An increase of coronavirus cases in Belgium, Luxembourg and Croatia are reportedly prompting concern in about travel in the government
The UK government is ready to add more countries to its travel quarantine list “straight away” if COVID-19 runs “out of control” in them.
Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, has said that more announcements on the travel restrictions could follow the decision to advise Britons against any non-essential travel to Spain over the weekend due to fears over rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
“It would be foolhardy of the government not to impose those restrictions if we think there is a risk and we will impose those restrictions as soon as we think the risk has materialised,” he said.
“We cannot risk importing it again from other countries where incidences are rising.”
This comes after Heathrow Airport is proposing a coronavirus testing plan in a bid to reduce the 14-day quarantines and get people travelling by plane as the travel sector suffers under the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Dowden has said that the decision to announce more restrictions to travelling abroad will be taken after a review by the Joint Biosecurity Centre, which was set up at the start of the outbreak, as well as the chief medical officer for England.
“We are at a very risky moment with this pandemic,” he said.
“So long as you’re aware of that risk and comfortable with that risk, go ahead and take your break.”
But he added: “If we know that risk is there we will impose those restrictions straight away.”
Belgium, as well as Luxembourg and Croatia are the countries that are currently under review by government ministers, given the rise in case of the coronavirus, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Dowden would not reveal tot the press which countries could be next on the travel quarantine list, but he did confirm those in which the coronavirus is “rising rapidly”, saying that there is a risk of Britons “coming back in numbers” which is most concerning.
This comes after the UK has signed a deal to supply the nation with up to 60 million doses of a potential life-saving COVID-19 vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Jose Ramon Bauza, a former president of the Balearic islands, said he “doesn’t understand the decision of the British government” to change its travel advice on Spain.
“Of course we had some vacuums of coronavirus in Spain but most of the regions are absolutely low numbers, including better than Britain,” he told Sky News.
“I can assure you that being here in the Balearics is absolutely safe – it’s as safe as any other place in Europe.”
Speaking during a visit to Nottinghamshire, Boris Johnson said: “What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again.
“Let’s be absolutely clear about what’s happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic.”