Grant Shapps takes stock of vacations in France and Spain


Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps provided an update on the holidays in France and Spain – and that’s not good news for Britons.Mr Shapps was speaking the morning after Croatia and other destinations were added to the list of places people will need to quarantine upon return.

This also happened when Portugal was added to the list of safe countries – meaning the British can return from the country without having to stay at home for 14 days.

Grant Shapps said Spain and France are unlikely to be added to the government’s list of travel corridors anytime soon.

He told LBC: “For the moment, I’m afraid that France and Spain were wrong.

“So just to put numbers on that, we respond when there are about 20 cases per 100,000 people measured on a seven-day moving average. So 20 is the number to keep in mind.

He added: “I think the last time I saw Spain was in the 1940s and 1950s, so far from it, and France, which… quarantined since last weekend , I’m afraid to say that we were right to do this because we have seen the cases continue to continue in France as well.

“And to put a country back in the travel corridor, what we’re saying is that it has to stay below that number for a few cycles. A cycle therefore lasts two weeks for the coronavirus. ”

Grant Shapps said there were around 11 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people in the UK.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘No matter where you go, having been surprised myself, everyone will be traveling with their eyes open this summer because this virus is incredibly unpredictable, and more so in countries where we don’t. not. I have no control over how the response is processed.

“So people should always, I think, be prepared, if they go, to think about what would happen if a country then required quarantine on return.”

Croatia’s ambassador to the UK said it was “unfortunate” that the UK government had not implemented regional quarantine rules rather than removing the entire country from its quarantine exemption list. .

Igor Pokaz told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: ‘What we are trying to do in our constant dialogue with the UK government on this particular quarantine measure is to see if it would be possible, what other countries, to have a more nuanced approach.

“We therefore regret that it was not possible for the British government to consider a regional approach, because in Croatia, as I said, we have witnessed these peaks in certain areas – for example in Zagreb in the capital and perhaps among the young.

“But in Dubrovnik, its surroundings and the islands, there have been very, very few cases. And I deliberately mention Dubrovnik and the Islands because that’s where most British tourists go.

“And Dubrovnik has its own international airport and is naturally isolated from the rest of the country.

“Germany, as I said, introduced this model and introduced measures for only two of the Croatian counties and we have 20 counties in Croatia. ”

Mr Shapps added that the government will continue to examine the possibility of testing at airports.

Asked about possible tests at Heathrow, he told Sky News: “I want to see systems in place to do this kind of thing. But you also need to make sure that you test the right person the second time around, because are you just going to send the kit home or are you going to ask the person to maybe go to a testing center?

“So what I’m saying is it’s a little more complicated than you sometimes suggest. People say why don’t you just do some testing at the airport? Well, because that wouldn’t provide the results and then you have to make sure that the second test goes to the right person.

“So all of these things are matters for consideration, but like I said, the main thing to know if you are traveling this summer, and we just put Portugal on the travel lanes list for the first time. times, but anyone who travels there or elsewhere should know that this virus can change things very quickly.

“With the best will in the world, you may need to quarantine yourself.”

Pushed again on testing, Mr Shapps said, “You’re right, I said we would continue to review it, and we are doing it. So we have a review point once a month on this, we review it and we work with, for example, Heathrow. ”

Mr Shapps said it would be too “difficult” to implement regional quarantine rules instead of removing an entire country from the government’s quarantine exemption list.

Speaking to Sky News about the changes to the exemption list, Mr Shapps said: ‘I sympathize, I’m on it myself, had to quarantine myself from Spain after changed the rules.

“This is a very unpredictable virus which unfortunately just doesn’t play ball as it can sometimes take off in a country and I think anyone who travels this year will know there are risks.

“Indeed, we have put Portugal back on the list, but you have to go with your eyes open or wherever you travel this year because the coronavirus is just a reality, we have to live with it.

He added, “So to answer your question, it’s still too difficult to do the kind of regionalization you’re talking about because we just don’t have the same control elsewhere. “


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