France announces quarantine rules for UK arrivals

23 May 2020, 12:48

France is imposing a 14-day quarantine
France is imposing a 14-day quarantine. Picture: Getty

By Maddie Goodfellow

The French government has announced that anyone entering the country from the UK will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

The measures will be in place from 8 June, it has been revealed.

France has also announced that they will impose reciprocal measures on any European country that enforces a quarantine on arrivals.

From Monday, travellers arriving into France from Spain will also be asked to self-quarantine.

It follows Home Secretary Priti Patel's announcement that visitors to the UK will have to isolate for two weeks upon arrival from the same date.

There had been hopes that France could have also been included in a scheme which would mean those travelling into the UK would not have to quarantine, but at Friday's Downing Street press briefing, Ms Patel said this was not the case as of yet, but would be "under review".

Priti Patel announced the UK's quarantine measures
Priti Patel announced the UK's quarantine measures. Picture: PA

The Home Secretary said she was imposing quarantine plans for new arrivals at the time "it will be the most effective".

But she said the mandatory self-isolation period would not apply to those coming in from the Republic of Ireland, medics who are coming to help tackle the pandemic and agricultural workers.

She also announced that random spot checks and £1,000 fines will be put in place in England if people do not comply.

Ms Patel told the daily Downing Street press conference: "The answer as to why we're bringing in these measures now is simple: It is to protect that hard-won progress and prevent a devastating resurgence in a second wave of the virus."

The requirement will also not apply to those travelling from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

If a person does not have suitable accommodation to go to, they will be required to stay in "facilities arranged by the government" at the person's own expense, according to Border Force chief Paul Lincoln.

Paul Lincoln, Border Force director general, said spot checks would be carried out on the accuracy of quarantine forms of those arriving into the UK from abroad.

He said: "At the border there will be spot checks conducted by Border Force officers.

"Any obvious errors will trigger a requirement for the passenger to complete another form or potentially be refused entry into the UK."

He said the Border Force expected most people to comply with the measures but the agency was ready to act in cases where the rules were not followed.

"Given the high levels of compliance to date, we expect the vast majority of people will take this seriously and do the right thing," Mr Lincoln added.

"We will, however, take enforcement action against a small minority of people who may disregard these actions and therefore further endanger people's lives."