BORIS Johnson today defended introducing a quarantine for people returning from Spain – saying Europe was on the verge of a second wave.
Speaking in Nottinghamshire today at the launch of his big push to promote cycling, the PM spoke for the first time about the decision to force people coming back to the UK to isolate for two weeks.
Tourists and the travel industry are in chaos after the surprise decision on Saturday night to change Foreign Office advice.
Brits are now advised against all but essential travel to Spain – and as of last night the Spanish islands were included too.
Mr Johnson told reporters this morning: “Let’s be absolutely clear about what’s happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic.
“What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again.”
And he said it was up to individuals to decide whether they wanted to take the risk of going abroad.
The PM said: “These are decisions for families, for individuals, about where they want to go.”
The Prime Minister said the quarantine measures were aimed at stopping cases being brought in to the UK.
“It’s vital that when people are coming back from abroad, if they are coming back from a place where I’m afraid there is another outbreak, they must go into quarantine,” he said.
“That’s why we have taken the action that we have and we will continue, throughout the summer, to take such action where it is necessary.”
Asked about reports the 14-day quarantine period could be reduced, Boris Johnson said: “We are always looking at ways in which we can mitigate the impact of the quarantine, try to help people, try to make sure that the science is working to help travellers and holidaymakers.
“At the moment you have got to stick with the guidance that we are giving, we have given the guidance now about Spain and about some other places around the world.
“I’m afraid if we do see signs of a second wave in other countries it is really our job, our duty, to act swiftly and decisively to stop … travellers coming back from those places seeding the disease here in the UK.”