Iain Dale challenges minister Kit Malthouse over 14-day quarantine rule for Spain

28 July 2020, 20:48

By Fiona Jones

Iain Dale challenged policing minister Kit Malthouse over the Prime Minister's 14-day quarantine on travellers from Spain and its islands.

Boris Johnson has warned there are signs of a second wave of coronavirus in Europe, as he defended a 14-day quarantine on travellers from Spain.

Iain Dale put it to Minister for Crime and Policing Kit Malthouse that this means the UK will experience a similar resurgence.

"We can take measures to try and stop that, and you've seen that sadly with restrictions on travel to and from Spain. The fact that Grant Shapps is now sitting in quarantine is to protect the country from a virus that he may or may not bring back from his holiday, " said Mr Malthouse.

He said a second spike was "not necessarily" inevitable: "The one thing we've learnt about this virus...is that this virus can grow very rapidly but recedes very slowly. And when it does recede it recedes in fits and starts.

"Our primary responsibility is to ensure we don't reintroduce it from overseas," Mr Malthouse said, calling the new quarantine rules "reasonable".

He added it is a matter for other countries whether they impose the same measures on people travelling back from the UK.

Kit Malthouse told Iain Dale that it is justified to have a blanket 14-day quarantine on Spain
Kit Malthouse told Iain Dale that it is justified to have a blanket 14-day quarantine on Spain. Picture: LBC

"The path of our future might be this big game of virus Whack a Mole, where we do see upticks in infection rate, either in neighbourhoods or particular buildings or factories, and we have to take swift action to get on top of it.

"If we're able to do that, you hope that might reassure countries round the world that we are doing what we need to do to get on top of it," Mr Malthouse said.

Iain moved on to question how the police have managed intervention on lockdown rule-breakers, especially since mandatory face masks have been introduced.

The policing minister replied that officers have had to be "delicate" but "happily the vast majority of the public have complied and if they weren't complying, have complied after having been encouraged to do so by a police officer."

Considering the minimal fines given out to a population of 65 million, it really is a "tribute to the common sense of the vast majority of people", he said.

Iain countered the minimal fines means regulations on mandatory face masks are not being properly policed, to which Mr Malthouse said the police are called to manage altercations over service refusal to people not wearing a covering.

"People are paying attention and being sensible about it," Mr Malthouse confirmed.