Fear is growing that France and Germany will join Spain on the UK’s quarantine list after a spike in coronavirus cases.
Last night, thousands of tourists were ordered to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return from Spain or face a £ 1,000 fine after cases of Covid-19 in the country were increased to over 1000 per day.
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Speaking yesterday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned that more countries could still be taken off the UK’s safe travel list.
He said there remained a possibility that people would have to cancel their vacations at the last moment, adding that he would not be going overseas at all this summer.
The government security list still includes around 70 destinations, but analysis by the Daily Telegraph found that a majority, like Spain, had seen peaks in coronavirus cases over the past week.
Government officials in France and Germany warned over the weekend that further lockdowns may be needed to prevent further outbreaks.
The warnings come after the government announced last night that anyone arriving in the UK from Spain after midnight would face two weeks of isolation after an increase in cases there.
The British criticized the policy which, without warning, would change overnight.
But Mr Raab told Sky’s Sophy Ridge yesterday: “As we have seen with Spain, we cannot give guarantees. ”
Mr Raab added: “There is an element of uncertainty this summer if people are going abroad.
“I’m not going to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do.” They should follow the advice.
Which countries are on the UK travel corridor list?
Akrotiri et Dhekelia
Antigua and Barbuda
Bonaire, Saint-Eustache and Saba
British Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
the Channel Islands
the falkland islands
Isle of Man
Îles Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie et Oeno
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
St Kitts and Nevis
St Pierre and Miquelon
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
Vatican City State
“I will be staying at home this summer. ”
The World Health Organization on Friday reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, the total rising to 284,196 in 24 hours.
India has reported more than 49,000 new cases of the coronavirus and France has also seen its number soar.
The Australian state of Victoria has recorded 10 deaths overnight from Covid-19, its highest daily toll amid a continuing rise in cases.
German health authorities have warned that the infection rate is also increasing.
Mr Raab said the 14-day quarantine for travelers returning from Spain was “absolutely necessary” to avoid huge virus spikes in the UK and possibly a second lockdown.
The Foreign Minister stressed that the government had acted “as quickly as possible” to take decisive action to prevent the virus from spreading again in the country.
However, cases were already on the rise last Monday – and The Sun warned the British were being quarantined days ago.
He urged anyone in Spain or considering to go contact their travel insurance provider and find out what to do.
And he stressed that employers should be “flexible” if an employee has to stay home and self-quarantine for 2 weeks upon returning from a break.
But people can receive statutory sick pay rather than full pay.
Mr Raab said: “Employers have to obey the law and I don’t think you can fire or punish people. ”
He said that the fact that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was in Spain and that he would also have to isolate himself on his return “shows you the risks for everyone”.
Labor’s Jon Ashworth criticized the last-minute decision as “absolutely shambolic”.
He told the same program, “I understand why they made the decision, but the way that decision was made over the past 24 hours is downright chaotic. ”
He said the government has not gone far enough to protect people who may have problems at work because of the new policy: “The government is just saying ‘oh, we hope employers are cooperating’.
“Well, to be frank, I hope I win the lottery on Saturday, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. We need clarity from the government now on whether those who are asked to quarantine, whether they will receive financial support if their employers deny them. ”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps organized a video call tonight with British airlines and our Ambassador in Madrid to plan how to get the British home.
He said there would be “close coordination to help British nationals return from Spain”, adding: “We will all have to quarantine ourselves for 14 days on arrival”.
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