France could join travel red list as Covid cases surge

A surge in Covid cases in France could see the country join the UK’s travel red list, according to reports.

Boris Johnson said the government is “closely” analysing the sharp rise in coronavirus cases across the Channel.

Plans to add the country to the UK’s travel ban list will be discussed at a meeting of the ‘Covid O’ committee today (March 30), The Telegraph reports.

Red list status would ban direct flights, sailings and trains from France to the UK.

It would also prohibit people who are not UK or Irish nationals – or UK residents – from entering the country if they had been in France during the previous 10 days.

Currently, 35 countries are on the government’s red list, including all of South America and southern Africa.

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France has seen a huge rise in Covid cases.

Some 4,872 patients were recorded to be in intensive care in France, nearly matching the most during the country’s previous coronavirus surge in November.

Asked yesterday why France had not joined the red list, Johnson insisted the UK had stringent border measures.

“We have one of the toughest regimes in the world… many European countries don’t even have the hotel quarantine of the kind that we have in the UK,” he told a Downing Street press conference.

“There are 35 countries already on the red list, we are looking very closely at what’s going on in France, we keep it under constant review.”

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The PM added that the flow of medicine and food across the English Channel meant “we have to make sure we manage the disruption as well” if stricter measures were imposed.

The government has already introduced some measures to monitor trade entering the UK.

From April 6, hauliers from outside the UK and Ireland visiting England for more than two days will need to take a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of their arrival and once every 72 hours afterwards.

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