More on the Jet2 flight cancellations from James Badcock in Madrid:
A spokesperson for Jet2 said the company was “acting off the back of Spanish authorities”, some of which have taken measures to close bars, restaurants and even beaches.
However, a spokesperson for Spain’s AENA airport authority said that no facilities had been closed and no restrictions on inward flights in place that would affect flights from the UK as yet.
An extraordinary meeting of Spain’s cabinet started at 11am local time, with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez due to make a statement at 2pm in which he is expected to announce a package of measures aimed at restricting the spread of Covid-19 under state-of-emergency powers.
Opposition politicians have called for the lockdown of the Madrid region, where close to half of Spain’s more than 5,000 cases of coronavirus have been registered.
Catalan President Quim Torra is asking for the Spanish government to declare his region locked down, something his government does not have the power to do. Catalonia has just over 500 cases.
Here is the full statement from Jet2:
“In response to local measures introduced throughout Spain to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including the closure of bars, restaurants, shops and activities including any water sports, we have taken the decision to cancel all flights to Mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands with immediate effect.
“We know these local measures will have a significant impact on our customers’ holidays, which is why we have taken this decision.
“We are contacting our customers who are currently in these destinations, and who are due to travel, to advise them of their options, so we urge customers not to call us.
“This is a fast-moving and complex situation and we are reviewing our programme as a matter of urgency, so that we can fly customers back to the UK.
“The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority, and we would like to thank our customers for their understanding.”