France’s surge in coronavirus cases in being analysed “very closely” by the UK Government, Boris Johnson has said.
His comment came amid speculation that France could be added to the UK’s travel ban list.
That measure will be discussed at a meeting of the “Covid O” committee on Tuesday, according to the Daily Telegraph.
From April 6, hauliers from outside the UK and Ireland visiting England for more than two days will need to take a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of their arrival and once every 72 hours afterwards.
But the Government could go further by adding France to the UK’s red list.
Some 4,872 patients were recorded to be in intensive care in France, nearly matching the most during the country’s previous coronavirus surge in November.
Red list status would mean direct flights, sailings and trains from France to the UK could be banned, and people who are not UK or Irish nationals or UK residents would be prohibited from entering the UK if they had been in France during the previous 10 days.
Eligible arrivals would be required to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 per person.
There are currently 35 countries on the red list, including all of South America and southern Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
The Prime Minister insisted the UK had one of the toughest border regimes in the world as he was questioned why France had not been put on the red list.
He told a Downing Street press conference: “We have one of the toughest regimes in the world… many European countries don’t even have the hotel quarantine of the kind that we have in the UK.
“There are 35 countries already on the red list, we are looking very closely at what’s going on in France, we keep it under constant review.”
He added that the flow of medicine and food across the English Channel meant “we have to make sure we manage the disruption as well” if stricter measures were imposed.
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