Quarantining Spanish tourists is ‘inconvenient’ but necessary.
Image Credit: AFP
The secretary of State, Dominic Raab, defended the government’s decision to impose 14-day quarantine on Spanish tourists coming to the United Kingdom. In an interview conducted by Sky News, he said ‘The data we got on Friday, showed a big jump right across mainland Spain, that was then assessed yesterday afternoon and we took the decision as swiftly as we could.’
When Mr. Raab was asked about why the government did not inform the tourists earlier, that Spain’s data was being analyzed, he said that ‘vague advice’ would ‘create more uncertainty’. He also added that, ‘There is a cut-off with changes in rules and advice we give, so I appreciate that that’s difficult and it can be disruptive.’
‘But it would be far worse to either muddy the waters or to hold back and delay from taking the measures when we need to take them,’ he said.
The abrupt change imposed by the UK government came after Spain reported more than 900 new cases on Friday, with Spanish officials announcing that a second wave could be imminent. The United Kingdom announced the new coronavirus travel rule on Saturday night, and by 12am, it came into force. The quarantine rules applies to mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands, such as Ibiza and Palma and Canary Islands.
Mr. Raab also said that there is no guarantee that other countries will not be removed from the UK’s ‘safe list’, ‘We are changing the rules – the law is changed in relation to holidaymakers and travelers – and of course we expect employers show these employees who will have to quarantine because of the law the flexibility they need.’
He added, ‘If someone is following the law in relation to quarantine and self-isolating the way they should, they can’t have penalties taken against them.’
Anyone who does not follow the new quarantine rules, can be fined up to £1000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, while those that arrive in Scotland, may face fines of £480. Repeat offenders may be fined up to £5000.
The Transport Secretary of the UK, Grant Shapps, is one of the people being affected, after he began his holiday in Spain on Saturday.