People arriving in the U.K. from France will not have to undergo coronavirus quarantine measures, Downing Street confirmed following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s TV address on easing lockdown measures Sunday night.
The PM said once transmission rates in the U.K. were “significantly lower” it would be necessary to adopt quarantine measures to prevent people coming into the country from setting off new infection clusters.
But those measures will not apply to everyone. “No quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France at this stage; any measures on either side would be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner,” read a joint statement from Johnson and French President Emanuel Macron following a phone conversation between the two leaders Sunday night.
The exemption will also include people coming from Ireland. But it is unclear whether it will apply to people coming to the U.K. through France via Eurostar trains from Belgium and the Netherlands.
Johnson had said in his TV address: “I am serving notice that it will soon be the time — with transmission significantly lower — to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air.”
Asked about the feasibility of exempting France from the quarantine rule as people from other countries could conceivably come to the U.K. via France, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC’s Today program that the U.K. was working with Paris on the issue.
“We will make sure that we work very closely with the French authorities to deal with [that] kind of situation,” Raab said.
Tourism and travel industry firms are concerned that quarantine measures will devastate their business even further.
“Quarantine requirements for passengers should only be in place for a short period, while the U.K. remains in lockdown,” British budget airline easyJet said in an emailed statement, according to Reuters.
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