Holidays: ‘We won’t hesitate to act’ – Hancock’s chilling warning for British tourists

Sky News presenter Niall Paterson asked Mr Hancock whether he is concerned about a “second wave” of the virus, and said: “…Yesterday, we’ve heard in the papers Boris Johnson is worried about a second wave, this morning in the papers more anonymous briefings suggesting the scientists are. If you are worried about a second wave, why aren’t you telling us? Why are we getting all this behind-the-scenes briefings going on in the middle of a pandemic?”

The Health Secretary said: “I am worried about a second wave.

“You can see a second wave starting to roll across Europe and we’ve got to do everything we can to prevent it from reaching these shores and tackle it.

“The measures that the Chief Medical Officer will set out later are part of that, but so too are the measures we are taking to ensure that we don’t directly bring cases back to this country.”

Mr Hancock said that they will be keeping the quarantine rules under review “all the time” for countries like Spain.

He added: “We’re taking action and we will take action if it is needed to keep this country safe.”

He reiterated that the Government is worried about a second wave because “you can see it happening”.

“Outside of Europe, there are clearly very sharp increases in the number of cases in places like Brazil, Mexico, India and other places.

“But closer to home, in Europe, including in some of the countries we had exempted from quarantine because their cases were so low, we’re seeing that come up and we won’t hesitate to act.”

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Last week, keen travellers were left in shock after Spain was removed from the UK’s “air bridge” list.

Spain, which is a popular holiday destination with Britons, experienced a sudden spike in cases in the regions of Catalonia, Navarra and Aragon.

The rising case rate led the Government to take drastic action, removing Spain from its list of countries that are currently exempt from quarantine rules.

This means that anyone arriving from Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands back into the UK will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also defended the Government’s decision to reintroduce quarantine rules for arrivals from Spain.

He arrived back in the UK from the country and will face 14 days in isolation.

He told Sky News: “I’m very sorry and upset for the thousands of Brits who are either way or perhaps haven’t even managed to go away this summer to Spain.

“But it’s absolutely essential we acted when we did.

“It’s why all four nations of the UK acted together.

“And the figures since have turned out to justify that action.

“We have to have a clear message and make sure that we act by adding entire countries to that list for the time being.”

Mr Shapps explained why they decided to take a planet approach and not exclude the Balearics and Canaries from their decision.

He continued: “We did look at whether certain islands could be included and not others.

“Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer was very clear with us that he was concerned about the date.

“We’d seen how the data had come very fast forward in 20-48 hours it had one up by 74 percent. It had doubled in just a few days.

“He was concerned to see what was happening in the islands and that’s why we make it a whole country approach with these things.”

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