ENTERTAINMENT

Coronavirus UK: Tourists in France must be quarantined


France was put on the UK's quarantine list yesterday, which dealt a heavy blow to tens of thousands of British vacationers.

After a week of speculation ministers responding to a worsening coronavirus situation across the channel, ministers ordered travelers returning from the popular destination to isolate for 14 days.

The quarantine will close tomorrow at 4 a.m. – and with an estimated 500,000 British vacationers in France, a weekend of chaos is looming.

There are concerns that the sudden change in rules could spark a rush for ferries in Calais and Dunkirk – and a battle for seats on the Eurostar.

John Keefe, the director of public affairs at Canal Tunnel operator Getlink, warned that the capacity of the services was "very limited" this month.

France recorded 2,669 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, up from 2,524 on Wednesday. It's a record number for the nation since emerging from lockdown.

When the regulations were reviewed, the Netherlands, Monaco and Malta were added to the quarantine list – and Portugal remains on that list along with Spain.

The Turks and Caicos Islands as well as Aruba in the Caribbean have also lost their place.

The move came after Boris Johnson said the UK was "ruthless" when it comes to quarantining travel, even with its "closest and dearest friends".

“We have to be absolutely ruthless, even with our closest and dearest friends and partners. I think everyone understands, ”Mr Johnson told reporters when he visited Northern Ireland yesterday.

The Prime Minister spoke on a visit to Northern Ireland this afternoon before anticipating which nations to put on the restricted travel list

The quarantine will come in on Saturday at 4 a.m. With an estimated 500,000 British vacationers in France, a weekend of chaos is looming. Pictured: Beachgoers enjoy a hot day on a beach in Bormes-les-Mimosas, southern France

The quarantine will come in on Saturday at 4 a.m. – and with an estimated 500,000 British vacationers in France, a weekend of chaos is looming. Pictured: Beachgoers enjoy a hot day on a beach in Bormes-les-Mimosas, southern France

Pictured: A graph showing the countries from which travelers coming to the UK are currently exempted from the 14-day coronavirus quarantine, as well as the number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in each country. There is growing speculation that France could be removed from the list of excluded countries, but there are a number of other countries with higher or similar numbers

& # 39; We'll look at the dates a little later this afternoon – right where France and other countries arrive.

“We can't even remotely complain about our own situation. Everyone understands that in a pandemic you will not allow our populations to be infected again or the disease to recur.

"That is why the quarantine measures are very important and we have to apply them very strictly."

Speculation about the removal of quarantine exemptions has increased as infections rise across much of Europe.

Hundreds of thousands of Britons are either on vacation or planning to travel to France, but more than 2,500 cases were recorded yesterday – a record since the lockdown was eased.

Hundreds of thousands of Britons are either on vacation or planning to travel to France, but more than 2,500 cases were recorded yesterday - a record since the lockdown was eased. In the picture Cergy-Pontoise, northwest of Paris

Hundreds of thousands of Britons are either on vacation or planning to travel to France, but more than 2,500 cases were recorded yesterday – a record since the lockdown was eased. In the picture Cergy-Pontoise, northwest of Paris

The country appears dangerously close to the scale of 20 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

However, ministers are believed to be ready to halt restrictions if changes are announced, with the situation being closely monitored.

The quarantine list already includes Spain and Portugal. It is believed that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet approved the adjustments.

Travelers are expected to be notified of changes approximately 30 hours in advance so they can make new arrangements if necessary.

The Netherlands (23.1 per 100,000), Gibraltar (35.6), Monaco (38.2), Malta (46.7), San Marino (53.0), the Faroe Islands (198.5), Turks and Caicos Islands (278.9) and Aruba (547.9) all have higher new cases per 100,000 values ​​than France.

On the list with a slightly lower rate than France are Denmark (15.3 per 100,000), Iceland (14.7), the Czech Republic (14.0), Switzerland (13.3) and Poland (12.7) .

Hundreds of thousands faced a rush to get home from France after being put on the UK's quarantine list last night. Travelers have 30 hours to return to the UK before the quarantine goes into effect. Pictured: Departures at Lyon-Saint-Exupery Airport

Hundreds of thousands faced a rush to get home from France after being put on the UK's quarantine list last night. Travelers have 30 hours to return to the UK before the quarantine goes into effect. Pictured: Departures at Lyon-Saint-Exupery Airport

All of this has exceeded the Portuguese rate of 12.4 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days. Even so, Portugal remains on the list of countries from which all arrivals to the UK, including those returning from vacation, must be quarantined for two weeks.

Downing Street reminded prospective vacationers this week that "there is no risk-free way to travel overseas," and Boris Johnson added that he "would not hesitate" to introduce travel restrictions to other countries.

The latest data on foreign soil coronavirus cases is being analyzed by the government's Joint Biosecurity Center (JCB), which reports to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Brits in France and other countries could be forced to flee home or they could be quarantined on their return to the UK if the government decides to remove more countries from the list.

Although Portugal has had a lower rate of new Covid-19 cases in the past seven days than a number of countries on the government's exception list, travelers entering the UK from Portugal must self-isolate upon arrival in the UK. Pictured: Beach goers crowd at Praia da Duquesa in Cascais, Portugal. on August 9th, 2020 when tourism is slowly returning

Although Portugal has had a lower rate of new Covid-19 cases in the past seven days than a number of countries on the government's exception list, travelers entering the UK from Portugal must self-isolate upon arrival in the UK. Pictured: Beach goers crowd at Praia da Duquesa in Cascais, Portugal. on August 9th, 2020 when tourism is slowly returning

UK ministers are believed to be planning new measures for a variety of countries amid an increase in European coronavirus cases

UK ministers are believed to be planning new measures for a variety of countries amid an increase in European coronavirus cases

The Netherlands is one of the countries exempted from the UK's quarantine rules but has seen a rate of 23.1 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week - a higher rate than France

The Netherlands is one of the countries exempted from the UK's quarantine rules but has seen a rate of 23.1 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week – a higher rate than France

On Tuesday, the UK updated its "green list" for travel but did not remove Portugal from the quarantine list, a blow to the country's economy, which has benefited greatly from UK tourism.

The British government was warned that the cases in Portugal had not fallen fast enough to safely put the country on the "green list".

On Monday, France reported the first significant increase in the number of coronavirus patients in the hospital since the lockdown was lifted, although it fell again on Tuesday before rising two days after the rebound.

France's Prime Minister Jean Castex (pictured in a Montpellier hospital this week) has told citizens to "pull themselves together" amid a renewed spike in coronavirus cases in France

France's Prime Minister Jean Castex (pictured in a Montpellier hospital this week) has told citizens to "pull themselves together" amid a renewed spike in coronavirus cases in France

Earlier this week, the French prime minister urged citizens to pull themselves together amid a renewed spike in coronavirus cases.

Jean Castex said the public is becoming negligent and has sparked the specter of a second lockdown after rising more than 10,000 cases in the past week.

"If we do not act together, we expose ourselves to the increased risk that the upswing of the epidemic will be difficult to control," said Castex during a visit to an intensive care unit in southern France.

Some parts of France have tightened their mask rules despite the summer heat wave. The police will now step up controls on face coverings – while neighboring Belgium yesterday made masks mandatory in all public spaces, including outdoors.

Travel Managers: This is a devastating blow to the industry

ByTom Payne Transport Correspondent for the Daily Mail

The bombshell decision to re-quarantine France is a "devastating blow" to the crippled UK travel sector, industry leaders said last night.

Airlines and tour operators have suffered colossal losses during the pandemic, due to falling passenger numbers and far-reaching global travel restrictions.

A long-awaited announcement in the travel corridors brought some respite in mid-July – but a steady yet sharp rise in coronavirus cases on the continent suddenly ended hopes for a revived travel season.

Travel bosses said yesterday evening the decision to re-quarantine France – weeks after Spain, Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas were also removed from the list of "safe" countries – effectively signals the death knell for foreign holidays for the rest of the year.

However, ministers are believed to be ready to halt restrictions if changes are announced, with the situation being closely monitored

However, ministers are believed to be ready to halt restrictions if changes are announced, with the situation being closely monitored

FRANCE QUARANTINE Q&A

What are my vacation refund rights?

If you have booked a package tour in France or another quarantine country, your tour operator should cancel the holiday. You can then request a full refund.

Do I get a refund for my flight, ferry or train ticket?

If the airlines keep operating the route there is no right, although they may return money as a gesture of goodwill. Ferry companies and Eurostar may offer refunds, but most companies will give customers a voucher that they can rebook at a later date. Eurotunnel says there will be refunds up to 24 hours before departure.

And accommodation?

If a hotel or villa remains open and available, there is no legal right to cancel or refund, although some booking websites such as Airbnb and Booking.com offer last minute cancellations on some offers.

Can I apply for flight and accommodation insurance?

These are unlikely to be covered if the policy was purchased after March 10th, when most insurers removed cover for cancellations related to Covid-19.

Can I apply for statutory sick pay in quarantine?

No – there is no automatic entitlement to statutory sick pay unless you meet the required conditions, e.g. B. Viewing Coronavirus Symptoms.

What happens when you pass a country on the quarantine list?

You don't need to quarantine as long as passengers stay in the car for the entire journey and no one joins them.

It also means misery for millions of Brits with ruined trips who now face the battle to seek refunds from airlines that may refuse to give them their money back.

Most vacationers are unlikely to have travel insurance as most policies purchased after March 10 do not provide coverage for Covid 19 related cancellations.

Travel chiefs yesterday evening criticized the government's inaction on airport tests – seen by many as a viable alternative to blanket quarantine measures – and criticized ministers' "chaotic approach" to plunging the industry into chaos and uncertainty.

A senior figure in the industry told the Daily Mail, “It was chaos at every turn. The recent announcement on France marks a turning point and a dark day for our industry. We are in uncharted waters. It's hard to see where we're going. "

Gloria Guevara, president of the World Travel and Tourism Council, said the industry's "worst fears" have been fulfilled and an estimated three million jobs in the UK could be lost due to ongoing uncertainty.

Tim Alderslade of Airlines UK trade organization added: "It is another devastating blow to the travel industry, already hit by the worst crisis in its history.

“It is imperative to have the political will to move to a sub-national quarantine approach, in addition to a testing regime for arriving passengers, so that negative tests can avoid self-isolating – something other countries like Germany have already implemented. & # 39;

He said this would "give shippers and customers additional reassurance about the ability to operate this fall and winter".

Karen Dee of the Airport Operators Association said, “Our airports are under pressure that was unimaginable six months ago, and it is important that the government work with industry to establish regional travel corridors in low risk areas and a package of financial resources Action to be agreed Support our airports, which have lost over £ 2 billion since the pandemic began.

"We have consistently asked for assistance, including relieving corporate rates and extending employment subsidies beyond October, and it is long overdue for the government to offer aviation the same level of support that it has given other sectors."

Rory Boland from the consumer group Which? said: & # 39; It is understandable that the government wants to restrict travel to these countries at this point, but the burden of that decision rests disproportionately on the vacationers – thousands of them are likely to be left significantly out of their pockets because their airline is down refuses to refund them.

“Unlike tour operators, airlines now routinely ignore travel warnings from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and refuse refunds because they believe the flight is still operational. Some major airlines like Ryanair don't even allow customers to rebook without charging a heavy fee.

"The government wants us to act responsibly and not travel to countries with an FCO warning. However, it must make it clear to airlines that they too must act responsibly and ignore the government's travel advice in order to receive customer money."

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