France has shed its “amber plus” status and moved to the UK’s amber list in the government’s latest review of the traffic light lists for international travel.
Previously placed in a special “amber plus” category, the move aligns France with the rest of the UK government’s amber list.
Travellers from countries in this list who have been double jabbed in the UK, US or EU can swerve self-isolation.
Instead, arrivals will have to complete a pre-departure lateral flow test as well as a day two PCR test upon entry to the UK.
The changes will come into affect at 4am on Sunday 8 August.
It comes after the number of cases of the Covid Beta variant has fallen in France. The government previously moved the country into the “amber plus” category on 16 July, which obliged all arrivals to the UK to quarantine for 10 days and take a day two and day eight PCR test.
The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said the decision was made due to “the prevalence of the so-called Beta variant, in particular in the Réunion bit of France,” despite the island being 5,800 miles from Paris.
In Wednesday’s announcement, the DfT said that moving France into the amber list “simplifies the system to three categories”: red, amber, and green lists.
The amber plus status appears to have been scrapped, along with the idea, floated this week, of an amber watchlist, which would have highlighted amber countries at risk of moving to the red list.
However, the green watchlist, flagging green countries at risk of turning amber, remains.
The government faced backlash for its decision to put France in a special category, with the country’s Europe minister tweeting: “The UK’s quarantine measures for France are excessive and incomprehensible in health terms.”
The travel industry also criticised the “amber plus” status. A spokesperson for Brittany Ferries said: “It makes you wonder if those in the centre of power have access to an atlas – or a geography GCSE – between them.”
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