Fully-vaccinated arrivals from France no longer have to isolate as travel rules change

8 August 2021, 07:41 | Updated: 8 August 2021, 08:36

Fully-vaccinated people can return from France after the amber list changed
Fully-vaccinated people can return from France after the amber list changed. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Fully-vaccinated arrivals from France no longer need to quarantine after it was removed from the "amber plus" list.

Travel rules changed early on Sunday meaning the rules for people who return from a trip to Paris or holiday on the riviera no longer need to self-isolate provided they have had two jabs.

However, travellers have scrambled to return from Mexico before 4am. The popular holiday destination has been added to the red list, which will require a hotel quarantine for 10 days at an increased cost of £2,285.

Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway have been put on the green list, allowing for quarantine-free travel for all tourists provided they test negative when coming back.

That means more European destinations have become viable to travel to, in what could be a boost for the badly-hit travel sector.

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India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE have been taken off the red list. People coming back from the amber list must quarantine at home for 10 days unless they are fully-vaccinated, in which case they just have to test negative.

Spain managed to avoid being put on the red list last week but the Government has encouraged people to take a PCR test before coming back, instead of the cheaper lateral flow test, due to concerns about Covid's prevalence and variants there.

Read more: Changes unveiled to foreign travel traffic light system - full list

Read more: No changes will be made to green or amber list for rest of August, minister tells LBC

France was also in its own category, "amber plus", due to worries about the Beta variant. It is now in the amber list and no extra conditions are attached to travel beyond that list's requirements.

There has been a lot of criticism of the traffic light system due to countries moving quickly between the three lists, and the addition of the "green watchlist", for countries that could turn amber, and a mooted "amber watchlist", for destinations that could go red, but that idea has been scrapped.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said people should be able to travel in August without their destination suddenly changing list.

He told LBC: "We've looked at the data… and found that we can provide people with certainty for the rest of August.

"It's not like last year where we had weekly changes, this is now set for the next three weeks, we can give people certainty for the rest of August, unless something that absolutely no one saw coming turns up, then people can go away, enjoy the holidays and not have to look over their shoulders."

Meanwhile, there has been increased criticism of Government ministers dodging travel rules.

The Sunday Mirror reported that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab did not quarantine after visiting France last month, despite Government rules requiring a 10 day isolation on return at the time.

Ministers are exempt from quarantine.

"The Foreign Secretary travels on diplomatic business within the rules," a Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement.

"It is his job to pursue the UK's interests abroad, including on security, trade, and international development."

Climate minister Alok Sharma was also criticised when it was reported he visited red list countries without quarantining.

Allies of Mr Sharma defended his trips as essential ahead of the COP26 climate summit.