French police crack down on protest against COVID health passport rules

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Britain said on Friday July 16 it was removing a planned relaxation of coronavirus rules for travelers from France, which was due to go into effect on Monday July 19, due to the continued presence of the beta variant of COVID identified for the first time in South Africa, written David Milliken.

Anyone arriving from France will need to quarantine themselves at home or other accommodation for five to 10 days, even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID, the UK Department of Health has said.

This quarantine requirement will end as scheduled on Monday for fully vaccinated travelers from other countries in the UK ‘amber’ coronavirus risk category, which includes most of Europe. Just over two-thirds of UK adults are fully vaccinated.

Monday sees the end of the majority of coronavirus rules in England, including most legal obligations to wear masks. But overseas travel will remain subject to quarantine and testing requirements.

“With the restrictions being lifted across the country on Monday, we will do everything possible to ensure that international travel is conducted in the safest possible manner and to protect our borders from the threat of variants,” the Minister of Health said. , Sajid Javid.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, France was Britain’s second most popular travel destination after Spain, and the news comes just a week before the start of school holidays in England, when millions of people would typically seek to cross the Channel.

The change sparked an angry backlash from the global airline body IATA, which said Britain’s travel restrictions and short-term changes were not in line with those in the rest of the world. world.

“The UK is asserting itself as an outlier in its muddled approach to travel. This, in turn, is destroying its own travel industry and the thousands of jobs that depend on it,” Willie Walsh, Managing Director of International Air Transport Association. (IATA), told Reuters.

Truck drivers will continue to be exempt from the quarantine requirement, but this will affect most other travelers, including those passing through France from elsewhere in Europe.

Britain is currently reporting around 10 times more cases of COVID than France, due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID first identified in India, but has few cases of the Beta variant found in France .

The quarantine for arrivals from France was “a precautionary measure … as we continue to assess the latest data and monitor the prevalence of the beta variant,” the UK Department of Health said.

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