Quarantine: France on brink of removal from UK safe travel list as coronavirus cases rise

Simon Calder
·2-min read
The 2020 Paris Marathon has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic: AP
The 2020 Paris Marathon has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic: AP

UK holidaymakers in France, and travellers planning to go there, are waiting anxiously to hear if they will need to quarantine when they return.

Overnight, a key measure used to make this decision has seen a 3 per cent rise in new infections

Senior ministers are meeting today to discuss changes to the Foreign Office “no-go” list and the Department for Transport quarantine-exempt list.

The chances that quarantine will be reimposed for arrivals from France have increased with the lunchtime figures for 12 August just published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based in Stockholm.

The Independent has analysed the latest infection rates for new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 of the population for key countries over the past 14 days.

France’s rate has increased overnight from 29.4 to 30.4, a rise of 3 per cent, while the UK rate increased even faster from 17.1 to 18.3 – up 7 per cent.

The Netherlands looks a likely candidate to be added to the high-risk category. Overnight, its rate has risen from 34.6 to 37.9. Last week, neighbouring Belgium was ruled to be high risk.

Spain has the highest rate of major countries, with a rise from 90.3 to 93.7. But tourism officials say that it is distorted by surges in northern regions, well away from the islands where many holidaymakers spend their time.

Malta will be hoping to escape a “high-risk” rating after a reduction from 63 to 61.6. The islands’ tourism authority says that infections among refugees rescued in the Mediterranean have distorted the rate.

There will be some concern over Cyprus and Croatia, after significant rises overnight. Cyprus, which opened its frontiers to British holidaymakers only at the start of August, saw its rate increase by 10 per cent, from 21.9 to 24, while Croatia has increased from 18.8 to 20.

Greece, meanwhile, has seen its rate rise from 14.2 to 15.5 – thought to be caused by the large number of incoming tourists since the borders opened in July.

Among major holiday destinations, Italy remains way ahead, with a modest rise from 7.5 to 7.9, while Hungary, Latvia and Finland are all showing rates of below 5.

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