Quarantining Canary Islands is a "surprising" move, according to caller

28 July 2020, 12:29 | Updated: 28 July 2020, 14:27

By Seán Hickey

This caller in the Canary Islands couldn't figure out why he will have to quarantine when he arrives in the UK – despite the islands having no excess deaths for this time of year.

Nathan was speaking to James O'Brien after the UK's quarantining of people coming from Spain for 14 days was extended to the Canary and Balearic Islands. The caller lives in the Canaries and told James that he couldn't understand the criteria that means he'll have to self-isolate on arrival in the UK.

James pointed out that "there was nothing stopping you popping back to Blighty" up until Saturday and wondered why he is now concerned about the decision. Nathan told him that "with everything going on I don't want to risk being stuck in the UK" and now he is just confused about the policy.

"It's Tuesday morning and we've had two changes in policy since Saturday night" James pointed out and accepted why Nathan hasn't left the Canaries just yet.

The caller brought out some stats: "The Canaries is one of three regions of Spain that has no excess deaths so, it is a little bit surprising that they would apply the Canaries," to the general quarantine. He went on to say that on his island there have been "143 confirmed total cases, no deaths."

Nathan couldn't understand how the stats justify quarantining the Canary Islands
Nathan couldn't understand how the stats justify quarantining the Canary Islands. Picture: PA

He sided with the Spanish Government in their confusion at the British Government's decision. He accepted that there was an uptick in coronavirus cases in Spain but "as the days have progressed that line has just continued along the same trend."

"You're the one that has to quarantine when you come here, it's very strange," James said. He also sympathised with the caller in his defence of the Spanish islands and noted that "without tourism, they're dead, they're over."

"How they could have looked at the numbers yesterday and come away thinking 'actually, we need to make life harder for the Balearics and the Canaries rather than making it easier that's where I genuinely lose the plot," James said.