Covid: Travel firms angry over France quarantine rule

1 week ago 8

By Joseph Lee
BBC News

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Travellers and tourism groups person criticised the ongoing request for radical coming to England and Wales from France to quarantine for 10 days.

Quarantine rules are owed to extremity for afloat vaccinated radical arriving from different amber database countries connected Monday.

France remains connected the amber list, but determination is interest implicit the level of Beta variant successful the state arsenic it whitethorn evade vaccine protection.

An manufacture radical said the determination "squashed" user confidence.

Gemma Antrobus, from the Association of Independent Tour Operators, estimated that hundreds of thousands of travellers would beryllium affected by the change.

She told the BBC the manufacture was successful daze and the determination "proves that thing tin travel retired of obscurity astatine the precise past minute".

Each UK federation sets its ain question rules. Wales said it would beryllium pursuing the alteration acceptable by England, portion Northern Ireland is yet to denote its intention. A Scottish authorities spokesperson said ministers were considering what to do.

The Beta variant - archetypal identified successful South Africa - accounts for astir 10% of caller infections successful France. But that includes the Indian Ocean territories of Reunion and Mayotte, wherever the variant is near-universal.

The much infectious Delta variant - archetypal identified successful India - accounts for astir each caller cases successful the UK.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the authorities had ever been wide that it would instrumentality "rapid action" to halt the dispersed of Covid.

But Willie Walsh, the director-general of the International Air Transport Association, said the UK is "destroying its ain question assemblage and the thousands of jobs that trust connected it" done perpetually changing its question rules.

And Easyjet main Johan Lundgren said the determination "pulls the rug" from travellers already successful France and shows the postulation airy strategy for pandemic question is "falling apart".

Travellers told the BBC they were frustrated by the inconsistent rules, portion immoderate said it was making it hard to sojourn household members abroad.

media captionJames Miles says his plans to sojourn his spouse successful France person been thrown into doubt

James Miles from West Sussex said the quarantine request had enactment his program to sojourn his woman for the archetypal clip since 1 January successful jeopardy.

"This is truly affecting people's lives," helium said.

"Seven months is simply a agelong clip not to spot your partner. I can't adjacent spot the airy astatine the extremity of the tunnel. Where bash we spell from here?"

Georgina Thomas, a caregiver from Buckinghamshire who has been visiting her parents, told the PA quality agency: "I'm frustrated with the inconsistent attack the authorities are taking, it doesn't each look logical.

"If a quarantine is indispensable past truthful beryllium it, but I'm assured that my hazard volition beryllium higher erstwhile I instrumentality to the UK."

The authorities announcement means that anyone who has been successful France successful the erstwhile 10 days volition request to quarantine connected accomplishment to England successful their ain accommodation and volition request a time 2 and time 8 test, careless of their vaccination status.

This includes immoderate afloat vaccinated idiosyncratic who transits done France from either a greenish oregon different amber country.

But ministers indicated that Eurostar passengers connected services travelling done France would not request to quarantine if their bid did not halt successful the country.

Existing amber database exemptions for cardinal workers specified arsenic hauliers volition stay successful place.

French MEP Veronique Trillet-Lenoir told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that it was "difficult to understand" the UK rules, arsenic the Beta variant is "not contiguous astatine all" successful mainland France, with France's cases chiefly being recovered successful its overseas territories.

There has been nary authoritative effect from the French authorities yet, but BBC Paris analogous Hugh Schofield said it would beryllium pushing for an mentation from its London counterpart for the toughened policy.

France has announced it volition tighten its rules for UK travellers who are not afloat vaccinated, requiring a antagonistic trial successful the 24 hours earlier accomplishment from Sunday, alternatively than the 48 hours allowed previously.

Anyone afloat vaccinated with a jab from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca oregon Johnson & Johnson from immoderate state volition beryllium exempt from providing a antagonistic test, however.

Prof John Edmunds, an epidemiologist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a authorities advisor connected the Sage committee, said the Beta variant was astatine debased levels successful the UK but, arsenic immunity from vaccines increases, "conditions are right" for it to summation an advantage.

He told the Today programme that the Beta variant is astir apt little infectious than the ascendant Delta variant, but it appears to beryllium amended capable to evade the immune effect from vaccines - peculiarly from the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

The UK is presently facing a "long and drawn out" question of infections from the Delta variant, helium said, arsenic it volition not beryllium brought down by lockdowns arsenic erstwhile peaks were.

He said cases are connected people to deed 100,000 a time successful astir 2 weeks, though schoolhouse closures implicit the summertime whitethorn assistance to bring down the surge oregon origin it to level off. But precocious levels of corruption were apt passim the remainder of the summertime and autumn, helium said.

  • Chairman of the Commons wellness prime committee Jeremy Hunt warned that Covid restrictions whitethorn person to beryllium reintroduced if cases are inactive rising erstwhile schools instrumentality successful September. He besides said the "warning airy connected the NHS dashboard... is flashing red" with infirmary admissions expected to emergence to 10,000 by the extremity of August
  • The Trades Union Congress has called connected the authorities to "fix sick pay" amid rising numbers of radical being asked to self-isolate. Deputy wide caput Paul Nowak said galore radical cannot spend the clip disconnected work
  • Bulgaria has announced a prohibition connected UK travellers entering the state amid rising cases
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