UK Travel Update: Arrivals from France Still Need to Quarantine
From 19 July, adults who have been double jabbed in the UK arriving from amber list countries will not need to be isolated for 10 days.
But the government said the easing would not apply to France due to “persistent” cases of the Beta variant, first identified in South Africa.
There are concerns vaccines may not work as well against the Beta variant.
The Beta variant accounts for about 10% of new infections in France, but that includes the Indian Ocean territories of Reunion and Mayotte, where the variant is near-universal.
The more infectious Delta variant – first identified in India – accounts for almost all new cases in the UK.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said:
We have always been clear that we will not hesitate to take rapid action at our borders to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the gains made by our successful vaccination programme.
With restrictions lifted on Monday across the country, we will do everything we can to ensure international travel is conducted as safely as possible, and protect our borders from the threat of variants.
Travel firms have criticised the move, accusing the government of causing confusion.
Willie Walsh, the director-general of the International Air Transport Association said “the UK has no coherent policy on international travel” and is “destroying its own travel sector and the thousands of jobs that rely on it.”
Quarantine Rule for Arrivals from France
The government announcement means that anyone who has been in France in the previous 10 days will need to be quarantined on arrival to England in their own accommodation and will need a day 2 and day 8 test, regardless of their vaccination status.
This includes any fully vaccinated individual who transits through France from either a green or another amber country.
But ministers indicated that Eurostar passengers on services travelling through France would not need to quarantine if their train did not stop in the country.
Existing amber list exemptions for key workers such as hauliers will remain in place.
France’s Requirement for UK Travellers
Meanwhile, France has tightened its rules for UK travellers who are not fully vaccinated, requiring a negative test in the 24 hours before arrival from 18 July, rather than the 48 hours allowed previously.
But anyone fully vaccinated with a jab from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson will be exempt from providing a negative test.
The French authorities are now accepting proof of vaccination with the AstraZeneca (Covershield) vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
Travellers to the UK from France will still have the option of shortening their quarantine period through the Test to Release scheme – if they pay for a test on day 5 and are negative.
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