France and The Netherlands added to United Kingdom arrivals quarantine list

Cheryl Sanders
August 14, 2020

France was removed from the list of safe countries people can travel to without going into quarantine, alongside the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos and the island of Aruba.

Travellers arriving from Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba must also quarantine for 14 days if they arrive in the United Kingdom after 4am on Saturday, Grant Shapps revealed on Thursday.

The group also called for a move to sub-national quarantines, applying restrictions only to travellers coming from the worst-affected regions instead of entire countries.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England detected a significant change in Covid-19 risk in all six destinations.

The decision to add France will cause dismay for thousands of British holidaymakers now in the country.

France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 infections for the second day in a row on Thursday, levels last seen in mid-April when the country was in the middle of one of Europe's strictest lockdowns.

The move will come as a bitter blow to the hard-pressed French tourism industry which relies heavily on visitors from the UK. On the heels of Thursday's announcement, French Junior European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune reiterated that position, saying the British decision was regretful and that it would trigger "a measure of reciprocity".

Transport secretary Jean-Baptiste Djebbari added that he had spoken to Mr Shapps about the decision.

The price of tickets on Eurostar trains jumped overnight, while all trains after midday on Friday are already fully booked.

"We just haven't got the space to take everybody who might suddenly want to come up to the coast".

"I think given what's happened this summer, given what's already happened in places like Spain and the vast amount of coverage about concerns in France and elsewhere, no-one will be entirely surprised".

Prime minister Boris Johnson had warned hours earlier that the government would be "absolutely ruthless" in deciding whether to impose quarantine restrictions on travellers from certain countries.

"There has been a consistent increase in newly reported cases in the Netherlands over the past 4 weeks, with a 52 per cent increase in newly reported cases between August 7 and 13".

Over the past week, there has been a 273% increase in newly reported cases in Turks & Caicos, a 1,106% increase in Aruba and a 105% rise in Malta.

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