France could soon bring in mandatory quarantine for visitors arriving from the UK

Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 1:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 1:16 pm
(Photo: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

Travellers from the UK to France may have to undergo mandatory quarantine procedures upon arrival once again, as the country looks to impose like-for-like rules on visitors.

The new rules could be implemented in the coming days.

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Why is France considering quarantine?

On 15 August, the UK reintroduced France to its quarantine list. Anyone returning to the UK from the countries on the list are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. The changes were brought in due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases in France.

France’s secretary of state for European Affairs, Clement Beaune, suggested those travelling from the UK to France could soon face similar requirements.

He told TV channel France 2, “There will be reciprocal measures so that Britons don’t close the border in one direction.

“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.”

Would the measures be policed?

France has not confirmed any new quarantine plans, but the country imposed similar measures between 8 June and 9 July in response to the UK’s initial blanket policy of requiring travellers to self-isolate for at least two weeks.

French officials made it clear at the time that this was a voluntary or advisory procedure which was never policed.

By contrast, quarantine in the UK has always been mandatory and breaching rules can result in a heavy fine.

What other countries could be next on the UK's quarantine list?

Elsewhere, Switzerland looks likely to become the next European country to be subjected to quarantine measures by the UK, according to latest figures.

A seven day rate of 20.7 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people puts the country over the threshold at which the UK Government considers implementing quarantine conditions.

That threshold is currently a seven day rate of 20 cases per 100,000.

Ahead of quarantine protocols being reintroduced for visitors from France,14 day cumulative figures for the country showed 32.1 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.