A FAMILY from Spain could visit the Lake District for a holiday, but Brits CAN’T under new quarantine travel rules, a minister has admitted.
Brandon Lewis this morning defended the 14-day quarantine rule despite it allowing people from abroad more travel options than UK nationals.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, the Northern Ireland Secretary was asked if a family from Spain could come on a holiday from next week to the Lake District.
He said: “As long as they are following the guidance and doing the quarantine as outlined, and giving the details to Public Health England (PHE), somebody from abroad can come to the UK but they will have to quarantine for 14 days.”
The BBC host Charlie Stayt said: “Can you understand how that sounds utterly ridiculous?
“You or I who we know have been following the guidelines cannot go away and take a break for two nights or two weeks, but other people coming in from the rest of Europe come and do exactly that.
“How does that make sense?”.
Mr Lewis again tried to defend the policy, and suggested Brits will be able to have a holiday eventually.
He said: “PHE will be checking up on this, there will be substantial fines for people who don’t follow those guidelines, they will have to quarantine – here within the UK we are gradually looking at how we can ease the lockdown measures.
“We are very keen that people across the country, with a cautious approach, will be able to enjoy their summer, will be able to take those trips.
“We’ve got to do that in a very managed and cautious way.”
Priti Patel yesterday stuck to her guns over her hated 14-day quarantine plans – but gave hope to millions that holidays could be still on the cards with “travel corridors” or rapid virus tests at airports.
The Home Secretary has faced a huge backlash from Tory MPs and tourism bosses who believe the moves, which will come in from Monday, will harm the collapsing British travel industry and cost jobs.
The plan includes:
- Travellers to the UK from Monday will have to quarantine in one specific address for 14 days when they come into the UK
- They will have to fill in a form and have a receipt with them to prove they’ve handed over their contact details to authorities
- They will face spot checks and could face £1,000 fines if they break them
- But they will be allowed to break the two-week coronavirus quarantine to pop out for food, attend funerals and can use public transport
- Those from the Common Travel Area – Ireland, the Channel Islands and The Isle of Man – will be exempt
- Posties, lorry drivers and diplomats will be exempt from having to isolate
- The Government confirmed there was a list of exemptions to the controversial rules – but said these were only in case of an emergency
- The measures will be reviewed every three weeks – starting in the week of June 28
Angry MPs including former PM Theresa May stood up to attack the Government over the plan before it was even revealed.
Mrs May blasted: “Instead of bringing in measures to close Britain off from the rest of the world, why is the Government not taking a lead in developing international aviation health screening standard to save jobs and ensure Britain is open for businesses?”