Ministers ‘to discuss putting France on red list’ amid rise in coronavirus cases
Ministers will reportedly hold discussions on whether to add France to the UK’s travel ban list.
The measure will be discussed at a meeting of the “Covid O” committee on Tuesday amid rising coronavirus cases across the Channel, according to the Daily Telegraph.
From April 6, hauliers from outside the UK and Ireland visiting England for more than two days will need to take a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of their arrival and once every 72 hours afterwards.
But with growing signs of a third wave spreading across continental Europe, there is speculation that the Government could go further by adding France to the UK’s red list.
Some 4,872 patients are in intensive care in France, nearly matching the most during the country’s previous coronavirus surge in November.
Red list status would mean direct flights, sailings and trains from France to the UK could be banned, and people who are not UK or Irish nationals or UK residents would be prohibited from entering the UK if they had been in France during the previous 10 days.
Eligible arrivals would be required to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 per person.
There are currently 35 countries on the red list, including all of South America and southern Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman was asked why France has not already been put on the red list.
He replied: “We obviously keep all of our measures at the border under constant review and, as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will not hesitate to introduce tougher restrictions if necessary.”
He pointed to the testing regime coming into force from April 6, adding: “Tougher testing measures will ensure that hauliers who come across need to isolate in their cab, and if they are going to stay in the UK, they will require testing on day two, five and eight.”