The United Kingdom will impose a mandatory quarantine next week on travelers from France, where cases of the Beta variant of Covid-19 are spreading, at the same time that the U.K. plans to ease rules it instituted to stem the spread of the disease.
Starting Monday, travelers to the U.K. from France will need to quarantine at their hotel or accommodation for 10 days and complete a COVID-19 test on their second and eighth day after arrival, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.
The rules will also apply to people who traveled through France within ten days of arriving in the U.K.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier this month the country will lift all Covid-19 restrictions Monday, including face mask and social distancing requirements.
“With restrictions lifting on Monday across the country, we will do everything we can to ensure international travel is conducted as safe as possible and protect our borders from the threat of variants,” said Sajid Javid, U.K. Health and Social Care Secretary.
The Beta variant was first identified in South Africa, and is 50% more transmissible than the original Covid-19 virus. In South Africa, the variant is believed to be the cause of a second deadly wave of Covid-19 cases at the beginning of this year. Some vaccines like AstraZeneca’s also may not be as effective against this variant.
What to Know About the Coronavirus Beta Variant (Healthline)