HUMZA Yousaf has warned holidaymakers that more changes to travel quarantines are “inevitable” as coronavirus cases continue to fluctuate around the world.

The SNP Justice Secretary also admitted there were “lessons to learn” from the sudden reimposition of self-isolation rules for Spain which were announced on Saturday evening.

The UK and Scottish Governments gave travellers less than six hours’ notice that anyone returning from Spain would have to self-isolate for two weeks from Sunday.

The return of the quarantine came just three days after it was lifted in Scotland and 15 days after it was lifted in England.

Both governments have been accused of “shambolic” decision-making as a result.

READ MORE: UK adds Spain to quarantine list: What does this mean for holidaymakers?

UK Health Minister Helen Whateley today refused to rule out reimposing quarantine for France and Germany as well in light of Covid-19 case levels there.

“If we see rates going up in a country where at the moment there is no need to quarantine, we would have to take action because we cannot take the risk,” she told Sky News.

“We have to keep the situation under review. We have to keep an eye on rates in other countries.”

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Mr Yousaf said the decision to restart the Spanish quarantine had been taken on a “four nations” basis after data showed a surge in Covid cases.

He acknowledged the snap change had been “frustrating and disappointing”, but said any travel during the pandemic would always carry an element of risk.

He said: "The reason is very much based on the public health data we received on Saturday from the UK Government that showed a deeply alarming trend in Spain.

"In the space of a week, from the 17th of July to the 24th of July we saw cases in Spain almost double from 5,700 to 11,000."

Asked if it was a mistake to take Spain off the quarantine list a few days ago, he said: "When we made the decision to remove Spain, the decision was based on the data.

"So the prevalence, which is the percentage of the population per 100,000 that is infectious, that has dramatically reduced, in fact it was lower than what Scotland's was...

"Clearly on reflection, perhaps there are some lessons for us to learn, I'm never against us doing that.

"I think that's important for us to do, particularly because without a global vaccine being available there are going to be times when countries are going to be taken off the exempt list, put back on the list, depending on the data that we receive."

He said: “The situation can change very rapidly. If you are travelling anywhere - Spain or any other country in Europe or outwith - then in the midst of a global pandemic that is going to carry some risk.

READ MORE: Spain quarantine: Holidaymakers and travel groups fume following Covid-19 spike

“So you must go in eyes wide open that the situation upon departure, or when you book a holiday, could be very very different to when you choose to return.

“That is simply the nature of this virus.

“I wish I could sugarcoat it in a different way, but I can’t.”

Asked about the possibility of France and Germany being taken off the list of countries exempt from quarantine, he said: “If we receive data from Public Health England or the Joint Biosecurity Centre we may have to take countries off the exempt list.

“Equally, we may be able to add countries onto the exempt list.

“I would absolutely not rule out - in fact I think it’s inevitable - that some countries that are currently on the exempt list will be removed from the exempt list for quarantine purposes.

“Because in the absence of a globally available vaccine, then clearly we’re going to see spikes in cases, rises in cases, regional outbreaks, and potential second waves in countries, and therefore we will do what is in the best interest of public health here in Scotland.

“The prevalence rate is really low in Scotland. 

“Thank goodness, we’ve had no deaths in 10 days. And therefore the risk from inbound transmission is certainly something that we’re very cognisant and aware of in Scotland.”