The switch to the French equivalent of the British “orange list” rules was decided at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday 26 May. It is expected to come into force shortly in response to concerns over the spread of the worrying ‘Indian’ variant of the coronavirus.
UK visitors to France are currently required to present a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of arrival; complete a self-certifying affidavit (sworn declaration) form that they do not suffer from symptoms associated with the coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases within the previous fifteen days; and self-isolate for a week upon arrival.
They must have another test on the seventh day and are allowed to end self-isolation if it is negative.
But now travelers must be tested within 36 hours of arrival – or present an additional negative antigen test within 24 hours – and isolate for 10 days.
Although there is no obligation to go to a hotel, self-isolation is closely monitored by the police. Anyone not at their registered quarantine location could face a fine of € 1,000 (£ 870).
A spokesperson for the French government. Gabriel Attal, said the decision was made after Germany decided to impose a quarantine on arrivals from the UK.
The new rule should not apply to carriers.
The change of status closely matches the requirements of travelers from France to the UK. They face “orange list” restrictions with quarantine and multiple testing.
The move has caused consternation in the travel industry on both sides of the Channel. The companies predicted that the rules would be relaxed as the main summer season approached.
A spokesperson for Brittany Ferries said: “If there is one thing we have learned today, it is that the lessons of the past have not been applied to the present.
Travel agencies had hoped the UK could soon be added to the EU’s list of ‘safe’ third countries as part of its rapid vaccine rollout, but that seems increasingly unlikely after the Germany and Austria have announced the closure of their borders to British tourists.