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France will reciprocate the UK’s two-week quarantine when it starts on 8th June, however it will be on a voluntary basis.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Friday travellers entering the country would have to self-isolate for 14 days or they could face a £1,000 fine. It was confirmed France would not be exempt following earlier reports that its citizens may not be forced to self-isolate.
Patel said the British government is “following the science and introducing public health measures that are supported by SAGE”, adding “now we are past the peak of this virus, we must take steps to guard against imported cases, triggering an insurgence of this deadly disease.”
Upon arrival into the UK, all international travellers, including returning Britons, will be asked to fill in a form with their contact information, and health officials will perform spot checks to ensure they are complying with the measures. Road hauliers and medical officials will be exempt, while the common travel area with Ireland will be unaffected.
The airline industry, as well as the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), have been heavily critical of the move.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said: “Introducing a quarantine at this stage makes no sense and will mean very limited international aviation at best. It is just about the worst thing government could do if their aim is to restart the economy.”
In France, however, visitors will be invited to voluntarily self-quarantine at home.“We take note of the British government’s decision and we regret it,” said a spokesman for France’s Interior Minister. “France is ready to put in place a reciprocal measure as soon as the system comes into force on the British side.”
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