"Obviously the insurance is invalid if the foreign office say you can't go, but we are only going for a few days so we are just going to hope for the best.

"It's only advice at the end of the day, so if you choose not to listen to the advice that's our decision."

Last-minute decision

Image caption,
Samantha Lively decided to jet off at the last minute

Samantha Lively, from Birmingham, said her decision to go ahead with her trip was made at the 11th hour.

She said: "I didn't think I was going to go until about two hours ago when I thought, 'Yeah, I'm going to do it'.

"I'm hoping it's going to be more quiet so it'll be easier to stay away from everybody.

"I'm going to work as well so it's a bit nerve-racking."

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