Coronavirus cases in France have almost doubled over the last 24 hours which could see the country removed from the UK’s quarantine exemption list. France’s health ministry reported 1,397 new infections of coronavirus since Monday. Prime Minister Jean Castex said that the situation is “deteriorating”.
He said: “The epidemiological situation, which we are following very closely, is deteriorating: 2,000 new cases per day compared to 1,000 three weeks ago.
“About 25 new clusters are identified every day compared to five three weeks ago.”
If cases continue to rise, holidaymakers returning from the UK from France could be required to go into 14-day quarantine.
The country’s two-week average case rate is just below 30 per 100,000 people in France.
According to the Joint Biosecurity Council, any country with a rate above 20, is high risk.
The “air bridge” list will be discussed today at a coronavirus response cabinet sub-committee.
The meeting will be chaired by Michael Gove and will include Matt Hancock, Grant Shapps and Dominic Raab.
A government insider revealed to The Times: “As we speak now France is probably just shy of crossing the line but it’s certainly right on the cusp.
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“It’s such a huge call it’s likely that they might want to wait a few more days and get some more data.”
But there is some potential good news for keen holidaymakers.
Although France could be removed, other countries could be added.
Cases in Portugal are continuing to fall, which could see it added to the “air bridge” list.
But according to The Times, a decision on whether Portugal will be added is not expected until next week.
However, an industry source has suggested that Portugal being added to the “air bridge” list could come “too late”.
The source said: “It could be that the Joint Biosecurity Centre say they are prepared to remove quarantine, but while that might be announced this week I don’t expect they would lift it until the end of August.
“That gives the Government time to assess that the falling numbers are part of a longer-term trend rather than a blip.
“From a science perspective it makes sense but unfortunately it is likely to come too late for Portugal, which has seen its entire summer season lost.”
Currently, France is exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel.
Travellers from the UK are not required to self-isolate, demonstrate that their travel is essential or hold an international travel certificate.
France has had 204,172 cases of coronavirus at the time of writing, which is below the UK’s 312,789.
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