France, Netherlands and Malta axed from UK air bridge list – thousands of Britons impacted

A review of the countries included on the quarantine exemption list has been completed today. The new restrictions for France are set to come into force on the early hours of Sunday morning.

If countries get the axe, this means that anyone arriving in the UK arriving from that destination will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

With an estimated 400,000 Britons currently on holiday in France, those who do not wish to quarantine will need to return to the UK before the travel ban comes into action.

France recorded more than 2,500 cases of coronavirus yesterday. 

The sudden spike in cases is a record high for the country since their lockdown measures were eased. 

The country’s cases per 100,000 is currently below 20 at 18.1 cases per 100,000 people in France.

This is for dates between August 6 and August 12. 

In the previous week, the rate was 13.1 cases per 100,000 people.

They are now anticipated to join the “red” list which currently includes the likes of Portugal, Spain and Belgium. 

In relation to axing countries, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government would be “absolutely ruthless”.

Speaking during a visit to Northern Ireland, he said: “We can’t be remotely complacent about our own situation. Everybody understands that in a pandemic you don’t allow our population to be reinfected or the disease to come back in.

“That is why the quarantine measures are very important, and we have to apply them in a very strict way.”


Other countries that have been removed from the list include the Netherlands and Malta. 

This means that potentially thousands of holidays may have to be cancelled at short notice. 

The Netherlands’ coronavirus rate has hit 23.1 cases per 100,000 people.

Daily coronavirus infections in the Netherlands are roughly back to half the level they were during the peak of the pandemic.

Malta, which is a popular holiday destination with Britons, has recorded 46.7 cases per 100,000 people.

Gibraltar, Monaco, San Marino, the Faroe Islands, Aruba, Turks and Caicos are all experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases.

The government issued a strict warning to keen travellers this week. 

They said that “there is no risk free way of travelling overseas”. 

Boris Johnson warned that the government “would not hesitate” to impose travel restrictions on other countries if necessary. 

There has been no mention of whether Portugal will be added back to the UK’s “safe” list. 

The country currently has lower cases per 100,000 people, with anyone travelling from there to the UK being asked to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Portugal only has 12.4 cases per 100,000 people.

Additional reporting by Aimee Robinson

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