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Covid-19 Quarantine

France announces reciprocal quarantine for UK arrivals from 8 June

Eurostar passengers, required to wear masks for travel. May 2020
Eurostar passengers, required to wear masks for travel. May 2020 © AFP/Archives

In a statement released late on Friday, France's foreign ministry announced that all arrivals from the United Kingdom would be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days, as of 8 June, regardless of their nationality. This comes just hours after British authorities announced exactly the same measure in a bid to prevent a second wave of Covid-19.

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The British government announced its decision to impose restrictions on international arrivals to the UK on Friday, citing a fear that imported cases could be a major health threat.

More than 36,000 people have died in Britain from the coronavirus, making it Europe’s worst affected country.

Travellers to the UK will be expected from 8 June to provide contact and address details, as well as an outline of their travel plans, or face fines of £1,000 (1,100 euros) if they breach these conditions.

Exemptions from the 14-day self-isolation rule include road haulage and freight workers, medical workers, foreign officials, and those visitors from the Common Travel Area (Republic of Ireland).

Travellers from France were due to be exempt from the measures, but that has now been scrapped.

Exceptions to the rule

On France's side, the foreign ministry announced reciprocal measures for arrivals from countries such as the United Kingdom and Spain.

It stated that all arrivals from the United Kingdom would be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days, as of the 8 June, regardless of their nationality.

Authorities would be able to enforce the self-isolation if visitors showed symptoms related to Covid-19.

The new measures will apply until at least the 15 June, when international travel conditions will be reassessed.

Travellers of all nationalities arriving from Spain by plane will also be encouraged to self-isolate as of 25 May, on a voluntary basis.

This mirrors a similar decision made by Spanish authorities on 15 May.

No visitors from outside the European Union (except French nationals) are allowed to enter, as French borders remain officially closed.

Several exceptions to the quarantine rule exist in France, including travellers in transit towards a third country, airline crew, long haul truck drivers, seasonal workers from border countries and those with important family reasons (funeral, joint custody).

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