At midnight Thursday, U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed that people traveling to the U.K. from France and Monaco will be “forced” into a two-week quarantine from Saturday, August 15.
The measure, which kicks in from 5 a.m. CET (4 a.m. BST), also affects travelers from the Netherlands, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba.
Clement Beaune, the French junior minister for European affairs, tweeted that it was “a British decision we regret and which will lead to a reciprocal measure.”
It is estimated there are some 500,000 U.K. tourists currently in France and airlines are trying to cope with panicked travelers looking to get back before Saturday. On its website, the Eurotunnel reported it is “struggling to deal with the volume of inquiries.”
The announcement was not unexpected as confirmed cases of Covid in France have soared this week, with 2,669 new coronavirus infections recorded Thursday, the highest daily number since May. For the week of August 3 to 9, the largest spike in cases on mainland France was seen amongst those between the ages of 15-44, what the health ministry refers to as a “troubling situation.”
On Friday, the French government upgraded Paris and Marseille to “high rise areas,” and in a bid to contain the spreading of the virus, have given local authorities in Paris in the Bouches-du-Rhone area the power to close restaurants, bars and other establishments, as well as limit the movement of people and vehicles, including for public transport, air travel and access to public buildings.
In Monaco, 11 cases of been confirmed over the past three days, although they are not necessarily residents. Three people are in hospital with 13 being supervised under the Home Patient Monitoring Center.
The government told Forbes-Monaco “regarding the period March/April/May, PCR tests, carried out as needed, were 10 to 50 per day. Currently, between 150 to 175 PCR tests are carried out per day, depending on the needs.”
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