“There is not a silver bullet of testing immediately at the border. Of course, we are looking at reviewing other measures that we could take to address this but, at this stage, it’s not the case that we can simply test at the border and give people that assurance,” Dowden told the BBC.
“We want to keep our economy open, we want to keep the disease under control -- we have to take these measures,” he added.
Dowden’s remarks come days after the UK government announced that it would remove Spain from its list of countries that residents can safely visit, sparking criticism from both the Spanish government and British travelers.
“We have to act in a way to keep the virus under control in this country. It was rising in Spain, and we had to ensure that we didn’t import cases,” Dowden said.
“If there are ways in which we can ease the burdens, we will do that, but at the moment the safest thing to do is for people to quarantine for 14 days if they are returning from Spain,” he added.