France quarantine will not apply to Britons after diplomatic u-turn
At the end of a weekend in which it appeared that all hope of a July holiday in France had vanished for British travellers, UK visitors have now been told they will escape 14 days of quarantine on arrival.
On Saturday the government in Paris published proposals that appeared to require everyone arriving in France up until 24 July 2020 to be kept in quarantine for two weeks.
Effectively, arriving travellers will be assumed to be coronavirus-positive. The national assembly is due to vote on the measures imminently.
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France attracts more international tourists than any other country, but a universal quarantine rule would eliminate almost all travel until the end of July.
On Sunday evening, though, the French consulate tweeted: “People entering French territory from European countries (EU/Schengen and United Kingdom) will not be affected by the quarantine measure announced in France, the terms of which will be specified shortly.”
The response was a mix of alarm, relief and scorn.
“Bloody hell 24 heures de stress pour ça? C'est de la communication à la Trump,” was one tweet in response.
Some respondents said the exemption from the quarantine measure appeared illogical since the highest concentrations of Covid-19 are in the Schengen area and the UK.
Wilfrid Locatelli wrote: “Another nonsense from our government; how can one put the health of the French in danger through European dogmatism?
“We have to save our nation and stop doing geopolitics.”
MattBatt69 speculated that travellers from outside the EU/Schengen/UK region to use the relaxation to circumvent quarantine: “So if we want to avoid confinement, can we fly to London and take the Eurostar, infecting a lot of people?”
Many respondents expressed relief that they would be able to visit loved ones without obligatory quarantine. Others were excited about the prospect of a French summer holiday.
For most of the weekend it seemed all planned holidays to France due to depart up to 24 July would have to be cancelled.
“Super news! Can we now book our holidays in France in July or August?” asked Sandrine Lombardo.
But before any tourists can travel to France, the country’s strict lockdown measures would need to be significantly eased. Only essential journeys are currently permitted.
Other European Union nations have imposed quarantine or mandatory self-isolation for 14 days on all arrivals.
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