Tourists and the tourism industry reacted annoyance and fury on Saturday after Britain overturned a proposal to remove travel restrictions on France just two days after they were set to start, citing fears about a form of the coronavirus.
The move comes despite the fact that France now has lower rates of the virus than the U.K., where the highly contagious delta strain is causing a surge in cases.
On Saturday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was self-isolating while waiting for the results of a second test. Javid is in charge of Britain’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a Video Message, Javid Stated, “so far my Symptoms are Really Moderate” After Receiving Both Vaccine Doses.
Javid took over for Matt Hancock, who resigned last month after violating social distancing guidelines. As the epidemic began last year, Hancock became ill with Covid-19, and in April of 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent several days in critical care with the virus.
More than 51,000 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Britain on Friday, the highest daily total in over six months. Even if the number of people hospitalised and killed is on the rise, it is still significantly lower than it was during prior epidemics.
Amid a Surge in Reported Cases, England is Planning to Eliminate its Remaining Restrictions on Monday.
Nonetheless, the government is urging its citizens to exercise caution and maintain their social isolation. London’s buses, subways, and maybe other forms of public transportation will continue to enforce the usage of face masks.
Late on Friday, the British government announced that all travellers travelling from France, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to self-isolate for 10 days before being allowed entry into the country.
U.K. citizens who are up-to-date on their vaccinations will no longer be required to wait in quarantine beginning on Monday if they travel from any of the dozens of countries that are considered “amber,” or medium, on Britain’s traffic-light scale of coronavirus risk.
The United States, Canada, and a sizable chunk of Europe are among the nations on the amber list.
Health officials in Britain claim France is being unfairly blamed for the spread of the beta variation of the virus, which was initially discovered in South Africa. This strain is thought to be more resistant to vaccines than others.
Ten percent of French cases are due to the beta version, but only roughly one percent of British cases are due to this form. In both countries, the delta variety first found in India is prominent.
There is “strong evidence” that beta “may avoid the immunological response created by the AstraZeneca vaccination more efficiently,” according to epidemiologist John Edmunds, a member of the UK government’s scientific advisory board.
Most immunizations in the UK have been administered using the AstraZeneca injection.
More than 17 million people from the United Kingdom used to travel to France annually before the outbreak. According to Gemma Antrobus of the Association of Independent Tour Operators, the statement on Friday caught the tourism industry by surprise.
We in the travel industry are just as shocked as the general public, and now we’ll just have to pick up the pieces and help our customers get through this horrible circumstance.
A British nurse named Georgina Thomas who was visiting her parents in western France expressed her frustration with the government’s “inconsistent stance.” To me, that doesn’t add up.
She replied, “If a quarantine is necessary, then so be it, but I’m convinced that my risk will be higher when I return to the U.K.”