Fully vaccinated travelers arriving in England from France will no longer have to self-quarantine, the UK government announced.
London last week decided to waive the 10-day self-isolation requirement for people hailing from amber countries, including the US and EU countries, provided they have been given both COVID-19 shocks.
But France was in the UK’s “amber plus” category, meaning the quarantine restrictions remained in place.
It turned on criticism of the French government who described the decision as “discriminatory” and “scientifically unfounded”. The British in France also criticized the move, tell Euronews it was infuriating.
Now the UK government is lifting the quarantine requirement for arrivals from France.
The Department of Transportation said in a statement that the change, effective as of 05:00 CEST on Sunday, August 8, is because “the proportion of Beta variant cases has decreased.”
French Minister for European Affairs Clément Beaune welcomed the announcement on Twitter, writing that “fruitful exchanges with our British partners have made this long-awaited change possible.”
What else has changed?
However, the French islands of Mayotte and La Reunion were moved to the red list along with Georgia and Mexico.
“They pose a high risk to public health in the UK due to known variants of concern, known high risk variants under investigation or as a result of a very high prevalence of COVID-19 in the country or territory,” said the Department of Transport.
Réunion is currently under a partial lockdown with daytime travel restrictions and a night curfew after the incidence rate soared to 353.1 cases per 100,000 residents last week.
Only British or Irish citizens or people residing in the UK can enter the country if they are traveling from a red list country. But they must take a test before departure and go through a mandatory quarantine at a managed hotel upon arrival, during which they must undergo two COVID tests.
The government also announced that the cost of a stay in a managed quarantine facility will be increased to £ 2,285 (€ 2,682) for a single adult and £ 1,430 (€ 1,679) for a second adult “to better reflect the increased costs involved. in providing their quarantine, which includes transportation to the hotel, security, provision of assistance services and the two PCR tests ”.
Four countries, India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, were removed from the red list and placed on the amber list.
Several EU countries move to the UK green list
Meanwhile, several European countries have moved from the amber list to the green list.
These are Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania, and Norway.
Travelers from Green List countries should take a COVID test before traveling and take another within two days of arrival in England. They only need to quarantine themselves if the test is positive.
“While we must remain cautious, today’s changes reopen a variety of different vacation destinations around the world, which is good news for both the industry and the traveling public,” said Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps. .
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid added, “Today’s announcement also demonstrates the need for continued caution. More countries have been added to the red list to help protect the success of our vaccine launch from the threat. of new variants “.
The UK recorded more than 29,300 new infections on Wednesday. The country has faced a surge in infections over the past four weeks attributed to the Delta variant, which first originated in India.
But the number of new deaths and hospitalizations is still much lower than in late January, when similar levels of daily infections were seen. This is attributed to the vast vaccination campaign.
The country has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 88.7% of adult vaccinations having received at least one dose of the vaccine. Almost three-quarters are fully vaccinated.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism