Several planes flying from the UK to Spain turned around mid-flight and are heading back to Britain.
This comes one day after the Spanish government announced 15-day state of emergency due to the spread of coronavirus – which has infected more than 4,000 people and caused 120 deaths in Spain alone.
At least five Jet2 flights did a U-turn over France this morning.
They included flights from Birmingham to Malaga, Glasgow to Alicante and Leeds to Alicante.
Yesterday Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed that the whole country was under a State of Alarm, an exceptional measure to be formalised today by the Council of Ministers.
The measure will enable the government to restrict peoples’ movement and could lead to the closure or ports and airports or the limitation of flights into and out of the country.
Tourists in the Spanish Costas were today warned not to ‘act as if you’re on holiday’ as the country remains gripped by a coronavirus health crisis.
Politicians in some of Spain’s top resorts are demanding new arrivals show responsibility to slow the spread of the deadly disease.
Beaches are being closed along the two most famous strips of coastline – the Costa Blanca which covers resorts like Benidorm and the Costa del Sol.
The bathing ban is coming into force on the back of the forced closure at midnight last night of all bars, nightclubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms and cinemas in the Costa Blanca resorts as well as the rest of Alicante and the neighbouring provinces of Castellon and Valencia.
Top politicians in Spain’s southern Andalucia region have already warned they are working on plans to stop people travelling and make them stay indoors unless they need to leave for work or to buy food or medicine.
Local police drove around the Costa Blanca resort of Torrevieja yesterday asking people who had arrived from elsewhere to ‘stay indoors.’
Town hall officials in nearby Pilar de la Horadada – home to thousands of British expats and a popular holiday destination 40 miles south of Alicante – said: ‘If you have come to Pilar de la Horadada to enjoy its beaches, magnificent food and fabulous open spaces, we ask you to stay inside until the coronavirus crisis has passed.’
Tourists in Fuengirola woke up today to find the red flag had been hoisted over the resort’s main beach.
The council said in a statement: ‘Due to the imminent announcement of the State of Alarm, Fuengirola Town Hall has decided to close its beaches to the public from today.
‘We ask people to respect this restriction, which will be signalled with a red flag along the city’s coastline. Sorry for any inconvenience.’
The State of Alarm enables police to restrict peoples’ movement nationwide and could lead to the closure of ports, airports and the train network
A children’s play area on the sand was cordoned off with tape alongside a message which said: ‘Due to the emergency situation caused by the spread of Covid-19, Fuengirola Town Hall has decided to temporarily close all its children’s parks and play areas and ban the use of all the swings that are in open play areas.’
The Costa del Sol beach ban is also in force on the Costa Blanca, with red flags going up in places like Benidorm, Alicante, Finestrat and Vilajoyosa.
Finestrat Town Hall, which has ordered police to cordon off its beach to stop people from even stepping on the sand, said in a statement: ‘Our recommendation is to stay indoors. To avoid concentrations of people, we are closing the beach. Thanks for your cooperation.’