As the Government wrecks another few thousand holidays with sudden quarantine, you might assume that it takes this sort of thing seriously, and keeps close track of it.
After all, you don’t force people to abandon holidays they have saved up for all year, and stampede them into dashing for the nearest port or airport, or expect them to spend money they haven’t got on cruelly inflated ticket prices so they can meet a 4 a.m. deadline, just on a whim, do you? You don’t lightly demand that, if they miss that deadline, they remain under house arrest for 14 days, unable to go to work, do you?
Surely you do those things because you genuinely believe that there is a grave danger if people remain in the affected countries, which must be severely contained? I thought so too. But is it so?
Nearly a month after a last-minute announcement on July 25 smashed up tens of thousands of Spanish holidays, I asked Matt Hancock’s Health Department some simple questions. I began this process last Monday morning:
‘How many of the UK travellers arriving from Spain after the introduction of the July 25 quarantine subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, how many of them were hospitalised, how many have recovered and (if applicable) how many died?’