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A minister has admitted a family from abroad will be allowed to holiday in England under the government’s new quarantine travel policy – but people already in the country can’t.
Brandon Lewis, appearing on BBC Breakfast, was asked if people from Spain could holiday in the Lake District.
He confirmed: “As long as they are following the guidance and doing the quarantine as outlined.”
From Monday, people travelling to England from abroad will be made to self-isolate for 14 days in a bid to restrict the spread of coronavirus.
Under the government’s latest lockdown rules for those already in the country, people are allowed to travel anywhere in England from their home – but only if they are spending their time outdoors and do not spend the night.
Presenter Charlie Stayt asked Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary: “If you or I wanted to go for a two-week break in the Lake District right now, we can’t do that, can we? We’re not allowed to do that.
“If a family from Spain wants to come to the UK and spend two weeks in the Lake District next week, can they do that?”
Lewis admitted: “As long as they are following the guidance and doing the quarantine as outlined, and giving the details to Public Health England (PHE), somebody from abroad can come to the UK but they will have to quarantine for 14 days.”
Stayt responded: “Can you understand how that sounds utterly ridiculous?
“So you or I, who we know have been following the guidelines, cannot go away and take a break for two days, two weeks, whatever – but other people coming in from the rest of Europe can come to this country and they can do exactly that?
“How does that make sense?”
Lewis would only say: “If people are coming into the UK, yes they will have to quarantine.
“They will have to give their address, give their details. PHE will be checking up on this.
“There will be substantial fines for people who don’t follow those guidelines, they will have to quarantine – here within the UK we are gradually looking at how we can ease the lockdown measures.”
On Wednesday, home secretary Priti Patel confirmed the quarantine travel rules will come into force next week for most people arriving in the UK via air, rail or sea.
People must tell PHE where they will be staying, with the agency able to report people suspected of non-compliance to the police. Fines can reach up to £3,200.
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