World News

Britain tells its tourists to leave Spain

A worker from the Madrid city council disinfects Nelson Mandela square during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health emergency in Madrid, Spain, March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Juan Medina

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Wednesday advised all its tourists in Spain to leave, after the country announced it was closing hotels by next Tuesday to deal with the spread of the coronavirus.

“We therefore advise British travellers in Spain to contact their tour operator or airline as soon as possible, to arrange their return journey home before this date,” a spokesman for the foreign office said.

The Spanish government said in a statement on Wednesday evening there was no set closure date on March 24. It said a state of emergency decree it adopted at the weekend effectively meant hotels must close and that tourists were already gradually leaving.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien