Holidaymakers returning from France are being required to self-isolate because of high cases of a coronavirus variant on an island 6,000 miles from Paris, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has revealed.
Mr Raab told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that the decision to put France on the amber plus list was “based on the prevalence of the so-called Beta variant, in particular in the Reunion bit of France”.
Reunion is a French island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar.
Asked why the travel restriction remained in place for mainland France, the Cabinet minister replied: “It’s not the distance that matters, it’s the ease of travel between different component parts of any individual country.”
He insisted that “we want to get France up the traffic light system as soon as possible”.
A spokesman for Brittany Ferries said: “This is madness. It would be like France hammering British holidaymakers due to a Covid outbreak on the Falkland Islands.
“It makes you wonder if those in the centre of power have access to an atlas or a geography GCSE between them.”
France is the only EU country from which people vaccinated under the UK programme must self-isolate for 10 days when they return.