Grant Shapps shortens his family vacation in Spain and flies back to the UK, where he is quarantined under the emergency rules that he himself adopted.
The Transport Secretary said last night that it was "right to get back to work in Britain as soon as possible" to deal with the consequences of the government's decision to break the air corridor with Spain, which has seen the number of coronavirus cases increase steadily is.
Hundreds of thousands of affected tourists are struggling with the sudden isolation, and many fear that it will cost them their wages and even their work.
Mr. Shapps recognized the emerging need for those facing mandatory two-week quarantine, but defended the action.
He added that he would leave his wife and children and return to the UK on Wednesday to best control his department's response, albeit from home. The family went on vacation to Ibiza, the Spanish Prime Minister said last night.
Secretary of Transport Grant Shapps has been through a two-week quarantine after returning from Spain, just a few days after securing an air corridor with the country
Spain was placed on the UK quarantine list in just five hours, but cases are increasing in other European countries. France and Germany are most at risk of another quarantine order, both popular holiday destinations for the British
Mr. Shapps said in a statement: “Thousands of people have seen that their vacation has been interrupted or canceled due to the need for emergency quarantine restrictions in Spain.
“I have been in constant contact with representatives and industry representatives since I arrived in Spain on Saturday afternoon when I checked the data and worked with colleagues to make the difficult decision to introduce quarantine.
“However, I think it is right to go back to the UK as soon as possible to deal with the situation.
“The sooner I come back from Spain myself, the sooner I can go through the quarantine. So I'm leaving my family to return to the UK on Wednesday. & # 39;
It is believed that Mr. Shapps was aware of the likely reintroduction of the quarantine prior to departure, but decided to move forward if he had managed to avoid isolation by tampering with privileged information, for fear of a backlash.
Passengers with face masks are leaving the arrival terminal at Birmingham Airport today
France's new coronavirus cases are also increasing – leading to concerns that it will be the next country to be banned without notice. Belgium and Germany are also seeing an increase in new cases of coronavirus
Downing Street confirmed today that the Secretary of Transportation must not bypass the quarantine period. Existing ministers are not exempt.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Ministers have the same rules as everyone else."
Tory MP Paul Scully, an economics minister, is also on vacation in Lanzarote, which is also part of the quarantine rules as part of the Canary Islands.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez appeared to reveal Mr. Shapps' holiday hideout in a live television interview to millions of people.
The respected Spanish journalist Pedro Piqueras said yesterday evening / Monday evening in an interview with Mr. Sanchez about Telecinco's nightly news overview: “Two British ministers are currently in Spain, one in Ibiza and the other in Lanzarote, is pretty meaningful when it comes to the security situation this country is going. & # 39;
The Spanish prime minister made no attempt to contradict what his interviewer said and could be overheard in a whisper by admitting: "Asi es" – Spanish for "That's right".
No further details were given about Mr. Shapps' holiday arrangements.
Mr Shapps, Welwyn Hatfield's MP in Hertfordshire, will be faced with a crowded tray on his return.
Vacationers affected by the changes call for support because they fear financial uncertainties.
Downing Street says British vacationers who miss work due to the new quarantine period may be eligible for universal credit or a job support allowance of up to £ 74.35 per week, but not for statutory sick pay.
However, employers are not required to pay staff during the quarantine. The self-employed will be forced to quit their jobs, and some people could even be fired if they had to isolate themselves when they returned home.
In the meantime, the distressed travel industry, particularly the airlines that blew millions during the ban, is facing further losses.
Other European holidays could get messy as the Spanish decision is said to have frightened British vacationers who had booked trips to France, Italy and Greece.