France to impose 'tit-for-tat' quarantine measures on travellers from UK 'within days'

A passenger arriving from Istanbul and wearing a face mask, walks past a COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) test sign at the arrival hall of the Basel - Mulhouse Euroairport in Saint Louis, eastern France, on August 4, 2020. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)
Passengers arriving in France from the UK could soon face quarantine restrictions. (AFP via Getty Images)

France is set to impose “tit-for-tat” coronavirus quarantine measures on travellers arriving from the UK in the coming days.

The move would follow Britain placing its own restrictions on travellers arriving from France earlier this month.

People who arrived in the UK from France since 15 August have been required to self-isolate for 14 days because of rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.

The UK government’s decision sparked travel chaos as hundreds of thousands of Britons flocked back home from France before the new quarantine rules came into force.

However, now French officials say they are planning their own quarantine on arrivals from the UK.

France’s secretary of state for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, suggested those travelling from the UK to France could soon face similar self-isolation restrictions.

He told France 2: “There will be reciprocal measures so that Britons don’t close the border in one direction.

“For travellers returning from the United Kingdom, there will probably be restrictive measures decided in the next few days by the prime minister and by the defence council.”

Meanwhile, Switzerland could become the next European country to be subject to quarantine measures by all four nations of the UK, according to the latest figures.

French Junior Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune, wearing a protective face mask, leaves following the last weekly cabinet meeting before summer vacation break, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 29, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
French junior minister for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, warned that France will impose quarantine measures on those travelling from the UK. (Reuters)

A seven-day rate of 20 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people is the threshold above which the UK government considers triggering quarantine conditions.

Switzerland is currently recording a seven-day rate of 20.7 cases per 100,000.

Meanwhile France has a seven-day rate of 36.4 cases per 100,000, while the UK’s equivalent is 10.7.

Under new proposals from aviation services companies Swissport and Collinson Group, the UK’s 14-day quarantine rules could be halved through dual testing, The Times reported.

Passengers would be tested for COVID-19 on arrival in Britain and then again three to five days later.

Over 30 countries currently have airport testing, including Austria, France and Germany.

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