A SUSSEX couple have questioned the decision to “penalise” Spain by re-imposing a 14-day quarantine.

Furloughed British Airways staff members Paul Mitchell, 55, and Dawn Painter, 44, made the comments after returning from a ten-day stay at a holiday home in Arboleas.

They flew into Heathrow Airport yesterday afternoon.

Ms Painter said: “We’ve come from a sleepy little village where everyone is social distancing, it wasn’t on a beach in Benidorm or anything like that, and we’re being penalised for that, just like all the big cities are basically.

“That’s the annoying thing, we were literally up in the mountains in a tiny little Spanish village.”

The Argus:

Mr Mitchell said: “It’s the fact that everything seems to have been, we’re going to put masks on in ten days’ time in the UK, yet Spain was penalised almost immediately.”

Instead of the blanket quarantine for those returning from Spain, Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has urged the Government to introduce “smarter measures” at the border.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “We certainly would be following the advice and introducing protective measures at the border if there are spikes in cases in other countries, absolutely.

“But there are two serious questions around this. The first is why we are still employing the... blunt tool of the 14-day quarantining rather than smarter measures and secondly the chaotic nature of the decision-making which certainly hasn’t bred confidence in the Government’s approach.

The Argus:

“I think you need a smarter set of quarantine measures at the airport. I’ve suggested this test, trace and isolate regime but you can also have temperature checking and other things – you look at a range of measures.”

Health minister Helen Whately said so-called air bridges to other countries are constantly “under review” following the Government’s decision to reimpose a blanket quarantine for arrivals from Spain.

Speaking to Today, she said: “What we said throughout the time when we’ve put in place the policy on the travel corridors, the air bridges, is that we would need to keep those under review, that we would need to monitor the rates in other countries.

The Argus:

“That is exactly what we’ve done in Spain, so we are enacting the policy that we committed to doing.

“The rate was going up very rapidly in Spain and we had to take very rapid, decisive action.

“If we hadn’t taken that decisive action, I imagine you would be asking me, ‘Why are there delays, why haven’t we taken robust action?’

“We have taken decisive action.”