Travellers arriving to the UK from France after 4am on Saturday will be required to quarantine for 14 days due to fears over rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the country.
The move came after Boris Johnson said ministers would be “absolutely ruthless” in deciding on whether to impose the self-isolation requirement.
The Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos and Aruba have also been added to the quarantine list from 4am on Saturday.
Data shows we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN. If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) August 13, 2020
The decision to add France will cause dismay for thousands of British holidaymakers currently in the country.
It was made in response to the spread of the virus, with the latest 14-day cumulative figures showing 32.1 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in France, compared with 18.5 in the UK.
The FCO now advise against all but essential travel to #France based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. If you're returning to the UK from France, you may need to self-isolate on your return. More info: https://t.co/JqWcOTBj4J pic.twitter.com/wdsduFpqMu— FCDO Travel Advice (@FCDOtravelGovUK) August 13, 2020
The move will come as a bitter blow to the hard-pressed French tourism industry which relies heavily on visitors from the UK.
The Foreign Office updated its advice to warn against all but essential travel to the country because of the coronavirus risk.
Before the announcement was made, Mr Johnson said: “We have got to be absolutely ruthless about this, even with our closest and dearest friends and partners.
“I think everybody understands that.”
Mr Johnson said the Government could not allow the UK’s population to be “reinfected or the disease to come back in”.
“That is why the quarantine measures are very important and we have to apply them in a very strict way,” he said during a visit to Belfast.
With Spain already on the quarantine list, it now means that holidaymakers returning to the UK from the two most popular overseas destinations must now isolate for 14 days.