On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said the decision was taken because of the “prevalence of the so-called beta variant, especially in Reunion in France”.
But the transport secretary told Kay Burley that the variant is also “a problem” in the north of the country.
“The beta variant is not only – as has been reported – on an island thousands of miles away, it was also a problem especially in northern France. So it was a global concern, ”Grant Shapps told Sky News.
“And look, the big concern is that we don’t allow a variant in which is somehow able to evade the immunization program that we have.
“We don’t want to have gone that far with the vaccinations, with only 90% of all adults vaccinated, and then throwing it all away because a variant that the vaccine maybe couldn’t handle came in.
“Now all of the evidence on all of that has been put together – the latest research on how the vaccine works with the beta variant, the beta variant scale and France and the rest – and then those decisions will, of course, be. constantly re-examined, which is exactly what will happen. “
It comes after a French minister called the UK government’s decision to maintain quarantine measures for travelers from France while removing them for all other European countries as “discriminatory” and “excessive”.