MINISTERS have caused more chaos and confusion today as one suggested the UK could have regional quarantines – 24 hours after it was ruled out.
At the weekend the UK Government slapped everyone returning from Spain with a two week quarantine after a huge spike in cases there – but there were calls to exempt the Spanish islands as they have far fewer cases.
Today Germany brought in fresh local rules to advise against all travel to only certain areas of Spain after a rise in coronavirus cases.
And a junior transport minister today suggested the UK could follow suit.
Charlotte Vere said earlier: “For the time being we are taking the approach by country for border measures, but it is the case that it could be that we could put them in place for regions in the future.”
She told the House of Lords: “We are not there yet but we are certainly looking at it.”
However, it came just 24 hours after one of her colleagues ruled out the idea, saying it was unworkable and people could easily travel between regions.
Health minister Lord Bethell said after the Government imposed quarantine measures on everyone coming back from Spain: “Within individual countries there is no way for us to control intra-country transport, it is therefore very difficult and challenging to have a regional exemption list, and that is why we’ve not been able to give exemptions to the Balearics.”
Last night the Spanish islands the Balearic and Canary Islands were added to the ‘unsafe list’ – and only essential travel is now advised.
It brings it in line with the advice on mainland Spain, which is not to travel there if you can.
Anyone returning from there will have to isolate for two weeks at home, or risk a £1000 fine.
Brits coming back from Spain could also be told to get a test as the Government prepares to ramp up testing again.
A plan is on the cards to ask people coming back into the country from Spain to book in a test, even though they may not have symptoms.
It would be the first time Brits not working in the NHS or other key worker roles will be able to access a test without having reported a cough, fever or loss of smell or taste first.
The confusion over quarantine came after Boris Johnson warned today that Europe is on the cusp of a second wave of coronavirus.
And he hinted that the Government was worried about the risk of a second wave here.