The French government has said it will reciprocate after the UK announced that all arrivals will soon be quarantined for 14 days.
There had been speculation that the UK would establish a “travel bubble” with certain countries to allow people to travel without isolation, but few exceptions to the new rules have so far been announced.
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Speaking last night, Interior Minister Priti Patel said the measures would take effect on June 8 and apply to all people entering the country, including Britons returning from abroad.
European leaders responded by calling for a “coordinated approach”, while the travel industry said the move would be “unworkable” and “ineffective”.
A spokesman for the French interior minister said: “We take note of the British government’s decision and we regret it.
“France is ready to set up a reciprocal measure as soon as the system enters into force on the British side.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Raffaele Trombetta, Italy’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, said: “There is always a large number of British tourists who come to Italy, it is one of Britain’s favorite destinations.
“We made 40 million trips from the UK to Italy last year. We know how much they love Italy. We are always open and welcome them.
“We think this pandemic is a global problem, so the best thing to do is to fight it with a coordinated approach.”
He added that no talks between the British and Italian governments have yet taken place, but that Italy intends to lift quarantine measures for anyone traveling from the EU or the UK to from June 3.
The Greek government has previously declared that it is open to the idea of establishing an “air bridge” with Great Britain.
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Patel’s announcement yesterday included a list of 39 categories of people to whom the new rules would not apply, including health services, pilots and those from Ireland.
But these measures have been criticized by the travel industry.
In a statement, Ryanair, the largest European airline, said quarantines would be “unenforceable” and “ineffective” if passengers were not detained at airports and hotels for 14 days after landing.
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Virgin Atlantic called on the government to develop a “layered approach”.
“With these restrictions, there will simply be insufficient demand to resume passenger services before August at the earliest,” he added.
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