Why the French?

By | Category: Travel news

It appears that the British and French governments have decided jointly that people coming from France (be they returning British travellers and holidaymakers or those living in France) will be able to re-enter the UK without facing a 14 day self- imposed quarantine.


It had been announced previous to Boris’s Sunday broadcast that there would be no restrictions between Ireland and the UK. Boris only spoke about quarantining those arriving by air so come to the UK by ferry and you may be OK to land and do what you will.

What is the thinking of doing a deal with France but not to Belgium and Holland or Germany and Denmark? Why not with Spain and Portugal which would give a heck of a shot in the arm to the travel and tourism industry?

Today’s governmnet document hinted at more countries than France and Ireland might be involved but gave no names.

According to the virus stats watchers at Johns Hopkins University, in the UK there have been about 32,000 deaths and in France about 26,000. In the UK deaths per 100,000 people are about 48 and in France about 39. Seemingly, France has more to lose than the UK given the two countries are at different levels in the virus cycle.

So why have a deal with France?

Maybe it would be better to have an arrangement with Sweden. Their mortality rate was about 32 per 100,000 people yet they didn’t have a lockdown as we or Spain or Italy or even France experienced one.

Could it be that a contributing reason could be the number of tourists from France and the UK that visit each other each year? About 17 million journeys are made from the UK to France each year and about 3.7 million visits to the UK from France.

Possibly not because the thinking could be that a few overseas visitors couldn’t affect UK residents very much as the pandemic is everywhere in our countries.

Today’s document says, “The scientific advice shows that when domestic transmission is high, cases from abroad represent a small amount of the overall total and make no significant difference to the epidemic.”

That seems to mean that because it is so virulent in France it doesn’t matter if a few more infections are passed around over here! 

All we can say from today is that France will be one country with exemption from self-isolating for fourteen days. What is still, awaited is which other countries will have the same status as France and Ireland. And whether it is reciprocated in those countries.

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