Covid-19 quarantine

UK makes U-turn on French quarantine exemption post-Covid-19

A Eurostar train at Gare du Nord in Paris
A Eurostar train at Gare du Nord in Paris REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Britain has backtracked on a statement sparing French travellers arriving in the UK from a two-week quarantine, saying there had been no exemption granted.


"If you look at what was actually said in the joint statement on Sunday night, it said no quarantine measures apply to France at this stage and the key words in that sentence are 'at this stage'," said the prime minister's spokesman.

"So there is no exemption agreed with France,” he added.

The spokesman said that both countries are setting up a working group on the matter and would be consulting with each other in the coming weeks.

A number of countries around the world have already imposed a mandatory two-week quarantine on any travelers coming to their country in order to stop the spread of Covid-19.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last Sunday that Britain was considering imposing a two-week quarantine on international arrivals into the UK, but after a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron the same day, said that no quarantine measures would apply to travelers coming from France.

The European Union balked at Johnson’s statement this past week, with European Commission health spokesman Stefan De Keersmaecker saying that EU free movement rules still apply during the Brexit transition period, which ends in 2021.

The UK is required, as are all EU member states, to act in a non-discriminatory way, and cannot give preferential treatment to certain countries and exclude others.


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