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France to impose stricter quarantine restrictions on arrivals from the United Kingdom

Passengers travelling from the United Kingdom to France are set to face a mandatory quarantine on arrival as a result of the concerns regarding the Indian variant of COVID-19.

Summer travel continues to be complicated for Britons travelling during the pandemic. France has imposed a mandatory seven-day quarantine period for anyone arriving from the U.K. The mandatory quarantine requirement will be in effect from 31st May 2021.

This new decision means that British travellers planning a visit to France will have to quarantine when they arrive there and again quarantine on arrival when they return home to the UK and take three PCR tests (a pre-departure PCR test and two post-arrival tests) as France is currently on the UK government’s Amber list. France had originally planned to allow fully vaccinated travellers from the UK – or those who had tested negative for COVID-19 from 9th June.

Gabriel Attal, French government’s spokesperson, said:

There is a new situation with the progression of the so-called Indian variant in the United Kingdom. (France) will set up compulsory isolation for people coming from the United Kingdom.

Germany has already implemented tougher restrictions on the UK, banning all arrivals from the country due to the virus variant. Those exempt from the policy – German citizens, residents and their family members and people travelling for urgent humanitarian reasons – must quarantine for two weeks. Austria, too, has banned direct flights from the UK from 1st June 2021.

Last week, ambassadors from the European Union’s 27 member states backed plans to reopen their borders to countries with low infection rates. A ‘safe list’, featuring countries with a low risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, was meant to be published on Friday but has been postponed due to growing concerns about the spread of the Indian variant.

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.

Travellers anxious to plan summer getaways still have reason to hope for an ease on restrictions. The European Union has agreed on a QR code-based digital travel certificate to allow travel across the bloc’s 27 nations for people who are fully vaccinated, have proof they recently tested COVID-19 negative, or have recovered from an infection. That program is expected to launch by July.

What do you think of France’s decision to add mandatory quarantine on arrivals from the UK? Let me know in the comments section below.

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