France announces quarantine plans for UK arrivals

France announces quarantine plans for UK arrivals

French police officers in Charles de Gaulle international airport in France during the coronavirus pandemic

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AFP / Getty Images

People arriving in France from the UK will have to self-isolate for 14 days from 8 June, the French government has announced.

It comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel revealed quarantine plans for visitors to the UK from the same date.

France said it would impose reciprocal measures for any European country enforcing a quarantine.

Travellers arriving in France from Spain by plane will also be asked to go into quarantine from Monday.

Speaking at Friday’s Downing Street briefing, Ms Patel said travellers to the UK will need to tell the government where they will quarantine, and face enforcement through random spot checks and £1,000 fines in England if they do not comply.

She said the measure would “reduce the risk of cases crossing our border”.

Lorry drivers, seasonal farm workers, and coronavirus medics will be exempt.

The requirement will also not apply to those travelling from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

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Media captionThe home secretary said the measures would be reviewed every three weeks

If a person does not have suitable accommodation to go to, they will be required to stay in “facilities arranged by the government” at the person’s own expense, according to Border Force chief Paul Lincoln.

The Home Office said the new policy will be in place across the UK, although how it is enforced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be determined by the devolved administrations.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said discussions would take place with Police Scotland to work out how the policy will be implemented.

‘Not shutting down’

Ms Patel told the briefing the measures were not the same as completely shutting the UK border to visitors.

“We are not shutting down completely. We are not closing our borders,” she said.

And asked about the prospect of foreign holidays this summer, the home secretary added: “This is absolutely not about booking holidays. We want to avoid a second wave and that is absolutely vital.”

So-called “air bridges” – agreements with countries that have low infection rates allowing tourists to travel without quarantining – will not be in place initially, the government said.

The new measure, previously announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will be reviewed every three weeks once it is introduced.

But airlines have said a quarantine requirementwould “effectively kill air travel”– and one airport bossdescribed the plans as a “blunt tool”.

The government currently recommends international travel only when absolutely necessary, and nobody should travel if they display anycoronavirus symptoms.

Victoria Bacon from ABTA, the travel industry trade body, told the BBC the government needs to come up with some “wider, more forward thinking” strategies for the industry.

“There’s a whole range of support, not just financial, that the government can put in place to start helping the sector and we’ve heard very little from them. We really desperately need

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