Grant Shapps has defended France’s position on the UK’s ‘amber plus’ travel list, saying the determination was made because of circumstances of the Beta coronavirus variant in the north of the nation.
On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated the transfer was made as a result of of the “prevalence of the so-called Beta variant, in particular in the Reunion bit of France”.
But the transport secretary informed Kay Burley the variant can be “an issue” in northern components of the nation.
“The Beta variant, it is not just – as has been reported – on an island thousands of miles away, it was also an issue in particular in northern France. So it has been an overall concern,” Grant Shapps informed Sky News.
“And look, the massive concern is that we do not enable a variant through which someway is ready to escape the vaccine programme that now we have received.
“We do not wish to have gotten this far with vaccinations, with simply getting in the direction of 90% of all adults having been vaccinated, after which throw all of it away as a result of a variant that the vaccine maybe could not deal with got here in.
“Now all the evidence on all of that has been pulled together – the latest research on how the vaccine works with the Beta variant, the scale of the Beta variant and France and the rest of it – and then these decisions will, of course, be constantly reviewed which is exactly what will happen.”
It comes after a French minister described the UK government’s determination to maintain quarantine measures for travellers coming from France whereas eradicating them for all different European international locations as “discriminatory” and “excessive”.