Brits looking to take a holiday in France this summer are about to have their hopes dashed as the country has announced travel restrictions for UK arrivals.
Following in Germany’s footsteps, France will impose a mandatory self-quarantine for travellers arriving from the UK, amongst growing concerns surrounding the Indian coronavirus variant.
New requirements for UK travellers in France
Clément Beaune, the French Europe minister, announced that the restrictions would apply to all those who aren’t French nationals or residents, andUK travellers will need to provide an essential reason for their travel.
Those arriving from the UK will also be required to provide a negative coronavirus test within 48 hours of departure (rather than the standard 72) and have to quarantine for seven days.
France has already imposed restrictions on 16 other countries, including Turkey, India, Brazil and Argentina. All travellers from these areas must undertake a ten-day quarantine either at home or at an approved address. Travellers are allowed outside for two hours per day, and if caught flouting the rules, they could be subject to a €1,500 fine.
Gabriel Attal, the French Government’s official spokesperson, revealed on Wednesday that there was ‘a new situation with the progression of the so-called Indian variant in the UK.’ He then added that France was merely following Germany’s footsteps, which have already imposed rules for British tourists.
Germany has already imposed similar restrictions on UK tourists
Germany banned all British tourists from entering the country from midnight on the 23rd of May after the countries health advisory labelled the UK as a ‘virus variant area of concern.’
The rule does not apply to German citizens, residents or their family members. Those travelling for urgent humanitarian reasons are also allowed to surpass the regulations. However, all those entering Germany from the UK will need to quarantine for two weeks, even if they provide a negative coronavirus test.
The country’s move to limit UK travellers comes over growing concerns of the coronavirus variant first identified in India. The WHO announced on Wednesday that the highly contagious B.1.617.2 variant could be poised to become Britain’s dominant strain.
Clusters of the variant stand at 3,424 as of last Thursday, 2,111 more cases than the previous week. However, incidences of the Indian variant are still low, given the country’s successful vaccine rollout.