UK imposes quarantine for travellers from France, the Netherlands

Britain on Thursday decided to reimpose 14-day quarantine on people travelling from France and the Netherlands, urging Paris to quickly announce a reciprocal measure, news wires reported. The move is expected to spark a mass exodus among the estimated half a million British holidaymakers currently in France, after a rise in coronavirus cases there.

"Data shows we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN," transport minister Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter. "If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days."

French junior minister for European affairs Clement Beaune said that it was "a British decision we regret and which will lead to a reciprocal measure". France "hoped for a return to normal as soon as possible," Beaune said on Twitter. On Thursday France recorded 2,669 new coronavirus infections, its highest daily number since May.

Britain had initially imposed a blanket quarantine on all visitors arriving in the country, but later carved out "travel corridors", which exempted travellers arriving from certain countries from having to self-isolate. But it reintroduced the quarantine for travellers arriving from Spain in late July, catching airlines by surprise, as well as thousands of Britons leaving for their holidays.

Britain reimposed quarantine for travellers from Andorra, Belgium and the Bahamas last week.

With more than 41,000 deaths caused by the Covid-19 disease, Britain is the worst-hit country in Europe. PM Boris Johnson has been criticised over his handling of the crisis.

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