The UK government will add six new countries to its travel quarantine list, including France and the Netherlands, requiring two weeks of self-isolation for new arrivals while boosting fines for those who flout face mask rules.
The new restrictions were announced in a tweet from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, warning travelers that they will face a mandatory 14-day quarantine period should they arrive in the UK after 4am on Saturday, when the rule change will take effect.
British data shows we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos and Aruba from our list of Corona-virus travel corridors to keep infection rates down. If you arrive in the UK after [4am] Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
The new guidelines were set out hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government must be “absolutely ruthless” about keeping infections down, “even with our closest and dearest friends and partners.”
With France the second-most popular holiday destination for British citizens, the move risks stranding thousands of vacationers abroad, but Shapps insisted the move was necessary, stressing that the UK couldn’t afford to re-import cases from elsewhere.
Earlier on Thursday, Johnson also declared that fines for those violating face mask requirements would double from £100 ($130) to £200 ($260) for repeat offenders, up to a maximum of £3,200 ($4,180), further ratcheting up some of the country’s containment measures.
The decision to mandate quarantines for travelers from France has been a contentious one in Paris, with French officials vowing to respond to any restrictions in kind when the travel list was first unveiled in May.
France recorded nearly 2,700 new Corona-virus infections over the last 24 hours, amid a steep spike in cases after lifting its most severe lock down measures earlier this summer.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2020.