What does new quarantine rule mean for travellers from France?
Written by Gavin on 14th August 2020
France and a number of other nations have been removed from the list of safe countries people can travel to without going into quarantine on their return to the UK.
Which countries are affected?
France, The Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos, and the island of Aruba. People returning from any of these countries to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have to isolate for 14 days.
When does the rule come into effect?
4am Saturday, 15 August.
How bad is the coronavirus situation in France?
The latest 14-day cumulative figures show 32.1 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in France, compared with 18.5 in the UK.
If I’m in one of the affected countries, what should I do?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not telling Britons to leave immediately.
People are being asked to follow local rules, return home as normal, and check the travel advice pages on gov.uk.
It may be difficult to get an earlier trip home anyway. For example, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle has said: “The service is already very busy this weekend and there is no additional capacity.
“To avoid long queues and severe disruption we strongly advise against turning up at the terminal outside the allocated time. Customers will be unable to board alternative shuttles without a valid booking.”
I have a holiday booked in an affected country – what should I do?
The FCO says Britons should avoid “all but essential travel” to these countries.
The Association of British Insurers said travel insurance will remain valid for people who are already in the quarantined countries until they return home.
But if you travel to the affected countries after the FCO advice has changed your insurance will “likely” be invalid, the ABI said.
What are the rules for isolation?
When you arrive in the UK, go straight to the place you’re staying. Only use public transport if you have no other option and wear a face covering and stay two metres away from other people.
Stay at your isolation address for 14 days – this is the address you have identified on your public health passenger locator form.
Have necessities delivered and do not have visitors unless they are providing emergency assistance or a small number of other critical services.
Do not go out to work, to school, or to other public areas. Do not go shopping. Instead, organise a delivery with the help of the store or friends and family.
In England, you must only exercise within your home or garden. You cannot leave to walk your dog. You will need to ask friends or relatives to help with this. Read more here.
What if I develop symptoms of the virus during my return journey?
Tell one of the crew on your plane, boat, train or bus. They will let staff in the airport, port or station know, so they can tell you what you should do when you arrive.
What if my employer is unhappy about me isolating instead of coming in to work?
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab previously has said no worker following quarantine guidance should be penalised by employers, including by being put onto sick pay.
He said that if someone is following the law in relation to quarantine and self-isolating, “they can’t have penalties taken against them”.