Grant Shapps cuts short holiday in Spain after being caught up in quarantine debacle

PUBLISHED: 10:56 28 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:56 28 July 2020

Transport secretary Grant Shapps who is currently taking a break in Spain and will have to self-isolate for 14 days on his return after the UK's most popular holiday destination was struck off the safe list of travel destinations on Saturday;: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Transport secretary Grant Shapps who is currently taking a break in Spain and will have to self-isolate for 14 days on his return after the UK's most popular holiday destination was struck off the safe list of travel destinations on Saturday;: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Grant Shapps will cut short his family holiday to Spain and return to the UK after being caught out by new quarantine measures on Britons travelling to the country.

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The transport secretary, whose department is responsible for deciding which countries form part of the UK’s “travel corridor”, will hurry back to the UK on Wednesday to see out a 14-day quarantine.

Shapps flew to Spain hours before the government announced holiday-makers returning to Britain would need to self-isolate for a fortnight following a surge in coronavirus cases in the Mediterranean country.

In a statement, Shapps said: “I’ve been in constant contact with officials and industry representatives since I arrived in Spain on Saturday afternoon, when I reviewed the data and worked with colleagues to make a difficult decision to introduce quarantine.

“However, I think it’s right to get back to work in the UK as soon as possible in order to help handle the situation.

“The sooner I get back from Spain myself, the sooner I can get through quarantine.

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“So I’m leaving my family to travel back to the UK on Wednesday.”

Downing Street infuriated hundreds of British sun-revellers in Spain when they introduced a blanket quarantine on people travelling to the country’s mainland, Balearic and Canary Islands on Saturday without prior notice.

Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, slammed Downing Street for the move, calling it “unjust” because the country had a lower infection rate than in Britain.

Number 10 defended the decision saying changes to its travel advice were made “straight away” following new data on case number received on Friday.

A government spokesperson reiterated: “No travel is risk-free during this pandemic. Anyone travelling abroad should be aware that our travel advice and exemption list is under constant review as we monitor the international situation”

Another Tory MP, the minister for London, Paul Scully, has also been affected by the changes.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirmed Scully was in Lanzarote and would be isolating on his return to the UK.

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