The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been advising against all non-essential travel during the coronavirus pandemic. Upon returning from a number of countries, British citizens will be required to self-isolate for two weeks upon arriving back in the UK, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, from July 4 a number of countries were made exempt from the FCO’s advice against non-essential travel.
Popular tourist destinations such as Spain, France and Germany were all placed on the FCO’s list of countries where Brits could visit without needing to self-isolate upon arrival back in the UK.
However last week the Government removed Spain from the exemption list due to rising coronavirus cases in many parts of the country.
The move demonstrated the FCO can remove any country from its exemption list quickly, depending on the scale of COVID-19 infections within a region.
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A senior Government source told the Telegraph it could be possible that other countries are removed from the list of exemptions over the coming weeks and months.
The source said: “It’s a fast-moving situation and what has happened with Spain has shown that wherever there are data changes we will act quickly and change the travel advice immediately.
“So it’s fair to say other countries could go back on the quarantine list.
“You can see the evidence of where spikes are happening and that does tend to be reflected in the travel advice.”
Is France going back into lockdown?
There are concerns for a potential second wave of COVID-19 cases in France.
France’s Health Minister Olivier Veran told the French newspaper, Le Parisien, on Sunday the country witnessed the same daily level of COVID-19 cases as when the lockdown was first starting to be eased on May 11.
French authorities are concerned about the rising number of coronavirus cases across France.
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However senior French ministers are keen to avoid another national lockdown if possible.
It has been suggested by French Prime Minister Jean Castex that local lockdowns could be used to help slow the spread of the virus.
Mr Castex told the Nice-Matin newspaper: “What we must avoid above all is a general lockdown.
“Such a measure breaks the spread of the epidemic, certainly, but it is catastrophic on an economic and social level, including for the psychological health of some of our fellow citizens.”
Will I have to quarantine if I come back from France?
As of July 27, the FCO exemption for France issued on July 4 still stands.
As France is currently exempt from the FCO advice to avoid all non-essential travel, British citizens do not need to self-isolate after arriving back in the UK from France.
However, as has been the case for Spain in recent days, this advice could be subject to change if the coronavirus infection rate in France continues to rise.
If planning a visit to France, there are a number of rules the French authorities have put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Full details on the Government’s advice on travelling to France can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.
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