//Could France be removed from the safe list?
France quarantine

Could France be removed from the safe list?

The country is being closely monitored, according to reports.

France could be removed from the government’s travel corridors list as the number of coronavirus cases grow in the country, according to reports.

It is on a list of countries that are being “closely monitored” by Whitehall officials, according the Times.

A senior aviation source told the paper that Britons should only book holidays that can be easily rearranged at 24 hours’ notice.

France’s seven day rolling average of cases is 18.8 per 100,000 people, while the UK stands at 8.4.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told Sky News: “It’s a tricky situation. What I can say to people is we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and that means there is always the risk of disruption to travel plans and people need to bear that in mind.

“It’s the right thing for us to do to keep everything under review on a constant basis talking with our scientists, our medical advisers, and if we need to take action as you’ve seen overnight we will of course not hesitate to do that and we’re doing that to protect people’s health.”

France is currently exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel and is on the travel corridors list, meaning when returning to the UK, travellers will not need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Visitors entering France from the UK are no longer required to self-isolate. Ferries and flights have resumed to multiple destinations, while the Eurostar has resumed to Paris from London St Pancras, and the Eurotunnel is open.

In France, the wearing of masks in enclosed public spaces has been compulsory since July 20: this includes shops, covered markets, banks, and other establishments open to the public, while wearing masks on public transport remains compulsory for all users aged 11 and over, with fines for those who do not comply. Masks are also compulsory in taxis and private hire vehicles without a plexiglass screen, according to the FCO.

From August 8, travellers arriving in the UK from Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas will be forced to quarantine for 14 days after the countries were removed from the travel corridors list.

Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines were added to the list on July 24, but Spain was removed on July 25 and Luxembourg was removed on July 31.

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The Department for Transport said that data from the joint biodiversity centre and Public Health England indicated a “significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases” in the countries.

In the wake of the Department for Transport removing Spain from its safe list and the change in FCO advice, which was subsequently extended to include the Canary and Balearic Islands, the chief executive of Heathrow has renewed calls for testing.

“As many of our customers have experienced, it’s difficult to plan a holiday that way, let alone run a business. Testing offers a way to safely open up travel and trade to some of the UK’s biggest markets which currently remain closed,” John Holland-Kaye told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He said: “The UK needs a passenger testing regime and fast,” adding that “without it, Britain is just playing a game of quarantine roulette.”

Matt Hancock has said he has “absolutely no regrets” about the quick change in advice on Spain – and said more countries could be removed from the exemption list within days.

The health secretary said officials were looking “all of the time” at coronavirus cases in other countries.