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France ready to mirror UK quarantine on visitors

In this photo from May 4, passengers wearing protective face masks maintain social distance as they queue at St Pancras Eurostar station in London, Britain.
In this photo from May 4, passengers wearing protective face masks maintain social distance as they queue at St Pancras Eurostar station in London, Britain. © Toby Melville, Reuters

France regrets a British decision to impose a quarantine on people arriving from mainland Europe, and stands ready to impose reciprocal measures, France's AFP news agency quoted the interior ministry as saying on Friday.

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Britain's interior minister Priti Patel said earlier on Friday she will introduce a COVID-19 quarantine for travellers arriving from abroad from June 8, a measure that airlines have warned will devastate their industry.

All international arrivals, including returning Britons, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and provide details of where they will be staying to the authorities. In France, however, visitors will be invited to voluntarily self-quarantine at home.

"Now we are past the peak of this virus, we must take steps to guard against imported cases triggering a resurgence of this deadly disease," Patel said at a news conference.

Priti said those who breached the quarantine in England could be fined 1,000 pounds ($1,218), and that spot checks would be carried out by health and border officials.

The quarantine measures will not apply to those arriving from the Irish Republic, and there are also exemptions for freight drivers, medical professionals and seasonal agricultural workers.

Unlike many other countries across the world, Britain has carried out few tests and checks on visitors, with quarantine limited only to arrivals from China at the start of the outbreak.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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