MADRID (Reuters) – Britain slipped up when it chose at the weekend to slap a quarantine on people traveling from Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Monday, stating much of the Mediterranean country had a lower coronavirus infection rate than the UK.

Sanchez was speaking simply after Britain dealt a brand-new blow to any hopes of reviving Spain’s tourist by extending guidance recommending against all non-essential travel, which already used to mainland Spain, to consist of the Balearic and Canary Islands.

” The mistake, in my judgement, and thus the absence of positioning of the UK’s reaction, is based upon considering the cumulative incidence of (the virus in) the entire country,” Sanchez stated in an interview with Telecinco television.

The rebound in coronavirus cases is focused in two regions, Catalonia and Aragon, he said, adding: “In the majority of Spain, the occurrence (of the disease) is quite inferior to even the numbers signed up in the UK.”

In 2015, Britons comprised over a fifth of foreign visitors to Spain, which relies heavily on tourism.

The Socialist prime minister stated the British government had actually offered Spain no direct about the quarantine relocation.

Nevertheless, both groups are in touch and Madrid is attempting to encourage British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s federal government to alter its mind, Sanchez stated, including that the 2 federal governments were “good friends”.

FILE IMAGE: Spain’s new Industry Minister Reyes Maroto responds during her taking control of ceremony at the Ministry of Economy in Madrid, Spain, June 7,2018 REUTERS/Sergio Perez

But the current British move, announced soon prior to Sanchez’s evening interview, did not bode well for Spain’s opportunities of getting the British government to alter tack whenever soon.

While Madrid was focusing its efforts on getting the Balearic and Canary Islands, which have a low coronavirus rate, off the quarantine list, London rather decided to add them to its assistance recommending against all non-essential travel.

Sanchez said that the two archipelagos, as well as the areas of Valencia and Andalusia, had a lower infection rate than Britain.

” It would be more secure to be in those destinations than in the UK,” he stated.

The blanket quarantine has been criticised by tourism groups as out of proportion and impulsive.

Earlier on Monday, Spain’s hard-hit hotels had used to pay for foreign tourists to take coronavirus tests, in an effort to lure back visitors fretted by a fresh wave of cases and delay by Britain’s sudden imposition of a two-week quarantine.

Since ending its across the country lockdown a month ago, Spain has been coming to grips with a rapid expansion of brand-new cases.

Spain’s Agriculture Minister Luis Planas shows up to attend the first cabinet conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, January 14,2020 REUTERS/Susana Vera/Files

The Health Ministry reported 6,361 brand-new cases over the weekend and said it was keeping an eye on 361 clusters around the nation.

Britain’s transport minister interrupted his own vacation in Spain to return home to manage the fallout.

” The sooner I get back from Spain myself, the faster I can survive quarantine,” Grant Shapps said in a declaration.

Reporting by Emma Pinedo, Nathan Allen, Belén Carreño and Joan Faus; Additional reporting by Inti Landauro, Paola Luelmo, Costas Pitas; Composing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Gareth Jones and Peter Cooney

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