Minister says quarantine could suddenly be imposed on other countries

Health minister Helen Whately said so-called air bridges to other countries are constantly “under review” following the Government’s decision to reimpose a blanket quarantine for arrivals from Spain.

She was speaking after the Government this weekend removed Spain from the safe-travel list, meaning anyone who goes to Spain, or anyone currently in Spain, will need to self-isolate for 14 days on return on the UK.

There are fears other countries could follow with Greece, Italy and France reported to be at risk.

Ms Whately said the safe status of all countries is under constant review and the Government will take quick and decisive action when needed.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said: “What we said throughout the time when we’ve put in place the policy on the travel corridors, the air bridges, is that we would need to keep those under review, that we would need to monitor the rates in other countries.

“That is exactly what we’ve done in Spain, so we are enacting the policy that we committed to doing.

“The rate was going up very rapidly in Spain and we had to take very rapid, decisive action.

“If we hadn’t taken that decisive action, I imagine you would be asking me ‘Why are there delays, why haven’t we taken robust action?’

“We have taken decisive action.”

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