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France, Netherlands, Malta and others added to the UK Government quarantine list

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The Government announced very late on Thursday evening that anyone returning to the UK from France will need to quarantine for 14 days.

The quarantine requirement will kick in from 4am on Saturday morning and will doubtless trigger a mass rush to leave France during Friday from those who need to return to work next week.  It would, arguably, have been more sensible to impose quarantine from 4am on Sunday morning, allowing those whose holidays end on Saturday to return on their scheduled flights, trains and ferries.

As well as France, the quarantine rules will also apply to returnees from:

  • The Netherlands
  • Monaco
  • Malta
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Aruba

Hotel du Palais Biarritz

The following countries had already been added to the quarantine list over the previous two weeks:

  • Andorra
  • The Bahamas
  • Belgium
  • Luxembourg

It is not yet clear if these countries will be added to the Foreign Office ‘do not travel’ list (click here), which is usually the trigger for being to abandon your holiday plans and make a successful travel insurance claim.

The official ‘travel corridor’ list – which is shrinking by the week – is on this page of the Government website.  Two countries have been removed from the quarantine list in recent days – Brunei and Malaysia – so it is an active two-way street.

PS. As people are asking, the hotel in the picture above is the Hotel du Palais in Biarritz.  Once one of the most fashionable hotels in France, it had lost its lustre in recent years.  There were plans to convert it into a Four Seasons but this fell through and, after substantial upgrading, it will reopen next year as part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection.  The Hyatt web page for it is here.  I am keen to try it out.

Comments (200)

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  • S says:

    The quarantines are borderline unenforceable anyway, I really wonder why are they even bothering. Almost nobody will comply.

    • Stoneman says:

      Yup. If you were serious you would introduce testing at the border. Instead with have some lovely political theater to exploit.

      • GeorgeJ says:

        Testing at the border is only feasible if you have low volumes. It is nonsense to suggest that Heathrow could test at the volumes required at just 50 percent of capacity (ie @ 35million a year). Thats @ 100,00 a day, the entire UK capacity (which is currently the highest in Europe) is only three times that. The ques are bad enough now, they would be out of sight with people waiting for their test and results.
        You just aren’t going to divert resources to holidaymakers versus stopping spread in the community/hospitals/nursing homes. Its easier just to make travel difficult.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          You wouldn’t test everyone just though going to the highest risk countries.

          • GeorgeJ says:

            The problem is that the higher risk countries are all that are not on the exempt list and those moving off it. Thats still potentially a lot of people. There is another difficulty, until we have a test that works in the pre-symtomatic period, you would need a follow up test a few days later and quarantine until that happens.
            This is also dynamic, if it becomes easier to come here/back from higher risk countries then the volumes of passengers will increase.
            You can see why the UK Governments have decided that it is all just too difficult and stuck with 14 days for anyone from places with a higher incidence of the disease. Its actually quite sensible given the lack of practical alternatives.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            What are you trying to do? Get the highest percentage or stop everyone?

            The fact that you don’t quarantine everyone coming in from anywhere shows that it’s not everyone.

        • Stoneman says:

          You would test from high risk countries only, as Germany are doing. If you want to test everyone then you want be placing everyone in quarantine which we are not.

    • GeorgeJ says:

      In know plenty of people who are complying, its not too difficult for most. If you can afford an overseas holiday you should be able to afford the quarantine!
      Dont underestimate the impact of peer pressure to comply and the likelihood of being reported if you dont.
      As an employer, I wouldn’t be sympathetic who lied on this matter. I might be less annoyed if it was Majorca but not Catalonia.

      • S says:

        I’ve already violated the quarantine. It’s not about being able to afford it or not. It’s about not participating in this nonsense.

        • Lady London says:

          I hope someone near and dear to you in a high risk category catches it from someone you’ve infected. I’m normally civil but you’ve pushed me too far.

          • J says:

            Pretty nasty comment. The problem is the govt has little to no moral authority for a large section of the population. Also the rules make no sense – Luxembourg is not higher risk than Turkey (they have tested their whole population nearly though).

          • mvcvz says:

            Extremely unpleasant, aggressive, unnecessary and remarkably stupid comment. Not sure why it hasn’t been deleted, as whenever I dare to offer even the mildest criticism of one of this board’s “senior” (I use the term under advisement) members, my contribution somehow vanishes without trace. Seems like there’s one rule for some, and one rule for the rest. Are you Dominic Cummins in disguise? He’s pretty dumb too.

          • BS says:

            What goes around comes around.

            If the rules are beneath Dominic Cummings, they are beneath me too. Sorry. If they are genuinely concerned they should close the borders.

          • Lister says:

            Lady by name, Lady Muck by nature.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            @LL that is pretty nasty and uncalled for.

          • Lady London says:

            Sorry I was provoked. This person’s selfishness threatens people I care for.

            I too think this government has been incompetent and lacks moral authority. But I do what I’m told for the sake of others even if I think it’s rubbish. What got me was this person’s defiance in the context of consequences for others

          • Lady London says:

            Sorry Don I don’t get you? not clear

          • Ben says:

            Wholly understand your frustration.

          • Stoneman says:


        • Stoneman says:

          Long as you are distancing from people then you pose little to no risk. Good for you.

      • Richmond_Surrey says:

        Not sure who could pressure me. My neighbours didn’t even notice I was gone for a month. I don’t work, so no one cares. Not that self-isolation applies to me, since I came back on Wednesday.

    • Nick_C says:

      The majority will obey the law. A selfish criminal minority will not.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Indeed, and unfair as it is on those who do comply when others don’t … in terms of overall numbers and government objectives, most and most of the time is good enough.

      • BS says:

        Sorry, if government advisers treat the rules as beneath them, then I shall treat the rules with equal contempt. This government has no moral stock to force me to do anything, and certainly is not getting any goodwill from me.

        • Stoneman says:

          Exactly. Just do as the rulers do. The people instructing the country on how to avoid catching Covid all caught it themselves with others just flouting the rules to suit their lifestyles. I will act accordingly.

      • Stoneman says:

        Like the lemmings we are.

  • BT01 says:

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