France: UK's travel restrictions slammed by residents
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In a major u-turn from the Government, French arrivals no longer face quarantine upon their return to the UK. The British Government has realigned France with the amber list in a bid to “simplify” travel restrictions.
The Department for Transport announced the move at 10 pm on Wednesday evening, stating a drop in the proportion of Beta variant cases had encouraged the decision.
Arrivals returning to the UK from amber list countries do not face self-isolation if they can prove they were vaccinated with a jab authorised and administered in the UK, US or Europe.
It comes just two weeks after France was suddenly moved onto the newly created “amber plus list”.
The amber plus list was developed two days before quarantine rules were to be lifted for fully vaccinated arrivals from amber list countries.
Travellers returning from France were faced both with quarantine and testing requirements on day two and day eight of their arrival, regardless of vaccine status.
According to travel expert Simon Calder, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps was reported to be ” absolutely furious” by the decision.
The latest classification change for France is said to have been decided by ministers, informed by the latest data and analysis by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) and “wider public health considerations”.
Now, those returning from France will only be required to take a pre-departure test before their flight to the UK, as well as a test on or before day two of their arrival.
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Tests must be pre-booked before travel, and the correlating reference codes applied to Passenger Locator Forms.
Following the latest announcement, Mr Shapps said the reopening of travel was thanks to the “successful vaccination programme” in the UK.
In a statement he said: “We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we’ve made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
“While we must continue to be cautious, today’s changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “As we learn to live with this virus we are continuing to take steps to safely reopen international travel, based on the latest data and expert public health advice.
“The vaccines have already prevented around 60,000 deaths and 22 million infections in England, and with over seven in 10 adults in the UK now double jabbed we are building a wall of defence against the disease.
“As well as moving more countries to the green list, today’s announcement also demonstrates the need for continued caution.
“Further countries have been added to the red list to help protect the success of our vaccine rollout from the threat of new variants.”
France was not the only country to see changing travel rules.
The Government has added seven new countries to the green list.
These include Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway.
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