Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to return home from Spain after air bridge scrapped

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is returning home early from his family holiday in Spain after the Government scrapped the country’s so-called air bridge.

The minister is believed to have flown out to Spain on Saturday – just hours before the Government announced without warning that those returning from the country would have to quarantine for two weeks.

Mr Shapps told The Sun that he was cutting his holiday short and leaving his family in Spain to come home.

He said he intended to arrive back in the UK on Wednesday, but will have to self-isolate for 14 days and work from home.

Mr Shapps told the publication that he planned to return to work amid the fallout from the sudden policy to impose quarantine restrictions.

Travellers returning from holidays in Spain have complained their plans had been “ruined” by the Government’s “knee-jerk” quarantine rules.

Passengers wearing face masks arrive at Son Sant Joan airport on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on Monday (AP)

It comes as British holidaymakers rush to cancel trips abroad amid fears the reimposed quarantine on Spain could be applied to other countries.

Travel companies have since reported a spike in cancellations to tourist hotspots including France, Greece, Italy and Germany amid fears the measures will be enforced on countries suffering a resurgence of coronavirus outbreaks.

In a statement to The Sun, Mr Shapps said: “Thousands of people have seen their holidays disrupted or cancelled due to the necessary emergency imposition of quarantine restrictions on Spain.

“I’ve been in constant contact with officials and industry representatives since I arrived in Spain on Saturday afternoon, when I reviewed the data and worked with colleagues to make a difficult decision to introduce quarantine.

“However, I think it’s right to get back to work in the UK as soon as possible in order to help handle the situation.

“The sooner I get back from Spain myself, the sooner I can get through quarantine. So I’m leaving my family to travel back to the UK on Wednesday.”

On Monday afternoon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice for visits to Spain.

It stated: “The FCO advise against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks in the country.”

An FCO spokesperson said: “We have considered the overall situation for British nationals travelling to and from the Balearic and Canary Islands, including the impact of the requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK, and concluded that we should advise British nationals against all non-essential travel to the whole of Spain.”

The Standard have contacted Mr Shapps and the Department for Transport for comment.


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