The Transport Secretary is among the British holidaymakers who will be forced to self-isolate upon their return home from Spain.
Mr Shapps is believed to have flown out on Saturday morning when the so-called air bridge with Spain remained open.
However, just hours later, his own department announced the decision to alter its advice to British tourists, meaning they will now have to quarantine for two weeks when they arrive back in the UK.
The Cabinet minister plans to complete his holiday before returning to work, and will follow quarantine rules should they still be in place at the end of his trip, it is understood.
Twitter users have responded with bafflement and delight at the news.
Labour MP Diane Abbott tweeted following the revelation: “Various government ministers would have known in advance there was a possibility of imposing a quarantine on holidaymakers returning from Spain.
“But apparently no-one bothered to tell Grant Shapps.”
And former Chief Prosecutor Nazir Afzal joked, in a reference to Dominic Cummings: “Minister Grant Shapps can presumably avoid having to quarantine on return from Spain by telling us, in PM’s Garden, that he was only in Spain: To get childcare, which he later found he didn’t need and to test his eye sight on his wife’s birthday and the rules just don’t apply to him.”
In April Mr Shapps urged the public against booking a summer holiday abroad by saying he wouldn’t take the risk.
The minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme at the time: ”On the travel advice – should you book your holidays? – clearly people will want to see what the trajectory of this disease is in the next few weeks.
“I won’t be booking a summer holiday at this point, let’s put it that way.”