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08th Aug 2021

Dominic Raab avoided having to quarantine on return from France

Charlie Herbert

Just two days after returning to the UK, he was meeting Princess Anne.

Dominic Raab dodged quarantina on returning from France at the end of July despite the country being given high-risk amber-plus rating just days earlier amid concern over the highly infectious Beta variant of Covid-19.

The Foreign Secretary is the second senior Tory in recent days to cause outrage for appearing to skip rules and restrictions that apply to the rest of the country.

Alok Sharma used his ministerial exemption to visit six red list countries without having to isolate on his return to the UK.

At the time of Raab’s trip, ordinary Brits would have had to quarantine for 10 days on returning from France.

On July 19, he gave the country an amber-plus rating. However, seven days later the Foreign Secretary was visiting Paris.

Rules for amber-plus countries mean returning travellers had to stay home for 10 days – with early release after five days, only if they tested negative for Covid on days two and five after getting back.

But Raab met up with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta just a day after returning from France, and then the next day visited the AstraZeneca plant in Oxford to see vaccines being made before joining Princess Anne for an evening do.

Cabinet ministers are able to get a special Government certificate to avoid having to isolate.

According to the Mirror, a Foreign Office spokesman said: “He’s the Foreign Secretary. It’s his job to represent the UK abroad.”

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But Labour Party chair Anneliese Dodds said: “No wonder the Tories don’t understand the chaos they’ve created when ministers don’t apply the rules to themselves.

“Senior Con­ser­vatives are taking the public for fools. It’s always one rule for them and another for everyone else.”

And Independent SAGE’s Prof Christina Pagel added: “We’ve seen enough times that Cabinet ministers aren’t immune from Covid.

“The biggest threat to the UK’s exit from the pandemic is a new, worse variant taking hold here.”