Boris Johnson said further quarantine restrictions could be imposed on further European countries if a “second wave” of coronavirus hits the continent.
The prime minister faces a diplomatic row with Spain after warning against all but essential travel to the country and its resort islands, and insisting travellers arriving in the UK from there spend a fortnight in quarantine due to an increase in cases.
He insisted the government would not hesitate to act if flare-ups of coronavirus occurred in other destinations, as it also emerged that ministers are examining ways to declare regions of other nations safe for travel.
“I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic,” the prime minister warned.
With holidaymakers already facing uncertainty over trips abroad this summer, Mr Johnson indicated further action could be considered by the government.
“It’s vital that when people are coming back from abroad, if they are coming back from a place where I’m afraid there is another outbreak, they must go into quarantine,” he said.
“That’s why we have taken the action that we have and we will continue, throughout the summer, to take such action where it is necessary.”
Mr Johnson said it was up to individuals to decide whether they wanted to take the risk of travelling in the present circumstances.
“These are decisions for families, for individuals, about where they want to go,” he said.