Following its highest number of recorded coronavirus cases since June, it looks like France could be one of the next countries to be axed from the UK’s quarantine-free travel list. Chancellor Rishi Sunak appeared on Sky News this morning, warning holidaymakers that jetting off at the moment always comes with “the risk of disruption”.
He also echoed a sentiment by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said last week that the Government would act quickly to remove any countries where sudden surges in the virus posed a week.
Mr Johnson said: “I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic.”
Similarly, the Chancellor added: “It’s the right thing for us to do to keep everything under review on a constant basis talking with our scientists, our medical advisers, and if we need to take action as you’ve seen overnight we will of course not hesitate to do that, and we’re doing that to protect people’s health.”
He said: “It’s a tricky situation. What I can say to people is we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and that means there is always the risk of disruption to travel plans and people need to bear that in mind.”
France’s daily recorded coronavirus cases have seen a rapid increase, with 1,695 new infections being recorded yesterday alone.
It is a similar curve currently being experienced in neighbouring Spain, which has already been axed from the travel corridor list.
Similarly, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced three more destinations which had travel advisories reimposed.
Posting to Twitter last night, Mr Shapps stated: “Data shows we need to remove Andorra, Belgium and The Bahamas from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors in order to keep infection rates DOWN.
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“If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.”
Now, it seems France could be heading in the same direction.
Last week, France’s scientific committee claimed the virus was “under control but precarious.”
It warned: “We could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control.”
It added: “The short term future of the pandemic mainly lies in the hands of the population. It is highly likely that we will experience a second epidemic wave this autumn or winter.”
Over the past fortnight, France has had 22.4 new cases per 100,000 residents.
Around a week ago, this number was just 13.
Spain was removed from the UK’s quarantine-free travel list when its figures were around 35 per 100,000.
Spain’s cases are now at 78 per 100,000.
France has also recorded more deaths than Spain overall.
While Spain has recorded 28,499 deaths as a result, France has recorded 30,312 at the time of writing.
Amid the sudden travel advisory changes, Britons with plans to travel in the coming weeks have been issued an urgent travel insurance warning.
If a country is suddenly deemed unsafe to travel to by the FCO and a travel advisory is issued, holidaymakers who decide to push ahead with plans will no longer be protected by their insurance policy.
However, it is not always possible for the travel insurer to notify the customer of this, as Fiona Macrae, head of consumer awareness initiative travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk, explains.
“When you purchase a travel insurance policy, your provider doesn’t always ask for the exact country you are travelling to,” she warned.
“Many just ask which geographical region so it is unlikely that they will be in a position to contact you in this situation.
“It is the holidaymaker’s responsibility to be aware of what cover they have and keep up to date with any changes to the FCO advice.
“If you are unsure of your cover, you should contact your travel insurance provider to clarify your position.”
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