The doors of the United Kingdom open again. At least in part. The British government revealed on Friday the first breaches of the quarantine regime implemented to fight the coronavirus epidemic.
From July 10, tourists from Germany, France, Spain or Italy will no longer have to isolate themselves upon their arrival on English soil. Note that these exemptions would only apply to arrivals in England and that fortnight would always be compulsory for anyone arriving in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, under penalty of a fine.
"Today marks a new step in the prudent reopening of our great country," Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement.
A quarantine that also applied to British residents
The United Kingdom was one of the European countries most affected by the Covid-19 epidemic with at least 44,000 deaths, but the number of cases slowed down and the country began to lift the restrictions imposed during a confinement which lasted three months. Only the city of Leicester, located in the Midlands, had to relaunch a containment phase. "The virus is still with us and the peak case in Leicester has shown it," warned Boris Johnson as pubs and restaurants are due to reopen on Saturday across the country.
VIDEO. England: crowded beaches alert authorities
The 14-day quarantine measure has so far applied to anyone on national soil, including British residents arriving in the United Kingdom. The move angered the airlines and prompted many other countries to decide on similar reciprocal restrictions.
Up to 75 countries involved?
The UK government expects that these measures will now be lifted by the countries on the exemption list. However, negotiations are still ongoing with the countries concerned. He said, however, that London would not hesitate to re-impose restrictions if the number of cases were to increase in the countries with which the United Kingdom reopens.
Newsletter - Essential newsEvery morning, the news seen by Le Parisien
Your email address is collected by Le Parisien to allow you to receive our news and commercial offers. Find out more
A full list of countries benefiting from exemptions is due to be made public on Friday. It concerns nearly 75 countries, according to some media.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government was due to release these exemptions this week, but the announcement was delayed due to friction with local government in Scotland, some ministers said. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will "implement their own approach to exemptions," said the British government on Friday.