Get the latest on coronavirus. Sign up to the Daily Brief for news, explainers, how-tos, opinion and more.
Holidaymakers returning to the UK from France will have to quarantine for 14 days following a surge in coronavirus cases, the government has announced.
The Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos and Aruba have also been added to the quarantine list from 4am on Saturday.
The decision by the government comes a month after ministers announced that travellers arriving in the UK from Spain would have to quarantine for two weeks.
Luxembourg, Andorra, The Bahamas and Belgium were also added to the UK’s 14-day quarantine list last week.
The decision to add France will cause dismay for thousands of British holidaymakers currently in the country.
It was made in response to the spread of the virus, with the latest 14-day cumulative figures showing 32.1 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in France, compared with 18.5 in the UK.
The move will come as a bitter blow to the hard-pressed French tourism industry which relies heavily on visitors from the UK.
Meanwhile France’s secretary of state for European affairs said the UK decision would lead to “reciprocal measures” across the Channel.
Clement Beaune tweeted: “A British decision which we regret and which will lead to reciprocal measures, all in hoping for a return for normal as soon as possible.”
The Foreign Office updated its advice to warn against all but essential travel to the country because of the coronavirus risk.
Before the announcement was made, Boris Johnson said ministers would be “absolutely ruthless” in deciding on whether to impose the self-isolation requirement.
The PM said: “We have got to be absolutely ruthless about this, even with our closest and dearest friends and partners.
“I think everybody understands that.”
Johnson said the government could not allow the UK’s 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,” he said during a visit to Belfast.
With Spain already on the quarantine list, it now means that holidaymakers returning to the UK from the two most popular overseas destinations must now isolate for 14 days.