World

French minister livid over 'discriminatory' UK quarantine decision

July 29, 2021
"This is scientifically unfounded. It is a discriminatory decision, I think, towards the French, because all Europeans, even from countries with more difficult health situations than ours — because of the Delta variant or else — are not concerned, or no longer concerned, by the quarantine," France's Europe Minister Clement Beaune told French broadcaster LCI on Thursday morning. — Courtesy file photo

BRUSSELS — Britain's decision to lift its quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travelers from the US and EU except France is "discriminatory" and "incomprehensible", Paris said on Thursday.

"This is scientifically unfounded. It is a discriminatory decision, I think, towards the French, because all Europeans, even from countries with more difficult health situations than ours — because of the Delta variant or else — are not concerned, or no longer concerned, by the quarantine," France's Europe Minister Clement Beaune told French broadcaster LCI on Thursday morning.

"It is excessive and frankly incomprehensible from a health point of view."

"If I understood correctly, it is in the name of the Beta variant, the infamous variant from South Africa, which represents less than 5 percent of the cases in France and mostly in the overseas territories which are not concerned by the (travel) flows toward the United Kingdom," he went on.

His comments come just a day after British authorities waived its 10-day self-isolation requirement for travelers from amber countries — which include the US and European Union member states — as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with jabs authorized in the UK.

France remains behind on vaccination but is catching up after a slow start. It has so far administered at least one dose of the vaccine to 73 percent of its adult population and fully inoculated 62 percent of people aged 18 and over.

In the UK, more than 88 percent of adults have received at least one dose and 71.1 percent are fully vaccinated.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps said the quarantine decision for France would be reviewed "at the end of next week."

"We say to the British, on the scientific level, on the health level, there is no justification for this decision and therefore I hope that it will be reviewed, it is common sense, as soon as possible," Beaune said. — Euronews


July 29, 2021
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