THE Scottish Tories have been condemned for their hypocrisy after chastising the Scottish Government for reimposing quarantine measures on people travelling from Spain.

Holyrood ministers announced last Monday that those heading to Scotland from Spain would no longer need to isolate for 14 days. However, those restrictions were reintroduced at midnight last night after a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Pressed on the issue on BBC Radio Scotland, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf defended the decision.

He said he understood the frustrations of holidaymakers and travel firms, who were given just a few hours’ notice of the move, but said health has to take precedence.

The minister told Good Morning Scotland that that the decision was based on public health data received on Saturday from the UK Government which showed a “deeply alarming trend”.

He explained: “In the space of a week, from July 17-24, we saw cases in Spain almost double, from 5700 to 11,000. That wasn’t localised. That rise in cases … was across 15 out of the 19 regions in Spain.”

READ MORE: Anger over reimposing quarantine for travellers from Spain

Asked if the decision to lift restrictions on travellers from the country just a few days before was a mistake, Yousaf said wished he had a “crystal ball”, adding: “The percentage of the population that was infectious had dramatically reduced – in fact it was lower than Scotland’s was. We made the decision again based on the data in front of us.

“Clearly, on reflection, perhaps there are some lessons for us to learn. I’m never against us doing that and I think that’s important for us to do.”

He said that without a vaccine it was “inevitable” that other countries would be removed from and added to the list of places exempt from quarantine restrictions as Covid-19 cases fluctuated.

However, Scottish Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston was not satisfied with Yousaf’s response.

The Highlands and Islands representative tweeted: “I think ‘there are lessons to be learned’ and he doesn’t have a ‘crystal ball’ is about as close to a ‘I got it wrong’ as we’re going to get from Humza Yousaf on their handling of the Spanish quarantine issue.”

Yousaf hit back, accusing the Tories of hypocrisy.

“Jackson Carlaw stood up in Parliament weeks ago demanding we exempt parts of Spain – you also didn't oppose our decision last week,” he posted.

“While I am certain we will reflect on decisions we made, we will not be turning to Tories in Scotland for advice.

“Brass neck doesn't cover it!”

READ MORE: Jamie Halcro Johnston attacks nationalism ... in a tweet with a giant Union flag

The UK Government refused to apologise after facing criticism for reimposing quarantine restrictions. 

The quick turnaround caught out even Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who is currently in Spain for his summer break and will join thousands of others in being forced to self-isolate for a fortnight on his return to Britain.

Explaining the decision, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The data we got was on the Friday, it showed a big jump right across mainland Spain. That was then assessed yesterday afternoon and we took the decision as swiftly as we could.

“And we can’t make apologies for doing so.”