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Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020

France no longer exempt from 14-day quarantine period when landing in UK

People travelling to the UK from France will no longer be exempt from the government’s 14-day quarantine period – unless their journey is for business.
Boris Johnson announced on Sunday that anyone flying into the UK will have to spend 14 days in isolation before being able to move freely around the country. According to scientific advisors, this is one of the best ways for travel to resume without increasing the rate of coronavirus infection.

These rules were not set to apply to France, but ministers have now reportedly scrapped their blanket exemption. They are instead drafting plans for a key number of people to be exempt, including business people, freight drivers, scientists and doctors.

It comes after concerns that the previous exemption could be exploited, with travellers from other countries flying to the UK through France. The new proposal is expected to be unveiled next week by officials after the details have been finalised.

A Whitehall source told the Daily Telegraph: ‘The French don’t want a blanket exemption, only freight and business travel.

‘You have to remember there are multinational firms in Europe that are testing every single one of their workers for coronavirus two times a week.’

The European Union had previously warned that the UK could face huge lawsuits in the European Court of Justice if only France was granted an exemption from the 14-day isolation period.

The only other country granted exemption is Ireland. Anyone from other countries who refuses to self-isolate after arriving could face punishments of up to a £1,000 fine or deportation.

Authorities will be able to do spot-checks on newly arrived travellers to ensure they are following the rules.

Airlines have also spoken out against the quarantine rules, fearing that it will prevent them from being able to resume business effectively after lockdown restrictions are relaxed.

Earlier this week, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary called the isolation period ‘nonsense’ in a series of interviews. He added: ‘There’s no scientific basis for it whatsoever.’

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