Grant Shapps was quizzed by Charlie Stayt via video link on BBC Breakfast to share the latest guidelines and news regarding Brits’ ability to travel without quarantining in the coming weeks. Recently, the government announced plans for “air bridges” with a number of countries so travellers could avoid self-isolating upon arrival. However, when Charlie pressed Mr Shapps for more clarity, his line of questioning was soon shut down.
Charlie kicked off the interview as he probed: “Can you tell us exactly what the government has announced in regards to which countries are no longer subject to the quarantine regulations?”
Mr Shapps replied: “So the actual list itself will be published this afternoon,
“And we’ve worked on this list carefully with Public Health England. These are countries where it is possible to travel, if you’re in England, to come back and not have to quarantine at the end of the holiday.”
Despite Mr Shapps’ pleas to wait for the list, Charlie quizzed again: “What are those countries?”
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Mr Shapps reiterated he wasn’t going to list the “50 plus” countries “here and now.”
However, Charlie asked once again shortly after, saying: “So just for the sake of clarity,
“Are there 49 countries with whom we now have a reciprocal arrangement for no restrictions either way?”
Laughing off the repeated line of questioning, Mr Shapps replied: “You’ll have to wait for the full list today.”
The Transport Secretary explained further: “Just a further interesting point on this,
“It will also include overseas territories as well, so the United Kingdom’s overseas territories including Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands and many others.
“Then there are a few smaller places as well, like the Vatican, which will be included, you know, countries within countries, that sort of thing.
“It’s a complicated list and it’s better that that’s published later today.”
This wasn’t the only time the pair locked horns during the rather tense chat today.
Charlie found himself scolding the MP for his “tone” in regards to tomorrow’s ‘Super Saturday’ in which pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen.
Mr Shapps was shown a clip from a concerned landlord worried about opening his doors as well as a clip of Jacob Rees-Mogg joking in parliament about enjoying a “yard of ale2.
Charlie followed up the clips by saying: “I thought the government was trying to urge caution?”
Mr Shapps tried to laugh off his colleague’s joke in the clip but the BBC Breakfast host was less than pleased with the reaction.
“I’m not sure why – here’s the thing about tone,” Charlie snapped.
He continued: “Jacob Rees-Mogg appeared to be treating it as a bit of a laugh and you’re laughing now, but this is serious, isn’t it?”
Mr Shapps agreed it was serious that people are cautious when they return to normality tomorrow.
BBC Breakfast continues every weekday at 6am on BBC One.