France Introduces Mandatory Quarantine Requirement for Arrivals from UK
France on Wednesday declared a mandatory quarantine period for people coming from Britain due to the increasing prevalence there of a highly contagious coronavirus variant first detected in India, news wires reported.
France follows Austria, which on Tuesday said it was banning direct flights and tourist visits from Britain, and Germany, which on Friday said anyone entering from the United Kingdom would have to quarantine for two weeks on arrival.
Coronavirus infections in Britain have been rising again but the overall incidence is still low in a country with one of the world's fastest vaccine rollouts, and the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients fell last week to its lowest since September.
Clusters of the B.1.617 Indian variant have, however, grown quickly, to some 3,424 as of May 20, up by 2,111 compared to similar numbers the previous week. The Indian variant has been reported in at least 17 countries.
At the moment, people from the UK arriving in France don’t need to justify the reason for their trip, but they must show a negative Covid test and commit to self-isolate for a week, even if they’ve been vaccinated. Under new measures, such travelers could be required to self-isolate for 10 days and subject to controls at hotels or homes, and fines.
The French government's announcement will be a blow to parts of the beleaguered tourism industry, which is desperate for a return to normal business ahead of the peak summer season.
Some 13 million Britons visited France every year before the coronavirus crisis began in early 2020, more than any other nationality, according to official data.
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