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TRAVEL NEWS

UK publishes list of European countries exempt from quarantine rule

The UK government will lift its 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement for arrivals in England from “lower risk countries” including Spain, Germany, France and Italy, but not Sweden. The restriction may continue to apply for those arriving in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

UK publishes list of European countries exempt from quarantine rule
AFP

The date for quarantine to be lifted was initially scheduled to be July 6th but the UK’s Department for Transport announced on Thursday it had been pushed back to July 10th.

A full list of countries from which arrivals will no longer need to self-isolate was published on Friday (see below)

The list of nationals exempt from 14 days of self-isolation upon arrival in England included travellers from European countries such as Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Greece, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium and Norway but not Portugal or Sweden given their recent spike in cases.

From July 10th anyone arriving in the UK by train, coach, ferry or air ill not have to enter quarantine for 14 days.

These countries will have “reciprocal arrangements” in place, meaning travellers from the UK will not have to quarantine on arrival there either. So travellers to and from France will not have to enter obligatory or voluntary self-isolation.

Some 59 countries deemed low or very low risk will be exempt from the UK's blanket quarantine rules.

The UK’s Department for Transport also said that the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland “will set out their own approach”, meaning the quarantine lifting applied to England alone and that passengers arriving in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland “should ensure they follow the laws and guidance which applies there”.

The latest news from the Scottish press suggests that the 14-day quarantine will remain in place in England’s northerly neighbour after July 10th, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon having been particularly critical of British PM Boris Johnson's approach to easing coronavirus lockdown measures. 

No decision has been made on whether Wales or Northern Ireland will follow England in lifting the 14-day quarantine on July 10th.

Currently travellers arriving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland could face a fine of £1,000 (€1,100) if they fail to self-isolate for the full 14 days, and a £480 (€532) fine in Scotland. 

The full list available here is:

Member comments

  1. “Train, coach, ferry or air” – what about folk who drive and use the Channel Tunnel? That doesn’t seem to be covered by the list.

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TRAVEL NEWS

France may cut Channel islands ferry service after post-Brexit collapse in visitor numbers

Visits to the Channel islands from France have halved since Brexit, and French local authorities say they may be forced to cut the regular ferry service, asking for the passport requirement to be waived for French visitors.

France may cut Channel islands ferry service after post-Brexit collapse in visitor numbers

Travel to and from the Channel islands – which are British crown dependancies – has reduced significantly since Brexit, when passports became a requirement for those travelling in and out of the islands and their ports.

Now the president of the local authorities in the Manche département of France has asked that passport requirements be lifted, with hopes of increasing travel to and from the islands.

Jean Morin told Ouest France that there has been a “considerable reduction in the number of passengers on routes between the Channel ports and the islands” and as a result the ferry service between France and the islands was seriously in deficit.

“On these lines, we will never make money, but we cannot be in deficit”, explained the Morin. 

He added that if a solution is not found by the deadline of May 1st, 2023, then local authorities will stop funding the shipping company DNO, which runs the Manche Îles Express ferry service.

“If the passport requirement is not lifted by then, we will have no choice but not to renew the service contract for 2024-2025”, Morin told Ouest France.

Only around half of French people have a passport, since the ID card issued to all adults is sufficient to travel within the EU. 

READ MORE: Ask the Expert: How Brexit has changed the rules on pensions, investments and bank accounts for Brits in France

DNO re-launched operations in April and since then, the company, and by extension the département – who plays a large role in funding it via a public service delegation – has been losing significant funds.

According to Franceinfo, the number of passengers has been cut in half since passport requirements were introduced. Franceinfo estimates that for one ticket for one passenger costing €30, the département spends €200.

According to Morin, the ideal solution would be to require a simple ID for tourists seeking to take just day-long or weekend-long stays on the islands – which reportedly represents at least 90 percent of the boats’ usual passengers.

“The Jersey government is working hard on the issue and is waiting for an agreement from London and the European Union. There is the possibility that things could move quickly”, Morin told Franceinfo on Tuesday.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, boats going to and from the French mainland carried at least 110,000 people per year. In 2022, only 40,000 passengers made the journey, Olivier Normand, the sales manager of Manche Îles Express, told Actu France.

Normand had expected the decline, however. He told Actu France that the company had taken a survey, which found that almost half (between 40 and 50 percent) of their clientele did not have a passport. 

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