The Somerset Guardian, 29th July 2020

This weekend, the Government announced that those arriving from Spain to the United Kingdom (UK) will, upon arrival, have to quarantine for fourteen days with immediate effect.

In an interview with Sky News, the Foreign Secretary explained that the Government took the necessary measures to protect the UK after the Prime Minister and his senior advisers received crucial data on Friday about surges of Coronavirus in Spain. In a statement defending the fourteen-day quarantine, the Premier forewarned that there are signs of a "second wave" of Covid-19 across Europe, saying that the decision taken by the Government had to be "swift" and further action would be taken "where it is necessary". Until further notice, the Foreign Office is advising against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands.  

Whilst the act of removing Spain from the UK's 'exempt list' may seem draconian, I believe that Boris Johnson is correct to move quickly on this issue. The recent spikes in Spain are, currently,  contained to Aragon and Catalonia but the increase in transmission rates has been acute, a reminder of how easily and rapidly this disease can spread. It would not only be an enormous shame to undo the hard work that we have achieved through lockdown and beyond but it would also be irresponsible of the Government to have access to such information and ignore it.  As we have seen, the results can be fatal.

The Government continues to observe the situation in Spain and will amend its guidance accordingly. In the meantime, it has added Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and St .Vincent and the Grenadines to the list of countries which qualify for exemption, showing that it is willing to move forward, albeit in a reassuringly cautious manner.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance: jacob.reesmogg.mp@parliament.uk