The British government has drawn the ire of tourists and the travel industry by enforcing quarantine rules for France. The rule that Britons must be quarantined at home for ten days after a trip will expire on Monday for many popular holiday destinations, but it was decided at the last minute that France would not be covered.
The British government’s decision has to do with the spread of the so-called beta variant of the corona virus in France. This variant was first discovered in South Africa and is rare in the United Kingdom. The BBC writes that it is feared that vaccines will not work as well against that mutant.
Due to the corona crisis, the British government has created a ‘traffic light system’ with three color codes for countries: green, orange and red. Fully vaccinated Britons no longer need to be in home quarantine after a trip to a country that turns orange from Monday.
France remains on orange, but is the only country outside this relaxation. It is a kind of compromise because, according to a source of the newspaper, ministers The Guardian went too far to put France on the ‘red list’. Then travel would have been severely restricted and that could have had serious political and diplomatic consequences.
But holidaymakers are complaining in British media about the sudden policy change and the travel industry is also unhappy about the exceptional position for popular France. Easyjet CEO Johan Lundgren complained that the government is “pulling the carpet under the feet” of Britons who are on holiday in France or who have already booked a trip.
Confusion and uncertainty
Lundgren said the traffic light system is of little value if the government is constantly improvising. He said this creates “confusion and uncertainty.” IATA director of the airline industry, Willie Walsh, accused the government of “destroying its own travel industry and the thousands of jobs that depend on it.”