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What does end to quarantine mean for France-UK travel?

From July 10, travellers from France will no longer have to quarantine on arrival in England, and France has been given an “amber” rating on the new English travel traffic light system. 

Travel to England without quarantine will be permitted from around 60 countries including France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, the UK transport minister Grant Shapps announced this morning (July 3). 

The full list of the 60 countries will be released at lunchtime today, Friday July 3.

The new exemptions mean that anyone travelling to England from the countries on the list will not need to self-isolate on arrival, unless they have travelled through countries not on the list in the previous 14 days. 

The new quarantine rules only apply to travel to and from England.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still have quarantine measures in place for international travellers.

Read more: What does end of UK quarantine mean for travel insurance?

Read more: UK-France flights and restart plans for July

Traffic lights, instead of air bridges

Instead of setting up “air bridges” or “travel corridors” for travel from England to specified countries, a "traffic light system" has been put in place.

The creation of an air bridge would mean travel was unrestricted between the two connected countries, as both agreed no quarantine measures were necessary.

But the traffic light system does not ensure quarantine-free travel. Instead it indicates how safe countries are for people to visit.  

“Green” ratings will be given to countries with very low Covid-19 transmission rates, such as New Zealand. A “red” rating is reserved for countries not on the travel list as Covid-19 infection rates are still considered too high, such as the US and Brazil. 

France has been classed as “amber”, meaning it is considered safe to visit.


Can people from the UK travel to France without quarantine?

Current advice on the UK Foreign Office website advises against “against all but essential international travel” including travel to France, although this is expected to be updated and relaxed on Saturday (July 4).

Read more: Visits to second homes in France and FCO advice

Currently, it has been confirmed that people can travel from France to England without having to quarantine on arrival, from July 10.  

But no new quarantine announcements have been made for travel from England to France. 

However, quarantine measures in France for those travelling from the UK were put in place on a “voluntary” and “reciprocal” basis. This means they were not defined by the French government, but rather mirrored the UK government’s quarantine measures for travellers coming from France.  

As England’s quarantine measures have changed, this means that in theory, the French measures should also have changed, and travellers from England can visit France without having to quarantine. This has yet to be confirmed officially.

The UK still appears on an official list of countries asked to quarantine voluntarily, although this should be modified by July 10, when English measures are lifted.

UK transport minister Grant Shapps confirmed there would be no quarantine between France and the UK in an interview with Sky News this morning, according to political correspondent Rob Powell.

Paraphrasing the minister’s words, he wrote “France is amber. So a true 'corridor' with quarantine free travel in both directions.”

Related stories:

Brittany Ferries UK-France sailings resume: updates

When will Americans be able to travel to France?

Can American citizens living in UK travel to France?

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