Great Britain

France edges closer to quarantine hit-list as coronavirus cases see biggest leap since lockdown ended

NERVOUS holidaymakers with trips booked to France are hit with further bad news that the country has seen its biggest increase of Covid-19 cases since lockdown ended in the country.

New infections of the virus rose by 2,288 today, the third day the number has increased significantly - the worst the country has seen since May.

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On Thursday coronavirus cases increased by 1,604 and by 1,695 on Wednesday.

This comes after Rishi Sunak refused today to rule out France being added to the coronavirus quarantine list and warned ministers "won't hesitate" to take action if needed.

Brits with holiday plans to France were told that there is "always a risk of disruption to travel plans" amid rumours that France could be added to the holiday quarantine list.

Countries exempt from quarantine when arriving in UK - and whether you'll have to self-isolate when you arrive

Andorra - not allowed in

Antigua and Barbuda - Non-nationals with certain travel history will be refused entry

Aruba - no quarantine

Australia - 14 day quarantine

Austria - 14 day quarantine unless you test negative

Bahamas - must prove negative test or denied entry

Barbados - quarantine while awaiting mandatory test result

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba - border closed

Belgium - no quarantine

Croatia - no quarantine

Curaçao - not allowed in

Cyprus - not allowed to enter if been in the UK in last fortnight

Czech Republic - no quarantine

Denmark - no quarantine

Dominica - not allowed in

Faroe Islands - tested on entry

Fiji - not allowed in

Finland- not allowed in

France - voluntary 14 day quarantine

French Polynesia - 14 day quarantine

Germany - no quarantine

Greece - 14 day quarantine

Hong Kong - could be forced to quarantine

Hungary - not allowed in

Italy - no quarantine

Japan - not allowed in

Lithuania - 14 day quarantine

Luxembourg - not allowed in

Macau - not allowed in

Malta - not allowed in

Mauritius - not allowed in

Monaco - not allowed in

Netherlands - not allowed in

New Zealand - not allowed in

Norway - not allowed in

Poland - no quarantine

Spain - no quarantine

Switzerland - not allowed in

Taiwan - 14 day quarantine

Turkey - tested on arrival

Vatican city - no quarantine

Vietnam - 14 day quarantine minimum

The Chancellor delivered a stark warning when he was asked if other countries may be deemed unsafe to travel to in the future, and whether people may be forced to isolate for 14 days when coming back from France next.

There are fears that the country, popular for holidays and getaways with millions of Brits, could be next on the list after infections started to rise there.

The Chancellor told holidaymakers "there is always the risk of disruption" during the pandemic when asked whether France may be the next nation to face new rules.

He told Sky News in a grim warning: "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,.

"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."

Government sources said no changes were imminent but France was being "closely monitored" along with several other nations with rising case numbers.

It came as:

Matt Richards wrote on Twitter today: "Yes, a potential quarantine for me and my wife is not the end of the world.

"But 14 days quarantine would mean my children would miss the first week back at school and they've been off since March."

Rachel Arnold, of Cheshire, said: "We want to go to France next week, Charente area, low Covid. Staying at a secluded house, no one else there.

"Thinking now not to go as 'threat' of quarantine looming. Ironically can't afford to do a ten-day holiday here."

Quarantine measures were announced on Thursday evening for travellers arriving into the UK from Belgium, Andorra and The Bahamas - with Britons advised against all but essential travel to the three countries.

The restrictions - which mean those arriving will have to self-isolate for 14 days - came into force at midnight in Wales, with the same rules applying in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 4am on Saturday.

The French health authority - Sante Publique France - reported cases of Covid-19 are up by a third (33%) in the week to August 6, and infection rates are increasing in all age groups, particularly 20 to 30-year-olds.

In the past 24 hours alone, the country has reported 1,695 new coronavirus infections — the highest daily increase for two months.

 It's health ministry said: "The situation is precarious.

"We could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control, like in Spain.

"It is highly likely that we will experience a second epidemic wave this autumn or winter." 

Paul Charles, the boss of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: "Unless France takes further significant steps to reduce its case numbers, then it's highly likely to be added later next week as the increase must be causing worries in Westminster."

The Chancellor also refused to budge and extend the furlough scheme again - as employers have to start paying towards it from next month.

He said winding down the furlough scheme supporting jobs during the coronavirus crisis is "one of the most difficult decisions" he has made as Chancellor.

And he added: "I don't think it's fair to extend this indefinitely, it's not fair to the people on it. We shouldn't pretend there is in every case a job to go back to.

"This is what we need to do now, it's to look forward, provide the opportunities for tomorrow. Yes, there is hardship ahead for many people, we know that, but they shouldn't be left without hope."

More than 9 million people have had their wages paid by the taxpayer during the pandemic as part of efforts to keep the economy afloat and save jobs.

The Chancellor will give firms a £1000 bonus if they keep staff on until January.

But still more than 100,000 people have lost their jobs so far, with predictions that 2.6million could go.

Yesterday Boris Johnson urged Brits to go back to their offices if they could, or more would be lost.

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