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It is understood Downing Street has ended proposals to fully exempt all French nationals from the two-week isolation restrictions, but will give essential business travellers special dispensation. A Whitehall source told the Daily Telegraph: “The French don’t want a blanket exemption, only freight and business travel. “You have to remember there are multinational firms in Europe that are testing every single one of their workers for coronavirus two times a week.”
On Sunday following talks with the French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated “no quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France at this stage”.
Downing Street then clarified the remarks made by Mr Johnson and insisted no agreement on exemptions for France had been formally agreed.
The prospect of different rules for countries across Europe has forced the European Commission to intervene.
Although the UK officially left the European Union in January, Britain is still bound by EU regulations during the Brexit transition period.
Under EU rules, member states are free to set their own lockdown restrictions, which can include quarantining visitors, but when easing them they must lift them for all nations deemed to have “similar epidemiological situations”.
Under the Government’s new rules international arrivals, apart from those in the channel Island and Ireland, will have to self-isolate in private accommodation for 14-days.
Travellers must provide their contact and accommodations details, in addition authorities will conduct random spot checks and have the powers to issue penalties of up to £1000 for those who flout the rules.
Meanwhile similar restrictions are currently being enforced across Europe, France has quarantine measures on arrivals coming from Spain.
This afternoon Spanish authorities’ confirmed arrivals from abroad will need to quarantine for two-weeks.
Spain has also extended existing restrictions to entry into Spain until June 15 and limited the access to five airports and eight sea ports.
Meanwhile in Germany, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry confirmed it will loosen coronavirus quarantine rules for people arriving from the European Union, the Schengen passport-free zone and Britain.
The ministry added it will only recommend travellers go into quarantine if they arrive from countries with elevated numbers of infections.
European Commission vice president Margrethe Vestager insisted it is possible Britons could travel abroad on holiday this summer.
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Asked whether she thought Britons could travel abroad this summer, she told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: “I would hope so.
“I think that there’s discussion over it at every dinner table in Europe and probably also in the UK.
“We really need a break from this. Can we go as we planned, or will we have to stay within the borders of our home country?
“We think that it can be done safely.
“And I think it’s a very good sign that Germany said yesterday that they will open their borders towards France and Austria.”
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