THE French government has said it will reciprocate after the UK announced that all arrivals would soon have to quarantine themselves for 14 days.
There had been speculation that the UK would establish a “travel bubble” with certain countries to enable people to move without self-isolating, but few exceptions to the new rules have so far been announced.
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Speaking last night, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the measures would come into force on June 8, and would apply to everyone entering the country, including Brits returning from abroad.
European leaders have reacted by calling for a “coordinated approach”, while the travel industry have said the step would be “unenforceable” and “ineffective”.
A spokesperson for France’s Interior Minister said: “We take note of the British government’s decision and we regret it.
“France is ready to put in place a reciprocal measure as soon as the system comes into force on the British side.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Raffaele Trombetta, the Italian ambassador to the UK, said: “There is always a large number of British tourists coming to Italy, it’s one of Britain’s preferred destinations.
“We had 40 million trips from the UK to Italy last year. We know how much they love Italy. We are still open, welcoming them.
“We believe that this is pandemic is a global problem so the best thing to do is to tackle it with a coordinated approach.”
He added that no talks between the British and Italian governments had yet taken place, but that Italy intends to lift quarantine measures for everyone travelling from the EU or UK from June 3.
The Greek government has previously said it was open to the idea of establishing an “air bridge” with Britain.
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Patel’s announcement yesterday did include a list of 39 categories of people to whom the new rules would not apply, including health works, pilots, and those coming from Ireland.
But the measures were strongly criticised by the travel industry.
In a statement, Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, said the quarantines would “unenforceable” and “ineffective” if people were not kept in airports and hotels for 14 days after landing.
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Virgin Atlantic called on the government to develop a “multi-layered approach”.
“With these restrictions, there simply won’t be sufficient demand to resume passenger services before August at the earliest,” it said.
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