France may be added to UK’s ‘red list’ for border controls

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday he was considering tightening border controls with France meaning arrivals to the UK from the country could face compulsory hotel-quarantine.

France may be added to UK's 'red list' for border controls
Photo: Sem VAN DER WAL / ANP / AFP

“Putting France on the red list is something we will have to look at,” Johnson told MPs on Wednesday evening.

Adding France to the “red list” would require all travellers coming in from this side of the Channel to quarantine for 10 days at a government-approved quarantine hotel, which costs more than £1,000 per person. 

The cost would be paid by the individual not the state.

This may have to happen “very soon,” the PM added, but he did not give further indications as to when the UK government would make the decision.

Travel from the UK to France is currently limited by quite strict UK rules, while the French government relaxed its rules on travel early March.

READ ALSO Everything you need to know about travel between France and the UK

Currently to enter the UK travellers currently need to show a negative Covid test taken within the previous 72 hours and a passenger locator form.

They also have to quarantine for 10 days and buy a compulsory travel testing kit from the government’s list of approved suppliers – these cost around £200 per person.

However people are allowed to quarantine at home or in an establishment of their choosing rather than in the government-approved hotels .

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Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.