Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

France to introduce 'tit-for-tat' quarantine rule for UK travellers in days

France is set to introduce a mandatory quarantine period for anyone arriving into the country from the UK, ten days after similar arrangements were brought in for those heading in the opposite direction.

A French minister has warned ‘reciprocal’ measures will be announced in the ‘next few days’ because the border can’t be closed one-way. 

It would mean anyone visiting France from the UK could have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival and then again when they came back home. 

The measure is set to be introduced despite the UK’s infection rate being less than half what it is in France. Latest figures show the UK has had an average of 10.7 cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days compared to France’s 36.4.

On Monday a further 4,897 new coronavirus cases were recorded over the last 24 hours in France – the highest figure since the end of March. In contrast the UK saw 853 new cases, the lowest number in the last five days.

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Other countries on the UK’s ‘red list’ – including Spain and Croatia – have not introduced reciprocal measures. 

But speaking on TV station France 2, the minister for European Affairs, Clement Beaune, said: ‘We will have a measure called reciprocity so that our British friends do not close the border in one single way.

‘For travellers returning from the United Kingdom, there will probably be restrictive measures decided in the next few days by the Prime Minister and by the Defence Council.’


It comes as Switzerland passed the threshold for the number of new cases which the UK Government is using to determine when it will consider introducing quarantine measures. 

Switzerland is currently recording a seven-day infection rate of 20.7 cases per 100,000, above the threshold of 20.

Scotland has already taken Switzerland off its list of countries from which people do not need to self-isolate on arrival and the rest of the UK could follow later this week.

The Czech Republic and Greece are also likely to have their Covid-19 figures scrutinised closely by the UK Government.

In the Czech Republic the seven-day rate is currently 17.9, up from 15.6 a week ago.

In Greece the rate is 14.8, up from 13.5. Neither country has breached the threshold of 20 cases per 100,000, but both appear to be heading in that direction.

The latest seven-day rates have been calculated by the PA news agency based on data collected by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

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