Insiders say the decision – which has thrown the plans of thousands of holidaymakers into chaos by requiring them to quarantine for up to ten days even if they are double vaccinated against coronavirus – was taken at a meeting on July 16 attended by Mr Javid, Mr Johnson and senior scientific advisers, but not Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
A source claimed Mr Javid had overreacted to claims that the AstraZeneca vaccine might not work against the South African – or Beta – variant, which is responsible for about ten per cent of Covid-19 cases in France, although many are in its Indian Ocean territories of Reunion and Mayotte.
In fact, on the day the decision was taken, new research was available showing a single AZ dose was 83 per cent effective at stopping hospitalisations caused by the South African strain, only slightly lower than its 88 per cent protection against the Indian (Delta) variant.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid was last night accused of ‘frightening’ Boris Johnson into making his ill-fated decision to move France into the Amber-plus travel category
Insiders say the decision was taken at a meeting on July 16 attended by Mr Javid, Mr Johnson and senior scientific advisers, but not Transport Secretary Grant Shapps
The Mail on Sunday understands that another fear raised by Government advisers was the theoretical risk of someone becoming simultaneously infected with both Beta and Delta strains, leading to a ‘recombined’ mutant with turbo-charged transmissability and vaccine resistance.
To compound days of damaging headlines over its handling of the pandemic, the Government may now be forced to take France off the Amber-plus list within a week.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The source said: ‘Saj frightened the PM to death. Shapps was so p****d off that the decision was taken without him being present. No 10 and the Department of Health must now be feeling pretty f****** stupid after the backlash.’
The meeting on July 16 took place shortly before Mr Javid