HOLIDAYMAKERS planning a trip to France will have to quarantine for two weeks on their return to the UK.
The Government took France off the travel corridor list after a surge of fresh cases in the country. Here is what you can and can’t do under the new rules.
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What has happened in France?
From 4am on August 15, people travelling from France to the UK will have to self-quarantine for two weeks when they return home.
The UK government made the announcement on August 13 after a rise in new infections in France.
The number of new Covid-19 cases hit 2,846 on August 14 – a record number outside of lockdown.
Hundreds of thousands of Brits on holiday in France were forced to rush home to the UK or risked their kids missing their first day of school in five months.
But flights, Channel crossing and Eurostar spots filled up fast, with prices jumping to four times the normal cost.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned this week that the country had been going “the wrong way” for two weeks.
He said: “The epidemiological situation, which we are following very closely, is deteriorating: 2,000 new cases per day compared to 1,000 three weeks ago.
“About 25 new clusters are identified every day compared to five three weeks ago.”
The spread of the virus is mainly among young people and in cities such as Paris and Marseille.
Before, the UK had allowed Brits to travel to the holiday hotspot without needing to self-quarantine on return.
After a spike in coronavirus cases in France, holidaymakers in the country will now be forced to quarantine for two weeks upon returning home to the UK.
Can I still travel to France?
Yes, but for essential travel only.
Flights are still departing from the UK to France, but the Government advises against “all but essential travel”.
If you decide to book a holiday you will be travelling against official guidance.
This means you are unlikely to be covered under travel insurance.
I am already in France – do I need to rush back to the UK?
Many travellers rushed back to the UK before the new quarantine rules came into force.
But the FCO is not advising those already travelling in France to immediately return to the UK.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “If you are already there, you can continue and enjoy your holiday.”
But if families stay on holidays in France for too long there is a risk kids will miss the first few days of school after spending five months out of the classroom because of lockdown.
And many unable to work from home will lose out on two weeks of wages.
How do I get home?
You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have questions about your return journey.
If you are planning on continuing your holiday, you should stick with your current travel plans.
What are the quarantine rules?
Since June 8, guidelines have required anyone entering the UK from a non-corridor country to quarantine for 14 days.
Those rules continue to apply for the time being – both to Brits returning to the country and tourists arriving from abroad.
Anyone entering the country must provide contact details and then self-isolate for 14 days, or face a fine of up to £1,000.
Police are conducting checks to ensure people are quarantining and not leaving their place of residence for the two-week period.
Magistrates also have the powers to prosecute or to issue unlimited fines for persistent breaches of the new self-isolation rule, or for refusal to pay a fine that has already been issued.
The quarantine is being run and enforced by Border Force, cops, and Public Health England officials.
Brits living in the UK can quarantine at their own home, but they are not allowed to leave the house for a fortnight.
Anyone without accommodation should be be provide with somewhere to stay by the Government.
Which workers are exempt from quarantine?
Most quarantine exemptions cover either transport professionals or key workers travelling from abroad to the UK on very specific business.
Individuals that are exempt from quarantine will still have to fill out the standard tracking form and must have official clearance that they can produce at the border.
There are no exemptions for people coming back from holiday, no matter what your profession.
Among those that are exempt are:
- Essential UK and foreign diplomats that are on a mission, including intelligence staff
- Defence personnel, forces and contractors who are confirmed as exempt through the Ministry of Defence
- Border security and maintenance staff
- People who live in the UK but work in another…
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