Boris Johnson has updated the UK’s lockdown rules, moving on from the original advice of ‘Stay Home’ to ‘Stay Alert’. The Government has also published its COVID-19 recovery strategy alongside the Prime Minister’s pre-recorded speech announcing the loosening of the rules.
Why is France exempt from UK quarantine?
Passengers who travel into the UK via any means will now be subject to new rules which stipulate a 14-day mandatory quarantine, with those arriving from France being exempt.
Boris Johnson said on Sunday the rules would be imposed on people coming into the UK, including residents and non residents, in a bid to prevent further spread of coronavirus.
The agreement between the Prime Minister and President Emmanuel Macron declares: “No quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France at this stage; any measures on either side would be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner.”
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In addition to this, those travelling from the Republic of Ireland will not be made to go into quarantine either.
No date has been set for when the quarantine will go into effect, however, it is currently expected to be at the end of this month.
The new rules means all residents and citizens arriving at a UK airport will have to self isolate for two weeks, and must be able to demonstrate where they will be quarantining upon demand.
The rules will not just apply to air passengers, but also those arriving by other means of travel such as ferry or train as well.
The Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy reads: “First, alongside increased information about the UK’s social distancing regime at the border, the Government will require all international arrivals to supply their contact and accommodation information.
“They will also be strongly advised to download and use the NHS contact tracing app.
“Second, the Government will require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK.
“Where international travellers are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolate, they will be required to do so in accommodation arranged by the Government.
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“The Government is working closely with the devolved administrations to coordinate implementation across the UK.
“Small exemptions to these measures will be in place to provide for continued security of supply into the UK and so as not to impede work supporting national security or critical infrastructure and to meet the UK’s international obligations.
“All journeys within the Common Travel Area will also be exempt from these measures.”
The new measures are expected to be updated as the UK moves through the next stages.
Why is France exempt?
Currently, the specific reasons surrounding why France has been made exempt is unclear, with no official line released by either side.
Both countries have large death tolls and are still under lockdown regulations.
France is most likely exempt due to the channel tunnel being a main thoroughfare between the UK and the rest of Europe.
Eurostar runs trains from London to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris.
In 2018, it made almost £1billion worth of sales transporting people to and from the continent.
Mr Johnson has expressed how keen he is to get the economy back on its feet.
Updated lockdown regulations mean those who cannot work from home should now go back to work.
The new policies have caused widespread concern from the public and official figures, noting that the UK is working at a 15 percent fatality rate.
More than 32,000 people have now died from coronavirus in the UK, the second biggest death toll in the world after the United States.
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