Foreign Minister Dominic Raab doubled over the sudden decision by the UK to establish strict quarantine regulations for travelers returning from Spain in the short term, calling the measures “absolutely necessary”.
ut Spain said it was in talks with the UK on exempting the Canary and Balearic Islands, including Ibiza and Mallorca, from the requirement to isolate itself for two weeks.
Secretary of State Arancha Gonzalez Laya argued that Spain had “perfectly controlled” coronavirus outbreaks after the European country registered more than 900 new daily Covid-19 cases for two days in a row.
As in any other European country, we see outbreaks – the outbreaks in Spain are perfectly controlledSpanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya
Ministers announced on Saturday that holidaymakers who had not returned from Spain and its islands before midnight should be quarantined for 14 days after fears of the second wave of Covid-19 saw the popular holiday destination of the UK’s safe list was deleted.
The guidance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advising all essential trips to mainland Spain does not include the islands, but ministers chose to apply general quarantine schemes across the Spanish territories.
Ms Gonzalez Laya told reporters, “Spain is a safe country for tourists and Spaniards.
“As in any other European country, we see outbreaks – the outbreaks in Spain are perfectly controlled.”
She added: “At present, our dialogue efforts are aimed at excluding quarantine measures in the Balearic and Canary Islands.
“We hope that this dialogue that we have initiated with the British authorities, together with the governments of the Balearic and Canary Islands, will soon bear fruit.”
It comes after cabinet minister Raab said the government would not apologize for not disclosing its decision by Spain, which was announced just hours before the changes came into effect.
The rapid turnaround even caught Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who is currently in Spain on his summer vacation and will have to isolate himself with thousands of others for a fortnight on his return to Britain.
London Minister Paul Scully will also have to be quarantined after stating on social media that he was vacationing in Playa Dorada, Lanzarote.
Mr. Raab told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday program: “The data we got was on Friday, it showed a big jump across mainland Spain.
“That was reviewed yesterday afternoon and we made the decision as soon as possible and we can’t apologize for it.”
Mr Raab added: “We have always said that we should take targeted measures when going through the lockdown.
“If we can’t do that, there is a risk of the virus coming back in the UK, the damage to the economy from a second block and I think public confidence is being undermined.
“So yes, these measures are decisive and quick and as a result inconvenient for those who go through them … but they are absolutely necessary.”
The first secretary of state admitted that there was an “element of personal responsibility” involved when he told the people of Spain that they isolate themselves, but stressed that there were “sanctions for non-compliance”.
Labor shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth criticized the way the government handled the decision and labeled it “frankly shambolic,” and called for financial support for those now locked up after returning home.
A frustrated traveler returning to Britain from Spain confirmed that he had booked a Covid-19 test to avoid losing work.
But NHS test and trace boss Baroness Dido Harding said a negative result would not exempt those returning from the quarantine requirement.
Self-employed roofer Malcolm Bembridge told PA news agency that he had ordered a coronavirus test so that it would be at home when he returns from Birmingham to Almeria on Sunday.
He said, “If I take the test and it comes back negative, does that mean I can resume work or should I isolate myself?”
But Baroness Harding, speaking to Times Radio, said, “Unfortunately, although we would like it to be true that if you have a test today, we can be sure that you are not contagious and about to get sick, that is not the way the virus works.
“Today’s test is as good as saying you don’t have the disease today.
“The incubation period can be quite long, so we need you if you have been in a very risky environment – and currently our scientists and clinicians judge that Spain is a risky environment – to isolate 14 days because you may test negative today and test positive tomorrow or the next day, until the end of that 14 day period. “