UK rolls back easing of travel restrictions in France as health chief catches COVID-19 – National – .

UK rolls back easing of travel restrictions in France as health chief catches COVID-19 – National – .

Tourists and the travel industry expressed frustration and anger on Saturday after Britain rolled back a plan to ease travel restrictions in France just two days after they started, citing concerns over a variant of the coronavirus .

The move comes despite the fact that France currently has lower virus rates than the UK, where the highly contagious delta variant is leading to an increase in infections. Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who is in charge of the UK’s coronavirus response on Saturday, said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating while awaiting the results of a second test.

Javid said in a video message that he had received both shots of a vaccine and “so far my symptoms are very mild”.

Read more:

France considers tighter limits for UK tourists as COVID-19 variants spread

The story continues under the ad

Javid took over from Matt Hancock last month, who resigned after breaking social distancing rules. Hancock fell ill with COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic last year, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent several days in intensive care with the virus in April 2020.

Britain currently has higher rates of COVID-19 than France, with more than 51,000 new infections confirmed on Friday, the highest number in six months. Hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing, but remain well below previous peaks of infection.

Despite the surge in cases, the remaining restrictions are expected to be lifted in England on Monday, although the government is advising people to remain cautious and maintain social distancing. Face masks will still be required on London buses and subways and some other public transport networks.

In an announcement on Friday evening, the UK government said people arriving from France must self-isolate for 10 days upon entering Britain, even if they are fully vaccinated. The announcement came just days after the government said fully vaccinated UK residents would no longer be quarantined as of Monday from dozens of countries classified as ‘amber’ or medium, on the fire system. UK circulation of coronavirus risk. The Amber List includes the United States, Canada and much of Europe.

UK Minister Says Government Must Be Wary of International Travel Amid Rising COVID-19 Variants

UK Minister Says Government Must Be Wary of International Travel Amid Rising COVID-19 Variants – June 3, 2021

British health officials say France is being singled out because of cases of the beta variant, first identified in South Africa, which is believed to be more resistant to vaccines than other strains of the virus. The beta variant accounts for around 10 percent of cases in France, but far less than 1 percent of cases in Britain. In both countries, the delta variant first identified in India is dominant.

The story continues under the ad

Epidemiologist John Edmunds, a member of the UK government’s science advisory group, said there is good evidence that beta “can more effectively evade the immune response generated by the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been used for the majority of UK vaccinations.

Before the pandemic, more than 17 million British residents visited France each year. Gemma Antrobus of the Association of Independent Tour Operators said Friday’s announcement took the travel industry by surprise.

Read more:

Europe is open to travel. But tourists must navigate each country’s COVID-19 rules

“Nobody expected this to come,” she told the BBC. “So really the travel industry is as shocked as the consumers right now and really we would just have to pick up the pieces and face it and help our customers get through this pretty terrible situation. “

Georgina Thomas, a British nurse visiting her parents in western France, said she was “frustrated by the inconsistent approach taken by the government. It just doesn’t seem logical.

“If quarantine is needed so be it, but I am confident my risk will be higher when I return to the UK,” she said.

Click to play the video:

UK has ‘good chance’ of dropping social distancing by June, says Boris Johnson

UK has ‘good chance’ of dropping social distancing by June, Boris Johnson says – May 3, 2021

The government says an easing of restrictions is possible as nearly 90% of UK adults have received one dose of the vaccine and more than two-thirds have received both doses. Health officials say vaccines used in Britain – made by AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – all offer strong protection against serious illness and death after two doses, although they do not prevent all infections. .

The story continues under the ad

Tory lawmaker Jeremy Hunt, former UK health minister, said hospital admissions were on the rise and the pressure on healthcare warning light was “blinking red”.

“I think that in September we are almost certainly going to see infections reach a new daily high exceeding the daily level of 68,000, which was the previous daily high in January,” he told the BBC. “If they keep increasing as schools come back, I think we’re going to have to reconsider some very difficult decisions. “

© 2021 The Canadian Press


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here