France urges UK to lift ‘discriminatory’ quarantine for travellers

The UK’s decision to impose restrictions only for French travellers is a “discriminatory” move, Minister of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune said here, calling on Britain to review it “as soon as possible”.

“It’s excessive, it’s frankly incomprehensible on health grounds and discriminatory towards the French,” Xinhua news agency quoted Beaune as saying to the media on Thursday.

“It’s not based on science. There is no justification for this decision, I hope that it will be reviewed as soon as possible,” he said.

Starting from August 2, vaccinated travellers from the US and the European Union will no longer need to quarantine on arrival in England, the UK government announced on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the UK maintained the quarantine for French travellers, citing the presence of the Beta variant in France.

Beaune noted that the Beta variant represents less than 5 percent of the total Covid-19 infections in France as it is circulating in the overseas island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean, which did not provide large tourist flows to the UK.

France was not planning reciprocity measures “for now”, he added.

“We base our decisions on health criteria.”