The Transport Secretary told LBC that Spain and France have gone the wrong way in the battle against COVID-19. Both countries will be joined on the UK’s quarantine list by Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago after 4am on Saturday morning.
The Transport Secretary said: “At the moment I’m afraid France and Spain have both been going the wrong way.
“So just to put numbers on this, we respond when there are about 20 cases per 100,000 of the population measured over a seven-day rolling average.
So 20 is the figure to bear in mind.”
He continued: “I think that the last that I saw of Spain it was up in the 40s and 50s so a long way off that, and France, who quarantined from last weekend, I’m afraid to say we were right to do that because we’ve seen the cases continue to carry on up in France as well.
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“In order to put a country back in to the travel corridor, what we say is it needs to stay below that number for a couple of cycles.
“So a cycle is two weeks long for coronavirus.”
Mr Shapps added: “We’re in exceptional times and we can’t predict what this virus is going to do next and where.
“If you are travelling, do just have in your mind there is a chance that things change and we always will react quickly to protect the situation back home to make sure we’re not re-importing the disease.”
Earlier today Mr Shapps insisted it is safe for people to return to the office despite Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to issue the same advice in Scotland.
The Transport Secretary was quizzed on why Scotland’s First Minister urged people to work from home in Scotland despite the UK Government taking a different stance.
The Transport Secretary was asked: “Can you explain why the Health Secretary is at odds with the Scottish Government who have said it is not safe to return to the office?”
Mr Shapps told Sky News: “We know obviously that there are four parts of the United Kingdom.
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“The different administrations are pacing this to suit the condition in that particular area.
“So different areas will come to different conclusions.
“Certainly as far as England is concerned we are saying it is safe to return to the office and we want people to return because there is a very important aspect here where we need to make sure we are protecting people’s jobs.
“We can only do that by ensuring that the economy is up and running so it is sensible to take an approach which is appropriate to the part of the country that you live in.
“If you live in England, we are now saying that you can return to work.”
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