Dominic Raab warned that more summer vacations abroad could be ruined today because he could not guarantee that more countries would not be subject to quarantine rules.
He spoke out after telling vacationers who were already in Spain that on their return they would have to spend 14 days in isolation after the airlift rules had been reversed overnight.
The change has been made due to an increase in cases in the popular vacation destination, and fears will arise that other countries may follow suit.
When asked on Sky & # 39; s Ridge on Sunday morning whether other countries could be subject to new quarantine restrictions, Mr. Raab said: "Well, as we have found in Spain, we cannot give a guarantee."
France, Germany and Australia are among the countries where the number of cases has increased in recent days.
When asked on Sky & # 39; s Ridge on Sunday morning whether other countries could be subject to new quarantine restrictions, Mr. Raab said: "Well, as we have found in Spain, we cannot give a guarantee.
"We can only say that we have this shared biosecurity center. As you can see, we are monitoring the risk in real time. We are resolutely taking quick action. So there is some uncertainty this summer when people go abroad."
"We therefore recommend that you follow the travel advice from the Federal Foreign Office, which is also linked to the quarantine principles. Take a close look at this."
He also refused to apologize for reintroducing quarantine when traveling to Spain, despite the anger of British holidaymakers who had already traveled to the Costas.
The Foreign Minister defended the Department of Transportation's decision to remove the country from a list of safe targets following an increase in coronavirus cases.
The decision has already left the estimated 600,000 British holidaymakers in Spain or those preparing to panic after returning to the UK for a fortnightly quarantine – which could make some unable to work.
One vacationer described the decision as "ridiculous," while another, an NHS project worker, claims that his work will be delayed because he has to isolate himself.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps pictured traveled to Spain over the weekend and had to be quarantined for 14 days after returning to the UK after the government's decision last night
Labor shadow health minister Jon Ashworth blew up the speed of the decision and the way it was broken by a journalist on Twitter
And chiefs of commerce say that the "abrupt" changes will also bother the owners of companies that will lose staff for two weeks with very little warning.
The travel industry chiefs say they understand the government's decision as there has been a recent surge in coronavirus cases in Spain, but have asked for quarantines for travelers from the Canary and Balearic Islands to be revised – where the number of cases is much lower than on the mainland.
Meanwhile, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya has struck back today to declare Spain "safe for tourists" and has refused to comment on whether the country will take retaliatory action by similar measures against incoming British holidaymakers.
Mr Raab said today that the decision to cancel the quarantine-free trip to Spain was made yesterday based on the data received and analyzed on Friday.
Labor rated the decision, which came into effect at midnight, as "shambolic" after it emerged that even Transport Minister Grant Shapps and Economics Minister Paul Scully were surprised by the speed of the move on Spanish holidays.
Passengers queue for a baggage claim at Terminal 4 of Adolfo Suarez-Madrid Barajas International Airport in Madrid
A family wearing all face masks walks past a departure board at Terminal 4 of Adolfo Suarez-Madrid Barajas International Airport in Madrid
One vacationer described the decision as "ridiculous," while another, an NHS project worker, claims that his work will be delayed because he has to isolate himself. Picutred: Vacationers on their way home from San Bartolome Airport in Lanzarote to Manchester
Which destinations are on the quarantine-free travel list in the UK?
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Antigua and Barbuda
Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba
British Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
the Channel Islands
the Isle of Man
Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Pierre and Miquelon
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
State of the Vatican City
But Mr. Raab said to Sky & # 39; s Ridge on Sunday: "The cases in Spain, the data we received were on Friday, showed a big jump across mainland Spain, which was then evaluated yesterday afternoon, and we made the decision as soon as possible.
"And we can't apologize for that. We need to be able to act quickly and decisively, especially with regard to localized or international measures related to Spain or a specific country where we have to take action.
Otherwise, we risk re-infection in the UK, possibly a second wave here and then another ban.
"So yes, I understand that it is disruptive to those who are in Spain or have been considering doing so, but we must be able to take swift and decisive measures to protect the UK because we are making such progress in the fight against the virus and prevent the virus from re-establishing itself in the UK. & # 39;
Labor shadow health minister Jon Ashworth criticized the speed of the decision and the way it was broken by a journalist on Twitter.
He said to Ridge, "I understand why you made the decision. But frankly, the way the decision was made in the past 24 hours is Shambol.
“At the moment there are vacationers in Spain who are confused and desperate. There are people who are on the verge of going on vacation to Spain and islands like Tenerife who are confused. They don't know if their employers will allow them to quarantine two weeks.
"The government just says," We hope that employers work together. I hope I will win the lottery on Saturday. That doesn't mean it will happen. "
It is believed that Mr Scully, who is also Minister for London, is vacationing on the Canary Island of Lanzarote after posting a picture of a beach resort there last night.
In response to Mr. Shapps' predicament, he added: “You couldn't make it up. Grant Shapps is on vacation in Spain when he is Minister of Transport. I think that tells you all about the government's approach in this regard. & # 39;
When asked why the government could not warn vacationers earlier that Spain was being quarantined, Mr Raab said ministers should be able to "measure the data in real time".
Flights from Spain arrived at Heathrow Airport today, and passengers were faced with an automatic 14-day quarantine at home or where they were
A passenger talks to the media after arriving from Heathrow Airport in Madrid this morning
Talking to Sky News & # 39; Sophy Ridge on Sunday he added: & # 39; If we suddenly say: & # 39; We are not quite sure & # 39; and giving vague advice would create more uncertainty.
“There is a limit to changes in the rules and advice we give. I guess this is difficult and can be annoying.
“But it would be far worse either to cloud the water or to hold back and delay the action if we had to take it.
& # 39; The reason why this was accepted at relatively short notice was the rise in Spain to which we responded. So it was the real-time response, the data we received from Spain (meant), we had to react very quickly. & # 39;
Baroness Harding, head of the NHS testing and tracing program, told Times Radio today that test subjects returning from Spain would not eliminate the need for travelers to isolate themselves for two weeks.
Speaking to Gloria de Piero and Tom Newton Dunn this morning: “Although we would love you to have a test today, we can be sure that you are not contagious and on the verge of getting sick. This is how the virus doesn't work.
“So a test today is only as good as saying that you don't have the disease today. And the incubation period can be quite long. If you were in a very high risk environment and our scientists and clinicians are currently of the opinion that Spain is a high risk environment, you must isolate yourself for 14 days as you may test negative today and test positive tomorrow or the next day until the end of this 14 day period. & # 39;
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