Malta, Netherlands, Monaco, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba also included
The government said it was making the decision following a surge in cases in those regions. It will come in to force on from 4am on Saturday.
The BBC reported that there are currently up to half a million British tourists in France, meaning a rush to ports and airports is likely.
Data shows we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN. If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) August 13, 2020
An ABTA spokesperson said: “The government’s measures to restrict travel will result in livelihoods being lost unless it can step in with tailored support for the travel industry. The announcements relating to Spain, and now France, impact the two biggest destinations for British holidaymakers at the height of the summer season, affecting an industry that has had its trade significantly restricted since the start of this crisis. At this time of recession, a plan is urgently needed to protect the 221,000 jobs the travel industry sustains.”
“Those currently travelling in these countries do not need to leave at this time, but they are advised to follow the advice of the local public health authority. Customers in destination should contact their travel provider if they have any questions about their return journey and those due to travel imminently should contact their travel provider to discuss their options.”
In response to the announcement, Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO The Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “To have France be removed from the government’s safe list of travel corridors is seriously worrying for the travel industry and the economy in general given that there are so many British visitors there right now. However, for the travel agent community the removal of Malta is even more worrying it’s a destination more likely to be booked by an agent as a package holiday. We are working hard with our partners, suppliers and fellow industry leaders to encourage consumers to have the confidence to book a holiday but this latest news will further damage consumer confidence.”
Last week, ABTA Magazine published an article on how the authorities were likely mulling over removing France from the list.
EuroTunnel said that it had seen a surge in website activity, as Brits looked to cut their holiday short.
In a statement the company said it was planning on running its scheduled service, but advised travellers not to turn up without a ticket.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO, said: “WTTC is deeply disappointed that thousands of British holidaymakers have had their holidays ruined, now the UK government has added more countries to its quarantine list, including popular summer holidays destinations, France and Malta. While we agree public health should remain the top priority, this move will crush what little confidence there is left in the fragile travel and tourism sector.
“More than 100 of the world’s major travel and global business leaders signed a WTTC letter sent to 10 of the world’s most powerful Heads of State, including Boris Johnson, calling for their leadership to coordinate the international response to save the travel and tourism sector and the global economy. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has led the positive responses we have received following our plea for urgent action for a range of measures including testing and tracing instead of quarantines.
“The UK clearly lags behind other countries, which have shunned quarantines in favour of comprehensive programmes of testing for everyone departing and arriving back into their respective countries. International coordination and programme of testing for anyone who wants to go on holiday to help stop Covid-19 in its tracks are crucial in order to rescue three million jobs in the UK alone.”
Picture credit: Chris Karidis