Spain critical as UK extends non-essential travel advice to Canary and Balearic islands
As expected (see 7.22am), five more countries have been added to the Foreign Office’s list of countries that are exempt from quarantine. They are: Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The full list of countries that are exempt is here. These are the arrangements sometimes described as air corridors.
Good morning. I’m Andrew Sparrow, taking over from Damien Gayle.
Simon Clarke, the local government minister, was doing the morning interview round on behalf of the government this morning. As we’ve already reported, he used his interviews to dismiss the Spanish PM’s criticism of the Spain quarantine policy. (See 8.09am.) But here are some of the other points he made.
The reality is people travelling abroad will have to accept that there is a degree of uncertainty.
As the situation changes on the ground, we have to reserve the right to take action to keep the British public safe.
I think we’d have faced equally, frankly, strong criticism from you this morning had we done anything else.
If we’d failed to take these steps, we’d be accused of inaction in the face of a growing health crisis and therefore it is important to remember we’re doing this because the balance of medical opinion is it’s the right thing to do.
We all feel deeply for everyone who’s been affected by this.
We very strongly encourage employers to take a sensible and compassionate approach to people who find themselves in this situation.