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Boris Johnson said the UK must be “vigilant” regarding the threat of a second wave of coronavirus in Europe, after the government imposed a 14-day quarantine on people returning from Spain.

The prime minister said on Tuesday while he was looking at ways to “mitigate” the impact of forcing people to isolate, the public had to “stick with the guidance”.

“If we do see signs of a second wave in other countries, it really is our job to act swiftly and decisively to stop travellers coming back from those places seeding the disease here in the UK,” he said.

“Clearly we now face, I’m afraid, the threat of a second wave in other parts of Europe and we just have to be vigilant and we have to be very mindful.”

The government is caught in a diplomatic storm with Spain amid warnings that its policy on travel to the country risks major damage to business and confusion for holidaymakers.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has warned against all but essential travel to Spain’s Balearic and Canary Islands, having already issued the same advice for the mainland.

Travellers from all parts of Spain are required to quarantine for a fortnight on arrival in the UK, a change imposed at short notice over the weekend.

Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez described the latest move as an “error”.

He pointed out that the upsurge in coronavirus cases is focused in two regions, Catalonia and Aragon, adding: “In most of Spain, the incidence is very much inferior to even the numbers registered in the United Kingdom.”

Madrid had been urging the UK to exclude the Canaries and Balearics— which include popular tourist resorts on Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca— from its quarantine requirements.

But instead, official travel advice was tightened to bring the islands in line with the Spanish mainland.

The UK has rejected the Spanish criticism of its response. Local government minister Simon Clarke told BBC Breakfast: “We respectfully disagree with the Spanish government’s position on this. Read more

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