Spanish quarantine will reduce risk of "reimporting" coronavirus, says Minister

28 July 2020, 11:12 | Updated: 28 July 2020, 11:37

By Seán Hickey

A Government Minister said the UK cannot afford to allow people return from Spain freely while our own rate of coronavirus is falling.

Nick Ferrari wondered why "we've localised measures in cities such as Blackburn and Leicester," yet the government has effectively closed down travel to Spain. Minister for Local Government and Regional Growth Simon Clarke joined him to explain the position.

"The situation in Spain has deteriorated quite quickly over the course of the last week" he began.

"There were over 2,000 new cases announced on Friday, a 75% increase on the middle of last week and that's why we took the action we did on Saturday, reflecting on the advice of the joint biosecurity committee."

The Minister for Local Government added that "we want to make sure we minimise the risk of reimporting cases precisely at the time that we've begun to make progress in our own country."

"To ask people who travel to a country where frankly the situation is getting worse to self-isolate for two weeks and don't bring any risk to the wider public here, it's not easy, but I think it's the right thing to do."

Minister Simon Clarke said the government can't risk coronavirus numbers rising by having an unrestricted border with Spain
Minister Simon Clarke said the government can't risk coronavirus numbers rising by having an unrestricted border with Spain. Picture: PA

Nick pointed out that "people are allowed to travel in Derby and Nottingham but not in Leicester," and applied that logic to the Spanish situation.

"Why can't people go on holiday in the Balearics to Lanzarote or even the Canary Islands - it's 1,000 miles away from the mainland."

Mr Clarke told him that Government made the decision to extend quarantine to the islands because there is potential for "a major disruption to your life if you do go," hinting that we cannot predict whether the situation on the islands will worsen in coming days and weeks.

"It isn't a good idea to go there under the current circumstances given the wider disruption to your life as a result of this," the Local Government Minister said.

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