Brits travelling to France who are not fully-vaccinated will be required to show a negative Covid-19 test from within 24 hours, the country has announced
Brits travelling to France who are not fully-vaccinated will be required to show a negative Covid-19 test from within 24 hours, the country has announced.
France’s new rule will come into effect at midnight on Saturday into Sunday and will also apply to several other European countries, including Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.
Current rules state travellers from the UK can provide a negative test taken within 48 hours – extended to 72 hours for arrivals from Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece.
However those who are fully jabbed with a vaccine recognised by the EMA will not be required to show a test to enter France.
It comes as British holidaymakers revealed their fury as families are forced to cancel trips to after a last-minute reversal of the amber list rule change last night.
Double-jabbed Britons will still have to quarantine from Monday on their return from the country after the dramatic U-turn was announced by the Government on Friday night – although they will be able to leave self-confinement after five days if they opt for the test to release scheme and test negative on day five.
Double-jabbed holiday hopefuls had previously been told they would not need to quarantine on their return from ‘Amber List’ countries from Monday. But France will now be made an exemption to that rule.
It comes amid concerns over the spread of the Beta (South African) strain in France and means all those travelling to the UK from elsewhere in Europe – including Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria – will have to quarantine even if they’re double jabbed if they take a ferry or Eurostar from France.
Johan Lundgren, chief executive of EasyJet, has accused the Government of ‘making it up as they go along and causing confusion and uncertainty’.Meanwhile, the traffic light system has been described as meaningless as other countries stop Britons entering regardless of the Government’s rules.
Sage exert John Edmunds explained today that scientists are concerned that although the South African variant is already in the UK, there are fears it is better at defeating the Astrazeneca vaccine and that it could become more prevalent with increasing vaccination.
He said: ‘As the population here becomes more and more immune, the conditions are right then for the Beta variant to get an advantage, so I can understand the concern.
‘Of the variants that are out there and are known about, that one has always been a threat to us.There is some good evidence from South Africa that it can evade the immune response generated by the AstraZeneca vaccine more efficiently.’
Britons in France have spoken of their ‘frustration’ after discovering they will still need to quarantine for 10 days and take two tests after returning to England, despite the requirement being lifted on arrivals from all other amber list countries if someone is double-jabbed or under 18.
Meanwhile, France is adapting its border measures to require non-vaccinated travellers arriving from the UK, Cyprus, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands and Portugal to complete an antigen or PCR test less than 24 hours before departure.
Charlotte Monier, a French translator living in the UK, had hoped she would be able to spend longer with her family in France without having to quarantine – but has now had to cut the trip short.
And Stephen Gee, who runs a chalet business in the Alps, has been forced to rush back to the coast to try to organise his journey home after extending his holiday to make the most of the original rule change.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We’re trying to get back today but we have to do tests for travel in France.If we can pull that together we’ll travel this evening and then our quarantine will start. It is absolutely horrendous.’
In other developments:
- Daily Covid cases topped 50,000 for the first time since mid-January as another 51,870 tested positive.A further 49 deaths were recorded;
- Chief medical officer Chris Whitty warned the situation in hospitals could rapidly get ‘quite scary’ after the number of virus patients doubled in a fortnight;
- Solicitor general Lucy Frazer admitted ministers could consider reimposing restrictions if the spread of the virus became ‘unacceptable’;
- Health Secretary Sajid Javid was urged to end ‘excessive’ Covid travel test costs to stop families being priced out of foreign holidays;
- Analysis by MailOnline suggests that in a worst-case scenario around six million adults could be in isolation by the end of the month;
- There was fresh confusion after the meat industry claimed officials had said their staff did not need to quarantine if contacted by the app;
- The Ministry of Defence revealed 5,200 military personnel are off duty because they are self-isolating, leading MPs to warn the app could endanger national security;
- Some NHS trusts are so short-staffed they are letting double-jabbed doctors and nurses work if pinged;
- Scientists joined the revolt against rules requiring people to self-isolate if ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app;
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Britons flocked to Bournemouth beach on what is looking like one of the hottest weekends of the year so far
Bournemouth beach was covered in parasols as Britons made the most of the weather despite travel restrictions
British holidaymakers were dealt yet another blow tonight after the Government announced travellers arriving from France will still have to quarantine – even if they have had both Covid jabs.Pictured, holidaymakers on Pampelonne beach in Saint Tropez, France
The summer holiday plans of thousands lie in ruins this morning, with people cancelling their planned trips to the Balearic Islands after they were axed from the green list while the cost of flights back from Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca soared nine-fold after last night’s announcement
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