Second Tory minister caught out by changes to quarantine rules for travel to Spain


A second Tory minister has been caught out by the Government’s decision to axe quarantine-free travel from Spain.

Paul Scully, the Minister for London, will have to self isolate for 14 days after travelling to Lanzarote for a summer break, The Mirror understands.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also fell victim to the sudden change in his own department’s policy on Saturday, only hours after he himself had travelled to Spain.

The Government sparked anger from holidaymakers and the travel sector for abruptly removing the UK’s most popular destination from its safe travel list on Saturday.

But Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab refused to apologise for the travel chaos, saying ministers needed to be able to act swiftly to prevent any resurgence of coronavirus in the UK.

Mr Scully posted a picture of himself on Instagram in Playa Dorada, Lanzarote.

He later shared a screenshot of the news of the changes to the quarantine rules with the caption: “It’s worth it” and an eye-roll emoji.

The Tory MP posted a second image of a drink with the caption: “Best turn to gin. I’ll still be able to work. Just no shopping or running I guess #quarantine”.

It comes after it emerged that Mr Shapps has also travelled to Spain for a family holiday on Saturday.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said the Cabinet Minister would continue his trip and then self-isolate when he returns.

The abrupt decision to reimpose quarantine rules for travel to Spain was made on Saturday following a spike in cases in the country.

The Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain, while the guidance also applies to the Canary Islands and the Balearics.

But the move triggered fury as holidaymakers were only told hours before the change came into effect at midnight.

Tui, the UK’s biggest tour operator, cancelled all flights due to depart to mainland Spain and the islands on Sunday

Managing Director Andrew Flintham said: “We’re incredibly disappointed that we didn’t get more notice of this announcement, or that this decision wasn’t made yesterday, as many Brits travel on holiday at the weekend.”

Rory Boland, of consumer magazine Which? Travel, said many people would be “deeply angry” that the Government failed to make the decision before tens of thousands of people jetted off for their summer holidays.

“Many would not have travelled if they had known they’d face 14 days of quarantine on their return,” he said.

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth said the handling of the changes to quarantine rules was “shambolic”.

He demanded clarity over whether the government would offer financial support to those penalised by their employers for having to isolate.

Mr Raab refused to apologise for the decision to axe the so-called travel corridor with Spain, saying the Government needed to be able to act quickly to prevent the spread of the virus.

And he hinted that other popular holiday destinations could be removed from the safe travel list.

He told Sky News: “As we’ve found with Spain, we can’t give a guarantee.

“All we can say is we’ve got this Joint Biosecurity Centre, we monitor the risk in real time, we take decisive swift action and so there is an element of uncertainty this summer if people go abroad.

“I’m not going to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do, they should follow the advice, I’m going to be staying at home this summer.”


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