France’s quarantine rules ‘could apply to European countries if coronavirus is out of control’

France's quarantine rules 'could apply to European countries if coronavirus is out of control'
Health minister Olivier Véran. Photo: AFP
In a new twist on the already confusing tale of France's plan to quarantine visitors from overseas, the health minister has said that it could apply to European countries after all.

Health minister Olivier Véran on Saturday was the one to first announce the plan for a compulsory quarantine of at least 14 days for anyone arriving into France.

But just 24 hours later the president's office issued a clarification saying that this only applied to people travelling from outside the EU or Schengen zone countries – including the UK.

However, when detailing the plan to the French Senate, Véran said that in fact there would be no blanket exemption for European countries and it would depend on the coronavirus situation in that particular country.

He told senators: “We might have to adopt restrictions if the epidemic situation were to get out of control in one of the Schengen countries – which I don't want to do at the moment, as the situation is more on the way to being controlled by containment in most European countries.

“It is good scientific, medical and French common sense.”

READ ALSO When will I be able to travel to France again?

His office added afterwards that “we reserve the legal possibility of making changes if the epidemic situation evolves in a differentiated manner in Europe”.

This seems to contradict the statement from the Elysée Palace on Sunday that the quarantine would not apply to “anyone arriving from the European Union, the Schengen zone or Britain, regardless of their nationality”.

A decree is expected to be published shortly that will hopefully clarify the situation.

The quarantine was introduced as part of the debate on extending France's State of Health Emergency until July 24th.

At present travel into France is heavily restricted, so very few people would be affected by quarantine plans.

France has joined the rest of the EU in a ban on all non-essential travel into Europe from outside the EU or Schengen zone countries.

There are also strict controls at the French border for people travelling from within Europe – only essential travel is allowed and an international travel certificate is required. 

More details on the rules here.

There is currently no date for lifting these restrictions.



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