European fury at Britain's chaotic quarantine rules with French leading outrage

European leaders have reacted with fury after Britain revealed its plans for a tough new quarantine regime requiring arrivals into the UK to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel has received widespread backlash both at home and abroad after unveiling the measures, which have been dubbed 'ineffective and unenforceable' by the travel industry.

Ms Patel's announced yesterday that anyone arriving into the UK from June 8 would be legally required to self-isolate for two weeks or face fines of up to £3,200. 

France immediately hit back at the UK last night, saying it 'regretted' the decision and would look to impose a 'reciprocal measure' on Brits arriving at its borders.

Meanwhile , which at one point was the epicentre of Europe's coronavirus crisis, said it hoped Britain would rethink its rules and called for a 'coordinated approach'.

Miss Patel last night confirmed that the new quarantine regime would apply to almost all arrivals, including people returning from holidays abroad.

But she also revealed a list of 39 categories of people who would be exempt from the rules, including healthcare workers, pilots and those coming over from Ireland.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has received widespread backlash both at home and abroad after unveiling the new quarantine measures on Friday

Home Secretary Priti Patel has received widespread backlash both at home and abroad after unveiling the new quarantine measures on Friday

Pictured: Passengers wearing PPE queue up to board a China-bound flight at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport on Friday

Pictured: Passengers wearing PPE queue up to board a China-bound flight at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport on Friday

She said that 'air bridges' could be agreed with certain countries with a similar or lower Covid-19 infection rate, meaning citizens could travel between each nation without the imposing of self-isolation.

However no such agreements had been finalized as of Friday's announcement, while preliminary talks between the UK and France about a quarantine-free corridor with no checks abandoned two weeks ago.

Currently, Britons can only fly to France on "essential" business, a position it said earlier this week would be reviewed on June 15. 

Responding to the UK's announcement last night, a spokesman for France's Interior Minister said: 'We take note of the British government’s decision and we regret it.

'France is ready to put in place a reciprocal measure as soon as the system comes into force on the British side.'  

Who is exempt from the government's mandatory 

Here is the list of people exempt from the 14-day self-isolation requirement.

- A road haulage worker and road passenger transport worker

- A transit passenger, an individual transiting to a country outside of the Common Travel Area, who remains airside and does not pass border control

- An individual arriving to attend pre-arranged treatment, when receiving that treatment in the UK

- A registered health or care professional travelling to the UK to provide essential healthcare, including where this is not related to coronavirus

- A person who has travelled to the UK for the purpose of transporting, to a healthcare provider in the UK, material which consists of, or includes, human cells or blood which are to be used for the purpose of providing healthcare

- Quality assurance inspectors for human medicines

- Sponsors and essential persons needed for clinical trials or studies

- Civil aviation inspectors engaged on inspection duties

- Eurotunnel train drivers and crew, Eurotunnel Shuttle drivers, freight train drivers, crew and essential cross-border rail freight workers operating through the Channel Tunnel

- A Euratom inspector

- Workers engaged in essential or emergency works, related to water supplies and sewerage services

- Workers engaged in essential or emergency works related to a generating system, an electricity interconnector, a district heat network, communal heating, automated ballast cleaning and track re-laying systems or network

- A worker undertaking activities in offshore installations, upstream petroleum infrastructure, critical safety work on offshore installations and wells

- Workers engaged in essential or emergency works

- Drivers and crew of trains operated by Eurostar International Limited, essential cross-border workers working for Eurostar International Limited

- Operational, rail maintenance, security and safety workers working on the Channel Tunnel system

- A worker with specialist technical skills, where those specialist technical skills are required for essential or emergency works or services  

- Seamen and masters

- A pilot, as defined in paragraph 22(1) of Schedule 3A to the Merchant Shipping Act

- An inspector, and surveyor of ships

- Crew, as defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Air Navigation Order 2016(h), where such crew have travelled to the UK in the course of their work

- Nuclear personnel who are essential to the safe and secure operations of a licensed nuclear site

- Nuclear emergency responder

- Agency inspector

- An inspector from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a specialist aerospace engineer, or a specialist aerospace worker

- A person engaged in operational, maintenance or safety activities of a downstream oil facility that has a capacity in excess of 20,000 tonnes

- A postal worker involved in the transport of mail into and out of the UK

- A person involved in essential maintenance and repair of data infrastructure

- An information technology or telecommunications professional whose expertise is required to provide an essential or emergency response to threats and incidents relating to security

- A person who is engaged in urgent or essential work on electronic communications networks

- A person who is engaged in urgent or essential work for the BBC's broadcasting transmission network and services

- A seasonal agricultural worker 

- Members of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the United Kingdom

- Crown servants or government contractors returning to the United Kingdom who are either: required to undertake policing or essential government work in the United Kingdom within 14 days of their arrival, have been undertaking policing or essential government work outside of the United Kingdom but are required to return temporarily, after which they will depart to conduct policing or essential government work outside the United Kingdom

- International prison escorts - a person designated by the relevant Minister under section 5(3) of the Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984(a)

- A person responsible for escorting a person sought for extradition pursuant to a warrant issued under Part 3 of the Extradition Act 2003 or sought for extradition pursuant to any other extradition arrangements

- Defence personnel and contractors doing work necessary for the delivery of essential Defence activities, including Visiting Forces and NATO

- An official required to work on essential border security duties

- A person who resides in the UK and who pursues an activity as an employed or self-employed person in another country to which they usually go at least once a week 


Raffaele Trombetta, the Italian ambassador to the UK, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that no discussions had yet taken place between the two countries.

He said: 'There is always a large number of British tourists coming to , it's one of Britain's preferred destinations.  

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'We had 40 million trips from the UK to last year. We know how much they love . We are still open, welcoming them. 

'We believe that this is pandemic is a global problem so the best thing to do is to tackle it with a coordinated approach.'

Mr Trombetta pointed to 's own plans to lift quarantine rules for

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