Shapps says Trump would need a negative Covid test before UK golf trip
‘He may not be able to play golf (here) quite as quickly as he’d hoped’: Grant Shapps says Donald Trump would need a negative Covid test to enter the UK as he blasts ‘despicable’ attack on Capitol by president’s supporters
- Transport Secretary mocked the under-fire US leader amid fury over Capitol riot
- Reports suggest ex-president may try to fly to Scotland to visit his golf resort
- Shapps said he would need negative Covid test before entry, and do quarantine
- Said: ‘He may not end up being able to play golf quite as quickly as he’d hoped’
Donald Trump may be dreaming of hitting the fairway at one of his UK golf resorts after admitting defeat in his bid to retain the US presidency.
But any plans he may have to jet across the Atlantic after Joe Biden is inaugurated were grounded by Grant Shapps this morning.
The Transport Secretary mocked the under-fire US leader as he confirmed he would need to follow the same rules as other travellers to the UK, meaning he faces having to show a negative Covid test result before being allowed in.
He would also have to quarantine for 10 days under changes to arrivals in the UK unveiled today.
Mr Shapps made the comments as he blasted scenes in Washington where supporters of Mr Trump stormed the US Capitol, the heart of US politics.
Mr Trump finally distanced himself from the demonstrators last night amid calls for him to be removed from office early before the January 20 handover.
Mr Trump has a golf resort at Turnberry in Ayreshire, and asked on Times Radio what would happen if the president decided to visit after leaving office, Mr Shapps said: For one thing, he’ll require a coronavirus test seventy-two hours before and presumably he’d have to quarantine as well I’m afraid.
‘So he may not end up being able to play golf quite as quickly as he’d hoped.’
Mr Trump finally distanced himself from the demonstrators last night amid calls for him to be removed from office early before the January 20 handover
The Transport Secretary mocked the under-fire US leader as he confirmed he would need to follow the same rules as other travellers to the UK, meaning he faces having to show a negative Covid test result before being allowed in
Mr Trump has a golf resort at Turnberry in Ayreshire (pictured), and reports have suggested he may try to head there after leaving office
His comments came days after Nicola Sturgeon warned Mr Trump he would not be allowed into Scotland if he tried to visit to play golf instead of attending Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The First Minister warned the soon to be ex-president that any trip across the Atlantic would breach the country’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport, 30 miles from Turnberry, is said to have been warned to expect a plane he uses on January 19.
Mr Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president is due to take place in Washington DC the following day in a scaled-down ceremony due to the pandemic.
Mr Shapps today revealed that the diktat forcing travellers to present a negative covid test before travelling to the UK will be imposed ‘next Wednesday or Thursday’ to give 100,000 Britons abroad the chance to get home if they need to.
The Transport Secretary has said nobody will be able to depart for Britain by plane, train or ferry unless they present a ‘recognised’ test result at check-in along with a valid passport and visa if required.
Mr Shapps said that airlines or other travel firms such as Eurostar or P&O would be forced by law to check – and turn back anyone without one. Anyone who slips through will face a £500 on-the-spot fine. It is not clear whether they will then forced into quarantine or prosecuted.
Travellers will have to self-isolate for ten days after arrival, regardless of whether they tested negative, to the ire of travel industry leaders who today declared the plan will further damage Britain’s travel industry with boss of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, warning: ‘Very few people will travel with this in place’.
Mr Shapps said the new rules will be imposed in five or six days time to avoid a scramble to get back from abroad.
His bookcase during his broadcast round on Friday displayed where the Government’s allegiances now firmly lie. Positioned prominently behind him was an autobiography by Mr Biden’s nominee for transport secretary, Pete Buttigieg.
Mr Shapps declined to give his backing to calls to remove the Republican by invoking the 25th Amendment over concerns about his fitness to remain in office.
But he described as ‘despicable’ the scenes after Mr Trump encouraged the mob of supporters to march to Congress in Washington DC with his baseless allegations of electoral fraud.
‘What happened completely dishonours democracy and it was despicable to see those people encouraged to go to the Capitol building and ransack it like that, and there’s people’s lives that have been lost as well,’ Mr Shapps told Sky News.
‘But leave it to the Americans to resolve. America’s a great democracy, they’ve got all the institutions in place, the checks and balances are there, and to see something like that happen in the United States is really quite extraordinary and I know there will be quite some reflection on that.’
His comments came after a police officer died from injuries he suffered when Trump supporters launched the assault on the Capitol on Wednesday, making him the fifth person to die after the clashes.
Pressure is increasing for Mr Trump to be ousted from the White House ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged vice-president Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare Mr Trump unable to perform his duties.
The move would require Mr Pence, who was an unwavering ally of the president until this week, defying his final attempt to overturn the election, and at least eight cabinet members to invoke the amendment.
Ms Pelosi has threatened to work to impeach the president once again if the cabinet does not act swiftly.
UK ministers have in the past been at pains not to criticise Mr Trump, with Mr Shapps once saying ‘I’ll defer to medical expertise’ when questioned about the president’s dangerous suggestion that disinfectant could be injected into the body to treat Covid-19.
But as power drained away from the president, so did international niceties.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned Mr Trump’s incitement of supporters to descend on the Capitol as ‘completely wrong’, while Home Secretary Priti Patel said the president’s incendiary comments ‘directly led to the violence’.
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