Is France still on the UK's quarantine list?

Reader question: With the number of coronavirus cases increasing in the UK at the moment, I wondered if France was still considered unsafe and is still on the UK’s quarantine list?

8 September 2020
By Connexion journalist

Short answer: yes. 

France was removed from the UK’s travel corridor list on August 15, meaning that anyone travelling from France to the UK must quarantine for two weeks. This is still the case today. 

Travel expert Paul Charles, CEO and founder of tourism consultancy PC Agency, told Connexion that he thinks it is going to be some time before France is taken off the UK’s quarantine list.

“The [coronavirus case] numbers continue to be very high in France, as they are in Spain, and the UK government is not in a hurry to take countries off the quarantine list,” he said. 

Last month, Mr Charles told Connexion that the key figures the UK is looking at are the numbers of cases per 100,000 in a country, recorded by an EU body, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

“Any figure over 20 per 100,000 for a period of seven days is a cause for alarm for the [UK] government,” he said. 

The latest ECDC figures show that over the past two weeks, France’s average number of cases per 100,000 is 122.2, while the UK’s is 32.3.

Mr Charles said it was a “worrying sign” that the UK is now recording levels above its own criteria. 

On Monday (August 7), the UK government reported 2,948 new cases of coronavirus. France reported 4,203. 

The UK’s increasing case numbers may result in other countries imposing quarantine restrictions of their own on people travelling from the UK, said Mr Charles. 

France has said it will introduce reciprocal quarantine measures on people arriving from the UK, but no decision has yet been taken on what those measures will be. 

Last week, it was announced that EU countries are working to enact a coordinated approach to any possible border closure policy within the Schengen Area as Covid-19 continues to spread, in a bid to avoid mismatched rules and border “chaos”.

Read more about the UK’s quarantine:

What change would take France off UK's quarantine list?

Talks ongoing re French restrictions for UK arrivals

UK quarantine: Eurostar cuts services by 80%

Do UK quarantine rules apply if I transit in France?

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