Coronavirus: France records sharp jump in Covid-19 cases amid travel restriction fear

French government reports 43 per cent increase in daily infections

Samuel Lovett
Friday 07 August 2020 21:31 BST
Dr Fauci says Europe managing coronavirus better through widespread shutdown

The French government has said it recorded 2,288 new coronavirus cases on Friday, amid mounting concerns that the country may be the next nation added to the UK’s quarantine list.

The latest figure marks a 43 percent increase from Thursday’s daily total, which saw 1,604 infections reported across the country.

French authorities added that the number of people in intensive care was down to 383 from 390 on Thursday.

France's coronavirus rate has increased steadily in the past month to 13.2 new infections per 100,000 people, suggesting the spread is worse than in the UK, which has a rate of 8.4.

UK travellers have been slowly returning to France in recent weeks. Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, which operates vehicle-carrying trains through the Channel Tunnel between Kent and northern France, said its phone lines and live chat service were "extremely busy" on Friday.

It brought in extra staff to deal with the demand and advised customers that most bookings can be amended online.

Britons can currently travel to and from France without quarantining on arrival or return, and there are no travel restrictions in place between the two countries.

However, The Times has reported that France has been placed in the category of countries that are being “closely monitored” by Whitehall officials.

France’s own scientific committee warned earlier this week that the country was experiencing a second surge in cases.

“The situation is precarious and we could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control, like in Spain,” the group said.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has meanwhile said that ministers will "not hesitate" in ordering travellers coming back from countries with high Covid-19 rates to isolate for 14 days.

"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,” Mr Sunak said on Friday.

"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, and 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."

Flights are still running to France from the UK with Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways.

The Eurostar has resumed services from the UK to France, and Disneyland Paris reopened to guests last month.

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